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Found Bangkok’s New China town in Huai Khwang district.

Found Bangkok’s New China town in Huai Khwang district.

Chinese signs dominate both sides of the road along which shops cook up fiery Szechuan mala hot pot, mapo tofu, tender pork dishes from Yunnan province and northern-style gyoza.

Except it’s not Yunnan – nor is it even Yaowarat Road. Far from Bangkok’s rapidly gentrifying original Chinatown, a new hub of Chinese businesses and culture has taken root on a half-kilometer strip stretch of Pracha Rat Bamphen in the capital’s Huai Khwang district. On Monday, my Mandarin-fluent friend Sa-nguan Khumrungroj and I chose Fu Wah Restaurant, a simple eatery near Soi Pracha Rat Bamphen 6/1. Sa-nguan said someone had recommended the place. It was about noon when we ordered three dishes: omelet with prawns, braised pork belly in soy sauce and dry fried string beans with minced pork – a popular Szechuan dish (it proved tasty but a tad too oily).

The fare found in this “New Chinatown” is attracting curious Thais to wine, dine and explore unfamiliar cuisine from regions not traditionally represented in Thailand by earlier waves of Chinese migrants. Fu Wah is among older establishments predating the emergence of “New Chinatown,” a designation disputed by Sa-nguan.

As we strolled along the strip, Sa-nguan that he doesn’t think the place can yet be called New Chinatown as there are no visible civic spaces, such as the various ethnic and clan associations found in Bangkok’s original Chinatown of Yaowarat. There’s also no shrines or temples, and no Chinatown Gate said Sa-nguan, who himself is Thai-Chinese.Sharing his assessment is Chada Triamvithaya, who has researched Chinese migration to the area. Chada, who works at Chulalongkorn University’s Asian Research Center for Migration, prefers the term “Chinese hub” – at least at this stage development.  Source: Khaosod

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