When in a new place we always search and ask around for markets, it’s one of our favorite activities and it can often help discover the local traditions.
After more than 6 months of traveling, having seen so many though, we are starting to be a bit picky and selective. Sometimes we found ourselves a bit bored of seeing the same items for sale – or as they say in Thailand “Same Same, but different” – especially if we compare markets in the same country.
I know that we are hard to satisfy at times, but I guess this is what pushes us to look more carefully and make an effort to see if there is something a bit different than the usual, something with a little twist.
We were both disappointed after going to the Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, also known as JJ market. It simply wasn’t to our liking and we didn’t find it anything special so, during our second visit to the Thai Capital, we wanted to see if we could find something diverse and offbeat.
Those Who Search, Will Soon Find!
This is how on a Saturday evening we ended up at the Rod Fai Market (alias Talad Rot Fai).
Our expectations were pretty high and we had a skeptical mindset to start with, it wasn’t going to be an easy task to amuse us.
As soon as we stepped in we could tell that there was a completely different atmosphere and that Rod Fai Market definitely stands out from the crowd.
I am a not big shopping lover myself – in actual fact I dislike it – but going to markets is a different matter for me. I love watching people. I love looking for design, architecture and art and unusual stuff that might capture my curiosity, that’s why I loved Rod Fai Market so much.
It has something to do with its location too, in fact it sits on an abandon Railway Station owned by State Railway Thailand and has a separate section (my favorite bit) that used to be a warehouse that leads to the old railroad tracks not in use anymore and some old trains. Do not leave without popping in it, you won’t regret it, it’s got some very nice graffiti which is always a bonus for us 🙂
If you are a retro fan this is the best place to be. You can literally find anything, you name it: from vintage clothes, sunglasses, second hand shoes, hats, dresses, antique furniture, old cameras, household wares, Japanese toys, old electronics, signs and all kinds of collectibles.
Kitsch items together with old cars and even some Italian Vespas cannot be left out from the list of course. There literally is a little for everyone and not only to be bought, but also to bring back some cool memories from past times.
A Different Way To Spend The Night
After roaming around spotting some of the very odd stuff, we soon noticed that Rod Fai is not only a ‘retro shopping village’ but is also a very cool place to just hangout. In fact if you aren’t into shopping or vintage style, this market is an interesting hip nightlife spot for many locals and not. It is definitely not overcrowded with farangs (Thai for foreigners), at least not as much as the JJ Market, not yet.
You can just sip some a cheap beer or a cocktail in one of the many old VW Camper Vans converted bars while eating a tasty Thai snack, or stop by one of the many cafes and pubs, one of them even had a band playing some live music, another plus for the Rod Fai Market.
Something For The Belly Too
We learnt that there is no market without food, especially in Thailand, and the selection isn’t that bad. There are little bites, bigger meal, smoothies, drinks, fruits and something for those who have a sweet tooth just like us two. Just pick your favorite as we did.
It’s difficult not to when your eyes are more hungry than your tummy!
How To Find –
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.
I would describe it as a budget activity either for shopping, eating or drinking; depending on how you can control your shopping instinct of course. It can even be free if you don’t buy anything and just enjoy the sights & feel just as I did.
Value For Money –
HIGH – Considering you might find some collectibles not sold everywhere.
Location Address & Map –
Rod Fai Market – Opening Hours: 17:00 – midnight (Sat-Sun)
Khamphaengphet Road (behind Chatuchak Weekend Market),
View Rod Fai Market in a larger map
Important Note: we heard that the location of Rod Fai Market has changed, the one here is the old location, please search for the new one before getting there!