Chinatown is the oldest areas of Bangkok as Chinese merchants originally moved to this area in 1780 when Bangkok was founded. It lies south of Dusit and Banglamphu, Bangkok.
Today, gold shops and pawnshops are still very popular in Chinatown and can be found almost anywhere. Chinatown remains a pretty interesting area to visit and explore.
The Chinese in Chinatown have existed in Thailand for generations, and generally consider themselves very much as Thais - most can no longer speak any Chinese.
The real attraction of Chinatown remains very close to the intersection of Charoen Krung and Yaowarat road. Wat Traimit, the famous Temple of Golden Buddha is located here in this popular Chinatown. What is amazing is that the 3m high Buddha image is made of 5.5 tones of solid gold.
The story at the rear of the image is that in 1957 a big stucco Buddha image was being carried by crane during expansion of a port. To the dismay of all concerned, the crane operator by chance dropped the image, sending it booming towards the ground. Instead of smashing however, the stucco covering just cracked and in the process exposed the solid gold image buried underneath. It is thought to have been covered like this during the early Ayuthaya or Sukhothai period, apparently to protect the image from the invading Burmese, and remained that way for more than a few hundred years.
The Chinatown is so very colorful that you don't need any extra excuse to wander about it. Busy Yaowarat road is the busiest and most interesting road in Chinatown flaunting surely one of the greatest concentrations of gold shops, reflecting and radiating the golden aura and charm.
There are also plenty of restaurants around Chinatown, where you can get birds-nest soup, dim sum, shark fin soup and other customary Chinese delicacies.
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