Bangkok, Thailand





Sampeng Lane
Typical for Yaowarat are its small crowded lanes filled with markets, selling almost anything you could possibly imagine. You'll stumble on items for sale as diverse as Chinese medicine, snake blood, Buddhist paraphernalia, toys, ant-killer chalk, car spare parts, teenager accessories and more. Parallel to the big Yaowarat Road lies the market at Sampeng Lane (sometimes signposted as Soi Wanit 1), which opens daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This narrow lane, at some places has a width of less than a metre!

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Market in Sampeng Lane by Globetrotter
The narrow Sampeng Lane was once a shady area thriving on brothels, gambling houses and opium dens but has now a crowded lane of endless ramshackle stores. The lane can roughly be divided into three sections, all of them selling different kind of products at bargain prices. The lower eastern part of Sampeng Lane focuses on cheap teenager accessories including jewellery, toys and hair products. In the middle section, there is more of a focus on shoes, Chinese ceramics and lanterns. Indian merchants have mostly taken over the part west of Rachawongse Road, where you can find fabrics, silk and other clothing. Don't expect high quality in Sampeng Lane, just shop for the heck of it.

Thieves' Market
Located between Chakrawat Rd and Boriphat Rd.
This open-air market was once known for its stolen goods. Now it is mostly known for its combination of garage sales, brassware, blue-and-white porcelain, old furniture and imitation antiques. Not too interesting market for most foreigners though but might be worth a look. Some of its visitors are drawn by the sale of various kinds of musical instruments ranging from guitars to flutes.

Noi Market
Between Soi Wanit 2 and Charoen Krung Rd.
This market is so off the beaten path that you may not even find your way back anymore. Its hidden location gives this market a very local atmosphere, even while tourists are never far away. Vendors at this market sell products from China, fruits and other fresh foods. The most interesting for visitors is the fact that you might get a glimpse of the living rooms of the residents as you walk by and see more of the peoples' daily lives. Nearby is the Sieng Kong Zone, which can easily be combined with a visit to the Noi Market. 

Sieng Kong Zone
Intersection of Soi Wanit 2 and Soi Yaowarat 10.
The area is named after the San Jao Sieng Kong Temple and is the oldest car spare parts market in Bangkok. It is situated in a Chinese neighbourhood and many of the residents work in the garages on the streets. Obviously it is not easy to bring these car parts home but it does make for an interesting walk through the neighborhood. You will come across huge piles of oily car parts, some of them taller than 3 metres! 

Car parts in Sieng Kong Zone by Globetrotter

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