Chinatown

Chinatown (located in Yaowarat road) is one of the oldest culteral areas of Bangkok as Chinese merchants were originally moved to this area in the early 1780’s when Bangkok was founded. Chinatown has surely one of greatest concentrations of gold shops anywhere, reflecting the love of gold the Thai-Chinese are often thought to have. There's also plenty of street-side restaurants round here also, where you can get birds-nest soup, dim sum, shark fin soup and other traditional Chinese delicacies. Plan your visit during major festivals, like Chinese New Year and the annual vegetarian festival in October, and you will see Bangkok Chinatown at its best.

 

   

Sampeng Lane

“Chinatown Walking Street” is a narrow busy predominately pedestrian street that is bustling with commercial activity. You can buy all kinds of stuff here – at the beginning of Sampeng Lane you find mainly shoe shops, almost all of them selling only wholesale, mostly gifts, textiles and cloth.  It's now a good area for looking or buying Thai or Chinese antiques. There's quite a number of shops and reasonable range of supposedly antique and second hand goods.

   
WatTraimit

WatTraimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha. At first glance, the 3m high Buddha image in here looks distinctly average and undeserving of the busloads of tourists that visit every day. What attracts them all however, is the remarkable fact that it's made of 5.5 tonnes of solid gold. The story behind the image is that in 1957 a large stucco Buddha image was being moved by crane during development of a port. To the horror of all concerned, the crane operator accidentally dropped the image, sending it crashing towards the ground. Instead of smashing however, the stucco covering merely cracked and in the process revealed the solid gold image hidden underneath. It is thought to have been covered like this during the early Ayutthaya or Sukhothai period, apparently to protect the image from the invading Burmese, and remained that way for several hundred years.
   
   
   
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