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What is there to know about Chinatown?

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Originally posted by PhordPhan:

"LOTS of traffic. The sidewalks are extremely crowded. The businesses spill out into the sidewalk, the sidewalk vendors set up shop and hordes of people mill about through the whole claustrophobic mess."

The best time to visit is at night, when the crowds are less, and there are hundreds of illuminated fodstalls lining the street - I guess that's what Shanghai must be like.

"Spent an entire day with a crummy map looking for Bahn Bat (sp?) or Monk's Bowl Alley. Finally found it ..."

Baan Baat is not located in Chinatown. It's outside the northwest end of Chinatown, east of Wat Saket (Pukhao Thong or Golden Mount); access from Mahachai Rd. There are fewer and fewer alms-bowl makers these days; I think there are only two families left in the trade.

"Whatever they were speaking in Bangkok's Chinatown is still a mystery to me. Wasn't Cantonese either. It's probably Manadarin with a bad Lao accent!"

It's mostly Techeow, then some Hokkien and Cantonese; on top there may be a few Fujian and Hainanese speakers. No Mandarin that I know of (you'll have to travel to Singapore for that).

[ June 27, 2001: Message edited by: Scum_Baggio ]

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Titmouse wrote: I'm curious about Chinatown, because, frankly, I would feel a little bit more at home there on a day visit. And if there's a remote chance that one of the girls might be Chinese, I would like a crack at her.

The most accessible places for girls (apart from the streets) in Chinatown are the soapy massage parlours, ie Texas Massage in the lane next to McDonald's on Yarowrat Road across from the Chinatown hotel or Harlem Massage on MaiChai Trit Road between the Traffic Circle 22nd July and Hualongpong station, near the Sri Kung Hotel.

The girls at these places tend to be light skinned, from Northern Thailand rather than Thai-Chinese. Texas and Harlem massage are both relatively cheap (800 to ~1,300 baht), but are not in the same class as the places on Ratchadaphisek Road or Asoke-Din Deang/Rama IX roads.

jmc

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Originally posted by slimey_toad:

"...on Yarowrat Road across from the Chinatown hotel or Harlem Massage on MaiChai Trit Road ..."

Sorry, for chipping in again, but I think that should be Maitrichit Rd.

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I would certainly consider Ratchada, from what I've gleaned from Slimey Toad's highly esteemed postings. I don't consider myself a high roller but would gladly fork down 3 ST massages a day (I'll be in Bangkok for two). BTW, has anyone stayed at the Emerald Hotel, and is it GF friendly?

I'm curious about Chinatown, because, frankly, I would feel a little bit more at home there on a day visit. And if there's a remote chance that one of the girls might be Chinese, I would like a crack at her. Would never marry them, of course. That way lies madness IMHO.

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Titmouse,

I spent a few days in Chinatown in Nov. '99. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I can't speak about the hookers because I was with my wife and we just did the Sukumwit/Nana Plaza thing.

We stayed in the Grand China Princess hotel. Very nice, good restaurants. Great one on the top floor. I seem to recall it revolves, providing a great view of the entire city, especially at night.

LOTS of traffic. The sidewalks are extremely crowded. The businesses spill out into the sidewalk, the sidewalk vendors set up shop and hordes of people mill about through the whole claustrophobic mess. Fascinating. A lot like a really crowded Hong Kong.

Spent an entire day with a crummy map looking for Bahn Bat (sp?) or Monk's Bowl Alley. Finally found it (I was so proud of myself) and bought an interesting souvenir which sits proudly on a shelf.

I live in an area with LOTS of Chinese, so I have picked up a few (damned few) words of Mandarin. Whatever they were speaking in Bangkok's Chinatown is still a mystery to me. Wasn't Cantonese either. It's probably Manadarin with a bad Lao accent! laugh.gif" border="0

Anyway, I think it's an interesting place to spend a couple of days.

PhordPhan

Dim Sum fanatic, bon vivant and

all-around nice guy.

shocked.gif" border="0

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quote:

Originally posted by Scum_Baggio:

Baan Baat is not located in Chinatown. It's outside the northwest end of Chinatown, east of Wat Saket (Pukhao Thong or Golden Mount); access from Mahachai Rd. There are fewer and fewer alms-bowl makers these days; I think there are only two families left in the trade.

[/QB]

No wonder I couldn't find the frappin' place. And nobody knew where it was. The front desk was as helpful as possible, considering the crappy map I had. They gave me a general location, but it sure didn't look that far on the map! It was only a couple of inches! Fodor's wasn't a lot of help either. But that's what made it more special - having to work for it.

You're right about the scarcity of alms bowl manufacturers. I understand they sort of work when they feel like it, on top of that. That's why I felt doubly lucky, upon arriving, to find a lady actually hammering out a new bowl.

Bought one that was painted with clear paint instead of the usual black laquer. Shows all the brazing and hammer work. Fascinating.

PhordPhan

Wandering idiot, bon vivant and

all-around nice guy.

laugh.gif" border="0

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Originally posted by PhordPhan:

"You're right about the scarcity of alms bowl manufacturers. I understand they sort of work when they feel like it, on top of that."

They can't compete with the factories which churn out alms bowls for a third or so of the price. Factory-made bowls (as well as other religious paraphernalia) are available in a number of of shops along Bamrung Muang Rd., near Wat Suthat.

[ June 28, 2001: Message edited by: Scum_Baggio ]

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Hualamphong is a district. The main train station is located there. BTW Chinatown is the only part of Bangkok where I was ever accosted by actual streetwalkers in the past. Really startled me, since you never saw it in other parts of town. (That's changed a bit nowadays.)

p.s. Slimey Toad has a great report on Chinatown nightlife. I don't know where it might be now, except probably on the Nanaplaza pay site. And as SCUM_BAGGIO says, Chinatown is a fascinating part of town. You cn spend days just roaming around seeing what you find. But it is one of the most polluted parts of the city -- narrow streets and lots of traffic.

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On my last trip I decided try out a Chinatown massage parlor based on Slimey Toad's report on nanaplaza.com. Went to the Texas Café and Massage. It is located across the road from the New Chinatown Hotel, in the soi (Trok Srai) next to McDonalds on Yarowrat Road.

Phone #: 223-3521

I believe I went on a Sunday evening. It's small with not too many girls, but very friendly staff. After about an hour I had seen all of the girls and picked the best one. She was very slim but energetic and quite strong. Must have worked out a lot. Had a good time. Cost was about 1,200.

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quote:

Slimey Toad has a great report on Chinatown nightlife. I don't know where it might be now, except probably on the Nanaplaza pay site.

Slimey Toad, any chance you would repost here? TIA.

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