A Food Adventure at Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat) Night Market

Written by Katherine

September 27, 2023
Last Updated on February 29, 2024

Chinatown (Yaowarat) is one of the highly recommended places to visit in Bangkok, mainly for the food at the night market and the seafood restaurants. I have been there once and did not enjoy the massive crowd at the night market. Do you know what is worse? The horrible experience I had at one of the famous seafood restaurants! So it is safe to say that my first impression of Chinatown in Bangkok was not great. But since hubs has never been there, I decided to give it another chance. If you are curious about our food adventure in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat), keep reading for all the details! ⸜( ´ ꒳ ` )⸝

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My First Experience in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

As a Chinese, I find it interesting to see what Chinatown looks like in each country. Considering how similar some of the food in Thailand is compared to Chinese cuisine, I was very much intrigued to find out the kind of food that Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat) has.

Food & Restaurants in Chinatown Bangkok

During my first visit there, I was surprised to see stalls selling bird nests and shark fins as street food. Due to how expensive bird nests and shark fins are, you would only find them in restaurants. Just for your information, many restaurants in Singapore have already stopped serving shark fins due to the cruel practice. I, too, do not support eating it. And I encourage you to do the same so we can stop seeing it sold everywhere in future, including Thailand. (´• ω •`)

As expected, there are many restaurants selling Chinese food lining the streets of Chinatown Bangkok. But Chinese restaurants are not the ones that people recommend. Instead, seafood restaurants are the ones that are widely talked about when you mention Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat). I assume that is because seafood is generally cheaper here than in other parts of Bangkok. And that is how I ended up dining at T&K Seafood, a popular seafood restaurant in Chinatown Bangkok.

The exterior of T&K Seafood, a popular place for seafood in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

If you Googled seafood restaurants in Chinatown Bangkok, T&K Seafood would appear in most search results. But I am here to tell you to AVOID this place AT ALL COST. Since this place is always crowded, many people would be sitting outside. But luck has it that we had a table INSIDE the restaurant. This is important to note IF you insist on dining here even after reading this post. ٩(× ×)۶

Dining at T&K Seafood, Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

Our table was on Level 2 of the restaurant. While waiting for our food, we noticed something. What is it, you might wonder. Well, little cockroaches. You read that right! Little cockroaches were seen crawling around! It was super disgusting, and I swear all of us wanted to get out as soon as we saw them. I don’t know why we didn’t do that and instead sat through the whole meal, worried that these things would come into close contact with our food. (x_x)

Anyway, after we spotted the creepy crawlies, all of us started getting hypersensitive to little movements around us. I didn’t even dare to put my feet down on the floor, scared that they might crawl on me. (″ロ゛) The food came, photos were taken, and my girlfriends and I tried to finish them as quickly as possible. I don’t even remember the taste as we just can’t wait to get out.

Some of the food we ordered from T&K Seafood, a popular restaurant in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

For some weird reason, I don’t really see a lot of reviews mentioning the presence of cockroaches. As I mentioned, we were sitting inside the restaurant, and maybe that is where they were hiding. So people who were sitting outside had a lower chance of seeing them. I don’t know, and I don’t care, as that was enough to put me off. -pukes in disgust-

Oh, and you know what is funny? I have shared this experience with hubs, but I can never remember the name of the restaurant. Until now, when I was looking through my photos for this post. We shortlisted this restaurant for our Chinatown visit! Thankfully the food at the night market kept us full, so we dodged a bullet there! PHEW. So do yourself a favour and DO NOT visit this place. You have been warned!

Why I Decided to Revisit Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

You know how sometimes you have a really horrible experience at a place and want to revisit it to create some beautiful memories to erase the bad ones? That is exactly what I wanted to do with a revisit to Chinatown Bangkok. Besides, hubs have never been there, so it would be good to explore the place together! Since I did not get to check out the night market previously, I wanted to see what else Chinatown Bangkok has and if the highly recommended night market foods are worth buying~! ( ´ ω ` )

The Chinatown Vibe in Bangkok vs Singapore

While hubs and I were walking down the streets of Chinatown Bangkok, I couldn’t help being fascinated. I always think Chinatown overseas is so much more interesting than Chinatown in Singapore. While Singapore always tries its best to preserve the old buildings, as a whole, our Chinatown has been made to look and feel more modern than other countries’ Chinatowns. So much so that sometimes I think ours has lost its character.

I don’t really know how to say it, but when I visit Chinatown overseas, it always feels like the things are familiar but not so familiar to me. But in Singapore’s Chinatown, some things just do not feel like they belong. I don’t really know how to put it, but that is just how I feel. Haha! So, all in all, I just really like the vibe of Chinatown overseas. ( ´ ω ` )

A view of the street and the night market in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

Knowing that Chinatown Bangkok would be crowded when night falls, hubs and I decided to check out the place just when stalls were starting to open for business. This would allow us to avoid the massive crowd and yet be able to try some of the recommended food from the night market.

Trying Out the Legendary Guy Kao Grilled Squid

Hubs and I got to Chinatown Bangkok around 6 PM, and quite a number of food stalls were already open for business. Our first mission to clear was to find the grilled squid stall that everyone had been raving about, Guy Kao Grilled Squid. (´・ᴗ・ ` ) This stall is known to get crowded as it gets later, so hubs and I made sure that we got there early to try our luck.

And surprise surprise! When we got there, there was hardly anyone queuing! So we got the menu from one of the staff and ordered three sticks of grilled squid, which cost us 100 THB (~3.86 SGD). Since we were already here, we might as well order more, right? (*/ω\) While we were waiting for our order, more and more people were starting to arrive. We even helped a fellow Singaporean out by letting him know where to order the grilled squid from. (´• ω •`)ノ

The menu and food we had from Guy Kao Grilled Squid, one of the recommended night market food stalls in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

We got our order pretty quickly since there was no other order except for ours when we ordered. Three sticks of grilled squid was A LOT. And besides grilled squid, it also came with a huge portion of coriander on the side and lots of chilli in the mix. The grilled squid was nice and tender. But what made it really good was the sauce. It was really spicy, so if you cannot really take spicy food, you might want to have a drink with you! ⸜( ´ ꒳ ` )⸝

Finding the Right Grilled Squid Stall

Anyway, you would spot a few stalls selling grilled squids as you are walking along the night market, so make you you find the correct one! Guy Kao Grilled Squid is just outside a shop called Double Dogs Tea Room (as seen in the photo). And it seems like the staff were wearing a pink shirt, which might be their uniform. From what I understand, the sauce made a difference in the taste of the grilled squid. Hubs and I did not try from other stalls, so I can’t give you a comparison.

The exterior of Guy Kao Grilled Squid, one of the recommended night market food stalls in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

As mentioned, three sticks of grilled squid were a lot. If you are thinking of having other food at the Chinatown Bangkok night market, probably good to order just one stick! Unless you want to be like us, bringing the extra back to our room for supper. Haha! (´ ∀ ` *)

Information about Guy Kao Grilled Squid

GUY KAO GRILLED SQUID

⏰ Opening Hours: 5.30 PM – 1.30 AM

Having the Michelin Guay Jub Ouan Pochana and Some Fish Maw Soup

While walking along the Chinatown Bangkok night market to check out the street food, we came by a stall selling fish maw soup. As we were deciding if we wanted to try it, the stall owner started speaking to us in Mandarin. I totally did not expect that! Haha! Anyway, I love fish maw soup as my mum cooks that often for us. And it is not often that we come by a stall selling fish maw soup, so we decided to get a bowl to share~! (*´▽`*)

The exterior of Guay Jab Ouan Pochana and the fish maw soup night m9arket food stall in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

We took a seat at one of the tables behind them, and someone came over to pass us a menu. I think the tables belong to the guay jab/kway chap (rolled rice noodles) restaurant nearby. We were not sure since the fish maw soup stall owner directed us to the table. Anyway, it was then that I realised that the kway chap restaurant, Guay Jub Ouan Pochana, is yet another highly recommended restaurant! Since we were already there, we decided to order a bowl of kway chap to try as well.

Review of the Guay Jab and Fish Maw Soup

First off, the fish maw soup was not too bad. As expected, the soup is of a thicker consistency. Besides fish maw, there are a lot of other ingredients in the soup, such as pig’s blood, quail eggs and yuba. It can definitely be a filling meal if you have one bowl by yourself. (っ˘ڡ˘ς)

Next is the kway chap, and I am not lying; I love it! I probably like it better than the fish maw soup. (*/ω\) The quantity is not a lot, but the soup has a peppery taste that was just right. Besides the rolled rice noodles, there are also some slices of pork, pig stomach and roasted pork. I LOVE THE ROASTED PORK! I never thought having roasted pork in the soup would taste so good. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

Our fish maw soup and guay jap from the two food stalls we had in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

If you have never had fish maw soup before, you can consider ordering from the stall just right in front of Guay Jub Ouan Pochana. But out of these two places, I highly recommend trying Guay Jub Ouan Pochana! But a little warning, both dishes are hot, so you might sweat a bucket while eating there. Better have a cold drink ready to cool yourself down! ⸜( *ˊᵕˋ* )⸝

Information about Guay Jub Ouan Pochana

GUAY JAB OUAN POCHANA

⏰ Opening Hours: 11 AM – 12 AM

Ending with Some Dessert: Yaowarat Toasted Buns

As the sky got darker, there were more and more people at the night market. And that was when we knew that it was a sign for us to go back to our hotel to hide from the crowd. Haha! Anyway, it was getting tougher to check out the food stalls, and we were getting tired, so hubs and I decided that it was time to leave Chinatown Bangkok. (@´ー`)ノ゙

So for our last stop, we went to get some toasted buns from the famous Yaowarat Toasted Buns stall~! Seems like most of the crowd has yet to reach here, so we didn’t have to queue long here as well. Hehe. Anyway, we got three toasted buns of different flavours, sugar butter, milk and chocolate. We tried them when we got back to our hotel, and oh boy, they were all SO SWEET! (⊙_⊙)

The three toasted buns we got from the Yaowarat Toasted Buns in Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat), our last food stop at the night market

If I were to pick, the sugar butter one is the mildest of them all. The taste is similar to some of the toast that we have in Singapore’s kopitiam (coffee shop). I think the milk is condensed milk, so needless to say, it was sweet. Hubs like the chocolate one, which I can say is a safe choice. Personally, I think they were all too sweet for me. Haha! You have been warned, non-sweet tooth peeps! (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Information about Yaowarat Toasted Buns

YAOWARAT TOASTED BUNS

⏰ Opening Hours: 6 PM – 11.30 PM
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How to Get to Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat) Night Market

After sharing so much, I am guessing you want to know how to get to Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat). Fret not, as the details are just right below~!

Nearest MRT Station to the Night Market

I remember having to walk quite a distance with my girlfriends when we visited in May 2019. But with the opening of Wat Mangkon MRT station in July 2019, going to Chinatown is so much easier now! You simply come out from the train station and would be right in Chinatown! To get to the night market, you just have to walk along Plaeng Nam Rd to get to the main road, where all the activities would be.

If you have been to Chinatown Bangkok, you would know that traffic there is terrible. But with Wat Mangkon within walking distance, you can now just walk back to the station to get back to your accommodation! Alternatively, you can, of course, get on one of the many tuk-tuks that are lining the night market waiting for you. ( ´ ꒳ ` )

Opening Hours and Best Time to Visit the Night Market

If you are visiting Chinatown for its restaurants, you would be glad to know that most of them are open from morning onwards. But if you are here for the night market, then you would want to come by from 5.30 PM – 6 PM onwards. A lot of stalls were open by the time we were there, which was around 6 PM. But do note that there were some stalls that were getting ready during then. So it would be good to check out the opening hours of stalls that you are interested in, in case you come by too early.

Overall Experience at Chinatown Bangkok (Yaowarat)

If you ask me if Chinatown Bangkok is worth visiting, I would say yes if you are there to experience a different culture and cuisine. I like it mainly because I think we don’t have such a vibe in our Chinatown in Singapore. But I generally still have no love for the massive crowd at night. For a better experience, my advice would be to visit the stalls you MUST visit before the crowd arrives. Or else you would have to wait for a long time or have a tough time getting through the crowd. (´• ω •`)

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