Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Center is a museum that is located in Traimit temple or the temple of Golden Buddha. This museum will tells you the history of Bangkok’s Chinatown or Yaowarat.
While walking up to see the Golden Buddha, on the second floor you will see this museum. This museum made me understand how Chinese migrated to Thailand and how Chinatown has become the main business area in Thailand.
Before entering the museum, you will be asked to take off your shoes and put them into the bag. And you have to carry the bag with you while you are wandering in the museum. Then, after you have done with the museum, you have to return the bag at the exit door. You might feel annoyed with doing like this, but I would tell you that ‘please do not feel annoyed’. It is normal that you will be asked to remove your shoes when visiting a temple in Thailand and there were many times that the shoes were stolen! So, with this way, your shoes are safe!
After entering the museum, you will firstly see boards which are full with text.
Then, when I walked further a little bit, I automatically walked into the junk. The junk and stuffs inside were simulated to show us how Chinese traders traveled from their homeland to Thailand. The storm and thunder sound and also the animation made me realize the difficulty that Chinese had to face at that time.
In the museum, you will see a shrine, a spiritual refuge for the Chinese community. Actually a shrine like this still can be seen on these days.
You will see how Chinese made a living in Thailand such as grocery shop, noodle peddler, porcelain shop, rice gruel shop, and so on.
Besides, you will see the market; the Chinese gave priority to the food.
The restaurant for social gathering
The Chinese opera theater which still can be seen on these days
The gold shops and you will understand why there are many gold shops on Yaowarat Road
Finally, you will see photos of Bangkok’s Chinatown in the present.
Besides, there is a computer with touch screen showing you the famous restaurants in Chinatown. As you may know, Chinatown is a center of delicious food.
Then, before leaving the museum, there is a fortune telling booth.
‘Do you believe in fortune telling?’ If yes, make a wish and give it a try!
If you are planning to visit this museum or other places in Bangkok’s Chinatown or Yaowarat, you can read my walking trip in this area here. Hope it give you some ideas.
Update: April, 2015
Location & How to get there: The museum is located at the second floor of the main chapel in Wat Traimit or the temple of Golden Buddha. And the temple is located on Mittaphap Thai-China Road, Samphanthawong District. The easiest way to go is to get off MRT Subway at Hua Lamphong station. Then, walk toward Traimit Road for 5 minutes.
Dress code: Since this museum is located in the temple, you should dress appropriately. The dress code is quite strict on the fourth floor where the Golden Buddha is located. Your shoulders and knees must be covered. There are sarongs and shirts for rent in front of the chapel at 20 baht.
Admission fee: Free for Thais. For foreigners, 140 baht for visiting the golden Buddha and the exhibitions or museums, 40 baht for visiting only the golden Buddha, and 100 baht for visiting only the exhibitions or museums.
Opening Hours: The temple is open daily from 05.00-23.00. The exhibitions are open Tuesday to Sunday from 08.00-17.00 (closed on Mondays).
Have you ever been to Wat Traimit or any other temples (wats) in Thailand? Have you visited the museums? Do you like them? Share your experience with me in the comments!