If you’ve ever hopped cheap flight deals to Bangkok, you would know all about the city’s famous night markets. Known for crammed stalls, boisterous vendors, and sizzling street food, these corners of the city showcase an infectious energy still ever present even when the sun goes down. At the same time, not all Bangkok night markets are created equal. Some have their fair share of tacky offerings, while others lend a more upscale experience. Regardless of what you’re looking for, Bangkok has a night market for you where you can shop, eat, and be entertained until your drop, or more likely, fall asleep.
1. What You’ll Find
Not all of Bangkok’s night markets are the same. Some are a warren of street food vendors and counterfeit goods, while others are more refined with hip boutiques and trendy restaurants. In essence, if you want to buy vintage items or you’re looking for a more family friendly environment, Bangkok probably has a night market to suit your tastes and needs. And if you aren’t a shopper, many of the city’s night markets provide much more than shopping. Some offer attractions like Ferris wheels or art installations. Others are more food heavy, providing some of the city’s tastiest treats.
2. When to Go
While the term “night market” would suggest the markets occur in the evening hours, many of the markets in Bangkok start and end at different times. Some will begin as early as the late afternoon and go until midnight. Others can last until 1 or 2 in the morning. Also, some markets aren’t open every day of the week. While most run throughout the week, some are only open certain days so it’s always best to check before you head out into the night.
3. Which Markets to Visit
3.1. Chang Chui Plane Night Market
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or a pilot more appropriately, to know how this Bangkok night market got its name. The Chang Chui Plane Night Market centers around a real airplane. Set up in Bangkok’s Thonburi District, this night market provides plenty of shopping, dining, and unusual art displays, including the giant shell of a plane. Catering to a more arty crowd, it is also less tacky than some other night markets in the city, offering fewer opportunities to buy knock-off designer purses and more perusing of trendy boutiques. You’ll also find plenty of bars busting with craft beer and live music. There’s even an entire restaurant dedicated to insects! While a section of the market is open during the day, the night portion runs from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., every day of the week except Wednesday.
3.2. Rot Fai Market
Perched in Srinakarin in Bangkok’s eastern suburbs, the Rot Fai Market is one of the city’s most treasured night markets. Sure, you can find those kitschy market staples, but it’s mostly known for its vast collection of vintage items and antiques. If you’re seeking one-of-kind goods to bring home, the Rot Fai Market will give you more than you could imagine through thousands of stalls. In addition to shopping for collectibles, the market is also filled with plenty of snack stands perfumed with the delicious smells of grilled meats and noodles, along with a number of bars brimming with cocktails. The market is open Thursday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Located south of Bangkok’s Chinatown along the Chao Phraya River, Asiatique is a bit different than some of the city’s other night markets. Built around a restored 1900s pier, this night market is decidedly more polished than some others. Easily accessible by boat, Asiatique offers an organized look at market stalls. It’s also not just about shopping; while the night market boasts 1,500 shops, there are also 40 restaurants. In addition, Asiatique provides attractions ranging from a Ferris wheel to a World War II bunker to a puppet theater. This Bangkok night market crops up from 4 p.m. until 12 a.m., Sunday through Saturday.
3.4. Patpong Night Market
If you want to experience the Bangkok night market of probably your wildest imagination, you can look no farther than the Patpong Night Market. Narrow, chaotic, and teeming with fake goods from watches to purses, this popular downtown night market certainly provides a sensory overload. Not for the impatient or necessarily the whole family (due to some of the more adults-only establishments in the area), you’ll want to put on your haggling hat here as most of the quoted prices are sky high. The Patpong Night Market takes place everyday from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
No two Bangkok night markets are alike. There’s something to suit every kind of personality and desire, making Bangkok the hot spot where adventurous travelers will flock to on cheap flight deals … and so should you! Happy bargaining!