The most exciting market is the one that matches the traveller’s expectations, so we are going to give you some clues so that you can find the ones that interest you, based on an overview.
» Floating markets: Taling Chan (1) and Lat Mayom (2)
» Fresh produce markets: Khlong Toey (3), Or Tor Kor (4) and Thewet (5)
» Singular markets: Pak Khlong Talad Flowers (6), Amulets Market (7), Sampheng Lane (8) and Chatuchak (9)
» Other markets: Wan Lang (10), Saphan Khao Fruit (11), Bo Bae Clothing (12) and Pratunam (13)
» Night markets: Khaosan Road (14), Pat Pong (15), Rod Fai Ratchada (16), JJ Green (17) and Khlong Thom Flashlight (18)
The floating markets in Bangkok are spread more by land than along the canals, and there are few left taking into account the high interest they arouse. Today they can be considered as leisure areas in which meals combines with some purchases.
Inside Bangkok, on the shore of Thonburi, there are two floating markets whose main activity takes place on weekends.
Taling Chan floating (1) market has something in particular, it can be accessed through the Thonburi canals in a pleasant boat ride, apart from being a good example of what Bangkok was like before the arrival of the car and the modern asphalt avenues. Open on weekends and holidays. Timetable: 07h00 to 17h00.
But if you prefer an option in which a local clientele predominates, you can choose the Lat Mayom floating (2) market. Being located further from the centre than Taling Chan, there is less affluence of tourists. Open on weekends and holidays. Timetable: 09h30 to 16h30.
We have a post about floating markets
Fresh produce markets
Thais are early risers so that fresh-products markets can be visited from the early morning hours. Therefore, those travellers curious about the authentic Thai daily life should get up early and drop by one of them, the closest one to their accommodation.
They all share a similar atmosphere, lively and colourful, with exotic products and sharp aromas.
The Khlong Toey fresh produce (3) market is an excellent option, well connected with the MRT.
But if you also want to try some of their products such as tropical fruits, then the Or Tor Kor (4) market might be the right one, its facilities are more modern and the presentation of fruits is likely more appealing. This market is located close to the Chatuchak weekend market.
Nevertheless, in the case of staying in Khaosan Road the two mentioned will be far away, while Thewet (5) market is within walking distance.
Thewet market. Open daily. Timetable: 08h00 to 18h00.
Khlong Toey. Open daily/24 hours.
Or Tor Kor. Open daily. Timetable: 08h00 to 18h00.
Three markets depict unique aspects of the Thai social life: the flowers market, the amulets market and Sampeng Lane, but the Oscar goes to… Chatuchak market.
Pak Khlong Talad Flowers (6) market is one of the most picturesque and shows the Thais love for flowers, as an ornament and as a sign of respect and friendship, often elaborating garlands of high complexity. A way to embellish life and the scenery.
Fresh flowers start arriving after midnight, so from that moment on the market is more crowded and exciting.
Open daily/24 hours.
The Amulets market (7) is curious and represents very well the interest of Thais for everything that offers protection or to propitiate good luck in the broadest sense, from fortune to fertility.
Open daily. Timetable: 08h00 to 17h00.
The Sampheng Lane (8) is also very representative, pure Chinatown. Trade has been the main strength of the Chinese diaspora, and here we have the best example, narrow streets with millions of products.
Open daily. Timetable: 08h00 to 18h00.
We only have left the brightest star, the Chatuchak weekend market (9). Everything is sold here. Due to its large size, we recommend coming with a previous list about we are looking for, so as not to walk like a headless chicken.
Open on weekends and holidays. Timetable: 09h00 to 18h00.
Further information click on this post.
The next markets are attractive as long as you have a personal interest in the kinds of products sold or because they are close to your accommodation.
Wan Lang (10) market is next to the Siriraj Medical Museum so that you can combine both in the same visit. There is a bit of everything, very lively.
Weekdays. Timetable: 08h00 to 17h00.
Saphan Khao Fruit (11) market and Bo Bae Clothing (12) market have a local flavour, far from the most tourist areas. On the contrary, Pratunam Wholesale (13) market is located near the most famous shopping centres downtown.
Saphan Khao Fruit. Daily. Timetable: 06h00 to 18h00.
Bo Be Tower. Daily. Timetable: 05h00 to 18h00.
Pratunam. Daily. Timetable: 06h00 to 20h00.
Regarding night markets we can divide them into three groups: markets focused only on tourists, markets that are today popular leisure areas among Thai youth and, the last one, a market that sells a hodgepodge of products.
Markets for tourists
Pat Pong market (15)
It’s situated downtown Bangkok on a street perpendicular to Silom Road, near Lumpini Park. A small useful market in case you need to complete the list of gifts purchases before returning home.
On the sides, there are some bizarre porn shows with a nasty ambience. Bangkok is the sum of all extremes; this is one of them, not the good one.
Daily. Timetable: 18h00 to 01h00.
Trendy markets among Thai young people
Rod Fai Ratchada (16) and JJ Green Market (17) are in fashion. Ideal places to dine, have a drink with friends and walk to watch what treasures the stalls hide.
Both have comfortable access by subway MRT, which runs until midnight.
Rod Fai Ratchada. Thursday to Sunday. Timetable: 17h00 to 01h00. MRT Thailand Cultural Center Station.
JJ Green. Thursday to Sunday. Timetable: 17h00 to 02h00. MRT Chatuchak Station and BTS Mo Chit Station.
Market with a hodgepodge of products
The Khlong Thom Flashlight (18), which operates on Saturdays and Sundays. Not far from Yaowarat Street in Chinatown and not very popular among foreigners, you will find a wide range of products, new and second hand.
Open Saturday 17h00 to 24h00 and Sunday mornings.
Top Ten, in our opinion
- Taling Chang Floating market, because it’s accessible by longtail boat, which allows enjoying the beautiful Thonburi canals.
- Khlong Toey Fresh market, because it’s attractive for those who seek an authentic Thai market of fresh products, quick access by subway.
- Or Tor Kor, more modern than the previous one.
- Pak Khlong Talad Flowers market, remarkable and photogenic.
- Amulets market, curious, a sign of the interest of Thais for the amulets to propitiate the good luck and protection.
- Sampeng Lane, typical of Bangkok, it is worth a visit if you go to Chinatown during the day.
- Chatuchak, the largest one and most complete of the city.
- Khlong Thom Flashlight night market, curious, lively and with a wide range of products, including second-hand.
- Rod Fai Ratchada night market, fashion leisure area among young Thai people. International atmosphere.
- JJ Green Market, similar to the previous one but moreover includes some vintage products stores.