Sunday, 6 July 2014

Bangkok - Talad Rot Fai / Train Night Market at Udom Suk

Talad Rodfai Train Market Bangkok

We have officially found the best market in Bangkok. No, this is not the popular Chatuchak Market. This is Talad Rot Fai, or in english, Railway Train Market. Unlike Chatuchak, Talad Rodfai is only opened in the evenings, from 5pm onwards until midnight during the weekends. The absence of the sweltering heat and narrow alleys makes the shopping here at Talad Rodfai so much more enjoyable.

Talad Rodfai Train Market Bangkok Entrance

The Talad Rot Fai Train Night Market is around 20km away from downtown Siam, but it was definitely worth every ounce of our effort. The simplest way to get to Talad Rot Fai is to take the BTS to Udom Suk station. The BTS ride from Siam to Udom Suk took around 20 minutes, and cost THB 50. After alighting at Udom Suk, take the exit on the left and hop on to a taxi. Many taxi drivers are not aware of this night market, so the landmark to tell them is 'Seacon Square'. Seacon Square is a sprawling shopping mall and the Train Market is located right behind it. The taxi ride took another 20 minutes and cost THB 120. Follow the throngs of Thai youngsters/hipsters after you alight at Seacon Square, and you would surely find the big sign that indicates the entrance of the night market.

Talad Rodfai Train Market Bangkok Entrance Walkway

Talad Rodfai Train Market Bangkok Entrance Cafe Decor

We fell in love with the night market the moment we stepped into Talad Rot Fai. We were greeted by totally rad and retro furnitures that filled every crack and cranny of the individual shops and even the walkways.

Talad Rodfai Train Market Bangkok Vintage Items for Sale

Talad Rodfai Train Market Bangkok Vintage Bicycles

Talad Rot Fai is HUGE. Beyond the numerous stalls selling clothes and accessories, there is a dedicated section for vintage items. It was like a scene out of a junkyard - rusty lockers, leaking bathtubs, scratched tables - but it was this exact randomness and ruggedness that made the whole place very charming. We loved looking and peering into these shops, and wondered about the stories behind the items there.

Talad Rodfai Train Market Bangkok Car Boot Sale

Another section of Talad Rot Fai was like a huge car boot sale. Vendors were selling their wares straight out of their vehicles. Some were vintage sedans or SUVs, but many were the much coveted Volkswagen Kombi (to die for!). The vendors were mostly chilling by their cars like they would be chilling in their backyard- business or competition seem nowhere in their mind or written on their faces. They were talking or drinking with friends or fellow vendors, only stopping when an interested customer has a query. Totally loved the laid-back atmosphere!

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market Vintage Gallery

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market Gallery

There was also a gallery with a full collection of vintage items ranging from cars to bikes to musical instruments to even a confession booth. We thought it looked like it was part of the Universal Studios, or it could be the set for a hunt by Sam and Dean from Supernatural. It was totally mind-blowing to be seeing these vintage babies upclose.

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market Bus Bar

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market Vintage Cafe

Besides shopping and ogling at random vintage items, there were also many food options at Talad Rot Fai. There was a really cool bar/pub that was converted from a bus and blasting soft rock music from the 1980s. Totally chill. There were also old-school cafes selling drinks and retro knick-knacks. And of course, there were many many street food stalls here at the night market.

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market Tom Yum Goong Stall

Talad Rot Fai is mainly frequented by the locals - we did not meet much foreigners (and that to us, was also a major plus point). There were minimal signs in English and most of the menus and boards were in Thai. However, the stallholders were able communicate in basic English so we could still find our way around.

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market Tom Yum Goong Seafood Combi

We joined the queue at the Tom Yum Goong Noodles stall. Through charades and basic English, we ordered a bowl of mixed seafood with glass noodles. It was a huge bowl full of slices of fish, squid, clams, mussels and prawn (THB140). The seafood was fresh and the soup was very fragrant. Very hearty and comfy in the cool evening breeze.

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market BBQ Seafood

We were attracted by the prettiness and neatness of this barbeque seafood stall. Signs were purely in Thai but the stallholder was able to tell us his offerings in basic English. Again, through charades and simple English, we got ourselves very yummy BBQ mussels and scallops.

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market BBQ Mussels

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market BBQ Scallop

The combination of 3 BBQ mussels and 3 BBW scallops cost THB 200. The mix of cheese, garlic and parsley on top of the shellfish were simply heavenly. The melted sauce was very savoury, and it very much complemented the freshness of the seafood. Simply lip-smacking!

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market Drinks Stall

Even the drink stall looked like it had been there since the 1980s. The tins of tea, ovaltine, milk, and the very brown coffee sock indicated the authenticity and passion of the drinks.

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market Thai Iced Coffee

What I particularly like about drinks in Thailand is the huge heap of crushed ice that they use in their cold beverages. The tiny crystals of ice makes the drink more uniformly cold, and the coolness is able to last longer. The Thai Iced Coffee we had was a tad sweet, but hey, that's the spirit of Thai coffee right? The coffee was smooth and creamy, and left a slightly savoury aftertaste.

Talad Rodfai Train Night Market Decor

We thoroughly enjoyed the time at Talad Rodfai. The train night market exuded a charm that could not be replicated elsewhere - it takes many like-minded and creative people to put together a place that is authentic, vibrant and endearing. The Train Market will definitely be a permanent fixture on our Bangkok itinerary.



Talad Rot Fai/ Train Night Market

Soi 51 Srinakarin Srinakarin Rd
Nong Bon Prawet Bangkok
5pm to 12am (Fri to Sun)

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