Enter the Dragon, Bangkok China Town

“In a city, you can be alone in a crowd, and in fact what makes the city a city is that it lets you hide the strangeness in your mind inside its teeming multitudes.”

Orhan Pamuk, A Strangeness in My Mind

As the clock dons at the advent of year of rooster, I entered China Town of Bangkok for the fifth time. Reminder to everyone: no one should fool oneself by thinking life is easy by looking at the glitters of a citylight, namely china Town, neither that should discourage a person to take a walk in the district on the first night od Chinese New Year!

Yaowarat road or China Town of Bangkok possesses the illusive attraction of a crossroad of multitudes of trade techniques in organic form topped with Chinese glass noodles, much resembling the crocodile triplets from the pond at a temple nearby. They are known to be trapped for feasting on a young monk. The road feasts on denser experiences, settlers’ dilemma and if nothing else, great food at great price.

Where to head?

The dragon bent and settled still on the west bank of Chao Phraya River from time as old as Rama 1, the Thai King. Consecutive government have taken endeavours to embed steel on the land but not in the heart of it. I say this for I related most to this part of Bangkok with vibrant fabric of culture. My city Kolkata has a dedicated spot for migrated Chinese population who excelled in industries of tannery and food alike, also known a China town, Topsia.

What does it contain?

Here is a Chinese temple, here is a gold shop and the fun road of chaotic Sampang, where people come to delve deep into the broth being cooked from history, here resides portraits of people whose heart throbs with the pulse of Bangkok, much unlike the made up theme park experiences Western world get the glimpses of. “Tsunami of salty soups, leaden dumplings, and clammy, glutinous sauces” as Adam Platt describes taste adventures in China Town, a self sustaining city.

When to head?

Let not spooky stairway, burnished marble facades discourage your daunting spirit. The buzz subsidizes from 10 pm. I always visit China town post the frenzy of shopping mongers disperses. With tourism boom, new construction has taken a high tide everywhere with neon signs, never sleeping.

The Tea-shops are love!

Legends has it the green leaves of tea tree are the fallen eye lid of the wanderer king “Dharma” or “Jormo” as north eastern India calls him. He shed it off for the sin of sleeping while trying to mediate at Buddha’s feet in China. The eye lids, shrunken with industrial pressure, oozing varied flavours, are caged in glass bottles of antique stores on the china town, welcoming guests even at the wee hours.

All things sweet!

Fruit stalls: It might be problematic for vegans to indulge into what more traditional restaurants offer. However decked up fruit stalls will offer you many choices ranging from pick up what you like basket. Pomegranates, Dragon fruits, Rambutans, Durians, go on… Indulge…

Let’s dive deep…

The quirky charcoal ice cream with a hint of vanilla was the latest addition. Let alone be the dried jack-fruits in nearby 7/11 stores. But the quivering emotion for China Town grows at the sight of your sea food platters arriving. I will let the pictures do rest of the talking without further adieu.

China Town Bangkok
Seafood pics: Here hown Yellow curry with crab meat for whose wary of de-shelling crabs, curry contains coconut cream and on the sweeter note!
Mussels and crab curry in Yellow sauce
Some mussels!
Mussels in China Town Bangkok's Best food
I am eating mussels for the first time. They are known to be Geri-Googli in my native and not a food to be relished by flourishing households 😛
Why I love Bangkok
Come snapper! Here shown a red snapper in galore!
Crab Cakes in Bangkok
Much coveted fish cakes! They are very different than the ones sold on regular Thai food stalls.
Who can refuse a pomegranate when prepared like this?
Who can refuse a pomegranate when prepared like this?
China Town
Prawns cooked with burnt garnic. Tates the way they do in Kolkata China Town
Glass Noodles in China Town Bangkok
The best food from China Town escapades, arguable the whole Thailand trip too!

Charcoal ice cream, Dont try for it leaves your mouth with a sandy aftertaste. Ever tasted sand? I did, as a child.
You are lucky if you get a seat here.
Look at the rice and apparently innocent chilies soaked in viniger 😀
Bird's nest soup in Thailand
Bird’s nest soup, enough said ;P
Snapper grilled in a foil
Snapper grilled in a foil

Best Crab in Bangkok

Chinese ice tea, a certain delicacy!
River prawns curried with Morning Glory (water spinach)
Prawns grilled exactly to taste!
The road is a beast, it never sleeps!!! look at the Chinese and Japanese wording on the boards.

[To be honest, my China town escapades will be prolong as I age. I will update this space ASAP I can. Know this and know this for sure, without a visit to China town, Bangkok, you have not tasted half of Thai’s delicacies]

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27 thoughts on “Enter the Dragon, Bangkok China Town”

  1. Such beautiful affair !! This summons up my memories of China town experience in Kolkata city. A foodie like me is fond of a bona fide spread of Chinese cuisine. I’m glad that this blog was a lot to read and know about the place and tiny detailing, that’s why I’m a fan. ?? So much learn from you this is a great blog and I feel so refurbished with the vocabulary and choice of words that you construct your idea through !! ♥️♥️♥️ Sabah

    1. Much love for your kind words. If you plan a visit to thailand, do have a look to the streets of china town. The fried rice is an instant reminder of Kolkata one 🙂 The day has come we try and fine traces of childhood even in China Town. Truly we grew up in cosmopolitan world!

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  3. This looks really interesting and tasty! I was in Bangkok last December, but we didn’t explore Chinatown, now I wish we had. ?

    1. It is really good. great to observe how Chinese settlement has retained its own culture even when Thai heritage has crawled in. I could relate with the existing one in Kolkata so fondly!

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