Top 10 Attractions

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  • Top 10 Attractions in Chinatown

    Best Things to See in Chinatown

    The sights, sounds and smells of Chinatown are an assault to the senses so visitors should be prepared, but for anyone with a sense of adventure a day lost among the many market alleys and street food vendors can be the most memorable of any spent in Bangkok. Due to the mix of Chinese and Thai cultures this area is unique and fascinating, especially for photographers who will find stunning temples, exotic street food and everyday street scenes just begging to be captured on film. It can be daunting to enter Chinatown without a plan so check out our Top 10 Attractions in Chinatown so you can make the most of your day. Just be sure to wear your comfiest shoes and be prepared for the heat!

  • Tourists flock into Wat Traimit to see the largest gold Buddha in the world. The revered statue, seated on an altar and surrounded by traditional Thai golden arches, is breathtaking and is a regular pilgrimage for Buddhists and inquisitive tourists. Located close to Hua Lampong MRT Station, it is a great stop on your way to – or from – the subway station. The view from the top of the Wat Traimit offers a sight of the ornate Chinatown Gate nearby and receives a refreshing breeze which blows through the open doors of the temple meaning visitors can enjoy marveling at the dimensions of the Buddha statue without perspiring from the heat. Read More...

    • Open: 09:00 - 17:00
    • Location: Traimit Road (west of Hua Lampong Station), at the very beginning of Chinatown
    • Price Range: 10 Baht to visit the museum located half way to the top of the building. Visiting the golden buddha itself is free.
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    2) Sampang Lane

    Sampeng Lane is a long narrow street intersecting Chinatown selling a jumble of goods. Much like the rest of the area, Sampeng Lane is cluttered, chaotic and a lot of fun. The dimensions of this street are so limited, in certain parts, you could stretch out across the alley and grab a pair of flip-flops in one hand and a Christmas tree in the other, yet unbelievably this was the original high street of Chinatown when the Chinese community first moved here.

    • Open: 09:00 - 18:00 (every day)
    • Location: Chakraphek Road and Sampleng Lane, Chinatown
    • How to get there: Running parallel south of Yaowarat (the main street) walk south along Sampeng Lane.
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    3) China Gate

    An ornate ceremonial gate is a familiar sight in Chinese enclaves throughout the world, and considering Bangkok is home to the world’s largest Chinatown, the China Gate at the western entrance to the area is suitably impressive. Built in 1999, the huge gate is actually called the King’s Birthday Celebration Arch, signifying the loyalty of the Chinese community to King Bhumibol of Thailand. It was opened in time to celebrate the king’s 60th birthday on the throne. The China Gate in Bangkok sits in the middle of a large traffic island from which Yaowarat Road, the main body of Chinatown, runs parallel with the river. It makes a great background image to a photo.

    4) Yaowarat at Night

    At night, Yaowarat Road – the high street of Bangkok’s Chinatown – transforms into one of the greatest street food locations in the world. Locals and visitors can be seen all along the main thoroughfare sampling their way through all that there is to offer, turning dinner into an evening of exploration. It can be confusing at first but with a sense of adventure it can be a lot of fun. Popular offerings include dim sum, oyster omelets, flat noodles in a pepper broth, and lots of fresh seafood. There are also many exotic fruits on offer, as well as homemade ice-cream (we love coconut, but for something truly Thai go for durian). Traffic is very bad in this area so we recommend taking the MRT Underground to Hua Lamphong Station, and then either a 15 minute walk or a short tuk-tuk ride.

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    5) Grand China Princess revolving rooftop bar

    For less than 100 baht, the cost of a drink including a draft beer at 75 baht only, get a surprising panoramic view of Chinatown and beyond, all the way to the Chao Phraya river. It takes about two hours for Sky View 360˙restaurant to complete a full round and you barely notice any movement. The restaurant serves also Thai, European, Japanese and Chinese with old fashioned waiters and waitresses with a live piano backgrond music. This viewpoint is not very well known and is a great place to take an air conditioned break any time past 17:00 after a tiring exploration of busy Chinatown.

    • Open: Show Times: Thursday and Friday from 19:30
    • Location: Charoen Krung Road next to Old Siam Plaza
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    6) Wat Mangkol Kamalawat
    Wat Mangkol Kamalawat

    Nestled in the heart of Chinatown, Bangkok's most important and largest Chinese-Buddhist temple is the hub of activities during festivals like Chinese New Year and contains spectacular Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian shrines. It dates back to 1872, and was called Wat Leng Nui Yee until King Rama V changed it to Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (which means Dragon Lotus Temple).

    • Open: 09:00 - 17:00
    • Location: Charoenkrung Road, Chinatown
    • How to get there: From the pier, walk up Ratchawong road to Charoen Krung, turn right and Wat Mangkol Kamalawat will be on your left a little more than one block down
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    Romaneenart Park is located on the eastern edge of Chinatown and offers respite from the dizzying traffic of Yaowarat Road. Here you can see people jogging, working out and practicing Chinese fan dancing (called lam pat in Thai). There is a large expanse of grass and many squirrels jumping from tree to tree. Built on the site of the old city jail, Romaneenart Park retains one wall and some of the old guard towers as part of the park's architectural features, in addition to the neo-classical buildings in the style of King Rama V period. A large number of fountains help keep the park cool in the middle of the big city. The old prison is now home to the fascinating Corrections Museum where visitors can learn about the gruesome punishments meted out to offenders in Thailand in the not so distant past. The Corrections Museum is open from Monday to Saturday. Read More...

    • Open: Mon - Fri: 09:00 - 16:00 (Closed on weekends)
    • Location: Romaninart Park
    • Price Range: Free (although a small donation is appreciated)
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    8) Thieves Market
    Thieves Market

    It’s not the most welcoming name for a market – perhaps why they changed the official name to Nakon Kasem – but seriously intriguing, Thieves Market doesn’t actually sell stolen goods anymore, instead it is full of second-hand curios like antique cameras, Buddhist amulets, and even old shoes! It’s far more interesting for photographers than for shoppers, but you really never know what you might find. Thieves Market is between Yaowarat and Charoen Krung Road on the western edge of Chinatown.

    • Location: Thieves Market, between Yaowarat and Charoen Krung Road
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    9) Wat Chakawat Ratchawat (crocodiles)
    Wat Chakawat Ratchawat (crocodiles)

    A very unusual sight for those who thought they’d seen everything. Inside the temple complex at Wat Chakrawat, behind the beautiful curved stupa, there is a murky pond housing three giant crocodiles who lie, half submerged in the water, waiting for their next meal. Legend has it that the crocodiles kept eating young monks so they were trapped and housed here.

    • Location: Chakrawat Road, south of Sampeng Lane
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    10) Sala Chalermkrung (Khon)
    Sala Chalermkrung (Khon)

    Built in 1933 under Royal Patronage, Sala Chalermkrung is a charming theatre that is immaculately maintained with period fittings that whisk you back in time 80 years – a mass of brass fittings, red velvet cushions and sepia photographs. Everything looks as fresh as it did when Chalerm Krung opened its doors as the first cinema with audio and air-conditioning in Thailand. Nowadays, the theatre is home to Khon, a Thai masked dance that is tasked with maintaining Thailand’s traditional performance art and dance. The show is a mixture of exquisite costume, traditional dance and an historical epic about a double-crossing demon.

    • Open: Show Times: Thursday and Friday from 19:30
    • Location: Charoen Krung Road next to Old Siam Plaza
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