Bangkok: A Guide to the Hippest Neighborhood of Yaowarat
If you happen to be in Bangkok during the Chinese New Year, you’re in luck. One of the hippest neighborhoods in the city happens to be Chinatown, or Yaowarat’s Soi Nana. Read on to discover all there is to do, see, and eat in this special spot in Thailand.
Is it your first day in Bangkok or is it your last? Whatever day it is, you’ve just endured the city’s notorious traffic where tuk tuks rip pass you while you’ve been at a complete standstill. But things are different when you get off and make your way to Yaowarat’s Soi Nana, Bangkok’s coolest neighborhood.
Soi Nana, or Old Town Yaowarat, used to be the mecca of Chinese herbs. The classic architecture and atmosphere of Soi Nana is what the kids today call “modern vintage”, where the old traditions meld harmoniously with modern lifestyle.
Now home to indie stores and funky galleries, Soi Nana has also become a serious Bangkok food and drink destination, and has seen heightened growth over the past year.
Nana Coffee Roaster
Between the alleys of Soi Nana, is a flower shop with a décor that is…how do you say, très chic? A vintage structure, consumed by a wondrous botanical garden and adorned with blooms, is the entrance way for a labyrinth of staircases that lead you to Nana Coffee Roasters on the 2nd floor. There’s a variety of coffee and drinks, from lattes to le boisson de kanda. Better yet, let the award-winning barista at the bar guide your coffee journey. Don’t leave without trying some of their delicious desserts! Our Thailand Insider source recommends the chocolate cake; a delectable pairing with any of their signature drinks.
Featured in Vogue and New York Times, this newly renovated Chinese-style Bar & Hostel has been around since the first generations of Soi Nana, dating back over 70 years ago! The interior design will make you feel like you’ve stepped into mainland China—carved wooden benches, blue stone bar top, the Chinese neon sign, and dinnerware replicated from century-old dynasties. The menu is a cross between Chinese street food and Thai-Chinese comfort food, which include duck wontons and Sichuan style noodles. Did we forget to mention the upstairs hostel’s private terrace with a 180° view of Chinatown?
The Cultural Bar of Thailand: a speakeasy with Thai booze, food and classical music will impress foreign travelers and locals alike. Brace yourself for an overload of Thai sights, sounds and tastes. Walk in to find country-theme knickknacks, classical Thai instruments strung on the walls and performed on stage, and have a few or many shots of the traditional homebrewed liquors. Try ordering Ya Sanae or “Love Potion”, a drink usually found in the northeast of Thailand, promises interesting health benefits.
Teens of Thailand
“Welcome all useless teens and the useless mid-life crisis people who loves to drink GIN.”
– Teens of Thailand
Set in the middle of a crafty café and street-side noodle shop, TOT is determined to preserve the accent of this unrefined two-story building by keeping the original architecture and scattering vintage Thai furniture a small, dimly-lit room they call a bar. With gin as the base, the drink list changes every day. Guaranteed to provide the freshest ingredients, you can order classics like Classic Negroni or try something new like the Ramos Gin Fizz, a smoothie-like texture made with citrus cream, egg, and rose water.