Street Food Asia, a food docuseries by Netflix, takes viewers on a tour of the most popular street food centers in many Asian countries, while also introducing viewers to the ways of life and cultures that are interestingly and inextricably tied to the food being served. One of the countries whose stories the show chose to tell is India, with its spicy food and colorful people. Today, many of the highlights of Indian culture can be found outside the South Asian nation. In Bangkok, Thailand, for example, there is a neighborhood called Little India, which is as colorful and exciting as anything you will find in India itself.
Little India is located on Phahurat Road in Wang Burapha Phirom Subdistrict, Pranakorn District. The location and origin of Phahurat Market date back to the era of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who gave permission to build a new street and named it Phahurat Road after his late daughter, who passed away at a young age.
Later, Indian fabric merchants relocated here and when their business grew, this area became a famous fabric market and a center for Indian merchants. However, it also became a center for the cultures, traditions, clothes, food, and religious ceremonies of India. “Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara” or the “Sikh Temple” is the main holy site in Bangkok for Sikh people. It is a center for their beliefs and the biggest religious complex for Sikh people in Thailand.
If you want to experience Indian culture, take a walk around the alley near India Emporium Phahurat Mall called “ATM Alley”. This place is bustling with shops selling clothes imported from India. Indian girls love to search here for cosmetics, “henna” painting kits, and hair (or, for men, beard) oils.
For food lovers, this area is home to shops selling all kinds of beans and grains, including the spices that make the key ingredients for Indian cuisine with its distinctive spice aromas and strong colors that stand out and grab your attention. Along the way, you will see Meetha Pann (sweet betel) shops where the vendors prepare this “delicacy” for their customers at just 10 baht each.
If you want to try the authentic taste of Indian food, Phahurat also has many authentic Indian restaurants. You can start with “Samosa,” a fried pastry with fillings made from potatoes mixed with spices, beans, vegetables, and various kinds of meats, followed by garlic naan paired with chicken curry, thick goat curry (a.k.a Roghan Josh), and chicken tikka (marinated chicken grilled in a tandoori oven). You can also try Indian desserts like Kulfi, Gulab Jamun, and Ras Malai. Whatever you decide to order, you will find the food and atmosphere around this area are just as if you were in India.
MRT (Blue Line or Purple Line): Get off at the Sam Yot MRT station and use Exit 1. When you reach the Sam Yot intersection, turn right and cross to Maha Chai Road. Walk straight until you find the Merry Kings intersection, cross the footbridge and walk until you reach Phahurat.
BTS (Silom Line): Get off at Wongwianyai or Krung Thon Buri station, then take a motorbike or taxi to Phahurat.
Bus: Take No. 4, 21, 37, 40, and 85 and get off at the India Emporium.