The 10 Most Authentic Chinatowns in the World

by Paul Joseph  |  Published January 23, 2017

9. Bangkok

Succulent looking birds hang around waiting for a buyer (Photo: Stefan Bollinger via Flickr)

Succulent looking birds hang around waiting for a buyer (Photo: LaMei Hot Pot)

To the untrained eye, the bustling city of Bangkok and its Chinatown district may appear one and the same – but the truth is a little more nuanced than that. One of the oldest areas of the city, dating back to 1757 when immigrants began arriving from southern China, the Thai capital’s Chinatown is awash with ornate Chinese shrines and food offerings that those in the know will recognise as distinctive from that available elsewhere in the city.

Located mainly along Yaowarat road, the area is dotted with aromatic food stalls and restaurants, along with a dense population of gold shops, with its sights, smells and sounds creating a sensory experience that is a match that anything the famously frenzied city has to offer. In fact its boundaries have been expanded in recent times, stretching along the Chao Phraya, from River City shopping complex to the edge of Pahurat Market.

But it’s not all bric-a-brac and culinary delights. Bangkok’s Cinatown is also the location of several Taoist temples, including Wat Traimit, which holds a 5.5 ton solid gold Buddha statue – the largest solid gold statue in the world.

TOP TIP: Check out the ornate ceremonial gate at the western entrance to the area – a perfect spot for a photo to remember your visit
MORE INFO: www.bangkok.com/chinatown