Chinatown beckons

Step out and walk in any direction, and Chinatown unveils itself as the historical heart of Bangkok’s commerce and culture. Duck into the endless streams of gold shops and pick up a bauble or two. Stroll side alleys and nosh on authentic dim sum or inhale fragrant tea leaves at Lim Meng Kee tea shop, a neighborhood institution. The markets at Samphengh burst with wholesale wares – from clothing, shoes, hats and household items. Meanwhile Phahurat fabric markets are jam-packed with every type of cloth imaginable. By night, feast on eclectic street food and drink. And round out the day with a smooth cocktail and tunes at our very own Red Rose Restaurant Jazz Lounge.

Hidden Yaowaraj

Step off the main street, and revel in Chinatown’s hidden mystique. Dating back to 1658, Leng Buai La shrine is not only the oldest Chinese temple in Bangkok, but possibly the oldest in all of Thailand. Chinese and Thai locals flock here to pay homage to the patron deities and the Queen of Heaven. ~ A few short blocks from Shanghai Mansion is the century old Elah Sae Coffee Shop, a favourite spot to share a cup of traditional Chinese coffee in the company of the area’s old timers, many of whom come here each day to conduct business or catch up on neighborhood gossip. Elah Sae is a favourite stop for the Royal family! ~ Tang To Kang is the city’s oldest gold shop, a six-story emporium dating back to the 1880s. Peruse traditional and modern jewels where young brides go to outfit their dowries.

On the streets of Bangkok’s Chinatown, you’ll encounter Chinese food in staggering variations. Some of it may look familiar, some of it looks exotic and some of it .. well, it can look strange! “What is it?,” is a question we hear countless times when we take our guests around the neighborhood. In this blog, Shanghai Mansion Bangkok staff take a stab at answering some of our guests’ questions. Like you, we love getting to know our neighborhood’s rich culinary history, to understand it and to experience it. Enjoy!

Our neighborhood is full of exotic, curious rituals and traditions. Meander the small backstreets of the neighborhood and let us know what you encounter!

Bangkok’s Chinatown is a favourite shopping haunt -- even among Bangkok residents. The city’s industrious Chinese community is a mercantile hub, peddling retail and wholesale fabric, shoes, accessories, home goods, toys, stationery, religious and ceremonial items, spices and dried fruit and foods, and, most famously, gold. Here, the plethora of goods and opportunities for bargain-hunting is endless. So, strap on comfortable shoes and hit Bangkok Chinatown’s fabulous markets!