A bunch of fun options
Bangkok’s night market scene changed dramatically after the closure of once-popular bazaars like Suan Lum and Saphan Phut in recent years. Thankfully, a new crop of night markets has emerged to satisfy locals and travellers hungry for a night of shopping, eating and socialising. Read on to find out which of eight popular evening markets is right for you.
Talad Rot Fai
With a huge market out in East Bangkok and a smaller but easier-to-reach one in Ratchada, both locations of the vintage-themed “Train Market” are among the city’s most popular night markets. The Srinakarin location boasts a tremendous selection of antiques and second-hand wears, and both markets have terrific food and bar sections to go with stalls selling new clothes, handmade products and more. Both draw a wide mix of people and you won’t feel out of place if leaving your black-rimmed glasses and 10-speed bike at home. The Ratchada location is our top suggestion in Bangkok for a fun, accessible night out, while Srinakarin is best for antique hunters.
Talad Rot Fai (Train Market): Srinakarin location at Srinakarn Soi 51 several km east of Sukhumvit Rd and Udom Suk BTS Station; Ratchada location off Ratchadaphisek Rd next to Thailand Cultural Centre MRT Station; both open 18:00-01:00, Srinakarin Thu-Sun and Ratchada Tue-Sun
Opened in 2013 on land once owned by the Dutch Asiatic Company, this tidy bazaar successfully satisfies many tastes. Spacious blocks of vendor stalls sell fashions by Thai designers, handmade souvenirs and the usual Thailand T-shirts and carved wooden elephants. Prices are a bit higher than at most night markets. While popular with tourists, especially the Chinese, the bazaar also draws locals who come to take selfies on the riverside boardwalk, ride the ferris wheel and eat at a decent food plaza or one of the proper restaurants. Asiatique also hosts two of Bangkok’s most popular shows: Joe Louis Puppet Theatre and Calypso Cabaret.
Asiatique The Riverfront: Charoen Krung Rd near Charoen Krung Soi 74, 1.5 km south of Saphan Taksin BTS Station and accessible by river ferries; open 17:00-24:00
This market really bumps on weekend evenings on a slice of a park (hence the “green”) within easy walking distance from Chatuchak Weekend Market. The vibe is similar to Talad Rot Fai, with no shortage of Thai hipsters selling cocktails or used Converse All Stars out of rusty VW buses, but the crowd tends to be younger. Plenty of live music bars and a solid food section fill up until late night. It’s easy to find and worth keeping in mind especially if you’re looking for a place to cap off a day at Chatuchak.
JJ Green Market: Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd (from Mo Chit BTS Station or Chatuchak Park MRT Station, walk west across Chatuchak Park then turn right and the entrance will be on the left); open Wed-Sun 18:00-01:00
We’ve long had a soft spot for this old-school Thai night market in an easily accessible East Bangkok hood. Locals flock to stalls and shops spanning both sides of Prachasongkro Road and several side lanes to dig into Northeastern Thai salads, Southern Thai curries, grilled meat and fish. You’ll also find fresh ingredients in the side lanes to go with nail salons and shops selling smartphone covers, impossibly small clothes and other goods that interest the locals. Come hungry, watch out for traffic and expect to be the only foreigners.
Huai Khwang Night Market: East end of Phrachasongkro Rd up to Ratchadaphisek Rd (take the MRT to Huai Khwang Station, leave through exit 3, turn back on yourself and take the first road left); open nightly
The most bohemian of the vintage-themed night markets, Siam Gypsy is made up of mostly flea market-style stalls where you can pick up a used Kangol cap, deer antler, cassette tape or rusty machete sold alongside dolls with missing eyes or limbs. Many of the vendors splintered off from JJ Green in 2014 to start this shadowy market spanning a long footpath that runs parallel to railroad tracks in northwest Bangkok. Quite a few locals come to browse the roofed antique shops or sip beer in a 1970s RV converted into one of several bars.
Siam Gypsy Junction: Just north of Krungthep-Nonthaburi Soi 29 (next to Bang Son Station on the MRT Purple Line); open Wed-Sun 18:00-01:00
Nudging up to the eponymous cross-river ferry pier on the Thonburi (west) side of the Chao Phraya River, this compact market draws mostly locals and a handful of curious travellers staying at the Millenium Hilton next door. It’s as close as Bangkok gets to a classic local-style night market of the type found in most small Thai cities. Expect a bunch of cheap clothes and a small but solid spread of typical Thai street eats with some tables for eating on site. After browsing you could join the office workers and college kids for a river view at Be My Guest or Id Beer Bar.
Khlong San Plaza: Charoen Nakhon Soi 1 (take the cross-river ferry from Si Phraya Pier or the BTS Skytrain to Krung Thonburi Station and then a taxi); open 11:00-23:00 but most active after 18:00
Running the length of the infamous Soi Patpong with its go-go bars clustered on either side, this small night market is geared squarely towards tourists and we reckon it was formed in the mid 2000s mainly to hide the seediness from people passing by on the skytrain. There’s no food and every vendor seems to sell the same elephant pants and T-shirts that say “SAME SAME” among piles of dinky souvenirs. We’re mentioning it because it’s fairly popular among tourists, but we don’t feel it’s worth a visit.
Patpong Night Market: Soi Patpong (next to Sala Daeng BTS Station); open 18:00-01:00
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
Our top 10 other sights and activities in and around Bangkok