Chinatown is one of the most fascinating areas of Bangkok to explore on foot. I was there last weekend for a brief look as I intend to write more about this area in the future. I walked a loop up and down two of the main roads through Chinatown which are Yaowarat Road and Charoen Krung Road (see map of my walk). I entered Chinatown via the subway station at MRT Hua Lamphong. From here it is only a short ten minute walk to the Chinese Gate. The mondop in the background of this picture houses the Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit. The entire circuit took me just over one hour.
If you come here you really need to be aware of the scammers. They are not dangerous but they are certainly annoying. The guy on the left was the first one to come up to me. He asked where I was going. I said that I was going to have a walk around Chinatown. He then said that today the whole of Chinatown is closed for a holiday. This is similar to the scam outside the Grand Palace where they try and tell you that the place is closed for a ceremony. What they want to do is take you to a gem store or a tailor shop which will have overpriced and poor quality products.
If a tuk tuk driver says he will take you to the other side of town for only 10 or 20 Baht don’t believe him. The usual rule is, if it is too good to be true then it probably is. Most of these guy will mention a temple called Lucky Buddha and say they will take you there. There isn’t such a temple. It is just a normal temple in the middle of nowhere. Don’t go, just ignore them and keep walking. During my walk that day I was approached by four scammers. I feel sorry for any tourists coming to Chinatown for the first time and being tricked into thinking that the place is closed. Some of them are on a short holiday and probably wouldn’t get a second chance to visit Chinatown.
For stories of more scams around Bangkok, please visit our dedicated site at www.BangkokScams.com