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Chinatown Chow-down

Filling your stomach in Bangkok's Chinatown.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.2 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  This tour might be a tad imprecise - after all, many of the best food stops in Chinatown are mobile and fall under the 'stall under... more »

Tips:  Bring a handkerchief for wiping your brow and light clothes for comfort - it'll get hot walking around this densely populated and... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Hualumphong MRT Station

Best to take the subway (MRT) here, as traffic is nutso. Leave via exit #1.

Home to the famed Golden Buddha, which was 'lost' under a covering of plaster for a few hundred years until a construction accident cracked it open, it was given a new home in 2008 with this shiny new temple. Ignore the tuk-tuk touts outside trying to rip you off - buy a ticket inside.

3. Street Food!

It's a few minutes' walk, but you'll eventually enter Chinatown proper. You'll know it when you start passing all types of food stalls. The first ones you'll likely encounter are chestnuts, roasted in a special black sand. Buy half a kilogram and start snacking.

4. Roti

These doughy, delicious snacks are a treat if you can find them. Eggs and banana friend in a dough envelope and sprinkled with sugar and sweet condensed milk. You really should save it for dessert, but it's often too good to resist.

5. Seafood Dinner

The green-shirted staff will likely wave you in as you approach their open-air restaurant. If there's room, take a seat and browse the menu for some of the best seafood in town. Giant shrimp, oyster omelettes, crab meat curry, fried rice, it's all there. If you're not a fan of seafood, don't worry, there are other options for food up ahead.

6. Dried fruit

There are plenty of strange-looking fruit to choose from, much of it neatly packaged and ready to buy. Don't be shy - dig in and buy a few souvenirs!

7. Market Alley

This little alley is a hotbed of activity until the sun goes down. Giant bags of things you've never seen have scoops in them, chickens and ducks hang from rafters, and vendors yell back and forth as they carry huge sacks of...stuff around. Buy some bulk tea leaves if you like, or be adventurous and just point and smile.

8. Air conditioned tea time

The entrance to this building is a bit hard to see, but look above the door for a Tesco sign and you've found it. It's a pretty old and grungy building, actually, but if you head up the escalator to the second floor you'll find an entire floor of counters selling traditional Chinese tea, with dozens of old Chinese men playing mahjong and yelling... More

9. Pepper noodles

Hungry yet? Good! The noodle stand on this corner, which sells 'gouey jab' rice noodles in spicy broth with pork, is very popular, as the lineup of people waiting for their takeaway order can attest. Sit down at one of the tables and order a bowl each (my recommendation is to ask for only 'moo grop' (crispy pork), unless you like stomach,... More

10. Pepper noodles part 2

This is it - now you're competing in one of Chinatown's great debates: which 'gouey jab' noodles are better, the ones at stop #9 or these ones? Each shop has its fans, but we'll leave the final decision up to you.

11. Dim sum

If you've been saving your stomach for some more traditional fare, now's your chance. The Canton House does decent dim sum - and it's air conditioned, which is definitely a good thing after all that walking.

12. Thian Fah Foundation

On your way back out of Chinatown, stop for one last photo opportunity at this 110-year old gilded temple dedicated to Kuan Yim, goddess of mercy, which stays open and brightly lit late into the night.