The Old Siam Plaza on Burapha Road is a shopping mall in Bangkok’s Old Town. Most of the indoor malls in the area are outdated but are often brimming full of charm, and this is one such example. It’s well-known throughout the local community for its 2 large and open atriums packed with food vendors selling sweet and savoury treats, plus a standard selection of handicrafts, household appliances, and fashion.

Some would go as far as saying this is a ‘hidden gem’, but the substantial crowds streaming through the 3-storey building every day would suggest otherwise. It’s ‘hidden’ perhaps for the tourist market and Bangkok’s younger generation, who normally stick to the convenience of Siam’s megamalls.

The Old Siam Plaza in Bangkok - one of the highlights of 8 Best Places to Go Shopping in Chinatown Bangkok (Read all about Bangkok here)

photo by mohigan (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

Reasons to visit The Old Siam Plaza

So, what makes The Old Siam Plaza worth visiting? Apart from nostalgic architecture, the answer is simple: the food! Most of the vendors here are located on the ground floor and the focus is all about traditional Thai desserts.

As you walk around, look out for kanom kuy chai (steamed dumplings), kanom sai sai (sweet coconut milk steamed in banana leaves), kanom buang (crispy pancakes with sweet stuffing), woon grob (Thai-style jelly with sugary topping), and kao tang savoey (sweet rice crackers). Those with less of a sweet tooth should look out for the excellent Chinese steamed buns (sala pao), with fillings such as BBQ pork, chicken and salted egg.

photo by mohigan (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

Go upstairs and find more

There’s a good reason to head upstairs too, with a great selection of silk and tailoring shops that cater for special events and ceremonies. This is also where you’ll find a lot of the more generic items such as tourist souvenirs, handicrafts, and household appliances. On the far side of Old Siam Plaza, there’s a whole section related to hunting and outdoor pursuits with everything from flashlights to camping gear and even firearms (which you need a license to purchase).

Old Siam Plaza is relatively easy to find on the corner of Burapha and Phahuratm Road, a short walk from the top of Yaowarat Road (Chinatown). Do note that there aren’t too many ways to reach this part of town other than by car or taxi. Traffic during morning and evening rush hours can be very bad, so it's a good idea to get to the mall after 10am or before 3pm.

The Old Siam Plaza in Bangkok

Location: Phahurat Rd, Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Open: Daily from 10am to 7pm

Phone: +66 (0)2 226 0156