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The Perfect Day in… Yaowarat

February 01, 2016
Chinatown Totter
One of Bangkok's oldest nabes, Yaowarat (aka Chinatown) has long been known for its busy vibe and bustling markets. However, this traddy enclave has more recently seen an exciting new wave of on-point eateries, contempo art galleries, and indie makers n’ shakers. Here’s how to strut, shop and sup it in style…

Avoiding Mondays (when much of this is closed) arrive by water, taking The Peninsula barge to Saphan Taksin pier, and hop in a cab to retail romp OP Garden. This heritage complex, set around a verdant neoclassical courtyard, is home to an embarrassment of high-end shopportunity.

Flex your AmEx with designer-cool jewels at minimalist boite ATTA, or invest in a contempo canvas from the gorgeous Serindia Gallery, then refresh with a zippy zesty soda sip at Mango Tree (you’ll likely find a fair few farangs here, but it’s worth it for the shady deck setting).

Shimmy back to Charoenkrung Road and skip along to Soi 30, lined with riverside warehouses that are just crying out for conversion. Here, you’ll espy the airy industrial showroom of P Tendercool stocked with tables crafted from reclaimed beams, as well as sofas, chairs and selected homewares. If you're lucky, Belgian owner Pieter might even be in to give you a tour of his workshop.

From there, it’s a simple ten-minute saunter (or quick cab ride) to creative coupling Soy Sauce Factory and Cho Why, each with ever-changing multimedia exhibitions and own bar for that all-important pre-prandial. The latter has a particularly spectacular roof terrace.

And to finish? Hoover up some tapas at retro shophouse El Chiringuito, then totter on to your pre-booked table at Tep Bar, a hip hole-in-the-wall mixing old-fashioned ‘tails, house-infused herbal whiskies and Sangsom sips to the sounds of traditional Thai live music. That’s Chinatown done… and with nary a dumpling in sight.
ATTA / OP Garden / Charoenkrung Rd 36 / +66 2 234 6422 / 1.30-7.30pm Tue-Sat, 1.30-6pm Sun, or by appt /
Serindia Gallery / OP Garden / +66 2 238 6410 / 11am-7pm Tue-Sun /
Mango Tree / OP Garden / +66 2 238 6400 / 11am-midnight daily /
P Tendercool / 45-58 Charoenkrung Rd 30 / +66 2 266 4344 / 10am-6.30pm Mon-Sat /
Soy Sauce Factory / 11/1 Charoenkrung Rd 24 / +66 61 835 6824 / 10am-7pm Mon-Sat
Cho Why / 17 Soi Nana / no phone /
El Chiringuito / 221 Soi Nana / +66 85 126 0046 / 6pm-midnight Thu-Sun
Tep Bar / 67-71 Soi Nana / +66 98 467 2944 / 5pm-midnight Tue-Thu, 5pm-1am Fri-Sun

© Images courtesy of Sean Pavone & Lodimup /