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Short Visit to Bangkok Chinatown

One of must-visit destinations if you are travelling to Bangkok.
Find out why we love Bangkok Chinatown even though it was a short visit!

One of the highlights of our trip to Bangkok must be visiting the Chinatown known as Yaowarat. The trip wasn't the best or ideal in any ways because it was raining pretty much the whole day (to be exact it was raining non-stop for two days straight) - the Yaowarat road was muddy, traffic was heavy, and we had to be really careful when navigating around the areas. But nonetheless, we did manage to find and sample some of the best street foods Bangkok has to offer including the most famous Yaowarat Toasted Bread (more on this below).

Our trip began after finishing our early dinner at Pad Thai Thip Samai – The Legendary Pad Thai in Bangkok in Maha Chai Road. We did arrive half an hour after the restaurant opened only to find a super long queue and could easily be a 45 minutes wait before we get a table let alone waiting for our foods to arrive. It was a tough decision either to skip and go straight to Chinatown or to wait here and join million other people in the quest of finding the best Pad Thai in Bangkok. At the end of the day, we decided to wait at the expense of delaying our visit to the Chinatown. At first, we thought it will be a short walk to Chinatown since a lot of people are saying this restaurant is around Chinatown area, but we kid you not it is just a shy 25 minutes - 1.9Km walk. Can't be bothered walking, we decided to catch a 'Tuk-Tuk' that cost us around 150THB (~ $6 AUD), which we believe to be expensive by Bangkok standard, but the rainy condition made it super worth it.

Our 'Tuk-Tuk' driver dropped us just in the heart of Chinatown where we spotted groups of people eating seafood, one of the popular food destinations in the area. T&K Seafood is arguably one of the famous seafood restaurants here (you can easily spot the staffs in green t-shirts) although there are other smaller options as well, they were not too busy compared to T&K. But we were here not a full-size dinner after our big meals at Pad Thai Thip Samai, we rather looked for smaller bite-size snacks and desserts. Being in Yaowarat, there are plenty of good food selections available at your disposals.

We started off with a popular local snack, Chinese Doughnut with Pandan Custard. It was cheap, the portion is decent, the texture was soft and surprisingly not too oily. This snack is literally Chinese Doughnut, but it comes with a thick pandan flavor sauce. The correct way to eat this snack is to dunk the doughnut into the sauce container. It was so good…the softness of the doughnut combined with the creamy thick sauce is a match made in heaven. We guarantee you want that second piece after finishing your first bite.

The next snack we really wanted to try is the Chinese Black Sesame Ball in Hot Sweet Ginger Soup. It is not very local but being in Chinatown this is one of the most recommended snacks to try here. There are plenty of stalls that sell similar soups so you just need to pick one stall. Sesame balls were generous, the filling was very decent and quite tasty. The ginger soup was hot, sweet, a full pack of gingery flavor, and it is so perfect in a cold rainy weather. It is priced at 125THB (~ $5 AUD). Again, you have plenty of other options if you are not a big fan of black sesame. The menu is written neatly in English so ordering shouldn’t be an issue.

As the rain started to come down hard, we decided to head back to the hotel. We were so disappointed with the weather condition as there is still a lot to explore. As we headed back to the other direction to catch a grab, we found a very popular stall. At first, we were not too sure what they are selling as it was pretty difficult to get past and have a close look also there is no English description of any sorts but we braced ourselves to at least have a peek from the side to find out. It is…… (drum roll) the Yaowarat Toasted Bread stall – arguably one of the most popular stalls in Chinatown. We read a lot of reviews about this stall and how popular it is but somehow completely forgot about it – you know…the rainy condition usually turns you down.

Ordering was not easy at all, you need to pick the order sheet from the box provided (pencils to write your order should be in the same box or you can borrow from someone else around after they finish with it) and you have to return the sheet to the other box from which the salesperson will process them. Don't wait in the queue! Just find the sheet, fill it in, and return it. And try to remember your order/queue number from the order sheet which can be found on the top right-hand side, they will call your number (in Thai) and ask you to pay before getting your order. If you somehow miss it when they call your order number then you’ll have to start again, just stand closely after you put down your order sheet.

There are several different options you can order (we didn’t get a chance to take a photo of the order sheet) but as far as we can remember: Butter only (no filling), Sugar and Butter (no filling), Thai Milk Tea filling, Chocolate, Condensed Milk, Jams filling (strawberry, pineapple, etc), and finally you have the options to choose either the toasted or the non-toasted version. We ordered around 6-8 different buns except for the ones with the jams, each is priced at around 15-20THB (~ close to $AUD 1 each) depending on the fillings.

Oh my…..these buns were simply amazing, it was soooooooo gooooooood!!! The concept is simple and brilliant, toasted buns over charcoals with different fillings. The bun itself was quite dense but soft although not particularly spongy. The fillings were generous, super creamy, super milky, and super tasty. They were so bloody good! We didn’t eat them straight away due to rain, but we took back to our hotel for supper & breakfast the next day. They were still bloody tasty when we ate them the next day, it could’ve been perfect if we can heat them up a little. We highly (highly…) recommend a visit to this stall if you come to Bangkok, particularly to Bangkok Chinatown.

That's sums up our short trip to this area! The weather condition wasn't ideal, and it was short but a memorable one. We hope you get a chance to visit the lovely Chinatown when you are in Bangkok, give yourself plenty of time by arriving early. If seeing temples fancies you, there are different ones around the area you can visit as well. Take a walk around on your own and see what you want to eat as there are multitude of choices here in the evening.

What we like:

  • Plenty of food choices from local delicacies to traditional Chinese with Thai influence.
  • Decent selection of seafood stalls including the famous T&K Seafood.
  • Toasted Buns, toasted buns, and toasted buns

What we can do better:

  • Give us plenty of time as there are tons to explore – a lot of street food vendors to try

Peter Foeng
Peter Foeng is the founder of twohungrydiners.com. A gun front-end developer by day and a food eater by night. Always enjoys a bowl of noodle soup with extra wontons. Love travelling like a boss :)

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