Short getaway to Bangkok this CNY? Here’s where you can still say lo-hei to the Year of the Rat

PUBLISHED BY VIACONNECTS | 06 AUG 2016

CNY getaway in Bangkok!

For a different cultural experience in the Land of Smiles this year.

Approximately 1 million Singaporeans visit Thailand each year – some of you even do weekend getaways several times over! What’s the draw, you might ask? From the sun-kissed beaches of Koh Samui to the alleyways of bustling Bangkok all just a short flight away – there’s simply loads of hidden gems waiting to be explored.

If you’ve decided on a quick getaway to Bangkok over CNY but also experiencing a little dose of FOMO with all the festivities back home, don’t fret. The CNY revelry will be in full swing along Yaowarat Road, Bangkok’s Chinatown, where you’ll get a celebration like no other all whilst fully immersed in Bangkok’s food, sights and culture!

Here are some undiscovered spots you’ll want to check out on your trip:

For a hearty “reunion dinner”

As the home of Bangkok’s Chinese community, Yaowarat Road overflows with eateries and restaurants serving up Chinese favourites with a local Thai flair. One such place is HuaplaChongnonsea – widely recognised as one of the best seafood restaurants in Bangkok.

While the menu boasts an impressive range of Thai-style seafood, no dish quite impresses like their humble yet comforting signature dish, fish hotpot. Served piping hot with chunks of fresh succulent fish and (amazingly large!) chunks of seafood, you’ll also be surprised how much the soup packs in gorgeous wokhei flavour. Perfect for gathering around with friends and family too.

 

For a history lesson you won’t forget

Start your day with a visit to Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, Bangkok’s biggest Chinese Buddhist temple. The magnificently ornate building is the go-to place for devotees praying for good fortune and health for the first few days of the New Year, and you’ll also get a rare glimpse into the Thais’ observance of this traditional Chinese festival.

After seeking blessings for the year, take a stroll across the Chao Phraya River to visit Lhong 1919, a former Chinese trading house where you’ll get a fascinating look into Chinese culture. A popular haunt for the locals especially during Chinese New Year, this historical space now plays host to a number of shops and restaurants, but it also retains some of the original murals and architecture of the early 1900s you won’t want to miss.

 Address: 423 Charoen Krung Rd, Pom Prap, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

For a history lesson you won’t forget

As dusk approaches, look for So Heng Tai, a 172-year old villa also known as one of Yaowarat Road’s best kept secrets. As one of the last few traditional Hokkien Chinese mansions in Bangkok, it is best experienced just before the sun sets during golden hour, when the rays hit its teakwood in just the right spots, oozing nostalgia, old-world charm, and exquisite craftsmanship.

Address: 282 Soi Wanit 2, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

To spend your angpow money

Running parallel to Yaowarat Road is Sampeng Lane, a narrow alleyway famed for its cheap market. While it used to be home to opium dens and brothels waaaay in the past, it is a bustling marketplace selling everything under the sun today – from household wares to toys, jewellery and even vintage clothing. We think morning is the best time to drop by – it’ll be cooler and more comfortable walking down this narrow alleyway!

Address: Soi Wanit 1, Yaowarat, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

As you explore the nooks and crannies of Bangkok this CNY, don’t forget to pay with Singtel Dash  as you get around on the BTS and enjoy FREE rides! Be sure to load up your mobile wallet and you’ll be all set to make secure, cashless payments effortlessly at a wide variety of shops and restaurants through VIA.
Simply look out for either of the VIA, K Bank or Thai QR logos to pay with Singtel Dash!

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