The Chinatown of Bangkok is one of the largest gathering and settlement of Chinese immigrants in the world. Originally founded 1767 on the east bank of the Chao Phraya river, the Chinese population had to relocate 1782 on a royal request of King Rama I to its current location Sampheng. Nowadays, the heart of Chinatown lies along Yaowarat Road, which is the main road and also lends the name to the entire area referred as Yaowarat respectively Chinatown. The administrative district name of Chinatown is Samphanthawong district including the neighborhoods Song Wat, Talat Noi, Khlong Thom and Nakhon Khasem, all nestled between the Chao Phraya River and Charoen Krung Road.
Besides a settlement for Chinese population, Bangkok's Chinatown is on the liveliest shopping areas of the entire city. First start off with Thanon Ratchawong / Ratchawong Road that is branching off from the main Yaowarat Road and where you will find literally everything and some things you don't need to own can be found there. All items are super cheap and bartering is allowed. You might notice that there are loads of small alleyways and each of them has its own theme or specialty for example textiles, electronics, hardware, beauty products and so on. The majority of these stores are wholesalers and sell things in bulk. This is a good chance to purchase goods with a discounted price as well as buying plenty of souvenirs for your friends and family at home.
Next destination is Sampeng road (officially known as Wanit 1 road), where several outdoor markets and quaint small shopping malls waiting for the enthusiastic buyers on their search for bargains and unique souvenirs. Namely, there are Sampeng Avenue, ThaiDee Plaza, Sampeng Grand Plaza and Sampeng Square as well as countless street vendors. Back to Yaowarat Road, on daytime it is dominated by gold and jewelry shops but also many Chinese-oriented stores that sell teapot sets, strange herbal remedies and more. After dusk and at nighttime, Yaowarat Road is filled with vendors and restaurants selling an abundance of food, this is a good opportunity to have a delicious dinner after a long shopping day. How to get to Chinatown from your hotel in Sukhumvit? The easiest way is by taxi but be warned of the notorious and time-consuming traffic jams of Bangkok. Second and more interesting is by river taxi boat from BTS skytrain station Saphan Thaksin to Ratchawong pier. Third and newest option since autumn 2019 is the MRT Subway to Wat Mangkon station.
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