Yaowarat, or Chinatown as most tourists would call it is a must-visit in Bangkok. At night, this vibrant area gets packed with both locals and tourists who want to munch on one of the best street foods in the world (except Mondays as there are no stalls due to sidewalk cleaning). Located at Yaowarat Road in Samphanthawong District, this area has been a center of Chinese settlement since 1782 and is one of the largest Chinatowns in the world.
We visited Chinatown after ten at night, and some of the neon signs were already turned off. You should, therefore, come here earlier because the long strip of neon signs is really cool and provides some great photo opportunities. However, our main purpose of visiting Chinatown was not to take pictures of neon signs but to eat food. Below are some dishes you need to try.
T&K Seafood is famous as one of the best places to eat seafood in Bangkok, and I can definitely see why; the food was fantastic and the atmosphere was awesome! It was packed when we got here, but we didn’t wait too long to get a table nor our food.
Steamed white snapper with garlic, chili, and lime sauce. Incredibly tasty!
Huge prawns perfectly cooked on a hot grill.
Stir-fried morning glory — so simple yet so delicious!
We also ordered a plate of fried rice with crab meat instead of regular rice.
A happy tuk-tuk driver parked next to T&K Seafood.
Yaowarat Toasted Bread
The Yaowarat Toasted Breads are grilled over charcoal, making them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are served with different fillings like condensed milk, chocolate, and sangkaya. You can expect to have to queue here, but as most Thais know, when there is a queue for the food, it usually means it’s delicious.
People queuing for some toasted bread.
The buns are flying at a fast pace.
The sangkaya filling was smashing good! The chocolate was also yummy, while the condensed milk was a bit too sweet. I believe the sangkaya filling is made of Thai pumpkin. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Happy wife standing in the middle of Chinatown.
Bird’s Nest Soup
Edible bird’s nests are considered a delicacy in China. The nests are made out of bird saliva, which has dried and hardened. Although it’s known as one of the most expensive foods in the world, the soup here starts from 200 baht per bowl.
Burapa Bird’s Nest opened over 20 years ago selling exclusively bird’s nests both in soup and dried.
We ordered the 200 baht soup (the cheapest) which is looser in texture than the 500 baht soup.
The soup was jelly-like and sweet — not what I had expected. A glass of chrysanthemum tea, made from the flowers was served to the soup. According to the Chinese, this tea has many health benefits.
1 kg dried bird’s nests for 60,000 baht ($2,000). I also saw one glass bottle with red bird’s nests, known as “blood” nest, which cost 140,000 baht! Ridiculously expensive.
Passing an old cinema in search of more food.
Moo Pad Krapow
Moo Pad Krapow is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand and a personal favorite. This spicy stir-fried dish is made with chopped pork, holy basil, garlic, and chilies — traditionally served with a fried egg on the top of the rice.
Black Sesame Dumplings in Ginger Tea
Black Sesame Dumplings (Tang Yuan) is a Chinese dessert filled with a sweet black sesame paste served in a rich ginger tea. I would probably be enjoying this dessert more if I hadn’t been so damn full.
I don’t know why I didn’t take a bite before taking a picture to show the black paste inside.
Unfortunately, by this time, there was no more room in our stomachs for the squid, which is supposed to be very good.
Pick a skewer and put it on the grill.
Visiting Chinatown was truly an amazing experience, and we want to come back for more!
Update: We went back the following year to try new dishes which you can read about here.