04 Oct Guide to Rod Fai Market, Bangkok
Rod Fai Market – Opening Hours: 17:00 – midnight (Sat-Sun)
Khamphaengphet Road (behind Chatuchak Weekend Market),
Rod Fai Market (Train Market) in Bangkok is an authentic open-air bazaar selling an incredible array of vintage collectables and memorabilia from yesteryear, from antique furniture to hippy fashion and Mao kitsch.
With three sections to this huge market space, there are also many traders selling modern fashion and apparel more typical of other night markets in Bangkok; however it’s the one-off and hard to find items that really make Rot Fai Market superior to all other night markets in the city. Where else in the Thailand would you find a pristine 1950s Cadillac next to vintage leather jackets, French chandeliers and 1960s action figures from Japan? Combine all this with cool restaurants, bars and snack stalls and you have a fun night out from sunset to midnight, Thursday to Sunday.
The easiest way is to get to the Rad Fai Market is via MRT. Stop at Kamphaengphet station, take Exit 3, cross the road and walk about 450 meters west on Kampaeng Phet Road, away from Chatujak Market. Simply follow the crowd, the market will be on the right side.
Rot Fai Market is located on Srinakarin Soi 51, just behind Seacon Square Shopping Mall. The best way to get there is via taxi – all drivers should know Seacon Square. However, traffic can be bad on Friday and Saturday nights so you could consider taking the BTS Skytrain to On Nut Station first, then catching a taxi from there.
The original Rot Fai Market garnered a massive reputation at its former location next to the train tracks (hence the name) behind Chatuchak Market in the north of the city. When it was forced to move in 2013 due to an expansion of the BTS Skytrain line, many thought it was the end for this unique venture, but thankfully it returned at this new site and is bigger and better than ever. There might not be any trains but there is a lot more space for traders to display their beautiful and strange collections in different sections, namely the ‘Market Zone’, ‘Warehouse Zone’ and ‘Rod’s Antiques’.
In the Warehouse Zone, the sheer variety of products available is impressive. You will find everything from household goods, old electronic appliances and used auto parts to second-hand clothes, shoes and fashion accessories – all vintage in style, of course. Many vendors are also collectors of vintage, so it’s not uncommon to see hobbyist items such as old cameras, bikes, Coca-Cola collectibles and Japanese anime toys on sale as well. Best of all, traders are friendly without being pushy so you can browse and explore at your leisure without the feeling of being part of a tourist trap.
The food section at Rod Fai is plentiful. The food here is the most concentrated together in one area of the market for easy browsing.
Located near the main entrance and taking up multiple rows on the near side of the market, you can get just anything in terms of food ranging from traditional Thai street food, to Japanese desserts, to nachos – all at the low prices one would expect from a night market. Your only worry can be finding a table once you have decided on your meal.