A little distance from the Bangkok Chinatown Archway is the famous Wat Traimit Witthayaram. On the second floor of this monastery is the Yaowarat Chinatown heritage center that showcases the history of Overseas Chinese in Thailand or Thai-Chinese as they are now known.
Visitors are first invited to watch a short 3D presentation set in a Chinese household. A Thai-Chinese grandfather shares his family history with a grandchild talking about the life of Chinese coolies in Thailand and the opportunity their new homeland offers. The grandfather proudly recalled the Thai King’s visit to Bangkok Chinatown.
Their dialogue interweaves issues of Chinese ethnic identity and Thai-Chinese identity preparing audiences for the rest of the exhibition.
Inside the center, the first hall presents the global history leading to Chinese migration to Thailand. This heritage center makes clever use of technology to convey both history and culture. Especially interesting is a Chinese junk that visitors have to pass through. Inside the junk are a wide range of cargos that were typically shipped from China to Thailand. The walk through this junk is an experience created with audio-visual effects that reconstructs the journey in a junk from China to Thailand.
The rest of the exhibits trace the evolution from Chinese migrants to Thai Chinese and the development of Bangkok Chinatown. The last hall has a collection of the Royal family’s visits to Bangkok Chinatown and the Sino-Thai relations.
Located not too far from the Bangkok Chinatown archway, the Yaowarat Chinatown heritage center is a useful starting point for a Bangkok Chinatown tour as it offers the background to understand the history of Thai-Chinese and development of Bangkok Chinatown.
Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Center
Address: Traimit Road, Samphanthawong District Bangkok 10100
tel: +66 (0) 2 623 3329 - 30
fax: +66 (0) 2 623 1372 - 3