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 Talad Rot Fai, 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 zones with these 5 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 mini Chatuchak just 10 minutes from Rot Fai
Make a 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 here. It’s Hua Mum Market, which 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 crepes and pandan waffles while strolling leisurely around.
Traditional fare aside, there are also some stalls selling wacky stuff like these cute cartoon buns
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 perfect #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: 5PM-12AM, Daily
2. Siam Gypsy Junction Market – rustic market by a train track
As you enter Siam Gypsy Junction Market, there’s a beautiful mini garden with colourful lights that give off a whimsical effect. This was one of my favourite markets in my night market romp across Bangkok, precisely for its eccentric character.
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. The food here is quite cheap too – you can get mookata for ฿250.
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: 5PM-12AM (Closed on Tuesday)
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 bustling night market scene we’re used to.
It’s got lots of stalls selling Thai fare at lower prices compared to the more touristy ones – like this crab-in-a-bag!
Head up to the 2nd floor for a great view of the 500+ stalls below
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 – quirky flea 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. And 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 the city.
There’s a sheltered tentage area 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.
You’ll also see quirky food and drink stalls around, such as this slushie drink with of jelly, pearls and overall syrupy sweetness oozing all over
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 night market I came across in Bangkok, and I loved exploring every nook of it. So if you have a couple of hours to spare, take the drive out to Owl Market.
Address: 14/87 Thanon Liang Mueang, Tambon Bang Kraso, Amphoe Mueang Nonthaburi, Chang Wat 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’.
5. Ramkhamhaeng University Night Market – ฿100 market for university students
I call this the ฿100 market because everything appears to be priced at exactly that. Ramkhamhaeng University Night Market is a market primarily for the locals, so there’s no fancy 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 and accessories.
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.
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: Thur-Tue: 4PM-11PM (Closed on Wednesday)
Uncover these hidden BKK treasures
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 something new to discover.
This article was written by Alexandria Schoon for TheSmartLocal.com in collaboration with Amazing Thailand.