With its locations at the banks of Pink river follow Chiang Mai Chinatown, the pattern of many other Chinese settlements thought out southeast Asia.
The emigration from China to other parts of the world began in earnest in 1860 with the Treaty of Peking. The treaty opened the Chinese borders for free movement.
Most of the Chinese emigrants used either used rivers and barges or the ocean and larger boats when they emigrated.
Therefore today you will find most Chinese settlements outside China, either along rivers or in port cities. and Chiang Mai Chinatown is a good example of this.
Besides the Market for cut flowers, you also find a precursor for what we today would call a department store. Chiang Mai Chinatown is also where you will find the greatest concentration of stores that sell wholesale, there are especially many shops that sell clothing items from the hill tribes.
When you come from the city center on the road leading to the river you are meet by a portal telling you that you are entering Chiang Mai Chinatown.
You will also see considerable more Chinese signs on the street. In recent years, around Chiang Mai, there have seen more and more signs in Chinese, but they are ment for the growing number of Chinese tourists. In Chinatown, the Chinese signs addressed to the Thais of Chinese descent who speak Chinese.
There are also a lot of shops selling fabrics. Even it is Chinatown most of those shops are owned by Thais of indian descent. But also a lot of the taylors you can find around Chiang Mai are from India or Nepal.
Above you see a Chinese herbal medicine shop. The shop is almost 100 years old and is owned by the same family. From Monday to Friday 10 am to 14 pm, there is a Chinese herbalist in store. So if you have an issue with your health just contact him. He will look at your tongue, take your pulse and ask a few questions.
He will then write a prescription in Chinese. You then go to the counter and hand them your prescription. While you wait a employee collects and weighs the various herbs flowering the prescription. It will be packed in packages, it make it easy for you, one package for each dosage.
In Chiang Mai Chinatown you also find Chiang Mais first department store. It have 2 floors on the ground floor it is mostly dried food, 2. floor is clothing and other house hold necessity. When i was in Vientiane in Laos there was an exact copy of this department store. In Chiang Mai there have been modern department stores for many years.
But the one in Laos have been top modern in Laos standarts until only a few years ago, when they got the first a very little, compared to western standarts, modern department store
Outside the department store there are shops selling fruit, originally a one of Chaing Mais main markets. Now there is a much larger and newer market very close by so there is not much to choose from. It is mostly ment for the people living nearby and the visitors to Chinatown.
The flowers sold here are grown in the mountains north of Chiang Mai. There is also a big export so to speak of cut flowers from here to Bangkok.
Here you also find the ready made flowers arrangement sold in the temples as offerings, the fragrant jasmine wreaths both sold in the temples as offerings and sold at the traffic lights as air improvers for the cars.
The street life in chinatown is also interesting to see. Above you see the first a traditional bicycle taxi, they are still in use. The next image are some men who look cockfights on television and bet on the outcome. and finally a hill tribe family having lunch brake.
On the opposite side of the river you have upscale riverside restaurants. The boat on the picture in the middle take you on a dinner cruise on the river.
And in the high season when the restaurant is full has the inventive restaurant owner an extra boat, it is not used for river cruises but as extra seating, so the restaurant can have more guests..