Yaowarat (Bangkok's Chinatown)

A Multi-Cultural Community, A Food Haven, And Home Of The Golden Buddha
Bangkok's Chinatown covers about a one-kilometre stretch running down three (more or less) parallel roads -- Chareon Krung Road, Yaowarat Road and Songwat Road. Yaowarat Road is the main thoroughfare in this community, and this is where visitors can find most of the action. However, it is also fun to stroll down the narrow alleys with rows of early 20th Century shophouses. In the daytime, the streets are busy with trucks and workers making deliveries of goods, as well as shoppers looking for all sorts of products from large and small durable goods to perishable food items. Also busy are the gold shops selling and buying gold trinkets.

When nights roll around and these places of business close, the restaurants and stalls begin to set up their tables on the roadsides. The variety of food offering is mind-boggling from simple snacks to main fares to desserts (mostly of Chinese in nature). This culinary event happens every night and goes on until the early morning of the following day.

There are several Chinese temples and shrines here, but the most venerable is Wat Leng Noei Yi (established in 1871 CE) on Charoen Krung Road. Another significant temple in this area is Wat Traimitr (better known in English as "Golden Buddha Temple"). As the name implies, this temple houses the 5.5 metric-ton "Golden Buddha" made from the highest quality gold in Thailand's Sukhothai Era over 700 years ago. The "Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Centre" is also located here.