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One of my favorite things to do in Bangkok is visit the vibrant marketplaces — and you guys love to read about it! Some of my most popular posts are on Chatuchak Market, the Vespa Market, and the nighttime Flower Market.

I was pretty crestfallen to learn that the Vespa Market is at least temporarily closed down — I wasn’t able to get much information from the security guards at the site. From my sleuthing I deduced they might be trying to build a shiny new official marketplace which in my opinion will kind of ruin the spirit of what was once my favorite bohemian Bangkok hotspot.

In an effort to salvage Saturday night, my friend Wes and I did a quick Google search and hopped on the Bangkok underground to Kampaeng Phet, where we hoped that the Talad Rot Fai market would soothe our disappointment.

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Following Gran Tourismo’s impeccable directions, we easily found the market — though to be fair, we could just have easily followed the vintage-skinny-jean-and-thick-rimmed-glasses-wearing hordes. It took all of about ten minutes of strolling past the atmospheric cafes, ramshackle popup bars and stalls of retro treasures before Wes and I declared Talad Rot Fai the only place to be on a Saturday night in Bangkok.

The aisles of goods are the heartplace of the market, though equally as active are the food stalls and more formal restaurants that line the exterior of the market. With live music and a buzzy atmosphere, you could easily watch a few hours tick by people watching and snacking after a good dose of shopping.

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Oh, the shopping. While I rarely buy physical things on my travels — things work into my budget nor fit in my backpack — I was sorely tempted by the antique cameras, vintage furniture and charming little knick nacks. In the end I walked out empty handed but was satisfied simply by browsing and taking photos.

Towards the back of the market where the food stalls are the goods were more mainstream and what you would find on Khao San or at Chatuckak, so try to stick to the area near the Kampaeng Phet Road entrance. While there might have been some touristy items back there, we were delighted to be some of the only Western faces we saw all evening — this is a true local experience.

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

In addition to snacking our way through the browsing-and-people-watching portion of our evening, we each tried a few of the delicacies on offer from various food vendors in the market section. I can’t remember the name of the colorful balls, but they had a flavorless, marzipan-textures exterior with an ice-cream like center. To be honest, I liked photographing them better than eating them. The Fu-Ri-Do, on the other hand, won my heart forever. It was basically a glorified roti. Oh, and Wes would probably have my head if I didn’t mention the bacon-wrapped pork things he went on about. Bottom line — come hungry.

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Talad Rot Fai, Bangkok

Visiting Talad Rot Fai (and spending time with Wes!) was the highlight of this particular jaunt through Bangkok — my third since arriving back in Southeast Asia! The combination of lively nightlife, a fun dining experience, authentic local atmosphere and shopping that would make a Brooklyn hipster weep with happiness is simply unbeatable. If you’re in Bangkok on a Saturday night, you’d be crazy to be anywhere else.

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39 Comments...
  • memographer
    April 3 2013

    I love market photos. And this set is great, Alex! Love an old TV in a pic. 5 years from now it will be a very unique photo 🙂 And once again, you look good in black-n-white.
    memographer recently posted..Discovering South America: Peru and Chile

    • Alex
      April 4 2013

      Thanks! I usually give the black and white effect to photos that are shot in weird lighting… it’s the only way they can be salvaged 🙂

  • Olivia
    April 3 2013

    GIVE ME THAT ROMPER

    • Alex
      April 4 2013

      I’ll try to find you one in Bangkok 🙂

  • Jenna
    April 3 2013

    What a cool place–looks like a great spot to spend an evening! It’s too bad the colorful balls don’t taste as good as they look!
    Jenna recently posted..A Canal Ride Through Ghent

    • Alex
      April 4 2013

      Win some, lose some! At least I’m getting a tad more adventurous in my eating 🙂

  • Sam
    April 3 2013

    Hahah I felt the exact same way about those little marzipan balls of ice-cream. They are so darn adorable though! I need to be back in Thailand !
    Sam recently posted..A Very Good Cantina {Miss Margaritas, Byron Bay}

    • Alex
      April 4 2013

      Or… Gili Trawangan! Come visit, I’m here all month 🙂

  • wes
    April 4 2013

    When your palate matures, you’ll grow to like those ice cream things.

    I felt this post really transported me there. It’s as if I was there with you. Oh, right.

    ;b

    • Alex
      April 4 2013

      I hope you’re going back in two night’s time! I believe it was actually you who declared it “the only place to be in Bangkok on a Saturday night.”

  • TammyOnTheMove
    April 4 2013

    What an awesome place! Thanks for sharing!
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Everest Base Camp chronicles

    • Alex
      April 4 2013

      Sometimes I am tempted to keep places like this a secret… but where’s the fun in that? I love to share!

  • Jeremy
    April 4 2013

    Is this only open on Saturday nights, or was that just the night you happened to visit?

    • Alex
      April 5 2013

      Just on Saturdays and Sundays! 🙂

  • marvin nubwaxer
    April 4 2013

    http://www.alexinwanderland.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Talad_004.jpg
    i thought that would be a hipster outdoor lounge

  • Ash
    April 5 2013

    Thanks for Sharing this beautiful Post….Alex you describe all this beautiful things in Amazing way! Loved it 🙂

  • Mary R
    April 5 2013

    These are great night shots! You really captured how vibrant those Thai evening markets can be. Like you, I usually don’t collect things on my travels, but am content with the images and memories.
    Mary R recently posted..Food Window Displays in Rome

    • Alex
      April 6 2013

      I hope I don’t regret it someday when I hopefully have an apartment somewhere that I want to fill with beautiful things! Maybe that is when I will finally make canvas prints of photos from my travels 🙂

  • Love this! I like to try and give myself a shopping day at the END of my SE Asia-based trips so I don’t have to lug stuff around. This spot will def be on my next venture!
    Angela (Travel with a Purpose) recently posted..Murals and Mamacitas: A Walk in Guapulo, Quito

    • Alex
      April 6 2013

      I’ve planned a weekend in Bangkok before I fly home at the end of May for this exact purpose! I’m guessing a lot of my things will end up going in the bin as well…

  • Adam
    April 6 2013

    This market looks awesome! I’m always looking for places like this when I travel so it’s top of my list for my next Bangkok visit. Thanks for sharing Alex!
    Adam recently posted..Top 10 awesome Toronto attractions

    • Alex
      April 7 2013

      No problem Adam! If the Vespa market is reopened by then hopefully it will still be worth a peek as well!

  • A.Grace
    May 27 2013

    you will be sad to hear that it is undergoing demolition. i am. don’t know the extent of it but you can see the pics on their fb page.

    • Alex
      May 28 2013

      I am very, very sad to hear this! The Vespa Market was first to go, and now this… I’m heartbroken!

  • Tim
    May 28 2013

    The Thai State Rail Authority has just demolished the marketplace last night after promising the vendors six months to find a new place 🙁 Too bad, that market isn’t anymore, very sad about it, it was my favorite.
    Tim recently posted..Patpong Night Market Video

    • Alex
      May 28 2013

      I am devastated to hear this! Do you have any idea why? What a sad loss for Bangkok.

  • Giselle and Cody
    May 31 2013

    We just heard the sad news today after planning to go back to Rot Fai tomorrow evening 🙁
    Sad news. We loved that market.

    • Alex
      May 31 2013

      My heart sank when I heard. I can’t fathom what the decision making process was there. Such a gem, destroyed.

  • jadeite
    June 12 2013

    “ตลาดนัดรถไฟ…จะมีที่ศรีนครินทร์ ที่เดียวก่อน!!! โดยจะเปลี่ยนวันทำการสำหรับโซนตลาดนัด..เปิดขาย ศุกร์, เสาร์ และอาทิตย์ เหมือนที่จตุจักรเดิม…โดยจะเริ่มขาย ศุกร์ที่ 14 มิ.ย.นี้เป็นวันแรก ”

    According to the Tarad Rod Fi website, they are reopening at Srinakarin, behind Seacon Square. Sadly it’s quite out of the way and hard to reach… they will be open for business this weekend, June 14.

    Here’s some extra information that might help.

    http://bk.asia-city.com/bangkok-venue/rod-fai-market-srinakarin

    devastated that the market is no longer operating at Kamphaeng Phet :(((((

    • Alex
      June 14 2013

      Thank you for the update for everyone who stumbles on this post… sorry to hear it’s been relocated to such an inconvenient spot!

  • jadeite
    June 12 2013
  • patricia
    October 22 2013

    I was trying to get an idea of what the market looks like before my trip and I must say, love all the photos. Thanks 🙂

    • Alex
      October 23 2013

      Patricia, I will warn you that as other commenters have noted it seems that Talad Rot Fai may be closed now! I’m not in Southeast Asia anymore so sadly I don’t have any on the ground information 🙁

  • jadeite
    November 26 2013
    • Alex
      November 27 2013

      That is amazing news! Thank you so much for helping to keep this post updated and relevant… this makes me miss Bangkok very much.

  • Thanks for the fabulous suggestion. We went to this market and it was such an unforgettable evening. It’s so different than anything else we experienced during our short stay in Bangkok.

    • Alex
      October 15 2016

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed Jen. I’m not even a shopper and the markets are the best part about Bangkok.

  • Noi
    February 12 2017

    Hi Alex, I’m glad you enjoyed talad rod fai, it is a fantastic market and it gave me inspiration for my rustic website lol

    There is another train market behind esplanade at Thailand Cultural Center MRT, more cheap bars and a large market too.
    Noi recently posted..Rustic chandeliers and Edison chandeliers, a guide to the best

    • Alex
      February 15 2017

      Hey Noi! My boyfriend actually went to that market recently and loved it… I’ve got to check it out for myself one of these days!

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