One of the highlights from my 10-day Bangkok trip was the time spent wandering around Chinatown. Off of Charoenkrung Road you will find yourself at the entrance of a giant maze of market stalls, hawking everything from candy to underwear. It was refreshingly un-touristy though at times a little claustrophobic.
The real magic, though, is to be found on the side streets around the market. Buildings one hundred years old, often unchanged and filled with original shelving and merchandise, mingle with the hubbub of the crowded city. I am crazy for old architecture and it is one of the best places to get a glimpse into life in Old Siam. The man pictured below was one of our favorites – he is probably as old as the building and his store sells only buttons, most from the 1950s. It is hard to imagine that stores like these will last much longer in this increasingly cosmopolitan city.