Talat Noi and Yaowarat

Talat Noi and Yaowarat are last bastions of Thai Chinese culture. This slow walk takes you not only on a historical trail, but also on a food-sampling journey.

A. Ped Tun Chao Ta

Take an orange flag Chao Phraya Express Boat to Marine Department pier. Exit the complex onto Wanit 2 street. Turn left and walk until you see shophouse number 945.
Talat Noi has a rich Chinese heritage, especially in cuisine. Ped Tun Chao Ta is one of the area’s most famous eateries, serving plates of savory duck and goose for many years. It usually sells out by mid afternoon so your best bet is to get there just after noon.
Facing away from the restaurant, turn left to go back toward the Marine Department. In a few steps before you reach the Marine Department, turn right into San Chao Rong Kueak alley. Follow the path and keep hugging the left wall until you find on your right:

B. Sol Heng Tai Mansion

Nestled in the winding alleys of Talat Noi is the largely invisible Sol Heng Tai mansion, a national gem over 200 years old. One of the nation’s last example of Hokkien architectural style called si tiam kim or ‘golden four points’, the ancient Sol Heng Tai mansion is comprised of four houses surrounding a large courtyard that still stands from the 1800s.
Continue past the mansion and wind along the path. When you get to a T intersection, turn left and then make a right into the first alley. Hidden in there is:

C. River View Guest House

Head up to the rooftop bar-restaurant and get a full view of the Chao Phraya River. Take your photographs, relax and cool off with a few drinks here.
Go back out of the hotel’s alley and turn left. Walk straight out onto Wanit 2 street. Make a left and head north. Once you get to a four-way intersection, turn right and then make an immediately left into Charoen Phanit street. Continue walking straight until you hit a roundabout and find:

D. Chinatown Gate

Chinatowns around the world in various cities have their own gateway. Bangkok did not get one until 1999 when it was built to commemorate King Rama IX’s 72nd birthday. The gateway now marks the area as a distinct destination and is the site of many cultural and religious celebrations.
Behind the gate is a tiny plaza. Before you enter the tree-lined zone on the plaza, turn right and cross the zebra crossing to head along Mittaphap Thai-China road. The first temple on your left is:

E. Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha Temple)/Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Center

Be prepared to learn about one of Thailand’s most treasured Buddha image and the history of Chinese immigrants. This temples serves not only as a house of worship containing the world’s largest golden Buddha, but also acts as a museum dedicated to the story of its surrounding Chinatown.
Head back to the Chinatown Gate plaza area and now cross to the opposite side to get to Tri Mit road. At the end where the road merges onto Songwat road, find on your right:

F. Aitch Wall Art

Aitch, a Romanian artist, took part in BUKRUK Urban Arts Festival in 2016. The festival was the first of its kind and introduced international street artists to Bangkok. Aitch’s pink wall is representative of her inner world that’s inspired by travel, naturalistic illustrations, Naive Art, childhood memories, legends, and folklore.
Turn right on Songwat road and head northwest. Continue past a four-way intersection. On your left in a parking lot are:

G. Roa Wall Art

Roa hails from Belgium and focuses on wild or urban animals native to the area he paints in. He has created an iconic mural of two tumbling elephants easily seen by commuters on the Chao Phraya River heading south.

H. Aryz Wall Art

This Spanish artist does not categorize his art and simply focuses on shapes and colors. With no message in mind, Aryz painted this eye-catching mural of massive bicycles that are contrasted with relatively tiny humans.
Continue walking northwest until you see on your right a small red-tiled Trok Saphan Yuan alley. Cut through until you come to a four-way intersection. Turn left on the grey-tiled Wanit 1 street and head northwest. This is the beginning of:

I. Sampeng Lane

This linear and extremely long market was the business center of the original Chinatown community. Today, it has turned into a community commercial lane selling knick-knacks and household goods. Observe carefully and you might see beautiful old shophouses and some of the original traditional Chinese medicine stores.
As you head along the market, look out for a four-way intersection with another red-tiled Mangkon road. Turn right to head out of the market. Cross the first four-way intersection and at the second intersection, cross the road and turn right onto:

J. Yaowarat Road

Easily recognizable by the multitudinal Chinese character signs hanging off the side of buildings, this road has turned into the go-to place for dinner and midnight snacks. The road is lined with vendors and restaurants beckoning you to eat as much as you can. If you have timed yourself right, you’ll be just in time for a dinner feast along this road.
Head southeast and turn left into Yaowarat 6 (Trok Issaranuphap) alley. In there immediately on your left, find:

K. Kway Teow Kua Gai

This store specializes in fried noodles with chicken and is a popular neighborhood spot. Lines start forming as the night wears on. The cook fries the dish in high heat, making the noodles somewhat crispy and charred. Be patient in waiting for your dish and make sure not to take photos of the food and chef due to strict restaurant rules.
Exit the alley and cross Yaowarat road. On the mouth of Yaowarat 11 street is:

L. Soi Yaowarat 11 Food Stalls

If you fancy trying as many dishes as possible, the food stalls here is the place to do it. Check out what each vendor is selling and order several dishes to try.
Continue southeast on Yaowarat road and on your right is:

M. Sweettime

This tiny dessert stall is big in name. Bangkokians come to this stall to satisfy their Chinese and Thai dessert cravings. Both hot and cold bite sized bowls are served.
Cross Yaowarat road to the opposite side and continue walking southeast. At the next T intersection with Phadung Dao road, find on your left:

N. T & K Seafood

Packed every night with locals and tourists, this joint specializes in seafood dishes. If you can, find a seat and order yourself some grilled dishes.
Continue southeast on Yaowarat road. When you hit Lamphun Chai street, turn left and walk straight until you reach the end. Cross Rama IV road and turn right. Turn left into the next street to find:

O. Soi Nana in Chinatown

This small street has been transformed from a quiet neighborhood lane into a nightspot. Creatives moved into the neighborhood to start a movement that revitalized it. Each has set up markedly different establishments. Check out art exhibitions in Cho Why, enjoy traditional Thai music at Tep Bar, or wind down with some craft beer at Pijiu Bar.
Head back out to Rama IV road and turn left. Walk straight, cross a canal bridge and hug left to enter:

P. Hua Lamphong

This main central station is a nod to a time when trains ruled transportation in Bangkok. Built in 1916, Hua Lamphong was designed by Italian duo Mario Tamagno and Annibale Rigotti to reflect an Italian Neo-Renaissance architecture. Finish your walking tour here.
To get to your next destination, simply head underground to Hua Lamphong MRT station to connect to your next stop.

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