A Guide To Talad Rod Fai, Bangkok's First Train Market

Kit Dale /
Kit Dale / | © Culture Trip
Kelly Iverson

Rod Fai Market is a remarkable night bazaar in which it is easy, and exciting, to get lost. With row upon row of stalls, both open-air and under a metal canopy, there is enough colorful merchandise, intriguing food, and exciting entertainment to make any visit to Rod Fai a memorable one.

History

Despite the name, this train market is actually nowhere near a train. Well, not anymore. The market used to be held behind Chatuchak Weekend Market next to the train tracks, but it was forced to move when the BTS Skytrain was expanded in 2013. The name, however, stuck, and Rod Fai came back bigger and better at its new location, behind the shopping mall Seacon Square.

Kit Dale /

Atmosphere

Entering Talad Rod Fai (train market) for the first time almost feels as though you have left Bangkok and entered a different country and era. An old Louis Armstrong song plays from a dimly lit antique store. Friends sit curbside with their pets, children, and ice cold bottles of Thai beer, their laughter intermixed with the music. It is a refreshing, unusual market experience in comparison to some of the overcrowded bazaars found throughout the city. Besides the swanky vibe given off by the cool tunes and huge collection of antiques, you can also find some pretty entertaining characters — in particular, look for the shirtless barista extraordinaire as you explore the market. You will see him throwing everything from cans of condensed milk to large metal spoons while mixing up some delicious, and enormous, drinks for bystanders.

Kit Dale /

Merchandise

You can find everything from leather goods to clothing at this market. There is also a wide selection of home décor found here, perfect for those looking to decorate their home with antique-style items. We recommend stopping by Mi Lamda for some great overhead hanging lights.

Kit Dale /

Food

As with most of Bangkok’s markets, Rod Fai is overflowing with scrumptious and strange eats. Chicken feet can be found adjacent to vendors selling brownies. Delicious smoothies can be had for only‎ ฿30 (less than $1). Cheese balls, cheese fries, cheese-covered chicken wings: this market is really into its cheese. Two rows towards the back of the market are dedicated strictly to food, but there are also bars scattered throughout, each hosting a live performer trying to draw a crowd. There are also many small bars advertising cheap beer and cocktails.

Kit Dale /

Antiques

Walk past the food and find row upon row of antiques. There are cars, home décor, and incredibly cool trinkets. Nowhere in Bangkok will you find so many antique cars in such incredible condition in one place. Do not give up on finding these antiques when first entering the market, however. There is only one pedestrian entrance, and the market itself can be pretty confusing. Simply ask any vendor where the majority of the food is, and you will eventually come across these unique finds.

Kit Dale /

How To Get There

Take the BTS Skytrain to stop On Nut. From there, you can usually tell a taxi driver to go to Seacon Square Shopping Mall or Talad Rod Fai, and they will know where it is you are headed. Depending on traffic, a taxi will cost you anywhere from ฿80 to฿100 (less than $3). This market is open Thursday to Sunday, and vendors usually start setting up after 5:00pm.

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