Bangkok Night Market
The Suan Lum night bazaar, situated next to Lumpini Park and a five-minute taxi journey from Silom Road, is a very welcome addition to the list of Ďthings to doí in Bangkok. Established for about 4 years now, it has become very successful and is a popular with tourists and locals alike. Here you are able to sit in a large beer and food park listen to music and have dolly birds, trying to get you to buy their drinks. The bands that play are pretty good, and overall the show and atmosphere is great. Bangkok needs something like this, and for once the authorities have done it well.
You could sum up the Suan Lum night bazaar as a scaled-down version of the Chatuchak weekend market, except the goods here are a lot more expensive, there isnít quite the selection that you get at Chatuchak and there are far fewer people perusing the stalls, however the Suan Lum bazaar is a hell of a lot cleaner than the weekend market.
It’s a sweeping statement to say that the goods are far more expensive than at Chatuchak, but having been to the weekend market many times, I’m very familiar with what stuff there can be bought for. At the night bazaar, I picked up and inspected a stone lampshade priced at 1200 baht. I bought exactly the same thing at Chatuchak for 550 baht. That’s an enormous price difference. Local Thais certainly aren’t going to be fooled, but those big spenders supreme, the Japanese, certainly might be. I breathed a heavy sigh as I noticed at least one tour bus full of Japanese tourists pull up during the course of the evening - never a good sign.
The bazaar itself covers a fairly large area (itís built on the site of the old military academy) and itís going to take you at least a couple of hours to have a good browse. The bazaar is well designed, nicely landscaped and each section thoughtfully signposted. The toilets are absolutely spotless and there is also a tourist police center.
I don’t wish to spout off like someone from homophobics anonymous but I couldn’t help noticing the number of older foreign gentlemen out for the evening with their young Thai male ‘friend’. Of course, nearby Lumpini Park is well known as a gay cruising area, so maybe the night bazaar is fulfilling the role as the ideal combined ‘pick up and first date’ package. Just a thought. Anyway, there was an older farang guy sitting on the next table looking every inch the middle-aged man at Marks and Spencer, accompanied by a young Thai guy who was all cap-sleeved t-shirt and not a hair out of place. I imagine that 24 hours earlier, he was gyrating on a stage in a leather thong. I am however letting my terrible imagination run away with me yet again, and who am I to cast judgement, because they looked blissfully happy as they sat there laughing and joking and nibbling their fairy cakes.
I really recommend the Bangkok night market. Good choice of food, great music and entertainment, dolly birds galore, and it is easy to get to by taxi, subway (lumpini station) or Bts (sala dang). Let us know what you thought of the place.
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