Shopping in Bangkok is far easier and cooler by night. In addition to the much appreciated drop in temperature, the sights, sounds, colours and smells always seem somehow more vivid once the sun has set.
The range of night markets in Bangkok is quite large and each one has their own various specialities and unique feature. Visiting one is part of the tourist experience in Thailand. In popular tourist hotel areas such as Sukhumvit Road, the pavements are given over to vendors by night, usually selling cheap clothes, knock-off brands, tacky nick-nacks and souvenirs. However, it’s worth seeking out a genuine night market for the atmosphere and bargains.
Recommended Bangkok markets
Pratunam Market Complex: situated near to the famous Pantip Plaza, is a great place to seek out those designer goods. Huge amounts of stalls offer a large range of handbags, accessories, t-shirts and fashion. Remember to bargain hard and walk away if you’re not sure if the priced offered is fair.
Pratunam enjoys the cooling relief of air-conditioning, while the surrounding streets are full of interesting stalls that also have a good range of designer goods such as handbags and purses. The inside market is open 24 hours a day.
Banglamphu Market: is near Khao San Road. Mainly used by locals, the market is a good place to buy food and clothing. Another notable market near here is Bo-Be Market; a bustling place that is great for wholesale clothing and fabric.
The Memorial Bridge Night Market: is another night market that sells a large range of different products. Very good bargains can be found here, as the market is less popular with tourists than some of the others.
Patpong Night Market: is very popular with tourists. Situated within the notorious district of Patpong – a place of clubs, sex shows and go-go bars – Patpong Night Market is full of stalls selling fake designer goods at rock-bottom prices.
Suan Luam Night Bazaar: regrettably has now been closed permanently as the Crown Property Bureau plans to develop another upmarket mall and other buildings on this site. It’s an unpopular decision among Bangkokian’s, since this was one of the city’s best night market venues, but commercialisation must go on…
Bargain hard and visitors can bag themselves a very cheap ‘Rolex’ watch or ‘Armani’ handbag. The goods here are of decent quality but tend not to be the real thing. However, an organised effort to clamp down on the sale of pirated goods began at Patpong in late 2009, so they’re likely to appear and disappear.
The Banglamphu area of Bangkok is home to the backpacker Mecca of Khao San Road, which is lined with some great stalls and markets. There is a huge amount of goods on offer here, all at reasonable prices. From swimming shorts to gold, Khao San Road is a great place to pick up some bargains and soak up the atmosphere at the same time. Books, CD’s, movies, trainers, flip-flops, bags and traditional Thai goods can all be found here. Stalls here tend to close around 01:30.
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