Sampeng Lane is the birthplace of Bangkok’s Chinatown. Around the 1700s, Chinese immigrants looking for a better life established their community here and built it up and evolved it into the historical place it is today.
The market lane, built such a long time ago, is so narrow that cars cannot go through it. Might as well be that way because pedestrians today have the pleasure of strolling through it and experiencing it in their own time. Be prepared to feast your eyes on colorful knick knacks and household items along Sampeng Lane. Anything you can think of, you can probably find it here if you look hard enough.
As for remnants of history? Just look at the buildings and certain businesses. Some of Sampeng Lane’s original shophouses still contain businesses that have lasted decades. Old Chinese pharmacies in particular seem to thrive here and support locals who still come for treatment of ailments. If reality is not enough, just close your eyes, imagine hard and you might hear the clamor of opium dens and gambling houses that used dot this lane. If you are here close to sundown, head onto Yaowarat Road parallel to this for your own food tour. Or perhaps drop by the up and coming Soi Nana for a sundowner.