The busy Yaowaraj Road in Chinatown
One of Bangkok’s most important commercial centers is one of the world’s largest and most vibrant Chinatowns. Characterized by bright, colorful neon signs, heavy traffic and street food, this is a hectic and intoxicating place, where Chinese merchants have settled since the 12th century. Their descendants now own the numerous shops that line the bustling Yaowaraj Road, and turn it into a huge food emporium late in the evening and at night, drawing huge crowds (the best time to eat here is between 7pm and 9pm, before stalls sell out, but don’t bother showing up on a Monday, when vendors take the day off).
Locals and tourists also fill Sampeng Lane and a maze of narrow alleyways packed with market stalls, and visit the many shrines that combine Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Glittery gold shops, spice shops, herbal medicine shops, fabric shops and 24-hour markets are other attractions, guaranteeing activity any time you visit.
How to Get to Chinatown
Take the river ferry (Chao Phraya Express) to the Ratchawong pier or the MRT (subway) to Hua Lamphong station.
What to See and Do in Chinatown
-Wat Traimit - The residence of the world’s largest golden Buddha, worth a quarter of a billion US dollars.
-Wat Mangkon Kamalawat - Smoky, noisy Chinese-style temple.
-Sampeng Lane Market - One of Bangkok’s most atmospheric markets.
Recommended Hotels in Chinatown for Every Budget
- Hotel Royal Bangkok @Chinatown
- Shanghai Mansion Bangkok
- Grand China Hotel
- Ama Hostel Bangkok
- Norn Yaowarat Hostel
- Hostel Urby
- Merge Hostel
Featuring a rooftop salt-water pool, this is the perfect place to escape the heat of Chinatown’s streets. The rooms and apartments are quite large, making them a good choice for families or groups.
A former Chinese opera house that’s now divided into 76 individually-decorated guestrooms, two restaurants and a spa.
Bangkok’s only revolving restaurant is found at the top of this hotel right in the center of Chinatown’s main streets. It also offers a swimming pool and spacious rooms that accommodate as many as four people.
The best budget choice in Chinatown, it’s divided into dorms and private rooms with shared or private bathrooms. It has a colorful, beautifully-designed interior inspired by China, and includes common areas for guests to meet other travelers.
Contemporary dorms and private rooms welcome budget travelers at this property in the heart of Chinatown. It scores points for cleanliness and a friendly staff.
One of the best-rated hostels in all of Bangkok, it’s found on the riverfront, and features a minimalist contemporary design.
A helpful staff awaits budget travelers at this good-value hostel, which is hidden in an alley, a short walk from a number of attractions and Chinatown’s famous street food.