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Markets Around Bangkok

Markets are an indispensable attraction in Thailand and its capital Bangkok. It can be said of visitors to Thailand that if they never visited a market, they would have no thorough understanding of the country.

Thailand has a wide variety of markets; the floating market is one of the most iconic. If you want to be closer to the lifestyle of the people of Thailand, the night market is one of the must-go places.

There are many day and night markets throughout Bangkok. How should you go about choosing a distinctive one? Let’s see.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

This is renowned as the world's biggest weekend market, where you can find everything you might ever want to buy in Thailand. Arts and crafts, clothes, swimming suits, stationery, food; there’s nothing you can’t find here. When you visit the first time, you will feel that two days is not enough for you to go round the whole market. It's definitely an unforgettable experience, even if you have only 1 day; or just several hours. Remember to watch out for your wallet, for you may easily lose control.

Crowds: the market is only open on weekends from 9am to 6pm and there is no doubt that it will be crowded. It attracts not only locals but also visitors from all around the world.

Getting There from the City Center: the market is 15 kilometers from the city center, next to Chatuchak Park. If you want to avoid the annoying Bangkok traffic, take the BTS (sky train) or subway. Go to Chi Mo station with the BTS, or to Park Chatuchak station with the subway.

Recommended Length of Time to Visit: half a day or a full day

Asiatique The Riverfront

This is the latest Bangkok riverside night market. It’s the home of the sky wheel, known as the Eye of Bangkok. You can have a bird’s-eye view of the city and riverside from a seat on the revolving wheel. There are nice restaurants, shops, and bars all around. Taste some delicious Thai food or drink a cup of iced beer from an open-air restaurant or bar; the breeze from the river will dispel your day’s fatigue.

Crowds: the night market attracts many people after nightfall. They come here for dinner, shopping and entertainment. Please note that there is always a long queue at the free ferry and the ship is very crowded. If you're sitting by a window, beware of waves drenching your clothes.

Getting There from the City Center: it’s more interesting to go to Asiatique after nightfall. Take the sky train to Saphan Taksin Station and transfer to a free ferry, from which you can enjoy the amazing Chao Phraya River night view. The market is open for business until 11pm. Do not forget the time, or you will miss the last ferry back.

Recommended Length of Time to Visit: 2 to 3 hours

Khao San Road

This is a gathering place for backpackers from all around the world and it is also a center for Bangkok's nightlife. When night falls and temperatures decrease, Khao San Road slowly heats up. Hostels, restaurants, bars, shows, massage shops… you can find here whatever you fancy for nightlife.

Crowds: Khao San Road is always crowded and noisy at night and its restaurants and bars are always full of people. For those who like comfort and quietness, it’s not the right place. But for those who want to enjoy all the traditional Thai nightlife in one night, in one place, it can be the perfect unforgettable location.

Getting There from the City Center: Khao San Road is about 11 kilometers from downtown Bangkok. There is no sky train or subway going directly there from the city center. The most convenient way of getting there is to take a taxi.

Recommended Length of Time to Visit: one night

Ratchada Train Night Market

There are two train night markets in Bangkok. One is Srinakarin Train Market, which is popular with young Thai people for its fresh decorations and cute accessories. Another is the Ratchada Train Night Market. This gathers all kinds of Thai street food in one place. What makes it distinctive is its retro second-hand market. The market is only open from Thursday to Sunday, 5pm to 1am. It should be on your must-do list in Bangkok, if you are there on the right days at the right time.

Crowds: this is an unknown night market to most travelers. It has fewer tourists, but it’s popular with the locals. It’s a great place for experiencing the way of life of the local people.

Getting There from the City Center: Ratchada is about 8 kilometers from the city center. You can take the MRT and get off at Thailand Cultural Centre Station, then walk for 5 minutes.

Recommended Length of Time to Visit: 2 to 3 hours

Chinatown

If you love eating and having new experiences, you should go to Chinatown, otherwise known as “Yaowarat”; one of the oldest parts of Bangkok. There are many historical stories associated with the area, blending with the unique and modern styles of the present day.

Yaowarat turns into “food street” at night, attracting many tourists for a meal and a walk. Chinatown is a fascinating place, suitable for all who want a unique taste of vintage culture.

Crowds: Chinatown is very crowded during weekends and at Chinese New Year (falling around late January or early February).

Getting There from the City Center: there are many ways to get to Chinatown from the city center: 1. Take the MRT to Hua Lamphong Station and walk about 15 minutes. 2. Take the sky train to Saphan Taksin Station and transit to the ferry. Then walk about 5 minutes. 3. Go there by taxi.

Recommended Length of Time to Visit: half a day or 2 to 3 hours at night

Amphawa Floating Market

This is a very popular floating market. All kinds of goods are sold from boats in the market, from fruit to household wares, from soup to seafood. There is a great diversity of traditional Thai-style food here. When night comes, you can rent a boat to enjoy the night views from the river; relax and forget your fatigue.

Crowds: opening times are from Friday to Sunday, noon to 8pm. It’s always crowded during market hours. But compared to weekends, Friday is less crowded, especially at nighttime.

Getting There from the City Center: Amphawa is about 80 kilometers south of Bangkok, and it takes about 1½ hours to get there. Take the sky train and get off at Victoria Monument Station. Minivans run the route from there to Amphawa.

Recommended Length of Time to Visit: 2 to 3 hours at night

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

This used to be a market for locals, but it has now become a tourist attraction. It is absolutely crowded but the crowds make it that much more fun. You will feel it’s amazing how people are able to maneuver boats through the jammed canals.

Crowds: this market opens daily from 6am to midnight. If you want to avoid the crowds, you can go there in the late afternoon and stay overnight. The next day, go to the market at 7am or 8am. In this way, you not only avoid the water traffic, but also enjoy the most authentic market atmosphere.

Getting There from the City Center: Damnoen Saduak is about 95 kilometers south of Bangkok, and it takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there. Take the sky train and get off at Victoria Monument Station. Minivans run the route to Damnoen Saduak.

Recommended Length of Time to Visit: 2 to 3 hours at night

Taling Chan Floating Market

If you want to go to a floating market and your time is too limited to go to Amphawa or Damnoen Saduak, Taling Chan Floating Market will give you the same kind of experience; but it’s less commercial.

Crowds: unlike the other famous floating markets, Taling Chan does not have many tourists, but is crowded with locals, so it’s a good place for immersing yourself in local culture and seeing the old styles and traditional ways of buying and selling. It opens from 9am to 5pm on weekends. Here, you may as well enjoy the crowds, because this is the way the locals live.

Getting There from the City Center: Taling Chan is about 16 kilometers from the city center. You can take No. 79 public bus in Siam or Central World Station and the driver will drop you off at a crossroads near the market. You still need to walk about 10 minutes to get there. You can alternatively take a taxi for about 30 minutes.

Recommended Length of Time to Visit: 2 to 3 hours at night

Maeklong Train Station

This is an ordinary train station, but what’s special is that a market sits on both sides of the track and trains go through the market when arriving into and departing from the station. The trains pass 5 cm away from the vendors. The funniest thing is to see the stall holders quickly pulling down their shades when they hear the whistle of an approaching train, to enable the train to pass.

Crowds: Maeklong is far away from Bangkok so there are not many travelers coming here just for the market. But some travelers scheduled to visit Amphawa or Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets will have a quick look at this market on their way, or on their way back to Bangkok.

Getting There from the City Center: Maeklong is 80 kilometers from Bangkok, and is only 15 to 20 minutes from Amphawa or Damnoen Saduak floating markets by car. If you visit these two floating markets, have a quick look at this railway market. You will have fun; a totally different experience.

Recommended Length of Time to Visit: visit when trains pass the market at 8:30am, 9am, 11:10am, 11:30am, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, or 5:40pm. But the trains in Thailand are not very punctual, so if you don’t want to miss them, you’d better go 30 minutes earlier than they are scheduled, and also get in a good position before other visitors come.

Markets Around Bangkok

Name Opening Features Distance Recommended Length of Time to Visit Suggestions
Chatuchak Weekend Market Weekends World’s biggest weekend market 40 minutes Half a day or a full day Go there by sky train or subway to save time.
Asiatique The Riverfront Daily from 5pm-11pm Sky Wheel, river view 30 minutes 2—3 hours Go there and back early to avoid the long queues for the ferry.
Khao San Road Daily Street food, shows, bars 35 minutes One night Not recommended to those who like quietness.
Ratchada Train Night Market Thu to Sun, 5pm-1am Street food, retro second-hand market 23 minutes 2—3 hours Avoid excessive eating and drinking.
Chinatown Daily Street food, temples, local life 26 minutes Half a day or 2—3 hours at night Watch out for cars when walking.
Amphawa Floating Market Fri to Sun, noon-8pm Lifestyle, Thai food, canals 1½ hours 2—3 hours Go there in Friday or stay overnight to avoid the crowds.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Daily from 6am-midnight Lifestyle, Thai food, canals 1 hour and 45 minutes 2—3 hours Stay overnight and visit the market around 7am to 8am to avoid the crowds.
Taling Chan Floating Market Sat and Sun, 9am-5pm Lifestyle, Thai food, less commercial 30 minutes 2—3 hours Take a taxi to save time.
Maeklong Railway Market Daily trains passing at 8:30am, 9am, 11:10am, 11:30am, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, or 5:40pm Trains rolling through the market 1 hour and 45 minutes 30—45 minutes Visit together with Amphawa or Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Go early to allow for early trains.

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