The best markets in Bangkok

From bustling night markets with sizzling skewers and live music to serene floating markets on the edge of the city, these are the best markets in Bangkok for food, vintage fashion, flowers and more

Words by Zenon Misko
Last updated: December 7, 2023
The best markets in Bangkok | A riverboat taking part in the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
A riverboat taking part in the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

In every Bangkok neighbourhood you’ll find colourful, vibrant markets that give a great insight into how Bangkokians live, eat, and shop. Whatever the market, there’s always street food, smoky grills and more often than not, lively restaurants where local lager flows.

Markets are a part of the city’s cultural fabric, beautifully witnessed at Pak Klong Talad (Bangkok’s Flower Market), a key source of floral garlands used as gifts and religious offerings at temples and shrines. Or discover the charming and slower pace of canalside life at Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market in the outskirts of Bangkok.

Khlong Toei Market, one of Bangkok's biggest and most bustling food markets
Khlong Toei Market, one of Bangkok's biggest and most thrilling food markets

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Thailand’s biggest market, must be on every shopper’s bucket list. Where else can you pick up vintage sneakers, rare vinyl, Muay Thai shorts and a pet iguana at one destination?

Be prepared to watch your back for motorbikes and fast trolleys as you navigate narrow alleys in Bangkok’s old town. See what’s trending at open-aired night markets, find pre-loved treasures in the east of the city or bring the family to Asiatique, a riverside promenade with Thailand’s tallest ferris wheel.

The live animals, cheap produce and wet floors of Khlong Toei Market is a raw experience not for the faint at heart, but it’s a photographer’s dream and provides a fascinating look at how Bangkok ticks.

Whether it’s gritty, hip or old, open by day, night or around the clock, there’s a market for everyone in Bangkok. Here are the city’s very best markets.

The best night markets in Bangkok

The best markets in Bangkok | Jodd Fairs Rama 9 Night Market
Jodd Fairs Rama 9 Night Market

Jodd Fairs Rama 9 night market

Huai Khwang

Best for: A hip night market with bars and music. Go for spicy pork spine soup, grilled seafood and craft beer
Address: Rama IX Road, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10320
Open: Daily, 4pm until midnight

See what’s trending in Bangkok’s food scene at a hip and ever-evolving night market under the gleaming high rise condos and shopping malls of Rama 9 neighbourhood. There are gimmicks aplenty, like live squid shots and tattooed burgers. And if you can skewer it, it’s here – including jellyfish, okra and scorpion. Seafood lovers can feast at any number of buzzy tented restaurants, which proudly display fresh crustaceans out front. Leng zabb (a spicy pork bone soup) is the market’s main attraction, with gloves included to help you pull meat off the spine. Themed bars serving craft beers and cocktails bring the tunes and good vibes, while open-aired seating creates an upbeat and communal atmosphere. Stalls selling clothing, jewellery, sandals and more offer a break from the eating frenzy.

The best markets in Bangkok | Srinakarin Train Night Market (Talad Rod Fai Srinakarin)
Outside Srinakarin Train Night Market (Talad Rod Fai Srinakarin)

Srinakarin Train Night Market (Talad Rod Fai Srinakarin)

Prawet

Best for: Vintage fashion and rare antiques, bars with live music
Address: Srinakarin Soi 51, Nong Bon, Prawet, Bangkok, 10250
Open: Thursday-Sunday, 5pm-1am

You never know what you’ll find at this vintage paradise that relocated to Bangkok’s east, famed for one-off antiques, quirky memorabilia and secondhand goods. Wide pedestrian roads are lined with eclectic shops and street stalls selling pre-loved clothing, hats, bags, cameras, toys and an astonishing range of new and old Nike shoes. The discerning eye should explore Rod’s Antique, a treasure trove of old and rare items like furniture, lights, clocks, collectibles and Harley Davidsons. Garages with bright neon signage repair and display vintage cars and highlight the market’s retro theme. Eat and drink at any number of seafood, Korean or Thai restaurants, while small stalls offer trendy snacks, sweets and the usual mishmash of bargain paraphernalia. Bars playing live acoustic music enhance the hip and local vibe. Thursdays are chilled, with the energy ramping up over the weekend.

The best market for absolutely everything

The best markets in Bangkok | Chatuchak Weekend Market
Shoes for sale at Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak

Best for: Shopping nirvana where anything and everything is available
Address: 587/10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok, 10900
Open: Weekends, 9am-6pm; plant market only on Wednesday and Thursday, 7am-6pm; wholesale market only on Friday night, 6pm-12am

If you like what you see, buy it on the spot, as it may be hard to retrace your steps at Thailand’s biggest market. A map is advised for traversing 35 acres packed with 15,000 stalls catering to all desires, including fashion, homeware, art, books, records, ceramics and exotic pets. It takes hours to explore the vintage clothing section alone, where the dedicated rummage through plastic bags to find pre-loved gold. Food and drink is everywhere and offers a welcome break from what can be a hot and claustrophobic shopping experience. Head to Viva 8 for paella, mojitos and house music or 168 Thai Restaurant for a meal in the thick of the hip teen zone where local designers shine. The market gets busier throughout the day, so arriving in the morning is the best way to avoid crowds. Catching the subway or skytrain is a cheap and efficient way to visit from the city centre.

The best traditional markets

The best markets in Bangkok | A tuk tuk at Pak Klong Talad, also known as Bangkok Flower Market
A tuk tuk at Pak Klong Talad, also known as Bangkok Flower Market

Pak Klong Talad (Bangkok Flower Market)

Phra Nakhon

Best for: Wholesale and retail fresh flowers in Bangkok’s old town
Address: Chak Phet Road, Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10200
Open: 24-hours a day

Bangkok’s biggest fresh flower market is an evocative mix of colours, scents and ancient traditions, with a labyrinth of alleys providing an enthralling insight into old town trade. It’s a sprawling precinct made up of roadside florists, backstreet stores and warehouse markets selling Thai and imported flowers, fruit, vegetables, spices and incense at low prices. Watch florists skillfully assemble phuang malai, Thai flower garlands believed to bring good fortune and used as ceremonial gifts and religious offerings. The market is busiest pre-dawn, when flowers are delivered from other provinces. Daytime is sleepier, but trolleys still move at high speed and grippy shoes are recommended for the wet floors. Tongnam Congee is a cute spot for prawn wonton soup in a converted shophouse on the market fringe. Getting here is easy: Rajinee Pier and the striking Sanam Chai train station are located nearby.

The best markets in Bangkok | Wang Lang Market
Street food prepared at Wang Lang Market

Wang Lang Market

Bangkok Noi

Best for: Traditional Thai market and street food experience
Address: Wang Lang Road, Siri Rat, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok 10700
Open: Daily, 9am-6pm

Hop on a boat to the west bank, opposite the backpacking heartland of Phra Nakhon, for a pierside experience reinforcing all that’s great about Bangkok street food. Inside is a maze of narrow alleys, where noodle shops, curry stalls and fried fish ball vendors intertwine with clothing, toy and stationery stores. Outside along Wang Lang Road, even seasoned street food connoisseurs may learn a thing or two from the congested line-up of carts: legendary crepe rolls stuffed with tofu, cucumber, Chinese sausage and shredded omelette are case in point. The range of traditional Thai desserts is impressive, such as colourful rice flour dumplings covered in crunchy mung beans and coconut flakes. Expect a crush at lunchtime when droves of nearby hospital workers descend to eat.

The best local food markets

The best markets in Bangkok | Khlong Toei Market
A backstreet at Khlong Toei Market

Khlong Toei Market

Khlong Toei

Best for: Cheap local produce and in-your-face action
Address: Rama IV Road, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110
Open: 24-hours a day

Brace yourself for pungent smells and raw action at one of Bangkok’s biggest and most thrilling food markets – just don’t wear your best shoes. Watch your back for motorbikes and produce-filled trolleys as you navigate rows of fresh fruit, vegetables, raw meat, seafood, live animals and all kinds of ingredients at dirt cheap prices. It is open around the clock but is most electric at dawn, as eager locals buy in bulk for restaurants and stalls across the city. Meander the back lanes for a change of pace and see residents go about their daily lives. Street snacks are scattered throughout, but limited; your best bet is Heng Chun Seng, a popular Thai beef hot pot restaurant at the back of the market.

The best markets in Bangkok | Or Tor Kor Market
Traditional dishes at Or Tor Kor Market

Or Tor Kor Market

Chatuchak

Best for: A farmers’ market selling fresh, seasonal and organic produce, located next to Chatuchak Weekend Market
Address: 101 Kamphaeng Phet Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok, 10900
Open: Daily, 6am-6pm

Discover Thai ingredients in all their glory at this pristine fresh market, which was set up in 1974 to support farmers. Seasonal fruits like pomelo, mangosteen and durian are immaculately presented; gigantic river prawns are a true spectacle; and packaged sweets, chilli pastes and dried stingray make for interesting gifts. Locals queue for takeaway soups and curries, while in-market purchases can be eaten on the spot, and a top notch food court features pork satay, coiled Chiang Mai sausage and an egg-wrapped pad Thai. Adjacent grocers are well stocked with organic vegetables, eggs and raw rice. Time your visit to coincide with Chatuchak Weekend Market (listed above), which is just over the road.

The best markets in Bangkok | Seri Market
Seri Market is a covered fresh market

Seri Market

Prawet

Best for: Thai street food, organic produce and artisanal ingredients
Address: 61 Srinakarin Road, Nong Bon, Prawet, Bangkok 10250
Note: There is another Seri Market at 999/5 Rama 9 Road, Suan Luang, Bangkok (next door to The Nine Center Rama 9 shopping mall)
Open: Daily, 8am-8pm

Thailand’s first air-conditioned fresh market offers one of the best line-ups of local cuisine in town, with a friendly and engaging atmosphere not found in regular food courts. The choice is overwhelming, but the market is calm and ordered, encompassing huge pots of curry, smoky woks, organic produce and colourful Thai sweets. Street food classics include braised pork leg, boat noodles or chicken rice. For something different, try stir-fried catfish, pickled fruit or stuffed bitter melon soup. Kitchenware, plants and artisanal ingredients are available for the home. One of Bangkok’s largest vintage night markets, Talad Rod Fai, is located nearby and a great add-on.

The Best floating market in Bangkok

The best markets in Bangkok | A riverboat taking part in the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
A riverboat taking part in the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

Taling Chan

Best for: Day trip from central Bangkok for a local canalside floating market experience
Address: 15 Bang Ramat Road, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170
Open: Weekends, 8am-5pm

Escape the city for old charm, natural beauty and a glimpse of life on the canal on the outskirts of Bangkok. Tourists and locals ride wooden longtail boats along a narrow and quaint waterway, still used to this day as a means of transportation and trade. Floating vendors sell fruit, vegetables, snacks and plants, but the real action is in the bustling canalside marketplace jam-packed with fresh produce, street food and exquisite desserts. There’s plenty on the grill, like Isaan-style chicken, salt-crusted fish, skewered squid or stuffed green peppers. Local clothing, basketware and souvenirs are available throughout. Snag a bamboo picnic table and listen to a live Thai band while you eat. A little bridge leads to The Pine – a cafe retreat with pet tortoises, hungry bunnies and cacti for sale. Communal boat tours are cheap and include a visit to a nearby temple and orchid farm. Catching a taxi is the most convenient way to make the 20 km journey from central Bangkok.

The best family-friendly market

The best markets in Bangkok | Asiatique
Asiatique is a former port converted into a shopping promenade

Asiatique

Bang Kho Laem

Best for: Family-friendly riverside dining and Thailand’s tallest Ferris wheel
Address: 2194 Charoen Krung Road, Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120
Open: Daily, 11am-12pm

Embrace the history of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River at this former port, repurposed into a shopping, dining and family-friendly village and waterside promenade. Converted sawmills are filled with Thai and fusion restaurants, casual food markets, beer gardens and small stores selling local clothing, accessories and jewellery. Visitors queue for a high-end dining experience aboard The Sirimahahannop – an impressive replica three-masted ship, which is permanently docked here. For something novel, sit at the bar in an intimate glasshouse serving grilled seafood, steak and top shelf drinks. Pamper yourself with a massage, manicure or foot exfoliation at the fish spa. For little explorers, there’s a haunted house, two-storey carousel and Thailand’s tallest ferris wheel.