History of Shanghai Mansion
The original building was built on the major Yaowarat Road in 1892, after four major roads were completed. It is an excellent example of the Chinese migrant trading house.
The property has been owned by the oldest Chinese migrant families in Thailand, the Sarasin Dynasty. The current owner of the property, Pong Sarasin, was a member of the ministry of Thailand and also operates the Coca-Cola franchise in Thailand.
This building was made famous in 1909 when it was converted to a Chinese Opera house and was frequented by the Royal Family. The owners later leased out the building and it was converted to the stock exchange of Thailand. As the business district gradually moved northwards to what is now known as the CBD area, the building was converted into a textile trading center.
When the lease ended, the owners transformed it into one of the most famous department stores in Thailand, known as the Yaowarat Square, which houses various restaurants and the center for Chinese herbal medicine. The Building was then vacated in 1998 and in 2005, it was transformed into what is now known as the Shanghai Mansion.
*RATTANAKOSIN (Bangkok’s Old City)
Straddling the Chao Phraya River and situated just north of Chinatown, the Old City (Rattanakosin) is home to Bangkok’s most spectacular and revered historical attractions.
Founded by King Rama I in 1782 at the start of the Chakri Dynasty, it was originally carved out of a bend in the river to strengthen the defensive position of the new Siamese capital. Sights include the regal majesty of the Grand Palace, the awe-inspiring beauty of Wat Phra Kaew, and the traditional learning centers Wat Pho. Sanam Luang, a historic park next to the Grand Palace traditionally used for important Royal or Buddhist ceremonies, and the National Gallery can also be found here.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is the world’s largest Chinatown. It is not only a major tourist attraction, but also a business and commercial center.
Chinese settlers first came to Thailand during the Sukhothai period. They lived along the canal near Sampahnthawong Road (the major road where Shanghai Mansion is located).
During the reign of King Rama V, who had a royal policy to place more emphasis on the role of Chinese commercial trade, the existing Samphathawong Road was divided and expanded into 4 major roads. The construction was complete in 1891. At present, these roads have become the most important in Chinatown, but Yaowarat road is the center of Chinatown.
The Chinese community in Yaowarat is one of the oldest overseas Chinese communities in the world. The history of this Chinatown can be traced as far back as the early Rattanakosin period and the establishment of Bangkok.
Chinatown is the place where the history of Thais of Chinese descent began, the place where the business and commercial activities of their Thai-Chinese descendants took place.
The original houses of the 3 oldest and most successful Chinese migrants in Thailand are currently being preserved and are now tourist attractions. In 2003, Yaowarat Road celebrated its 111th anniversary. Through the process of time, Yaowarat and Bangkok have grown up side by side. According to the Chinese astrology of Feng Shui, Yaowarat Road is a “golden dragon area,” meaning it is the ideal place for business.