The Plaeng Nam Road is short side street in Bangkok’s China Town district which is well known for its old fashioned shops and authentic Thai-Chinese style restaurants and food stalls.
The Plaeng Nam Road is very close to the newly opened Wat Mangkon MRT (metro) station and only 950 metre walking distance from Bangkok’s main railway station, Hua Lamphong.
About the Plaeng Nam Road
The Plaeng Nam Road is a 170 metre long side street connecting the two major roads in Bangkok’s China Town, the Yaowarat Road and the Charoen Krung Road. Unlike the Charoen Krung Road and the Yaowarat Road, which have been extensively modernised over the last 50 years, the Plaeng Nam Road looks very much like it would have looked in the 1960s or even earlier. Traditionally side streets in China Town featured long rows of connected shop houses all of which were often occupied by the same extended family and the Plaeng Nam Road largely follows this model.
The Plaeng Nam Road features some very antiquated shops, including a lantern shop, a shop selling traditional Chinese musical instruments and a shop selling traditional Chinese kitchenware. The demand for these items has waned over time, but the shops keep going by offering repair services for antique items and selling items as decorative curiosities largely to be people of Chinese ancestry from across Thailand and other South East Asian countries.
The Plaeng Nam Road is best known, however, for its food stalls and restaurants. Many of which have been running for decades. The three best known ones are:
- Jek Sia’s Chinese dumpling stall: The venerable Jek Sia has been selling his hand made dumplings from a food cart on the Plaeng Nam Road for other 50 years. His dumplings are famous amongst Chinese food fans in Bangkok, but they remain extremely cheap at 3 THB a piece.
- Khao Thom 24: A 24 hour eatery with some plastic tables and chairs outside and a wide variety of pre-cooked dishes inside which can be eaten with rice or rice porridge. The dishes are different to standard Central Thai cuisine some with unusual ingredients like shark meat. The prices are also cheaper than most street side curry and rice shops in Bangkok.
- Plaeng Nam Shark Fin-Bird’s Nest: Highly rated restaurant for shark fin shop and bird nest dishes. Very popular with visitors from Malaysia and Singapore, as well as the Bangkok Thai-Chinese community.
The Plaeng Nam Road does, however, also have some newer businesses with smarter dining facilities and more expensive prices. The Burapa Bird’s Nest on the corner of the Plaeng Nam Road and Yaowarat Road fall into this category. The closeness to the busy Yaowarat Road makes this corner retail space a prime location to attract passing Chinese and Singaporean tourists.
Unfortunately, the future of the existing shops and restaurants on the Plaeng Nam Road is uncertain. The land is owned by the Crown Properties Bureau and the shops are all leased. With the opening of a nearby MRT station the accessibility of the Plaeng Nam Road has increased as has the commercial value of the retail spaces. For this reason it is doubtful whether this last corner of authentic Bangkok China Town will remain the looking the same way it does now for much longer.
Location of the Plaeng Nam Road
- The Plaeng Nam Road is close to Wat Mongkon Kamalawat.