Although like Chattuchak Market in the sense that there is a lot on offer, Ratchada Night Bazaar Market is by no means organized with the tourist in mind – in fact it’s pretty disorganized! Located on Ratchadaphisek in northern Bangkok, the market takes place on the grounds of Ratchada Night Bazaar – a mirror of the Suam Lum Night Bazaar near Lumpini, built by the same owners, but whihc nose dived in around 9 months. What currently replaces it is the market… Basically a car boot sale, there’s probably very little you would really want to buy to take home, but its well worth the visit just to see what they have got. As you can see by the pictures, there’s a lot on offer.
My favorite the night I went was a Vietnam vintage US Army Jeep – I s**t you not. Alongside that, motorbikes, lots of them, and all classics and all for sale, although a little English language note on the Thai language signage usual says, “No book”! Lambrettas, Vespas, Harley’s – it just depends what is on offer on the night you go! Away from the hardware things get even more weird – 60’s “kitsch” furniture – the only thing that is missing is one of those lights that float oil! Also, classic advertising… posters advertising the very first Rover motor car!
If you are a DJ the vinyl might be of interest, although most of the records on sale seem to be classics… Bach, Beethoven… that sort of stuff… (Go on – admit it, you nearly asked “How did they get them?” right?) There is also a huge selection of Buddhist amulets and a lot of people taking them very seriously, too. And of course, there’s the usual array of weapons that seem to be mandatory at markets – Kung Fu stars, samurai swords, and few more practical weapons like baseball bats. There’s a bit of street food on offer, and you can even get yourself a couple of cheap cocktails. Also, cheap bottles of whisky, obviously straight off a plane!
This is not a momentous affair, but it is pretty interesting… and if you wander up there you are likely to be the only foreigners and, who knows, you might even get to know a local who isn’t serving you with a beer or a plate of food. The market starts at 19:00 but best turn up around 21:30. To get there you need to go a few stops north. Get out at Ractadaphisek MRT Station and go to the exit that leads to ‘Panyasap School’. Facing the road, turn left and walk about 300 meters – you’ll see the market on your left. Give it a shot – a genuine slice of Thailand.