Chinatown at night is well known throughout the entire country for one thing: food! The endless treats on offer here are certainly the main draw and an evening of food exploration down Yaowarat is a highlight to any stay in Chinatown. Talat Kao fresh market also comes alive at night with all manner of curious and exotic food, while the legendary fresh flower market is also close by and definitely worth exploring. But there are a few other interesting ways to spend your evening here, such as getting up high for dinner and a few drinks at a little known revolving rooftop bar, or even dancing the night away to some swing jazz in a recreated 1930s Chinese mansion. Find out all the information you need to enjoy your nights in Chinatown with our Top 5 Night Spots:
China Princess Hotel Rooftop Bar
For less than 100 baht, the cost of a drink including a draft beer at 75 baht only, get a surprising panoramic view of Chinatown and beyond, all the way to the Chao Phraya river at Sky View 360˙Restaurant Rooftop Bar and Restaurant. It is located on the revolving top floor of the China Princess Hotel and it takes about two hours to complete a full round; you barely notice any movement. The restaurant serves also Thai, European, Japanese and Chinese with old fashioned waiters and waitresses with live piano background music. This viewpoint is not very well known and is a great place to take an air conditioned break any time between 17:00 and 01:00 after a tiring exploration of busy Chinatown.
Opening Hours: 17:00 to 01:00
Location: Charoen Krung Road next to Old Siam Plaza
Yaowarat Food Exploration
At night, Yaowarat Road – the high street of Bangkok’s Chinatown – transforms into one of the greatest street food locations in the world. Locals and visitors can be seen all along the main thoroughfare sampling their way through all that there is to offer, turning dinner into an evening of exploration. It can be confusing at first but with a sense of adventure it can be a lot of fun. Popular offerings include dim sum, oyster omelets, flat noodles in a pepper broth, and lots of fresh seafood. There are also many exotic fruits on offer, as well as homemade ice-cream (we love coconut, but for something truly Thai go for durian). Traffic is very bad in this area so we recommend taking the MRT Underground to Hua Lamphong Station, and then either a 15 minute walk or a short tuk-tuk ride.
Bangkok Flower Market (Pak Klong Market)
Bangkok Flower Market (Pak Klong Talad) is the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok. The market has all kinds of popular flowers and flora-related items, including roses, forget me nots, orchids, lilies and more. Bangkok Flower market is located on Chak Phet Road near Saphan Phut or the Memorial Bridge. Open 24 hours, Pak Klong Talad is most lively after midnight. If you want to see the market in full action, though, the best time to go is pre-dawn or at 3:00-4:00. This is when the roadside transforms into a kaleidoscope of bright, blooming colours, as vendors receive floral goods from each flower-growing area in the country. Wholesalers bring in truckloads of freshly cut flowers, while traders and retailers come to buy their stock in bulk. It can be quite a chaotic scene, and vendors may be less patient when dealing with visitors. If you go during this period, it’s best to just observe and absorb the surrounding atmosphere.
Opening Hours: 24 hours, more popular during night time
Location: Chak Phet Road, the Memorial Bridge or Saphan Phut Chao Phraya pier
Talat Kao is one of the oldest markets in Bangkok and has acted as the central market and trading place in Chinatown for over a century. Famous for its Chinese delicacies including sharks fins, dried abalone, fried puffed up fish stomachs (fish maw) and steamed bird’s nests, this is not a place for the faint hearted. Come at night for an insightful opportunity into the culinary culture of the Chinese, and for those who prefer more simplicity in a meal, dumplings, noodles and freshly squeezed orange juice are all readily available.
Opening Hours: 20:00- late
Location: Middle of Yaowarat
Address: Soi Ta Lat Kao
Cotton Jazz Bar
Cotton Jazz Bar in Shanghai Mansion boutique hotel is one of Bangkok’s premier live music venues and certainly the best place in Chinatown to sit back with a cocktail and listen to some quality musicians do their thing. The design concept of this bar is stunning, full of genuine Chinese antiques and amazing portrait paintings. The idea with Cotton, and indeed the whole hotel, is to bring the opulence and grace of a 1930s Shanghainese merchant’s house into 21st century Bangkok, and it is expertly executed. Come to Cotton for dinner and sample some Chinese and Thai specialties, then move onto a few cocktails in time for the band that plays anything from avant garden jazz to swing.
Opening Hours: 18:30 – 22:30 (live music from 21:00)
Address: 479-481 Yaowarat Road, Chinatown
Tel: +66 (0) 2221 2121