Bangkok Chinatown walking tour
Like every city, Bangkok has places you cannot miss. You can spent your time efficiently by getting a city map and explore the city on your own. Instead of joining organized tours, doing your own tour gives you more freedom as you can spend more or less time in some places based on your preference. You can try a local dish or have a rest when you need it. Bangkok Chinatown is a perfect place to do all of this. You can also your tour by renting a bicycle.
Bangkok has so much to offer and you need about a week to fully experience the city. One of our favorite places in Bangkok is Chinatown. This place is one of the oldest Chinese neighborhoods of the world! It took us a full day to see Chinatown. We could do it faster but we took our time to really explore around. You can find all the highlights of Chinatown in this blog. We have written it according to our route, so you can see it as a guideline for a day tour in Chinatown Bangkok.
Chinatown Bangkok is not too far from the touristic city center (Khao San Road). Assuming that you will depart from there, you can walk or use public transport. So let’s start our tour!
1. Chinatown Gate
We wanted to start our tour here as it’s the symbolic gate of Chinatown and a beautiful place to take the first pictures. The gate is build in 1999 by Chinese Thai citizens. The writings on the gate mean: ‘’Long live the King’’ and is build for the Thai King, King Bhumibol. During Chinese new year, there is music and Chinese performances all around the gate.
2. Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)
Just on the other side of the road of the Chinatown Gate, you will find the Golden Buddha temple. This temple is very impressive as it is the house of the largest golden Buddha statue of the world. The statue is 5.500 kg, made of pure gold and is about 3 meters in height. It is believed to be created between 1200-1400s. For years it was hidden because it was covered to protect it against enemies. In 1955 the statue came back to the surface and has got a lot of attention since.
3. Kuan Yim Shrine
The Kuan Yim Shrine with its colors and beautiful roofs has everything you would expect from a Chinese temple. The shrine is build in 1983 and is dedicated to Kuan Im (Guan Yin) who is viewed in Chinese Buddhism as the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.
4. Yaowarat Road
Yaowarat Road is the mainstream of Chinatown. You can find all kinds of things being sold on this street. Food, clothes, gold shops, herbal teas and medicine, souvenirs and what not. Chinese food is delicious. You can find dim sum, oyster omelets, fish ball soup, duck, fresh seafood and delicious noodle soups. The view of the street is a bit chaotic but so interesting with all the lights in the evening. This is the place where you would love to take pictures and maybe even make a poster of it for on your wall.
5. Goldshops of Chinatown
There are a lot of gold shops you can find on the Yaowarat Road, but 2 of them are more interesting. One of them is the So Seng Heng Goldsmith. This is the favorite of locals and the largest gold shop in town.
The other interesting gold shop is Tang To Kang Gold Shop. This gold shop is the oldest of all Bangkok and build in 1880.
6. New and old market
You can spend some time at the new (Talat Mai) and old market (Talat Kao) to get an idea about the local life. Especially the old market is very interesting with a lot of action and all kinds of seafood. The old market is established round the 17th century.
7. Sampeng Lane
A very chaotic but interesting place in Chinatown is Sampeng Lane. This road is one of the oldest roads of Chinatown. In 1870 it became the 1st paved road. In the old days there used to be brothels and gambling but then slowly changed in a dry goods market. Sampeng Lane is a long narrow street where a lot of stuff is being sold. You could find everything in it. Some spots are so narrow that you might have to wait for somebody who is looking at some things before you can actually walk further. This might be a bit overwhelming. It is very crowded and you could feel like you want to get out immediately, but it’s definitely worth a visit!
8. Wat Chakrawat
Once presented as a royal temple in 1835, the Wat Chakrawat is famous for their live crocodiles. The temple is nice to see and has a Khmer style tower. What Chakrawat is a good resting point, as it is very calm and has a serene atmosphere. A large group of monks use the temple actively, which gives you the opportunity to be a part of their world.
9. India Emporium Mall
This is a small Indian mall with a few floors. In the small shops you can find Indian fabrics, clothes, souvenirs and very interesting 2nd hand clothes. It’s easy accessible and nice to look around.
10. Guru Tawan Shikh Temple
Guru Tawan is the largest Shikh temple outside of India. Shikh are famous for their gurus and live a peaceful calm life. If you want to visit the temple, you need to take your shoes off. Women cannot wear exposing clothes and need to cover their hair in a orange scarf.
11. Wat Ratchaburana
Wat Ratchaburana is better known as Wat Liab. The temple has typical Khmer style roofs and is made by a Chinese tradesman. Maybe more interesting, is the tower next to it. The entrance of the temple is free. You can have a quick look if you like.
12. King Rama the 1st Memorial
The Memorial of King Rama I the Great was built in 1932 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Bangkok. The king is known as a very loved king till this day. This is a great spot to take pictures and have a rest.
13. Flowers of Chinatown
Just walking a little further from the Memorial of King Rama I, you will notice that you are getting closer to the flower markets. Bangkok has very big flower markets. It’s spread in parts. You can visit the Yodpiman Indoor Flower market, the Flower Market street (Chakphet) and the Pak khlong talat flower market. You can find every kind of flower to take pictures.
Bonus (must do)
There is a coffee stall, just across Hotel Royal Bangkok on the Yaowarat Road. You can have a coffee of your choice here. However do try the Thai tea. You can also try it as a frappe. The price is round 20 – 30 Baht.
Across the main entrance of the Golden Buddha temple there are some food stalls. Have a the oyster omelet. Of course you can order a shrimp Pad Thai with it too.
Last but not least, there are nice small restaurants that serve duck on the Yaowarat Road. They serve it with rice and it is absolutely delicious. You must taste it.