If you’re a foodie, no trip to Bangkok would be complete without a trip to Chinatown. Its endless array of street food stalls dominate Yaowarat Road where it’s located. The crowds, the heat, the noise, the bright lights, the good and bad smells; it can all feel a bit like an assault of the senses but that’s one of the things that I love the most about it. It gives an authentic and all-go insight into Bangkok’s street food scene. Bangkok’s Chinatown operates non-stop, 24 hours a day but the best time to visit is at night when it comes into full swing. Most street food vendors open their stalls from 6pm onwards.
The endless street food vendors stretch as far down Yaowarat Road as the eye can see. Many of the street food stalls have been in business for generations and as a result some have gained real notoriety. The reputable vendors are a good option for those who are cautious when it comes to eating street food. Many street food stalls have their own pop-up seating areas located on the roadside for customers to sit at; dining at the roadside is all part of the experience.
Most vendors cook your food right in front of you, fresh to order.
There are a number of vendors selling plastic bottles filled with freshly squeezed juices. They don’t look overly exciting and I must admit I didn’t given them a second glance until my friend picked one up and insisted that I have a try. They are a little piece of refreshing heaven, especially in Chinatown’s hot and sticky environment. I always end up necking several of these whenever I visit Bangkok’s Chinatown. The lime juice is my favourite of all the fresh juices on offer; it’s sweetened with a little sugar to offset the sharp, tangy edge. It’s such a refreshing little pick-me-up that is perfect in Chinatown’s heat.
These Thai pancakes are an absolute delight and are well worth trying. They comprise of a small, sweet, crispy pancakes, filled with a coconut based mousse with various toppings such as stringy, sweet egg or fried coconut sprinkles. They are super-unique and delicious.
Bua Loy Nam King (pictured above) – glutinous butter dumplings with a black sesame filling in a sweet ginger syrup. A mind blowing Thai dessert that is perhaps one of my favourite Chinatown eats. If you try one thing, make it this!
For those who fancy themselves as a bit of a photographer, Chinatown is the perfect place to do a spot of street photography. There are weird and wonderful things to observe at every glance. It’s one big non-stop photo opportunity. Most of all, Chinatown is a great Bangkok destination for those looking for a gastronomic adventure. I recommend turning up with an empty stomach and spending an evening trying a variety of the dishes on offer. Perch on one of the plastic chairs by the roadside at one of the many pop-up restaurant and just observe the wonderful chaos.