Bangkok is one of the top travel destinations in Asia, and it is also home to nearly nine million residents. For both the millions of visitors who descend upon Bangkok each year and the millions who call the city home, shopping is an important part of life. While there is an increasing number of department stores, grocery stores and shopping malls throughout Bangkok, one of the biggest parts of the local Thai culture is the market. Markets are more than just a place to buy food or gifts. They are also a place to meet new people, chat with old friends and get to know the locals. Anyone planning to visit Bangkok will want to include trips to as many of these incredible markets as possible.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market: Although there are a handful of floating markets in Bangkok, this one is typically considered to be the most popular. Shoppers climb onto traditional Thai boats and get paddled around the market while vendors sell their wares from similar, albeit smaller, boats. Along with opportunities to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, souvenirs and handicrafts, shoppers will get a unique glimpse into local life and culture in Bangkok.
Klong Suan 100 Years Market: The Klong Suan 100 Years Market received it’s name because visiting the interior is much like stepping back in time. Many shoppers claim that visiting Klong Suan is the most genuine experience they were able to have in Bangkok, which is due in large part to the fact that it is not yet mentioned in every tourism guidebook. Among the items for sale are vintage collectibles, packaged groceries and fresh snacks. You might even get the chance to have your hair cut by the traditional barber who has been working in the same place for 50 years. The market overlooks a canal and can be reached by taxi in about 15 minutes from the heart of Bangkok.
Pak Khlong Talad: This market is a place where locals outnumber tourists, and the vibe is very different from nearby night markets full of counterfeit products and rowdy bars. The Pak Khlong Talad market is located on Maharat Road and opens around noon each day. However, locals know that the best and busiest time to visit is actually after midnight. It is around two in the morning that the fresh flowers get delivered, enveloping the entire outdoor market in a sweet and magical fragrance that visitors won’t soon forget. Stop and pick up a bouquet or two for yourself, or just enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of this incredible flower market.
Talad Rot Fai: This market is one of the coolest and most interesting in all of Bangkok. Most of the items for sale are vintage pieces, and the atmosphere is very young and hip. Talad Rot Fai is only open on Saturday and Sunday nights from late afternoon until midnight, and most patrons tour the stalls with a beer in hand. However, the wares are anything but unimpressive. Antique lovers will appreciate the assortment of vintage toys, mid-century furniture pieces and antiques dating back to the late 19th century.
Or Tor Kor Market: Food is a large part of the culture and everyday life in Bangkok, and the Or Tor Kor Market is a great way to try local cuisine and pick up fresh ingredients to cook on your own. Visitors will find fresh produce, seafood, flowers and plenty of street vendors offering delicious snacks to fill you up until you can get home to prepare your own meal using ingredients from the market.
Exploring the markets of Bangkok is an exceptional way to learn more about the local cuisine and culture of Thailand.