Khlong Suan old market

An old school Thai market

Photo of , , Bangkok

What we say: 4 stars



Well off the usual tourist map, this 100+ year-old market makes a worthy day trip from Bangkok for anyone wanting to experience an old-style Thai market and some fantastic food to boot.

The market is named after the canal on which it sits, some 25 kilometres east of Suvarnabhumi airport. Khlong suan translates to "canal of gardens", and the atmosphere is still decidedly rural.

Historically, this canal was one of the chief west-to-east thoroughfares from the Chao Phraya river to the Bang Pakong river, and the market sprang up as a sort of "middle ground" where farmers, travellers and traders came to unload, rest or replenish. Located in a sort of "in between area" near where the borders of Bangkok, Chachoengsao, Samut Prakan and Chon Buri provinces meet, Khlong Suan still attracts people from a widespread area.

The market itself is a large but cosy roofed open-air affair with several shophouses where some vendors live full-time. Others spread out their goods on tables along the canal, and quite a few noodle and rice shops offer canal-side table seating. Expect to see a wide range of merchandise, including raw fish, fresh fruit and veggies, live turtles, baskets, brooms, odd souvenirs and some outstanding prepared foods at dirt cheap prices. After you're sufficiently full of veggie dumplings, roast duck with rice, sun-dried pork, psychedelic looking preserved eggs and roselle or durian flavoured popsicles, head to the small museum in the belly of the market to see photos of what it looked like in the old days (not much different really). Then stroll up to the market's signature unusually high footbridge over the canal for that "I've been here" photo op.

More details
Opening Hours: Early morning-around 16:00
How to get there: The cheapest way to get here is to catch a Bangkok to Bang Khla bus from Ekkamai station. Tell the driver you want to be dropped at talart khlong suan. Buses leave regularly throughout the day and it’s a little less than an hour once you’re on the bus. To get back you can wait to flag down a returning bus along the main road near the market, or catch a songthaew bound for the bus stations of either Prachasoengchao or Bang Khla, either of which will have buses heading back to Bangkok.

You could also catch a taxi from Suvarnabhumi or anywhere in Bangkok. Note however that due to the distance, you'll probably need to negotiate a fare beforehand. Around 200 baht one-way from Suvarnabhumi should be plenty, or somewhere in the 500 baht neighbourhood if you want a return trip.
Last updated: 30th January, 2013

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