March 12, 2019

A Guide to Bangkok's Chinatown

One of the most colorful and chaotic places in Bangkok is Chinatown.  If you are seeking the heart of Bangkok’s street food scene – this is the place you need to be. 

But it’s not for the faint of heart.  It is noisy.  It is very crowded.  

And it’s also where you can find the best food anywhere in Bangkok at awesome budget prices.  

If you’re debating between going to Chatachuk Market or Chinatown, Chinatown is the clear winner for me.  In addition to all the food you could ever want or need, Chinatown also sells a lot of the same STUFF that Chatachuk Market carries.  

The easiest way to get to Chinatown is to take the Chao Praya Express Boat to pier number five or Ratchawong.  For tips on how to use the Bangkok ferry system, see my blog post.  As you exit the pier onto Ratchawong Road, turn right and walk until you reach Yaowarat Road.  Turn right again to enter the heart of Chinatown.  

Try not to go on a Monday.  Mondays are street cleaning days in Bangkok.  Less than half of street vendors will be operating. 

Set aside a couple hours to explore to your heart’s – and your stomach’s -content.  Bring your appetite, good walking shoes, cleansing wipes for eating on the go – and for those with less-than-ironclad stomachs, a preventative dose of an anti-diarrheal medication.

There are places to sit down and order but I found I gravitated towards the street carts, some of which were stationary, others which were just passing through, as its vendors were constantly on the move.  I tried everything I could – dishes I didn’t even know the name of.  I advise you to do the same.  If something interests you, try it before the cart passes you by.  You might not see it again.  

The sights, the smells, the bounty and variety of deliciousness.  Everything was a delightful surprise.  

Chinatown made the down and dirty foodie in me extremely happy – this is what I imagined when I thought about Bangkok’s food scene. 

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