Street-by-Street: Central Chinatown



Street-by-Street: Central Chinatown

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This area is Chinatown at its most atmospheric, with its vibrant colors, pungent smells, overwhelming cacophony, and frenetic bustle. a cross-section of the district can be experienced by walking up Soi Isara nuphap from Ratchawong pier. after Songwat Road, with its old wooden buildings, the street is lined with wholesale spice shops. Past the fabric market of Sampeng Lane, the sidewalk is crowded with fresh and preserved foods. once over Yaowarat Road, with its countless gold shops and Chinese herbal medicine stores, snack stalls predominate before giving way, after crossing traffic-choked Charoen krung Road, to sellers of Chinese religious paraphernalia.

Kao Market

Fresh produce, such as mushrooms, is sold at Kao (“old”) Market, which has been here since the late 18th century.

Tang To Kang Gold Shop

This antique water filter is displayed at Tang To Kang, a seven-story structure built as Chinatown’s central Gold Exchange in the late 19th century.

Sanchao Kuan Oo

People who hope for luck in gambling leave offerings of vegetables in front of a gilded horse’s head in this temple.

Songwat Road

Despite the trucks transporting goods to the busy pier at Ratchawong, the old houses and commercial buildings along Songwat Road give a flavor of Chinatown as it was in the 19th century. This old wooden warehouse stands opposite Soi Thanam San Chao.

Leng Noi Yee

This Buddhist shrine combines elements of Confucianism and Taoism, attracting a wide range of devotees. The main chamber contains several gilded Buddha images.

Sanchao Dtai Hong Kong

At this popular temple relatives of the dead burn “hell’s banknotes” to provide for their loved ones in the afterlife. Devotees make merit by buying and freeing caged birds.

Li Thi Miew

This atmospheric temple within a courtyard is topped by fierce dragons. Inside, incense smoke swirls around statues of Taoist deities.

Yaowarat Road

One of Chinatown’s main traffic arteries, this bustling road is packed with gold shops, herbal sellers, cafés, and restaurants.

Mai Market

Mai (“new”) Market can’t boast the pedigree of Kao Market, but it is still a good source of everyday and unusual items like snake parts for Chinese medicine.




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