Bangkok’s Chinatown is the largest in the world and is absolutely worth a stop. The main artery runs down Yaowarat Road and is unmistakable as you see the vibrant yellow and red signage lining the streets. The highlights off the main road are the multitude of food vendors and shops set up lining the sidewalk. Stop to try the infamous Durian, but make sure you’re ready for a test of your senses, including scent, taste and texture.
One thing to note is that the area changes depending on the time of day you choose to visit. Daytime is centered more around shops and markets while nighttime brings the real delights of street food and a bustling night life.
If you’re looking to venture off the main road, look no further than Sampheng Road. It’s a narrow offshoot from Yaowarat, lined with tourist-focused shops and food vendors.
The street is extremely interesting to venture down, but don’t be surprised if you suddenly have to jump out of the way of a vespa (or two).
Also located at the end of Chinatown’s Yaowarat Road is Wat Traimit, or the Temple of the Golden Buddha. A 5.5 ton solid gold Buddha what was discovered by accident while being moved to its current location. What do I mean “by accident”? Let me tell you.
The Golden Buddha was originally covered in stucco and colored glass in an effort to conceal its true value. During one attempt to move the extremely heavy statue, the ropes broke, resulting in some of the plaster chipping off to reveal the gold statue underneath. Following this discovery, the plaster was carefully removed and the statue thoroughly inspected before it’s final transport to Wat Traimit on February 14, 2010. On display at the temple are pieces of plaster from the original covering, as well as photos taken during the process of removal.