Alternative night markets in Bangkok
Bangkok’s night markets always hold an extra special something in our hearts, and no matter the hundreds of times we’ve frequented the likes of Chatuchak and the Rot Fais, our feet always seem to take us back there - Every. Single. Time.
But keep sticking to our regular haunts and we’ll probably never have the pleasure of unearthing more of the wonder and beauty that Bangkok holds. Venture out of the usual tourist zone with these 5 extremely local and un-touristy night markets - you’ll be amazed at how many treasures Bangkok has been hiding right under your very nose!
1. Hua Mum Market - a baby Chatuchak just 10 minutes from Rot Fai
Take a teeny-tiny detour if you’re on your way to Rot Fai 3 at Kaset-Nawamin - because there’s actually a huge night market less than 10 minutes from there! And while it illuminates a long stretch of road, Hua Mum Market (pronounced Hua Moom) actually passes under the radar of most tourists.
For some reason, only the locals flock here, and an air of total relaxation just seems to rest over the entire market. Munch on traditional Thai food like stir-fried meat with sticky rice, or sweet treats like sweet bread dough, crepes and pandan waffles while strolling leisurely around.
Traditional fare aside, there are also some stalls selling wacky stuff like these cutely cartoon-designed buns with a myriad of fillings
There’s also a stall that makes these colourful mocktails with dry ice poured above the drink to give it a cool, smoky hipster feel
Bars upon bars line both sides of the pathway, with some of them having 2 storeys so you have a better aerial view of the entire market.
Cross a bridge with arches illuminated in bright light - it’s a perf #OOTD setting!
Hua Mum has lots of open areas over here, both for chilling and for people to perform if they so wish. Skip the touristy night markets for something with similar fare but a totally different vibe.
Note: The other name for Hua Mum in Thai is ‘หัวมุม Market & More’, meaning Corner Market and More.
Address: 11 Prasert-Manukitch Rd, Lat Phrao, Bangkok 10230, Thailand
Nearest MRT: Lat Phrao
Opening Hours: Tue - Sun: 6PM-12AM
2. Siam Gypsy Junction Market - rustic vintage ware market by a train track
The Siam Gypsy Junction Market was one of my favourite markets in my night market romp across Bangkok, precisely for its eccentric character. Rustic and worn-down furnishings adorn the entire place, and it seems more like a mini village living in its own pre-2000s bubble, away from the rest of the world.
As you enter, there’s a beautiful mini garden with this giant tree with colourful lights twined around its branches for a whimsical effect. Sit down for a second and pretend you’re in Japan under ever-blooming cherry blossoms.
Vintage items like old books, comics, MP3s, & CDs are spread out on the floor near the market’s entrance
If you’re looking to furnish your house with some antiques or quirky trinkets, you’ve come to the right place. Rows of vintage-laden shops stretch out across the first half of the night market, while the next half are bars. Food here is quite cheap too - you can get mookata for 250 Baht (~$S10).
It’s like something right out of an old American Western film, with the shops fashioned like the Old West and even selling Red Indian-inspired stuff!
Siam Gypsy Junction Market stretches out in a straight line for as long as about 4-5 football fields, resting parallel to a train track, which incidentally is part of Thailand’s main railway line. It was an extremely invigorating experience to have the train barrelling past right next to us as we ate!
It’s back to the 1990s with claw machines
For a blast-to-the-past, take a trip to the Siam Gypsy Junction Market, where its vintage items, retro designs and shops with wooden awnings are sure to ignite some nostalgic feelings.
Address: 965/8 Bangkok - Nonthaburi Road, 29 Khwaeng Wong Sawang, Khet Bang Sue, Bangkok 10800, Thailand
Nearest MRT: Bang Son
Opening Hours: Wed & Sun: 6PM-1AM, Thurs - Sat: 6PM-12AM
3. Indy Market - art market with bohemian vibes
Look how magical it looks from above!
Strings of brightly lit light bulbs hang over hundreds of massively colourful tents at Indy Market - a riveting sight to see in the quiet neighbourhood of Thonburi. While Indy Market provides the usual street food and shopping suspects, its free-and-easy ambience is quite atypical of the night markets us Singaporeans are used to.
Crab-in-a-bag with mango salad
This market gives the locals tons of convenience. It’s got lots of Thai food stalls selling Thai fare at lower prices compared to the more touristy ones - you can get full meals like a crab-in-a-bag for just 25 Baht (~$S1), or even a fancy-looking Japanese mackerel bento set for 59 Baht (~$S2.45)!
Mackerel with sushi rice & vegetables
An assortment of seafood cooked in a cheese batter for 40 Baht (~$S1.65)
Strung-up lights just about dominate the market, like at the 2nd floor that doesn't actually take you to any shop but rather, gives you a great view of the 500+ stalls!
Address: Thanon Suk Sawat, Khwaeng Chom Thong, Khet Chom Thong, Bangkok 10150, Thailand
Nearest MRT: Wongwian Yai
Opening Hours: 6PM-12AM, Daily
Note: Not to be confused with Indy Market at Platinum.
4. Owl Market - Bangkok's version of Sungei Thieves Market
Want batteries, microwaves, stereos? Or car parts? Or old paintings? How about a pet or two? The Owl Market has all these and possibly everything else under the sun, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more bizarre market.
Owl Market being literally in the middle of the boondocks next to a wide, open field had me initially worrying that I had led us on some wild goose chase. Because it is actually in the north of Bangkok in the Nonthaburi province, we definitely got to see more of the non-touristy side of Thailand.
Sheltered food stall booths with seating on the side
There’s a sheltered tentage of food stalls with tables for you to sit down and eat, although there are many other stalls in the open area dotting the market too. Your money can really go far here, because everything’s cheaper the further away you are from Bangkok. Just to give you an idea of how cheap it is, meat skewers and fried cheese balls go from just 10 Baht ($S0.40)!
You’ll also see quirky food and drink stalls around, such as this slushie-like drink with scores of jelly, pearls and overall syrupy sweetness oozing all over.
In the evening, people begin unpacking their wares from vans and spreading them out onto the ground
Closer to 7pm, a flea market will start being set up on the extra courtyard space, where all kinds of clothes, trinkets, and outlandish products - like car parts and old machines - will be sold.
Just so you can get a sense of the peculiarity of this market - these strange wires and contraptions are actually for sale
This was by far the strangest and most complete night market I came across in Bangkok, and I loved exploring every nook of this humongous market. So if you have a couple of hours to spare for some languid strolling, take the drive out to Owl Market.
Address: ตลาดนัดเลี่ยงเมืองนนท์ 14/87 ม.1 ถนนเลี่ยงเมืองนนท์ บางกระสอ อำเภอเมือง Chang Wat Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand | Translation: Phra Chedi Nonthaburi 14/87 Moo 1, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
Nearest MRT: Yaek Nonthaburi 1
Opening Hours: 3PM-12AM, Daily
Note: Owl Market doesn’t show up on any map when googled in English, so search for it in Thai as shown above. The nearest landmark is CentralPlaza Rattanathibet, and from there, continue walking past the MRT station ‘Yaek Nonthaburi 1’. Cross the road and when you see some sort of huge open field, you’re at the right place.
5. Ramkhamhaeng University Night Market - 100-Baht market for university students
I call this the 100-Baht market, because literally everything appears to be priced at exactly that. Ramkhamhaeng University Night Market is a market primarily for the locals, so there’s no fancy-schmancy Artbox-esque goings-on here.
Because it’s positioned just opposite Ramkhamhaeng University, everything sold here is practical and really for the everyday student - cheap Thai food like meat skewers, sticky rice in bags, milk tea, and curries, as well as clothes, accessories, etc.
Cheap takeaway food - perfect for students
If you wanna grab cosmetics, clothes, and cute knick-knacks for souvenirs on the cheap, this market has quite an extensive haul, so you’ll probably be able to find lots of steals at every corner.
The 100 Baht sign was literally on every apparel piece, accessory or food stall, so much so that at first, I really thought I was on an episode of Punk’d
I really wasn’t kidding when I said most everything was 100 Baht - these pics are pure evidence! This night market is quite far from the general tourist sites, but if you’re game to check out a new place, you’ll probably come away from Ramkhamhaeng with bags of new buys and a new favourite shopping den.
Address: 2345/1 Ramkhamhaeng Road, Khwaeng Hua Mak, Khet Bang Kapi, Bangkok, Thailand 10240
Nearest MRT: Ramkhamhaeng
Opening Hours: Mon - Tue, Thu - Sun: 4-11PM
Uncover these hidden BKK treasures
We all have an inexplicable pull towards Bangkok, and maybe it’s due to the innumerable new and wonderful things we find with each new trip. Routine might be comfortable, but that means missing out on all the beautiful things the city has to offer. Visit these markets, mingle with the Thais, and immerse yourself in their chatter and hustle and bustle - it’ll definitely be a new experience!
Night markets are a defining feature of Thailand, so if you’ve exhausted the tourist hotspots and have a sense of adventurousness tingling inside, these markets might offer some respite from the crowd, and who knows, you might fall in love with the city all over again!
This post was brought to you by Amazing Thailand.