There are markets all over Bangkok but Talat Rot Fai (also known as the Train Market) is something unique. I had been meaning to visit the market since I moved to Bangkok but I never managed to reach it at its old location near Chatuchak. But in the middle of last year it moved to somewhere closer to home and finally a couple of weeks ago I managed to visit. Though for me it took a bit of hunting to find the market. The directions I’d found said that it was located behind Seacon Square Mall, and as I’d visited the mall a few times before so I thought I knew where to go.
But on walking through the mall and out the back, I didn’t see any market. I wandered down Srinakarin Soi 49 and saw nothing but residential homes. So I walked along the back of the mall through the car park, seeing nothing much but parked cars. Then I finally saw a sign with a giant train and an arrow pointing behind the car park. I figured that’s it – I’ll follow the arrow but walking alongside some shipping containers and a fence, I found nothing but a solid fence. Finally, I followed the fence all the way around to the front of the mall, turned left and saw the actual entrance.
So my advice is don’t go through the mall, instead walk past the mall and head in the direction of Soi 51. Then you’ll see the giant boat and Train Market sign and you’ll know you are heading in the right direction. Follow the arrow on that sign, which takes you down Soi 51 and you’ll end up in the market and behind the malls car park.
Once I found it I was instantly charmed. The market was filled with cute little bars, vintage clothing shops, and hundreds of food stalls. It was a market thriving with people and had so much character. I really enjoyed wandering around, buying little bits and pieces and sampling yummy food. I’d recommend going with a group of people and spending your time leisurely wandering around and sitting in the little bars people watching.
From the 29th of May the market will be changing it’s opening days and hours. It will be open from Thursday to Sunday, 5pm til midnight (depending on curfew!) Check out the markets facebook page for updated opening hours during curfew times.
How to get to there
The market is easily accessible by public transport. Take the BTS to On Nut BTS station, walk towards Sukhumvit Soi 77. Walk down Soi 77 and then cross the road opposite Big C, walk further down Soi 77 until you reach a gap in the fence, where you’ll see Songthaew (Pick up trucks) pulling up. Hop in a number 4 Songthaew, which will head down Soi 77 to the intersection of Srinakarin Road, turn left then do a U-Turn and head towards Seacon Square Mall. If you stay on the Songthaew until just after the mall you’ll see the boat and the sign for the market. Jump out, pay the driver 7 baht and you’ll be on your way.
Check out the markets Facebook page for more information.