Apr 01 2011

Vintage clothes shopping in Bangkok’s Thonburi

Published by at 1:26 am under Shopping

On almost any street in Bangkok, there seems to be an endless supply of cheap and trendy clothing stalls. Most of these little shops are variations on the same thing with the latest fashions made in cheap fabrics, always with a surplus of polka-dots and frill. Once you cross the river to Thonburi, this type of streetside shopping becomes far less prominent, with the exception of one marked standout: Talad Naew Naew.

Trendy outfits at Talad Naew Naew

Situated just off the ferry stop Wang Lang, Talad Naew Naew is a maze of alleys dedicated to vintage clothing and newer trends. At the heart of the maze are stalls devoted to vintage wares with the most promising finds requiring a bit of a dig. Also in the market are a few interesting jewellrey stalls  selling ethnic and hill-tribe inspired jewelry, fabrics and purses. The majority of the clothing is not in mint condition but the market will be a treasure hunt for collectors and vintage lovers.

Floral prints at Talad Naew Naew

On a recent Talad Naew Naew exploration a friend and I found intricately crafted hill-tribe earrings for 600 baht and deliberated over dozens of floral print and linen blouses, all selling for about 150 to 300 baht. Finer pieces, such as well-made jewellery and designer purses, are pricier, with real items selling for up to 3,000 baht. The stalls however, are chock full of cheaper buys with vibrant dresses, vintage T-shirts, elaborate costume jewellery  and ever-popular bedazzled headbands all priced at less than 500 baht. Bargaining (politely) is accepted but prices are pretty fair so don’t expect more than a 100 baht reduction.

The market is most popular among Thai university students and do note that the ambiance is nothing pleasant. The winding maze of tiny sois makes for close quarters and the numerous food stalls alive with sizzling woks and fired up grills add an added heat factor. However, if you find yourself keen on a good vintage search and after cheaper items than those sold at Chatuchak, Talad Naew Naew provides an eclectic and far less frequented option on the Thonburi  side of the river.

Talad Naew Naew is located just off the Wang Lang pier in Thonburi, and is stop number 10 on the Chao Phraya Express boat. The market is open every day but midday seems to be the time when the majority of the vendors are open for shopping.

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