Bangkok’s New Chinatown comes back to life as Chinese tourists flock back

New Chinatown, photo by Nation Thailand.

Bangkok‘s New Chinatown is once again buzzing with life as Chinese tourists flock back to the bustling neighbourhood after a two-year lull due to the pandemic. Stretching from Huai Khwang intersection to Pracha Uthit Road, New Chinatown (not to be confused with the original Chinatown in the Yaowarat area) is a hub of activity with eateries, shops, and street stalls filled with customers.

Most of the people seen in the area this past week were Chinese nationals who had arrived to mark the Lunar New Year and decided to extend their vacation. The lifting of stringent Covid-19-related travel restrictions by Beijing on January 8 allowed Chinese tourists to once again visit Thailand.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand predicts that there will be around 300,000 arrivals from China in the first quarter of the year and at least five million for the entire year, pushing the number of total arrivals in Thailand to at least 25 million.

Scholar Chada Triamvithaya, who studied the settlement of modern Chinese in Thailand, believes that New Chinatown is largely populated by immigrants from China’s Guangxi and Yunnan provinces. These temporary settlers are in Thailand for travel or education purposes and prefer to stay in this neighbourhood due to the authentic cuisine offered by eateries run by people from their country.

For shoppers, New Chinatown is a paradise. The most sought-after products among Chinese tourists include dried fruit, milk tablets, herbal liniments, honey, and rubber pillows, Nation Thailand reported. The neighbourhood offers a unique shopping experience, with stores offering a wide range of traditional Chinese products, including medicine, herbs, and spices.

The return of Chinese tourists to Bangkok’s New Chinatown is not only a boon for local businesses but also a testament to the resilience of this neighbourhood. Despite the pandemic, New Chinatown has managed to bounce back, offering visitors a glimpse into traditional Chinese culture while providing a source of livelihood for local shopkeepers and restaurateurs.

Bangkok NewsTourism News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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