History & toponymyEdit
It was settled during the establishment of the capital of Rattanakosin (today's Bangkok) in 1782 by the Teochew Chinese who had been relocated to make way for the Grand Palace. The community eventually grew into the surrounding areas. The original street of Sampheng, now officially known as Soi Wanit 1 (ซอยวานิช 1), is now a small alleyway lined with numerous shops, and is now Bangkok's premier wholesale market.
Its name "Sampheng" is not clear what it means or where come from. There are many speculations that it may be distorted from the word "Samphraeng" (สามแพร่ง) which means "three-way junction" or some believe that they come from Teochew language. However, according to Chit Phumisak, a historian, Sampheng is probably the Mon language which means "noble" and it may be that this place was inhabited by the Mon before Chinese. 
Mid-2019 news reports said that Sampheng's business was at its lowest level in 50 years. One trader said that business was down 70% from previous years, driving some shops to close. A similar downturn has afflicted other Bangkok markets like Pratunam and Bobae. Some have attributed the slowdown to weak domestic demand and the strength of the baht, but business volumes began to slump three to four years ago according to shop owners, well before the economy stalled and the baht appreciated. One economist, writing in the Bangkok Post, blames the rise of internet commerce for the decline.
Sampheng is usually open 24/7, divided into two periods, day and night. During the day it is open from 08:00 to 17:00. At night, most shops are open from 23:00 but most customers come between 01:00 and 06:00.
- Parasuk, Chartchai (18 July 2019). "Online trading spells massive job losses" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
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