Some of the most famous cities in the world have a section that has come to be known as ‘Chinatown’. These are areas of the city in which Chinese immigrants to the country often settled and formed insular communities and businesses.
As the other residents of these cities discovered Chinese cuisine and its popularity increased, these Chinese communities capitalized on their cuisine and the restaurants and grocery stores in the communities prospered and increased the economic levels of the entire community.
Bangkok’s Chinatown Breaks the Mold
The Chinatown in Bangkok is different than the world’s other Chinatowns. It offers much more than Chinese restaurants and grocery stores. In fact, Bangkok’s Chinatown is where the city’s residents head to find anything they can’t find anywhere else in Bangkok.
Take a walk through Bangkok’s Chinatown, and you’ll discover that the area operates more like hardware, electronics, textile, dry goods, foods and everything-under-the-sun marketplace than just a place to find authentic Chinese restaurants and grocery stores.
Canals of Thailand are the Key
In the 19th and early 20th century of Thailand, Chinese merchants established businesses using the canals that crisscrossed Thailand’s central plains. They used these canals as a highway to deliver goods to the towns and communities that developed outside of Bangkok. Chinatown in Bangkok became the central warehouse from which these goods originated.
They were brought up the Chao Phraya River aboard ships from foreign lands or were manufactured in Bangkok. Chinatown developed a reputation as a place to find anything you needed.
This reputation still is true today. The next time you need a vacuum tube or a transistor for an electronics project, are having trouble finding the right bolt of cloth to finish your dress-making project, or are having difficulty locating that exotic spice or ingredient required in an old recipe, head to Bangkok’s Chinatown. If you can’t find it there, you probably won’t find it anywhere.