Be aware that Yaowarat is always packed full with people and during summer temperatures can soar, so bring some water and your walking shoes!
Throbbing, thriving and thrilling, visiting Chinatown in the heart of Bangkok is like entering the dragon. In fact it said that Thanon Yaowarat, the main thoroughfare that starts at the Chinatown Gate and ends near the Rob Krung Canal, twists dragon-like through the colourful historic district.
One of the largest Chinatowns in the world, it has been the epicenter of Chinese settlement since 1782, after they were asked to move from their original location to make way for the construction of the Grand Palace. Today this bustling district is shopping and food paradise. Neon signs light up the narrow alleys packed with shops selling everything from gold and green tea to herbal remedies and gadgets from China. Dining tables spill out on to the pavement from tiny shophouse restaurants that serves all manners of gastronomical delights. It’s crowded, chaotic but a fun trip especially if you are a photographer.
If you do go, don’t miss the spectacular Wat Traimit temple, which houses the largest gold Buddha statue in the world; Nay Mong, which has serving up delicious fluffy oyster omelettes for the last 60 years; Khao Gaeng Jek Puey for the Chinese-influenced Thai curries; Sampeng Market, a rabbit warren of shops that fabrics, fashion accessories, toys, electronics and much more; and the ground floor of the Old Siam Plaza, which a candy store of Thai sweets and snacks freshly made.