I have lost Karen yet again. Even though I am not the tallest man in the world, here in Thailand I am taller than most and I still can’t locate her. This is the 3rd time it has happened. We are walking through Talat Rot Fai Market (the train market) here in Bangkok and Karen is like the kid in the proverbial sweet shop. She keeps spotting a food stand and disappearing. I shouldn’t moan as she keeps bringing me back amazing Thai delights.
Rot Fai Market Bangkok
We discovered Rot Fai market by accident. We were walking along Sukhumvit and someone gave us a flyer. Normally I would have dropped the flyer straight into the recycling bin but for some reason, we kept this one. A few days later and here we are.
We are actually walking through Rot Fai 2 market. The larger Rot Fai market is located on Srinakarin Soi 51, just behind Seacon Square Shopping Mall. They opened Rot Fai 2 after the huge success of the first market.
The original Taladrod Rot Fai Market grew a massive reputation at its original location next to the train tracks (hence the name) behind the world famous Chatuchak Market in the north of the city. The market was founded by Pairod Roikaew, previously an antique dealer, in 2010. When it was forced to move in 2013 due to an expansion of the BTS Skytrain line, many thought it was the end for this unique venture. Thankfully they found the Srinakarin site and have gone from strength to strength. So much so they now have 3 markets.
Discovering The Train Market In Bangkok
We are loving it here. The market has so much more than food stands. It is actually known for vintage gear from clothes to furniture to collectables. From what I can see it also predominately young Thais who are here too. Make that young hip Thais. They are all rocking up on scooters with funky hairstyles and cool clothing.
Karen is now back with some delicious Thai pancakes. There is a rock band playing just ahead of us with people milling around with bottles of Chiang and Singha beers. It is giving the market a festival vibe which I like. We have been here 30 mins and I can see that we have hardly covered any of the market.
It seems like in the middle of the market are stalls selling everyday household items like washing up liquid, cleaning products and general nik-naks with the food stalls confined to the edges. I am noticing in the distance shipping containers with stalls inside. Let’s go and explore some more.
Now, this has confirmed why this market is considered the best night market in Bangkok. All along the far edge of the market are shipping containers that have been converted into bars, barbers and trendy boutique shops. I could be walking in Shoreditch. There is a DJ blasting out funky tunes in front of us. We are in one of the bars sipping delicious cocktails watching the world go by.
Bangkok is changing. This is our 6th or 7th visit and every time we come the city seems to grow more in confidence. It truly feels like a world city now. Like all modern metropolises, there are changes that we don’t like and there are changes we do like. What we do like is seeing modern young Thais out having fun partying like all young people around the world on a Friday night. If you fancy doing the same, head down to Rot Fai Market tonight. You won’t be disappointed. We are so glad we kept that flyer. Now, where has Karen gone this time?
Rot Fai Market Information:
Talat Rot Fai Ratchada: (The one we visited): Open Daily, 5pm-1am; Ratchadaphisek Road (behind Esplanade Cineplex); signposted and easily reachable on foot from MRT Thailand Cultural Centre, exit 3; www.facebook.com/taradrodfi.ratchada
Talat Rot Fai Srinakarin: Thursday-Sunday, 5pm-1am; Srinakarin Road Soi 51 (behind Seacon Square shopping centre); take the BTS to Udomsuk, and then take a taxi or motorbike taxi for around 50-70 baht; www.facebook.com/taradrodfi
Talat Rot Fai Kaset-Nawamin: Thursday-Sunday, 5 pm 1 am; www.facebook.com/taradrodfi.kasetnawamin
Do you know of any other Bangkok Markets that you would recommend? Please let us know in the comment section below.
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