Many metropolises have one and Bangkok is no exception. Chinatown came into being when Chinese merchants moved to this location in the 1780s after their previous neighborhood was chosen as the site for what would be the Grand Palace. Much as in other countries, the Chinese have managed to maintain a distinct island of their culture while becoming an integral part of the nation's business world.
Yaowarat is the main road through the area and the name the Thai give to the neighborhood. Parts of this street light up with neon at night in unmistakable Chinese fashion. Awnings cover Sampeng Lane shading a thriving market of household goods for the Chinese-Thai families. Bangkok's Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talad) draws photographers to catch the colors as blossoms and produce are sent in all directions to the rest of the city at all hours of the day. Chinatown's old shops, shrines and restaurants are more like what Bangkok used to be before the high-rises and modern shopping complexes. Food carts and small tables spill out onto the sidewalks as pedestrians thread their way through diners.
Part of the Indian community is also nestled in here and the Pahurat Market in Little India overflows with fabrics, saris, and Hindu religions. And if you are looking to head out of town by rail, Hualamphong Railway Station can be found at the east end of Chinatown.