TOUR OF BANGKOK
TOUR IN BANGKOK IN THE CHINA TOWN AREA
Bangkok's Chinatown can be found on the Yaowarat and Phahurat roads, and provides both an authentic and surreal Chinese experience. It begins as soon as you pass through the unmissable ceremonial Chinese gates which mark the entrance. The best way to gain the full Chinatown experience is by taking one of the walking tours, which provide a uniquely rewarding experience They allow you time to explore the area and enable you to speak with the locals, in order to fully emerge yourself in the community. Chinatown is known for its immaculate temples and shrines, the biggest and most visited are Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (Chinese Buddhist temple) , and the Wat Traimit, the temple of the golden Buddha. While a wealth of street-side and market stalls that are not aimed at foreign visitors, give Chinatown a unique flavour. You will find a strange yet compelling selection of goods, ranging from fabrics, textiles and Bollywood movies to ginseng roots, herbs and authentic Chinese medicine. There are also many high quality and well respected gold shops in the area, which have a huge amount of custom and popularity throughout Thailand.
By far one of the best times to view these unforgettable temples is in the morning, when the sun is at its brightest and provides an altogether more lustrous view. One of the most popular temples in Chinatown is Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, also known as Leng Noi Yee (The Dragon Lotus Temple). This is a Mahayana Buddhist temple, its style comes from southern china and it was built in 1871. It has many shrines and statues to marvel at, the most interesting are the four golden statues that greet you at the second entrance. Each of them has a symbolic item: a parasol, a pagoda, a mandolin and a snakes head. This is one of the most active and festive temples in Chinatown, by day or night worshippers can be seen lighting incense, filling the eternal burning altar lamps with oil and making offerings to their ancestors. Another highly visited temple is the Wat Traimit temple, which holds the world
's largest gold Buddha statue. It weighs an astonishing five and a half tons, sits 15 foot tall and is 83% pure gold, making it worth millions of dollars in today's gold prices.
The afternoon is a perfect time for shopping and exploring the wealth of side alleys, packed with stalls selling everything from flip-flops, textiles, and electrical goods to tea sets and unseen vegetables. As you could expect there is something for everyone no matter what your taste. And bargaining within the markets for the lowest price always proves an enjoyable and friendly experience. Chinatown's gold shops have also proven to be a great attraction; Hua Seng Heng is one of the most popular and highly trusted gold shops to visit. It is located on the Yaowarat road, and has been in business and selling gold (96.5% pure) for 50 years in Chinatown.
Chinatown is not known for its clubs and party nightlife, but rather for its exceptional authentic Chinese cuisine. All the best restaurants are to be found on the Yaowarat road; the start of the evening is the best time to witness its transformation as extravagant neon lights and signs are turned on. All the food cooked in the area is authentic Chinese's style, ranging from top class and highly priced restaurants to the more budgeted side stalls down the different alleyways. There is a huge amount of choice when it comes to dining on Yaowarat road, one highlight being the Chinatown Scala Shark's Fin Restaurant, which offers shark fin and many other exotic seafood to savour. Another popular restaurant is Hong Kong Noodles, which is famous for its Hong Kong style noodles and grilled duck. While one of the more upper class and expensive restaurants is Hua Seng Song, known for Special Birds Nest Soup and its delicious Hoy Tawt (muscles in batter).