What To See And Do Around The Bangkok Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)
Pak Khlong Talat is among Bangkok’s premier tourist attractions. This 24-hour wholesale flower market, located on the fringes of the Thai capital’s Chinatown and old-town Rattanakosin Island areas (with Wat Pho and the Grand Palace within walking distance), is one of Bangkok’s busiest and most popular trading spaces, and also sells fruits, vegetables and other goods to both retail and trade customers.
A wander through colourful Bangkok Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market makes for a treat for the senses as you soak up its exciting sights, sounds, and smells – but the possibilities aren’t limited to the market itself. The surrounding area is home to plenty of popular sights and little-known hideaways that are well worth a look. Here’s our guide to what and see and do around Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market in Bangkok.
Just a few minutes’ walk from Pak Khlong Talat flower market, you’ll find Museum Siam, one of Bangkok’s best museums. This hands-on, interactive museum is designed with children in mind, making it perfect for a family-friendly visit. The museum centres on the concept of ‘Thainess’ and what it means to be Thai, and it takes visitors on a journey through Thai history, covering everything from the roots of modern-day Thailand to the country’s religious influences.
Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm; adults, 200 baht (100 baht for Thai nationals and residents), students over 15 years old, 50 baht, often free for all on public holidays; Sanamchai Road (Tha Tien boat pier); www.museumsiam.org
One of our favourite off-the-beaten-track parts of Bangkok, Kudeejeen – across the river in Thonburi, and once home to Thailand’s first Portuguese settlers – is a great place to get away from the capital’s downtown hustle and bustle and enjoy exploring calm and quiet side alleys. Sightseeing highlights include the Santa Cruz Church, the Baan Kudeejeen Museum, and a stop for a coffee and traditional Portuguese-inspired ‘kanom farang’ cake at Thanusingha Bakery.
But there’s just as much enjoyment to be had from simply wandering the lanes, getting a little lost, and soaking up the area’s relaxed retro vibe – this is one place where it’s easy to forget you’re as close as you are to 21st-century Bangkok. Better yet, it’s easy to reach Kudeejeen by way of a quick ride on the cross-river ferry (5 baht) from the Yodpiman River Walk pier.
If you want to explore the Kudeejeen community or other parts of Rattanakosin Island, Expique’s Diversity and Harmony Walking Tour offers walking tours of both areas.
Shop at Pak Khlong Talat itself
It might go without saying, but the obvious suggestion for things to do in and around Bangkok’s Pak Khlong Talat flower market is to shop right at the market itself. Pak Khlong Talat is home to a huge collection of fresh flowers, fruits, vegetables and other produce that makes its way to the capital from farms right across Thailand and further afield.
If you live in Bangkok, Pak Khlong Talat is a great place to stock up on beautiful but inexpensive flower bouquets to decorate your home, as well as top-quality ingredients to whip up an authentic DIY Thai feast.
Yet even if you are simply visiting Thailand, some of the flowers to be found at Pak Khlong Talat really are so cheap that you could probably justify buying a few bunches to decorate your hotel room or rental apartment for a few days – it’s a sure-fire way to make your stay in Bangkok even more memorable and enjoyable.
Take a flower market tour or Thai cooking class with The Market Experience
The Market Experience is hidden away inside Yodpiman Flower Market, part of the trio of flower markets commonly referred to as Pak Khlong Talat, and enjoys an attractive second-floor aerial view over the busy trading action below.
From our base here, we offer innovative cooking classes – incorporating flowers and other ingredients sourced from Pak Khlong Talat market itself – as well as tours of the market, workshops in making Thai-style floral garlands, and much more.
Our range of classes and workshops at The Market Experience offer the opportunity to learn plenty about Thai culture and the day-to-day operations of the Pak Khlong Talat, as well as its history and culture and that of those who work and trade here.
What to eat and drink in and around Pak Khlong Talat flower market
Within Pak Khlong Talat flower market itself, you’ll find plenty of spots to tuck into delicious, authentic and inexpensive Thai street food. Casual food courts on both the ground floor and the upper level of the market (the latter just around the corner from The Market Experience) serve up a range of dishes, and you’ll also find other stalls dotted around the market and on the streets outside. Beyond that, the following are a few of our other local favourite places to eat and drink in the vicinity of Pak Khlong Talat.
Napasorn Floral Café
This adorable maze of a shophouse is a high-end florist on the ground floor, but wander up the stairs and you’ll find a cute-as-can-be coffee shop that makes losing a few hours here pretty much irresistible. The floral theme carries on well and truly throughout the place, with just about every surface of the café draped in fresh and dried flowers for a fabulously bright and fragrant display. And as well as the usual selection of coffees, you can even tuck into a range of iced teas infused with flowers and fruits inspired by the famous produce of Pak Khlong Talat itself.
Monday to Saturday, 10am-10pm; 67 Chakphet Road; 02-221-2039; www.napasorn.com
Yodpiman River Walk
Right alongside the Chaophraya river, the colonial-style heritage-themed open-air community mall at Yodpiman River Walk is packed with great places to eat and drink. Highlights include Mango Tree, which is perfect for an evening drink or a Thai fusion-style evening meal. For Isaan food hailing from northeastern Thailand, head to Larb Roi and try the somtum tart giant papaya salad served on a large tray, as well as the flaming chicken. Two casual restaurants on the ground floor of Yodpiman River Walk serve quick and easy Thai noodle dishes, and Duo Cucina offers Italian cuisine.
Farm to Table
For simple food and a cool hangout spot, check out Farm to Table. The owners’ parents sell vegetables in Pak Khlong Talat market and, a few years ago, their daughter opened a tiny café on the edge of the market selling coffee, a small selection of food options, and the family’s homemade ice cream. The operation recently expanded to include the Farm to Table Hideout, located just a short walk away. Both venues are hidden away within the ICP market – part of the trio that makes up the Pak Khlong Talat complex – but beware that, befitting their vibe, they can be a little tricky to be find.
Farm to Table Organic Café: Daily, 10am-8pm; 179 Atsadang Road; 02-115-2625; www.facebook.com/farmtotableorganiccafe
Farm to Table Hideout: Thursday to Tuesday, 10am-9pm; 15 Soi Tha Klang (off Chakphet Road); 02-004-8771; www.facebook.com/farmtotablehideout
How to get to Bangkok Pak Khlong Talat flower market
Being on the riverside as it is, the easiest way to get to Pak Klong Talat flower market is by taking the Chaophraya Express river boat to either the Yodpiman River Walk or Rajinee piers; both the blue-flag tourist boat and the orange-flag local boat stop here.
Have you visited Pak Khlong Talat flower market? Let us know your tips in the comments.