5 Bangkok's Fresh Markets Travellers Shouldn't Miss


B
angkok fresh markets offer unique experience for foreign travelers. If you want to experience authentic Thai, not the ‘set-up-for-tourists’ ways of life, visiting a fresh market in Bangkok is a must. Life in Thai communities revolves around the fresh market. This is where the most simple form of trade takes place, and people gather to socialize. Amidst fresh produce stalls and bustling carts loaded with commodities, you’ll find the neighborhood’s best restaurants and street food vendors. Retirees gather at traditional coffee shops to get their morning brews and discuss the events of the day. Bangkok fresh markets come in all shapes and sizes. We’ve picked 5 that offer a wide range of sights, smells, and experiences.

Visiting these markets on your own can be a tricky. To make the most out of the experience, you should have a guide to explain what’s going on. Our Thonburi Food & Canals Adventure and Best Eats Midnight Food Tour by Tuk Tuk visit 2 of the most popular fresh markets in Bangkok. Visit the tour pages for more detail or contact us to customize a Bangkok fresh market experience for you.

 

Bangkok Fresh Market #1

Pak Klong Talad Flower Market

Pak Klong Talad Flower Market - Bangkok Food Tours

Pak Klong Talad Flower Market

The biggest retail and wholesale fresh flower market in Bangkok, Pak Klong Talad used to be a fish market in the 19th century. Arriving by car, you’ll see bustling shops and vendors lining up Chakphet Road. But the majority of the vendors are actually under the roofed sections that stretch further away from the road on both sides. The flowers come from upcountry Thailand and around the world. You’ll find lots of flower garlands here, many are made with Jasmine buds and roses.

 

Flower garlands - Bangkok Food Tours

Flower garlands made with Jasmine buds and roses, used as an offering to Buddha and deity

Flower vendor at Pak Klong Talad Flower Market - Bangkok Food Tours

A flower vendor at Pak Klong Talad

The market is open 24-7. Things get sleepy during the day but action kicks-in after midnight until 4am, when trucks from the countryside rumble in loaded with fresh-cut flowers. Now you know where the flowers come from, but where do they go? Flowers are used by Thais as offerings to Buddha, Hindu gods, and other spirits. The offerings take place in temples, at shrines in individual homes, and even in cars. (At red lights, you may see people selling simple flower garlands to motorists who hang them on rear view mirrors to bless their cars and journeys)

 

Betel nut package at Pak Klong Talad Flower Market - Bangkok Food Tours

Betel nut package, used as an offering to Hindu gods

Pak Khlong Talad has more than just flowers, it has a substantial fruit and vegetable selection. Next to the market, Yodpiman River Walk is an open-air heritage-themed mall filled with chain restaurants and high-end shops. This is a good place to dine and unwind before or after the market visit.

 

Fresh produce stall at Pak Klong Talad Flower Market - Bangkok Food Tours

Fresh produce stall at Pak Klong Talad

HOW TO VISIT THIS FRESH MARKET

The market is located just a little more than one kilometer south from the Grand Palace. Simply walk down the Maha Rat Road.
Take the Chao Phraya Express boat to Yodpiman Pier. Walk through the mall and you’ll find the market.
Join our Best Eats Midnight Food Tour by Tuk Tuk  and be guided through the market by a friendly professional guide

 

 

Bangkok Fresh Market #2

Klong Toey Wet Market

Klong Toey Market - Bangkok Food Tours

 

The ‘very’ fresh Klong Toey Market always tops tourist and travel photographer’s Bangkok fresh market experience. The chaotic sprawling fresh market is packed with raw meat, livestock, seafood, fruits and vegetables, clothes, and kitchenware. Floors, wet and slimy, are heavily trafficked by traversing hand trolleys. Shouting vendors call for customer’s attention. Product arrangement and presentation is not their top priority. And there you know you’re at the heart of a real Thai fresh market – as authentic as it can get.

 

A vegetable stall at Klong Toey Market

A vegetable stall at Klong Toey Market

Klong Toey Market is where chef of every level from street food vendors to five-star restaurants daily seek for their freshest ingredients. Curry pastes, herbs and spices that go into your Thai meals are also picked up from here. The market operates 24/7 but is the most lively in wee hours (2am – 6am) when fresh products arrive and more trades happen. If you’re hungry, a few food stalls serve Thai curries and other cooked local dishes.


HOW TO VISIT THIS FRESH MARKET

300 meters from Queen Sirikit National Convention Center MRT Station, Exit 1. From the exit, walk south along the Rama 3 Road until a large intersection. Cross the intersection and the market is on your left-hand side.

 

Bangkok Fresh Market #3

Talad Phlu, Nang Lerng, Ratchawat Foodie Markets

Nang Lerng Market - Bangkok Food Tours

Nang Lerng Market

You probably haven’t done Bangkok right if you haven’t tried street food and restaurants in a fresh market in Bangkok. While the majority of travelers head to Chinatown to guarantee their best street food experience , few know that Bangkokians’ favorite eateries are located in Talad Phlu, Nang Lerng, Ratchawat markets. These are only 3 out of the long Bangkok food market list.

 

Thong Yip Thai dessert - Bangkok Food Tours

Thong Yip, a traditional Thai sweet at Mae Jeng’s Sweet Shop, Talad Phlu

Titled Chinatown of Thonburi, a Bangkok’s district on the west side of Chao Phraya river, Talad Phlu is a community with a long history of good eating. Sprawling around the fresh market are street vendors selling Thonburi’s best specialties. The must-try are Sunee Khao Moo Daeng’s BBQ pork with rice, Kanom Buerng Sarinthip‘s Thai crepe topped with cream and egg yolk threads or shrimp paste, Gao Lao Nuea Peui Talad Phlu‘s braise beef soup, and Krob Krua Tua Glom or Jae Bum’s chive dumplings.

 

Nang Lerng Market's food court - Bangkok Food Tours

Nang Lerng Market’s food court at lunch hours

Chive dumplings at Nang Lerng Market - Bangkok Food Tours

Chive dumplings at Nang Lerng Market

Nang Lerng Market is right in the heart of Bangkok. It’s famous for Thai sweets whose recipes have been passed down for generations. At the center of the market, there is a food court. Several vendors serve Khao Gaeng, steamed rice with your choice of accompaniments. The most famous Khao Gaeng vendor is here Khao Gaeng Rattana.

 

Thai crepes stall at Ratchawat Market - Bangkok Food Tours

Thai crepes stall at Ratchawat Market

Ratchawat is another really old fresh market in Bangkok with numerous street food to try. Go for wide rice noodles with pork in gravy soup at Ma Radna Yodpak, One Star Bet Yang Ratchawat‘s roasted duck, and end your food adventure with coconut puddings at Kanom Krok Kao Wang.

 

Mackerel vendor at Ratchawat Market - Bangkok Food Tours

Mackerel vendor at Ratchawat Market

HOW TO VISIT THIS FRESH MARKET

Talad Phlu

Talad Phlu BTS Station. Get off at Exit 3, turn left on Ratchadapisek Rd., and walk 10 minutes. Once you cross the train track, the market is on the right. This market is featured in our Thinburi Food & Canals Adventure (Combo Food + Boat Tour)

Nang Lerng Market

10 minute walk from Democracy Monument.

Ratchawat Market

3 km from Victory Monument BTS Station. Get off at Exit 3, take a taxi, Tuk Tuk, or walk.

 

Bangkok Fresh Market #4

Mahachai Seafood & Railway Market

Mahachai Market - Bangkok Food Tours

Grouper fish at Mahachai Market

Technically this market is not in Bangkok. It’s in Samut Sakhon province, 50 km away from Bangkok. Trekking out from the city just to see the seafood market might be a ridiculous idea, but if you start early and continue further to Amphawa Floating Market, it will be a full day filled with fun and local travel experience.

Mahachai Market sits on the Tha Jeen river where it flows into the Gulf of Thailand so you can see big and small fishing boats parading and docking as a view. The chaotic and rustic market sprawls around Mahachai Train Station. Under roofs and awnings, arrays of vendors offer fresh fish, crab, prawn, squid, eel, shells and other critters of the sea. Many are still alive.

 

Tha Jeen river - Bangkok Food Tours

Tha Jeen river in Mahachai

Similar to the famous Maeklong Railway Market, you can watch a train rolling into the station and vendors frantically moving their baskets of fish and produce out of the way here. Trains arrive at the station pretty much every hour. So if you hang out here long enough, you’ll definitely catch the action.


HOW TO VISIT THIS FRESH MARKET

From Wong Wian Yai BTS Station, get a commuter train at the adjacent Wong Wian Yai Train Station. Trains leave Wong Wian Yai to Mahachai train Station every hour from 5.30 to 8.10pm. The trip takes one hour.

 

Bangkok Fresh Market #5

Or Tor Kor Market

Or Tor Kor Market - Bangkok Food Tours

Or Tor Kor Market

 The market was ranked the 4th world’s best market by CNN Go. Much of its high scores go to the pricey and high quality products the vendors offer, landscaping, and the hygienic environment (nothing like other fresh markets especially Klong Toey.) The products here are either imported or are Thai specimens that would be exported to foreign markets themselves.

 

A jewellery vendor at Or Tor Kor Market - Bangkok Food Tours

A jewellery vendor at the non-food section, Or Tor Kor Market

There is also a food court with stalls selling cooked Thai dishes like curries, noodles, and plenty of snacks like pork skewers and Thai sweets. If you plan to visit Chatuchak Weekend Market, allow some time for this market. It’s only one subway stop away.

 

Khao Gaeng - Bangkok Food Tours

Khao Gaeng or steamed rice with a variety of accompaniments at the food court of Or Tor Kor Market

Mackerels in curry - Bangkok Food Tours

Mackerels in curry

HOW TO VISIT THIS FRESH MARKET

Kamphaeng Phet MRT Subway Station, Exit 3

 

5 Bangkok's Fresh Markets Travellers Shouldn't Miss_info graphic

5 Bangkok’s Fresh Markets Travellers Shouldn’t Miss