Bangkok, Thailand




Compared to the modern and glitzy shopping malls in Siam Square, shopping in Rattanakosin has a traditional character with its markets. Like Khao San Road, the markets in Rattanakosin are virtually everywhere but more authentic catering to the local shoppers rather than tourists. Even if you have no intention to buy, the markets are a great place to immense yourself in the lively atmosphere and even people watching.

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Bobae Market
Bobae Tower, 488 Damrong Rak Rd (Talad Bobae Pier, off Krung Kasem Road). Opening: daily from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Bobae Market is very similar to the Pratunam Market, a huge garment market at wholesale prices - you must buy in bulk to get the best deals. Like the market in Pratunam, Bobae Market has its own Saen Saep Express Boat pier, so it's easy to get here. The nearby Bobae Tower has 700 shops selling the same clothes as the market but caters to those looking to purchase in single items. Prices are somewhat higher but at least you are able to fit your buys in your suitcase. Not many tourists know about this market but Russians seem to have found this place (as the Russian signs indicate).

Bobae Market by Gerry Popplestone

Carpentry & Wood Stores
Boriphat Rd (Panfa Leelard Pier, at the back entry of the Golden Mount). Opening: daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The northern end of Rattanakosin's Boriphat Road is lined up with carpentry and wood stores. The wood works are done by very skilled workers (observed from the detailed patterns they create). Taking one home is probably stretching your airline's baggage limit though.

Khlong Lot Night Market
Rachini Rd (Tha Chang Pier). Opening: daily from 6:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.
The night market at Khlong Lot starts around 6:00 p.m. but only gets interesting after 8:00 p.m. The market was previously located along the roads surrounding Sanam Luang for but moved to its present location in 2010 when Sanam Luang was sealed off due to construction work. It's a bit like a flea market as vendors put a blanket on the ground and wait for shoppers to buy their merchandise. Items in sale include toys, dolls, pets, shoes, bags, pants, mobile phone chargers and remote controllers to name a few.

Lang Krasuang Market
Atsadang Rd (Tha Chang Pier, behind the Ministry of Defense and Supreme Court). Opening: daily from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The name of the market literally means "behind the Ministry" and refers to a location behind the Ministry of Defense at Atsadang Road, which runs along Lot Canal. On sale are military items including uniforms, territorial defense student uniforms, shoes as well as travelling accessories like tents, sleeping bags and camping pots. There are nearby shops selling musical instruments.

Phra Chan Market
Phra Chan Rd (Tha Chang Pier). Opening: daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
This is a small market selling mainly clothes. T-shirts are a hot item here and many have a kind of postmodern pop-art style design on them (popular with the local art students). Other items include women's clothing, sneakers and accessories. For food, there are simple lunch restaurants inside the pier building, where you can sit right beside the Chao Phraya River. A simple meal and water will cost you only around 50 baht. These eateries are mostly patronised by the locals, so bring a phrasebook with you.

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