6 Must-Visit Markets In Bangkok You Shouldn t Miss, Travel Photography Blog by Nisa Maier and Ulli Maier
6 Markets In Bangkok
Born in Austria, raised in Africa, lived in Indonesia & Australia, studied in the US & is exploring the world.
6 Markets In Bangkok You Shouldn’t Miss.
I reminisce when I was four years old, my mum took me to my very first moist market (or at least it was the very first one I reminisce) in Singapore. Back then, it was uncommon to see a white person at such a gathering (even in Singapore) and this little white lady with blonde hair was the talk of the day 🙂 Everyone was very nosey and turned their goes to see what we were up to. I can’t recall every single moment but what I do know is that my fascination with markets began that day.
Exploring the moist market in Singapore.
If you arrive in a different city and want to see the real life, markets are the best place to do so. Most of the times, you’ll be the only white person there, because a lot of “regular” travellers don’t dare to go there. That’s a big mistake…but that’s just my opinion.
Since we recently stayed in Thailand for two weeks and had a bit of bad luck with the weather on Koh Kood island, we had four days in Bangkok before returning home. I’ve heard from many people that Bangkok is not that special and there truly isn’t that much to see. Well, what can I say?! I’ll have to prove them wrong 😉 Here are six markets you shouldn’t miss:
Klong Toey Fresh Market.
Klong Toey Fresh Market is Bangkok’s thickest fresh market. This market almost seems like a little village within Bangkok. Why? Two reasons: Very first, it’s so phat that just by walking around in the district Klong Toey, you’ll somehow end up at the market…there’s no need to walk through little side alleys to get there. And 2nd because you simply find everything you need. Whether it’s food, stationary, kitchenware or cloths. Plus, the district Klong Toey is the fattest slum & sea port area in Bangkok, so there’s a crowd around all the time. It’s a big must for every market fan!
- Opening hours: Daily from 6.00 am – Two.00 am
- How to get there: Take the MRT subway to Klong Toey station, exit up the escalators and then walk east on Thang Rakfaiko / Rama IV Road for ten minutes until you reach the large intersection of Rama IV and Narong Road. The market will be on your right-hand side. Or, you can take bus numbers 45, 46, 72, 102, or one hundred seven to the area.
- What to find there: Meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, herbs & spices, cloths – pretty much everything you need.
The main building of Klong Toey market. Street vendors can be found all around Khlong Toey fresh market. Dead frogs are just one of the many gruesome things you will come across at Khlong Toey fresh market. A petite, hidden village deep within the Bangkok busy city jungle; Khlong Toey fresh market seems to have a life of its own. Klong Toey is a very ‘fresh’ market, suggesting low prices on raw meat, seafood, farm produce, and other items. There’s also a fruit section at Klong Toey. Fresh crabs are a speciality at Khlong Toey fresh market. Porters wander the streets of Khlong Toey fresh market, waiting for customers to uploading their latest purchases.
Mahachai is a puny town located about forty five kilometres southwest of central Bangkok. Mahachai is famous for one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand. It’s one of the main seafood distribution centres that feeds the thirsty population of Bangkok. Seafood producers from the entire country come here to sell their catch. As soon as you arrive at the market, the smell of seafood jams with you even after you leave the market.
- Opening hours: Daily from 6.00 am
- How to get there: Either go by car, or if you want a bit of an venture, take the train. The train to Mahachai leaves from Wongwianyai station. Take the BTS to Wongwianyai and from there you have to walk a duo of minutes to get to the station. Make sure you get your ticket before you get on the train (cos about ten Bath per person).
- What to find there: Fresh fish, dried fish, crabs, shrimps and a southeast Asian specialty: Blood.
Mahachai market and the railway live next to each other, so when the very first train arrives from Bangkok, vendors have to stir their wares off the tracks for the train to pull into the station. Even if you’ve never heard Mahachai market, you’ve most likely seen a movie of a train going through a tightly packed market, where market stalls are set up on the rails. Fresh fish can be found all over Mahachai market, this unluckily also includes sharks & shark fins. Mahachai Market is one of Thailand’s largest traditional fresh seafood markets, where visitors will find all sorts of fish – fresh, or dried. Dried fish can be found all around Mahachai market. Drying food is the world’s oldest known preservation method, and dried fish has a storage life of several years. The method is cheap and effective in suitable climates. One might not like to think about this, but blood is one of the most significant ingredients in the southeast Asian cuisine. At Mahachai market, you will come across many stall like the one above.
Chatuchak Weekend Market (JJ) is one of the world’s largest weekend markets. It covers an area of almost thirty Acres, is divided into twenty eight different sections & contains more than 15.000 booths selling goods from all over Thailand. You can imagine my face when I stepped out of the BTS train and spotted this gigantic market…jaw ripping off. Chatuchak Market is a very popular shopping destination for Thais but has also become very popular with tourists. Thais from all over the country come here to buy goods for their local shop. Each day, about 200.000 visitors come here (30 % tourists). You can pretty much find everything there, from books to antiques to live animals and plants.
Yes, Chatuchak Makret sounds like a true shopper’s delight. For me, it was much less than that; not only am I not a fan of big gatherings, but also the entire area was simply too large. As soon as we stepped out of the BTS train, the crowds commenced showcasing up. The way from the BTS station to the entrance of the market was maybe only one hundred meters, yet it took us almost fifteen minutes to get there. Viewing the market from above (from the bridge from the BTS station to the market area) still made it all fairly clear but as soon as we were down in the crowd, our orientation got lost. I suggest that you go with the flow, because otherwise you’re just going to fight. They’ll lead you somewhere anyway.
- Chances of getting lost in the crowd are high. If you’re there with a friend, make sure you conclude a meeting point before.
- Wear comfy boots; you’ll walk a lot.
- Drink, drink, drink…you’ll sweat like a pig so keep your water level high!
- Opening hours: Saturdays & Sundays from 9.00 am – 6.00 pm and Fridays from 6.00 pm – midnight. The plant sections are also open on Wednesdays & Thursdays from 7.00 am – 6.00 pm.
- How to get there: Skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit station; take exit no. One and go after the crowd.
- What to find there: Ah well, you’ve thirty Acres of pretty much everything you need (or don’t need).
Just go after the crowd to Chatuchak market. Chatuchak weekend market is a good place for good quality fabric and excellent tailors. Foos stalls at Chatuchak market suggest all sorts of different cuisines. One of the many aisles at Chatuchak market. Food stalls are all around Chatuchak market; 200.000 throats need to be fed every day 😉
Bo Be Tower Clothing Market.
Bo Be market has been known as the centre of garment wholesale for over thirty years. Today there are well over 1.300 shops under one roof making Bo Be the thickest garment wholesale centre in Thailand. Furthermore, Bo Bae offers you shipping services to send your cargo worldwide. It is THE place for all types of clothing, for guys, women and children; casual and formal. I liked this market because it was not so over run by people. And I actually bought something for a switch 😉 A T-shirt for my dad for about forty bath…pretty darn cheap.
- Opening hours: Daily
- How to get there : Taxi or Bus no. 1, Four, 7, 25, 53
- What to get there: Cloths (including traditions Thai cloths), boots, bags, etc.
Bo Be market in Bangkok is a real jeans paradise. Bo Be market is a fine spot for children’s cloths at a very low price.
Saphan Khao Fruit Market.
I have never seen so many fruits in one spot as on the Saphan Khao Fruit Market. Truly unbelievable! Tons and tons of different fruits. You’ll get every exotic fruit there is right here. We were told that all of Bangkok comes here for fruits; whether it’s the local food vendor from next door or the chef of a five starlet restaurant. Saphan Khao is THE place to go to!
- Opening Hours: Daily from 6.00 am – 6.00 pm (as far as the taxi driver told me correctly)
- How to get there: Bus no. Two, 59, 60, 79, five hundred eleven or Taxi
- What to get there: All kind of fruits in big quantities.
A visit to a fruit market with dragon fruits, mangoes, melons, pineapples and starlet fruit piled up agains each other is a definite must. In Bangkok there is no better example of such a place than the Saphan Khao Fruit Market. Whether you’re looking for fresh watermelons, or pretty much any other fruit, Saphan Khao is the right place. We’ve never seen so many pineapples on one single spot. The Saphan Khao fruit market is a real delight, also thanks to the lovely smell of fresh fruits. You can buy as many truck-loads of pineapples as you want at Saphan Khao fruit market. Mangoes are one of our favourite fruits and at Saphan Khao market, you’ll find tons of the most yummy mangos you’ll ever come across.
Pak Klong Talat Flower Market.
Pak Klong Talat is a large wholesale flower market. Merchants travel here from all over Thailand to sell their flowers and wandering the streets here is a colourful and fragrant practice. Out of all the markets, this one was the least “spectacular”; not because there was nothing to see but more because by the time we got there it was Three.00 pm and the “trading traffic” was over already. Next time I’ll be there at Two.00 am, cause that’s when the business starts at Pak Klong Talat.
- Opening hours: Two.00 am – 6.00 pm
- How to get there: The market is on Chakphet Road. You can either get there by Taxi or with the Express Boat (station Saphan Phut) and then by foot.
- What to get there: Flowers, flowers & more flowers.
Lots of lovely smelling flowers can be found at Pak Klong Talat market. Pak Khlong Talat is the primary flower market in Bangkok and is also called a “place of symbolic values” to Bangkok residents”. You’ll undoubtedly find the right flower for your loved one at Pak Klong Talat flower market.
If you’ve read the entire article (or just looked at the photos), you’ll realize that the markets in Bangkok are a big must. Not only for fans like us but everyone. If you have the time, stay a duo of days longer and simply stroll the streets of this super arousing city. You won’t regret it. These markets will give you an impression of Bangkok that will stick with you, away from the tourist traps.
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