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Eye Candy

For Bangkok's Answer to Brooklyn, Head to Chinatown

by Chris Schalkx

Bā Hào in Chinatown, Bangkok, Thailand

A guest room at Bā Hào. All photos by Chris Schalkx.

The travel blogger behind the Thailand-based design blog Rice Potato takes us on a visual tour of Bangkok's hippest neighborhood.

BANGKOK – The days of Bangkok's Chinatown being merely a haven for street food are long gone. Attracted by low rents and a slower pace of urban life, the city's hipsters have flocked to the area in recent years, snatching up dilapidated shophouses and turning them into homes and businesses. Already dubbed "Bangkok's answer to Brooklyn," Chinatown exudes sophistication while still retaining its old-world charm, and has slowly become my all-time favorite neighborhood. Where else can you slurp $1 soup noodles on the sidewalk and enjoy an excellent G&T?


Motorcycle

Picture-perfect scenes are the norm in Chinatown.


Ba Hao

To really experience Chinatown like an insider, you have to spend the night. Stay at Bā Hào, a Chinese-inspired cocktail bar and co-living space.


Plants

Hidden away in a small alley off Soi Nana, Oneday Wallflowers is quite possibly the city's most talented florist.


Poster in the wall

Unexpected color combinations make Chinatown an Instagram-friendly destination.


Banana

Pak Khlong Talat is Bangkok's biggest flower market. It's a bit outside Chinatown, but worth a visit nonetheless. I love strolling around in the early morning when fruit and flower vendors are peddling their wares.


restaurant

Ask me about my favorite restaurant in Bangkok, and I'll probably point you towards Muslim Restaurant, an 80-year-old institution that serves incredible Muslim-Thai dishes. Find it just opposite the Lebua Hotel on Charoenkrung Road.


Teen of thailand

Forget Thonglor — the city's cool kids hang out in Chinatown these days. On a small street near Hua Lamphong Station, sophisticated cocktail bars are popping up like mushrooms, with Teens of Thailand being one of my favorites. Drop by for a killer G&T and good vibes.


Cat

Kittens, kittens everywhere. I found this little cutie asleep in a tiny alley.


Red door

The gorgeous Sol Heng Tai Mansion in Talad Noi is one of the area's best-kept secrets. If you're lucky enough to pass by on the odd day that they open their house for visitors, be sure to take a peek inside.


Snack store

Explore any street in Bangkok's Chinatown and you'll find a wide array of old-style Thai-Chinese shops selling everything from rubber tires to Teochew biscuits.


BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE

From Rabbit Holes to Flower Markets, How to Do Bangkok Like a Designer
The Fashion Junkie's Bangkok
Tropical Adventures in Thailand

Chris is a marketer, hotel aficionado, and aspiring travel blogger at ricepotato.co. He's based in Bangkok. You can follow him on Instagram or Facebook. He travels for the thrill of discovering design, pop culture, and other quirks in unexpected places.

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