The Old Bangkok foreigner Settlement

Jul 28, 2014

Thai Population & Foreigner

Many people said the traditional Thai has dark skin and sharp complex. Malay, Myanmar and Cambodia are look very similar too. It is hard to say who is original Thai and indicated their ancestor. The look of physical appearance such as skin color, eye color or body may help to identify that person for where they from.  However, Thailand is similar to country. The longer country is developed, the more diversify of population is.  There are many foreigner come and integrate with the local. Now a day, we are more open and welcome than the pass.

Non Thai resident in Bangkok area

In the old day, the foreign visitor must station in one area. It might be easier to control them or easy for them to unite and share some resources. If you trade back within 200 years, there is an evident of non-Thai settlement around Bangkok which is interesting to learn about it.

Why you should know old Bangkok foreigner settlement

It’s essential to note that the demographics and urban landscape of Bangkok have changed significantly over time. Many of the areas that were once prominent among foreign settlers have evolved and adapted to modern times. While you may not find a single designated “Old Bangkok Foreigner Settlement,” you can still explore the city’s historical areas to get a sense of its multicultural past and diverse influences.

1. Old community in Bangkok

Kudee jeen(กุฎีจีน) – Kud Farang (กุฎีฝรั่ง) – kud kead (กุฎีแขก)

Those three community are connected. They are neighborhood located along the Chao Phraya River in the Thonburi district of Bangkok close to the Grand Palace and Chinatown.

Kudee Jeen (กุฎีจีน):

Those three community are connected. They are neighborhood located along the Chao Phraya River in the Thonburi district of Bangkok close to the Grand Palace and Chinatown.

Kud Farang (กุฎีฝรั่ง):

Kud Farang, also known as “The Portuguese Village,” the name translates to “Farang Convent” in Thai, and it has historical connections to Portuguese and Eurasian Catholics who settled in the area during the Ayutthaya period. Kud Farang is characterized by its traditional Thai-Portuguese architecture and offers a glimpse into the cultural heritage of the Portuguese community in Thailand

Kud Kead (กุฏีแขก)

Kud Keak, also spelled “Kudi Keak, the name translates to “Guests’ Convent” in Thai and is believed to have originated from its history of welcoming foreign guests and traders. Kud Kead has a strong Indian cultural influence, often referred to as “Little India.” 

The area is known for its vibrant Indian markets, shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, offering visitors a taste of India in the heart of Bangkok.

Each of these neighborhoods offers a unique cultural experience and is a testament to Bangkok’s rich multicultural history. Exploring these areas allows visitors to delve into the diverse cultural influences that have shaped the city over the centuries.

Foreign settlement and former Siam Capital city

They were established on the southern of temple of down and the old record said it was built during Ayutthaya period. It was a merchant trade route for rest before travel to Ayutthtya.

Currently, these are interesting place to walk see the old temple, Chinese Shine, Muslim Mosque, Portuguese church and taste some local product.

2. China town (เยาวราช)

This area is well known as Yaowarat in Thai– The Chinese community in Bangkok is dispersed throughout the city and has been present for centuries. It holds a special place in the city’s history as a hub of Chinese culture and commerce. Established during the reign of King Rama I in the late 18th century, Chinatown has grown into a bustling neighborhood with a unique blend of Thai and Chinese influences. Many Chinese immigrants and their descendants have integrated into various neighborhoods, engaging in business, trade, and cultural activities. Some areas in Bangkok have a higher concentration of Chinese residents and businesses due to historical factors and economic opportunities.

Chinatown is home to several historic Chinese temples and shrines, such as Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha) and Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (Dragon Lotus Temple). These religious landmarks became central to the cultural and spiritual life of the Chinese community in Bangkok.

It is one of the most prominent areas with a significant Chinese settlement. It is a bustling district with numerous Chinese shops, markets, restaurants, temples, and cultural landmarks. The Chinese New Year celebration in Chinatown is particularly vibrant and draws locals and tourists alike. Visitors can go there during the day or night. The night visit is food eating tour. During daytime, there are a lot of things to eat, and it is nice to see the trading and activities that are going on there.  Check Chinatown walking tour


3. Baan Krua (บ้านครัว)

Muslim immigrant from Cambodia and Vietnam. A few families own and run still making factory. is a historic community located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. It is a significant area with a unique cultural heritage and plays a pivotal role in the history of Thai silk production.

Jim Thompson

The community of Baan Krua was established by Jim Thompson, an American entrepreneur and former intelligence officer, who is credited with revitalizing the Thai silk industry and making it internationally renowned. In the 1950s, Jim Thompson settled in Bangkok and discovered the fading art of Thai silk weaving in the Baan Krua neighborhood.

With his entrepreneurial vision and appreciation for traditional Thai craftsmanship, Jim Thompson worked closely with the local weavers in Baan Krua to revive the silk industry and modernize the production process. He played a crucial role in bringing Thai silk to the global stage and gained international recognition for the exquisite Thai silk products.

Today, Baan Krua remains a center for Thai silk production and is known for its skilled weavers who continue to create high-quality silk products using traditional techniques. Visitors to Baan Krua can witness the silk weaving process, visit local workshops, and purchase authentic Thai silk products directly from the artisans.

Apart from its significance in the silk industry, Baan Krua has also retained much of its old-world charm and traditional Thai architecture. It offers a glimpse into the authentic Bangkok lifestyle, away from the hustle and bustle of the modern city.

Visiting Baan Krua provides a unique opportunity to learn about the history of Thai silk, appreciate traditional craftsmanship, and support local artisans. It is a cultural gem in Bangkok, and a visit to this historic neighborhood is a must for those interested in Thai heritage and craftsmanship.

Check our trip to Baan Krua.

4.Chomchon mon koh kred(ชุมชนมอญเกาะเกร็ด)

Koh Kred is interesting place where is life is less hectic during weekday. They make pottery from clay. It is a famous product. You can walk, bike or ride to observe the area. is a Mon community located on Koh Kred, an island in the Chao Phraya River, just north of Bangkok, Thailand. The Mon people are an ethnic group with a rich cultural heritage, and Koh Kred is one of the places where their community thrives.

Koh Kred is known for its traditional Mon pottery and handicrafts. The Mon community on the island has been preserving their unique pottery-making techniques for generations. Visitors can witness the process of making pottery and purchase various handcrafted items, including bowls, vases, and decorative pieces.

The island offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city of Bangkok, and it’s a popular day-trip destination for both locals and tourists. While exploring Koh Kred, visitors can stroll through narrow lanes, admire the local architecture, and sample delicious Mon and Thai cuisine from various food stalls.

To reach Koh Kred, you can take a short ferry ride from the mainland, specifically from the Pak Kred Pier, which is easily accessible from Bangkok. Once on the island, you can explore on foot or rent bicycles to get around and discover the different aspects of the Mon community.

Visiting Chomchon Mon Koh Kred provides a unique opportunity to learn about the Mon culture, interact with the friendly locals, and experience a different side of Thailand’s rich cultural diversity. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the traditional way of life of the Mon people and appreciate their arts and crafts.

5. Pahurat (พาหุรัส)

An Indian settlement – also known as “Little India” or “Phahurat,” is a vibrant neighborhood in Bangkok, Thailand. It is located in the Phra Nakhon district. The main attraction in Pahurat is the bustling street market that stretches along Pahurat Road and its surrounding streets. Here, you can find a wide variety of Indian products, fabrics, textiles, spices, jewelry, and traditional Indian clothing like saris and Punjabi suits.

The Pahurat area also houses the Little India Shopping Mall, a multi-story shopping complex where you can find even more Indian goods, including accessories, crafts, and souvenirs. It is a paradise for food lovers, especially those who enjoy Indian cuisine. The area is home to numerous Indian restaurants and street food vendors, serving up delicious dishes like biryani, curry, dosa, and various Indian sweets.

The Pahurat area also houses the Little India Shopping Mall, a multi-story shopping complex where you can find even more Indian goods, including accessories, crafts, and souvenirs. It is a paradise for food lovers, especially those who enjoy Indian cuisine. The area is home to numerous Indian restaurants and street food vendors, serving up delicious dishes like biryani, curry, dosa, and various Indian sweets.

Pahurat is a fascinating place to explore, and it provides a unique contrast to the other neighborhoods in Bangkok. Whether you are looking to shop for Indian goods, savor authentic Indian cuisine, or experience the vibrant Indian culture in Thailand, a visit to Pahurat should be on your list when exploring Bangkok.

6.The Holy Rosary Church or Kudi Kao Church

The Holy Rosary Church, also known as Wat Kalawar or Kudi Kao Church, is a historic Catholic church located in the Bang Rak district of Bangkok, Thailand. It is one of the oldest and most significant Catholic churches in the city and holds a unique place in Bangkok’s cultural and religious heritage.

The Holy Rosary Church was established in 1786 by French Catholic missionaries, making it one of the oldest Catholic churches in Thailand. The church’s name “Wat Kalawar” is a Thai adaptation of “Calvary,” referring to the site of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion in Christian tradition. The church features a captivating blend of European and Thai architectural styles, reflecting the unique cultural exchange that took place during its construction. The main facade incorporates elements of both Romanesque and Thai design, creating an impressive and distinctive appearance.

Inside the Holy Rosary Church, visitors can admire beautiful religious artwork, intricate wooden carvings, and colorful stained-glass windows. The altar and sanctuary are adorned with ornate decorations, creating a solemn and reverent atmosphere.  The Holy Rosary Church is not only an important religious site for Bangkok’s Catholic community but also serves as a symbol of Thailand’s historical ties with the Catholic Church and European missionaries. It stands as a testament to the multicultural nature of Bangkok’s history and highlights the religious freedom that exists in Thailand.

Visiting the Holy Rosary Church: The church is open to the public for worship, prayer, and exploration. Visitors are welcome to attend mass or simply take in the beauty of the architecture and religious artifacts. As with any place of worship, visitors should dress modestly and respectfully.

The Holy Rosary Church is a cultural gem in Bangkok and is worth a visit for anyone interested in exploring the city’s diverse religious and architectural heritage. Its historical significance, architectural beauty, and serene ambiance make it a must-see attraction for tourists and locals alike.


7.Little Tokyo in Bangkok

Bangkok’s “Little Tokyo” or the area known as “Soi Thonglor” (Sukhumvit Soi 33/1) has a rich history that dates back to the 1970s. This area has become a popular destination for the Japanese community and those seeking a taste of Japan in Bangkok.

The presence of Japanese residents and businesses in Bangkok began to grow during the 1960s and 1970s, as Japan’s economy was experiencing rapid growth and expanding globally. Many Japanese businessmen and expatriates came to Thailand for business opportunities, and some chose to reside in the Sukhumvit area, particularly Sukhumvit Soi 33.

As more Japanese expatriates settled in the area, Japanese-owned restaurants, bars, shops, and businesses started to emerge along Sukhumvit Soi 33. Over time, the area gained popularity as a hub for Japanese cuisine, entertainment, and shopping.

The Japanese community in Bangkok began organizing cultural events and festivals, such as cherry blossom festivals and Japanese cultural performances, which allowed both Japanese residents and locals to experience and appreciate Japanese traditions and customs. It is not only a destination for Japanese expatriates but also attracts Japanese tourists and Thai people with an interest in Japanese culture. The area provides a familiar environment and offers a slice of Japan in the heart of Bangkok.

These various foreign settlements have left their mark on Bangkok’s architecture, culture, and cuisine, creating a vibrant and multicultural cityscape. Today, remnants of these old communities can still be seen in historic neighborhoods, traditional markets, religious buildings, and the diverse cultural influences present throughout the city. Bangkok’s connection to old communities of foreigners’ settlement continues to be a fascinating aspect of its rich and dynamic history.


Recommended Reasons to Visit Old Community in Bangkok

Cultural Diversity;

Bangkok’s old communities are known for their cultural diversity, reflecting the influence of various ethnic groups and foreign settlers over the years. Each neighborhood has its distinct cultural identity, offering a unique experience for visitors interested in different traditions, customs, and cuisines.

Authentic Local Experiences:

Visiting old communities gives you the opportunity to experience authentic local life in Bangkok. You can observe traditional customs, interact with locals, and taste genuine street food and regional delicacies.

Captivating Landmarks:

Many of Bangkok’s iconic landmarks are in old communities, such as the Grand Palace and Wat Pho on Rattanakosin Island, or the vibrant markets and temples in Chinatown. These landmarks offer a glimpse into the city’s illustrious past.

Unique Architecture:

Old communities in Bangkok showcase a mix of architectural styles influenced by different periods and cultures. From traditional Thai-style houses to Chinese shophouses and European-inspired buildings, these neighborhoods are architectural gems.

Preservation of Tradition:

Some old communities have retained their traditional way of life despite the city’s modernization. Visiting these areas allows you to witness the preservation of customs and traditions passed down through generations.

Cultural Festivals and Events:

Old communities often host cultural festivals and events that celebrate traditional customs, such as Chinese New Year in Chinatown or Songkran (Thai New Year) in various neighborhoods. Participating in these events offers an authentic cultural experience.

Photographic Opportunities:

Old communities present excellent opportunities for photography, capturing the charm of historical streets, bustling markets, ornate temples, and unique cultural elements.


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