Bangkok after dark is a totally different world. You’ll find everything from night markets to late night shows you probably wouldn’t tell your parents about. If that’s not your thing, you can simply take in the views from a rooftop bar in the city and continue partying in downtown Bangkok.
Bangkok is famous for its nightlife. Many international DJs and party-goers come to Bangkok specifically to enjoy the lively nightlife scene. However, if you prefer a less crazy night out, Bangkok still has so many things to keep you entertained.
Bangkok Night Markets are not to be missed. They’re places for both tourists and locals to come. The smells, the spices, the tastes you’ll experience, will convince you to come back every single night. It’s a true foodie paradise.
The best thing is that Bangkok has tons of awesome night markets all over the city. Every market has a unique theme and sells different things. These are some my favorite Bangkok night markets that should be an essential part of your travel itinerary.
Patpong Night Market
If you haven’t heard of the Patpong district, it won’t take you long to find out about it’s seedy reputation.
Lately though, the region has transformed into a booming night bazaar where you can find souvenirs, gifts, jewelry, and handbags. It’s become one of the best open-air night markets in Bangkok. The market is open from 6 PM to 1 AM. It’s in the area called Silom, where you can spot all the infamous Go-Go bars.
A lot of tourists come here for T-shirts, knock-off name brands, and fashion accessories. The prices are notoriously high. Sellers might double or even triple the price, so make sure you bargain hard when shopping here.
Patpong night market also has a huge variety of food, from international chain restaurants and fancy Thai restaurants to absolutely top-notch street food. Come hungry.
Rot Fai Night Market
If want to experience one of the themed markets, Rot Fai is a perfect night market to go. It is an awesome vintage market.
It’s open from Thursday to Sunday, from 6 pm to midnight. Rot Fai means ‘train market’. The original location is the inspiration of the market’s name. Previously, it was located behind Chatuchak Weekend market, next to the train tracks. However, due to the BTS Skyline expansion, Rot Fai Market was forced to move to another location, which is now on Srinakarin Soi 51 (right behind Seacon Shopping Mall). Even though it’s not near the train track anymore, they’ve kept the name. It’s new location has allowed the market to grow even bigger with more shops and sellers and it’s so much better organized now, too.
Rot Fai Market is one of the biggest and most colorful Bangkok night markets. It has three areas, which are Market Zone, Warehouse Zone, and Rod’s Antiques. Whether you are just walking around and taking in the sights, or you want to shop, Rot Fai Market is an excellent place to go.
The Market zone is the central area of Rot Fai Market. There are over 2,000 vendors here. You’ll mostly find clothing, toys, and homewares. The warehouse area is where you’ll find collectibles and rare items, like vintage fashion, household goods, or used auto parts.
Rod’s antiques section is the premium part of this market. There are some seriously impressive collections of antique cars, bikes, furniture, and home decor here. You may need to buy a second suitcase.
Ratchada Train Market
Since the Rot Fai Market has been so successful, they’ve now created a second version of the train market on Ratchadaphisek Road. The location is way more central and much easier to reach compared to the original train market. It’s open from 5 PM to 1 AM on Thursday to Sunday.
It opened in 2015, and has been successfully attracting hundreds of visitors every week. The market has the same theme, which has a vintage, retro, and artsy vibe.
The market is a long street with vendors who sell antique collections, used toys, clothes, shoes, and handbags. Towards the end of the road, you’ll find some nice bars to chill at for a few hours after strolling at the market. It’s a slightly more touristed version of the Rot Fai market, so if you’re looking for the real deal, head to the original.
JJ Green Night Market
JJ Green Market offers a vibe that is totally different from all the other Bangkok night markets. It has a really bohemian sort of vibe to it, something I didn’t see much of elsewhere in Bangkok when I visited. Many people call it Siam Gypsy Market.
The night market is located close to Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s open from 5 PM to midnight Thursday through Sunday.
There are some permanent stalls that are set up there every day, but others just spread their stuff over the floor at the car park. You can buy some seriously retro stuff, cool clothes from decades gone by clothes, and accessories you might’ve found in your mom’s closet 30 years ago.
Top Tips Visiting Bangkok Night Markets
No matter which market you decided to visit, there are some general rules to enjoy a Bangkok night market at its best.
Go on a food adventure
A Bangkok food experience is every foodie’s dream. This is the city where you can experience the most authentic Thai food sitting on a white plastic chair. It’s crazy to me even now, to think back to the amazing flavors and quality that I experienced from the street food in this city.
Bangkok night markets are the perfect places to find the most delicious and the cheapest Thai food and drinks. You know it’s good because even the locals go here for food.
If you feel tired after strolling around the market, take a short break and buy some snacks or a refreshing cold drink to boost your energy. Definitely try the soup, any and all pad thai, curries, and my all time favorite drink in South East Asia, Thai iced tea. Most things only cost about 30 to 50 Baht ($1-1.5). Most of the food vendors only serve take away food that you can eat while sitting on a little plastic chair or simply on the grass outside somewhere.
And always eat the Mango sticky rice.
Bargaining is the most common thing to do when shopping in Bangkok night markets. In most stalls, you won’t find any price tag. When you ask the price they are definitely making it up on the spot. They’ll see you are a farang (foreigner) and will hike it up to well above what they’re willing to take.
Always be polite and kind when you are bargaining. The rule of thumb is: the more you buy, the lower the price will be for each item.
Obviously, one night won’t be enough to explore all of these amazing night markets. Visiting a Bangkok night market doesn’t mean you need to purchase something, it’s all about the experience. It’s a great place to chill after a tiring day of exploring the city and I’m not joking about the food you guys. Take some pictures and enjoy the bustling nightlife in Bangkok.
If you’re looking for what to do during the day, check out these day trips from Bangkok! For more information about what to do in the rest of Thailand, check out my Northern Thailand Itinerary or see how much I spent on two weeks in Thailand.