Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Train Night Market in Ratchada

The new Train Night Market Ratchada (Talad Rot Fai Ratchada) has now become a true landmark on the Bangkok scene. Open Thursdays to Sundays from 5:00PM to 1:00AM, this night market is a fun scene to attend in town. It caters mostly for a Thai clientele and has become a bustling scene on Ratchadaphisek Road, particularly on weekends. It is just a few steps away from exit nº3 of the Thai Cultural Centre / MRT station at the back of Esplanade shopping mall.
At the market site
Night markets play an important role in most southeast Asian cultures. A large Train Night Market already exists on the city outskirts. But now the same organizers have decided to get closer to downtown by opening this new branch only two MRT stations away from Sukhumvit. This night market has two sections. There are shops and bars all around and a real night market in the center.
So, people can come here to shop, eat and sit for entertainement. The night market offers just almost anything : clothes, cell-phone accessories, leather goods, toys, hats, curios, to name but a few. And the food of course! No real Thai scenes exist without offering opportunities to drink or eat ! It makes this place a real treat ! Some more, prices are unbeatable. There are seafood or meat skewers, Thai salads, sushis and sashimis, fried chicken, fish balls, noodles, white or yellow rice, lots of seafood (shells, squids, grilled shrimps) and even a wide array of fried worms and insects to foster the proteins of Thai palates !
Coconut stall
And then there are the drinks too : coconut (juice, pudding or ice-cream), fresh fruit juices and smoothies, green tea or even coffee... The list would not be complete without adding the desserts. Thai rolled pancakes, gigantic Asian ice-creams or plain Western pastries. So, you may come here, taste anything you like either standing or sitting at one of the communal tables and enjoy good, healthy food.
Then, there are shops and bars on the periphery of the central night market ground. There are bric-a-brac or antique shops as well as other unusual items that give this market its own characteristics. But the bar zone conveys a distinctive atmosphere of the 50s. Harley Davidsons or vintage cars are used for the décor : VWs, Cadillac or an authentic yellow school-bus. There are rooftop terraces too, where food and drinks are served under the stars. One of these joints even offers live Thai hard-rock music.
The night market stalls
The Ratchada Train Night Market attracts mainly Thai crowds of all ages. This is probably what keeps the prices so competitive. It is a vibrant and happy place with a definite friendly atmosphere. Going there remains a fascinating experience. There is no doubt this is a great place to observe the Thai way of life. The smiles and the overwhelming friendliness are prevalent. It makes it so easy and pleasant to mingle with the people. So much so that you will feel like going back there on and on.

Christian Sorand
July 2015

Colorful sushis
Bar scene


Thai salad

Curio shop
Open hair salon


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