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Markets in Bangkok (Part 1)

Where can you find markets in Bangkok? You will find them right at the doorstep of your hotel. There is a market going on everywhere, at any (reasonable) time in Bangkok. You should go there to be among the Thai people and to do your shopping for a reasonable price.
Should you bargain about the price? Yes, you certainly should because people expect you to do so. But please remember that there is still an Economic Crisis going on in Thailand. So it is not reasonable for you, as a tourist, to try to get everything at the lowest possible price. And: Thai people do not bargain on prices for food! So don't do that.

Directory for these pages about markets:

Part one (this page): - Introduction - Thewes market - Pak Klong Talat
Part two: Markets in -Chinatown - Banglampoo
Part three: - Pratunam market - Bangrak market - Stamp market
Part four: - Chatuchak market
Part five: - Bo Bae (tower) market - Nonthaburi market - Suan Lum Night Bazaar

The smallest market Market at Tha Chang

What is the smallest market? I would say one seller who sits at the side of the street and tries to sell his things to passing people. The left hand side picture above shows you an example of this. Although it cannot be seen from the picture, in the area where this picture was taken (a living area for Thai people) he was the only seller at that time.
A bit larger markets, but still very small, can be found at any place where many people pass. A good example are the piers of the Express Boat Service, especially the ones that are popular or that are near important tourist attractions. On the right hand side picture above you see a small market at the entrance of "Tha Chang", a pier near the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho. See my pages with "landmarks" in Bangkok for more details about the attractions around Tha Chang.

Market at Wat Rakhang (1) Market at Wat Rakhang (2)

Another place where you will often find a small market is a Temple Ground, or the area near the entrance of a Temple. The picture above was taken inside the grounds of Wat Rakhang. You find sellers there that sell Amulets and Buddha images, but you also find small fruit stalls and places to buy drinks or snacks there.
On the right hand picture above you see another quite common view on a Thai market: The seller has fallen asleep. There often are not many customers and in that case a seller may well fall asleep. No Thai person, however, would ever think of stealing anything from a sleeping seller at a market! Such a bad thing is simply "not done"!

A day market (1)) A day market (2)

There are -broadly speaking- two types of markets in Bangkok: general markets and specialized markets (this division is made by me and is not official!) The markets where Thai housewives do their daily shopping will normally be a general market. Food (meat, fish, fruit and vegetables) as well as (simple) clothing and household necessities will be for sale there.
This type of market is widely called a "day market". You see an example above. A day market is often housed inside some building and can be (and usually is) quite large. Outside Bangkok, up country, there will often not be any specialized markets, so you will mostly only find day markets there.

Thewes Market

Thewes Flower Market(1) Thewes Flower Market (2)

One specialized market is Thewes Flower Market. You get there by Express Boat. Disembark at Thewes Pier (Tha Thewes). Pronounce it as Thewet. This market is specialized in plants, seeds and other gardening goods. The market is along a small water ("klong"). If you cross the water you will find a "day market". Maybe this does not come as a surprise, but it is the "day market" pictured above.

Thewes Flower Market (3)

This is the place to buy your tropical plants and tropical seeds, provided that you are allowed to import them in your country! But even if you cannot buy these things, it is a nice market to look around.
As an extra service I mention that you can easily walk from Thewes Market to Wat Indrawiharn with the very large standing Buddha that can be seen elsewhere on my site.

Pak Klong Talat (Flower and Vegetable Market)

Pak Klong Talat Flower Market (1) Pak Klong Talat Flower Market (2)

The Pak Klong Market ("Talat" means "market") is -mainly- a wholesale market for fruit and vegetables, but also a consumers market. The wholesale area is concentrated near the river. The market is on Chak Phet Street and in side-streets on both sides of it. If you are at Wat Pho, follow Maharaj Road with the Chao Phraya River on your right hand side. Walk up and down the market a few times. Do not forget the small streets at both sides and enjoy the best-smelling market in Bangkok!

Pak Klong Talat Flower Market (3) Buy a sweet smelling flower chain!

I always enjoy this market tremendously, but that may be partly due to the fact that the office where I worked for a month during my first stay in Thailand was very close to it. At that time I came on this market daily. Now I go there every year (with my Thai wife) to recall these days. You should not resist these very sweet smelling chains of "love flowers" and buy one for a few Baht! Stay a few minutes to see how they are being made. Say that you like them (which of course is true) and your reward will be a Thai smile.

Pak Klong Talat vegetable market (1) Pak Klong Talat vegetable market (2)

The vegetable market too has a good smell. You can regard Pak Klong Talat as the "Covent Garden" or as "Les Halles" of Bangkok. This is indeed the main trading place for vegetables. Did you not forget to visit the riverside (to see the whosale area) and the building with a market inside? Then you can go on.
The best choices from here are Wat Pho and the Grand Palace on one side and Chinatown and the Golden Buddha on the other side.

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Related Page:
The Floating Market

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This page was last uploaded: September 4, 2010 at 17:22