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What is there to know about Chinatown?

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I scanned the material on this board regarding Chinatown and it is mighty slim. Does anyone have any hard info on this area, or is it off-limits to farangs? I'm an expat Chinese with a smidgen of the native tongue and may pass a race barrier, if any, if that were the case. Nearby lodging would be a bonus.

Thanks.

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Chinatown has an awful lot of traffic flowing through its two main thoroughfares (Yaowarat Rd. and Charoen Krung Rd.), it's noisy and the air is extremely polluted. A few years ago a study showed that children growing up in the area had a large amount of lead in their system which in turn would result in impaired brain development.

In short, I wouldn't stay in Chinatown even if you paid me.

As an ethnic Chinese the upsides for you may be the availability of sharkfin soup (if you're into this kind of thing), the availability of cheap Chinese/Thai hookers (if you're into this kind of thing), and you may be able to have a chat with some old Chinese who often can't even speak proper Thai. Some of them even don't speak any Thai at all, despite having spent decades in the country! If you can muster a bit of Techeow you should be doing fine.

You might consider visiting one of Bangkok's formerly most notorious lanes, Sampeng Lane or Soi Wanit (running parallel to Yaowarat Rd.). In the 19th century it was lined with brothels and opium dens (there were even some opium dens until the 1960 or '70s); today though it's filled with clothes shops (almost exclusively run by Sikhs), jewellery stores and plenty of other outlets. Sampeng Lane is always choc-a-bloc with shoppers and you may have to jostle for space. Beware of pick-pockets!

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Titmouse,

You're in luck.

I was talking to a guy today who goes there every Sunday night. He starts at Hualampong station and does a specific 30 minute walk.

He told me that last night, he was surrounded by hookers (many of them real lookers) and they were asking 300 baht for short-time. Hotels nearby are 50 baht an hour - dirty mattress on a dusty floor.

Do you want more details of the route????

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Would you kindly give some detail of the route! Why the hookers charge only 300Baht, because they are too old or too young...... appreciate your input!!

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Originally posted by Bangkok Phil:

"He told me that last night, he was surrounded by hookers (many of them real lookers) and they were asking 300 baht for short-time."

If I may elaborate on the subject:

There are plenty of street-walkers even in the afternoon around the lower (eastern) end of Yaowarat Rd.; some look indeed quite presentable. I'm not sure about the price, but 300 may be right.

The awfully shagged out whores around the Circle of July 22nd (Wong-Wien Yeepsong Karakada) ask for 200 Baht - negotiable. Even in the morning you see some sitting in the entrances of their dingy hotels (near the About Cafe). That's true work ethos, isn't it.

There are also some Indian hookers standing around the circle, in sarees and all, and they seem to have learnt fast - "You want pam-pam? 200 Baht, no smoking" is their mantra.

Unfortunately, unlike many of their female compatriots they wouldn't qualify for a Miss World or Miss Universe title.

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quote:

Originally posted by Bangkok Phil:

Titmouse,

Do you want more details of the route????

Hell, why not. I may come down with and uncontrollable craving for sharkfin soup ( you know how it is wink.gif" border="0 ) Would you agree with Scum_baggio that on the whole, Chinatown is best avoided, or is the action worthwhile? Also, any worthy hotels in the neighborhood or should I stick with Majestic Suites and all the charms NEP has to offer?

Don't suppose you know what dialectical flavor of Chinese the natives spout? Scum_baggio mentioned Teochew (which I've never even heard of). I can mutter a few words of Mandarin that usually induces bouts of hysterical laughter amongst native speakers.

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Apparently a lot of the whores travel from other areas of Bangkok so as not to be seen touting for business in their own neighborhood. All in all, foreigners are quite welcome to this particular part of the Chinatown scene - I get that impression anyway.

Is there something strangely appealing about rolling around on a dirty old mattress with a 300 baht slapper while a ceiling fan revolves on speed number one (look at the f***ing size of that cockroach!!!) I guess there may well be.

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Titmouse,

if you do insist on staying in Chinatown go to the high-rise Grande Ville Hotel on Mahachai Rd., between the intersections with Yaowarat Rd. and Charoen Krung Road (west end of Chinatown). It's a bit outside the hustle-bustle of main Chinatown. Rooms should be around 1500-1800 Baht.

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quote:

Originally posted by Bangkok Phil:

Is there something strangely appealing about rolling around on a dirty old mattress with a 300 baht slapper while a ceiling fan revolves on speed number one (look at the f***ing size of that cockroach!!!) I guess there may well be.

I see. You are tantalizing me with visions of threadbare mattresses and 300 baht temptresses while deliberately withholding details on the route one must travel. Apparently, your plan is to heighten my interest and lure me into including Chinatown in my itinerary. Well, so be it! Can't ever get enough dim sum anyway.

BTW, I assume Hualompong (sp?) is a Skytrain stop easily discerned on any railstation map. Are the 300 baht slappers ethnic Chinese? (how scandalous). Actually, I just got back after 2 weeks in China, and have been propositioned aplenty.

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