What We Love About The Flower Market
There is a reason we started a Thai cooking school and workshop space in the Flower Market. We love it.
As part of Expique, our parent company, we have been bringing customers to the Flower Market, every night for over 6 years, and when we found a small space for rent in the middle of the market we knew it was a fantastic location, even if we did not know what to do with it. Here are some of the reasons we love The Flower Market so much.
It’s more than just flowers
Firstly, we need to point out that it is not just about flowers, fruit, and veg. Whilst this is what is sold, these items say a lot about Thai culture. The main section of Yodpiman Flower Market exclusively sells flowers for offerings and therefore it is all about Buddhist and Thai rituals and traditions. Understanding what the flowers are used to tells you a lot more about Thai culture. Likewise understanding what the vegetables are used for tells you more about Thai cuisine.
24 Hours a Day
This is a market that never sleeps and different sections are busy at different times of the day. Within the main section of the Yodpiman Flower Market, it is busiest in the middle of the night, whilst some of the fruit and veg sections are busiest in the morning. Part of the market sells fruit and veg during the day and switches to selling fresh flowers at night. You can wander around at any time of day!
The diversity of people who work in the market is huge and has a wide range of stories. Many are migrant workers, who get paid for every item they make, sell or move. Then there are people who run 20 stalls in the market, drive nice cars, and send their kids to university in Europe. Regardless of the background, the majority of the people work very hard. Many people have been working in the market for 30+ years. It’s a 24-hour market and there are husband and wife couples where one works in the day and the other at night. The people of The Flower Market have so many interesting stories to be told.
The Flower Market is located by the river and in the heart of Rattanakosin, the historical center of Bangkok. There is a reason why it has been such an important market area (although not always for flowers) for over 100 years. It is surrounded by history and there is something of interest in every direction. Within 15 minutes walk, you have Wat Pho, The Grand Palace, Chinatown. Just across the river, you have communities such as Santa Cruz and Kudeejeen.
It is a working market and while you do find lots of tourists walking around, practically all vendors are catering for local trade and not tourists. At times it can be busy and reflect real life and the real local economy. The ambiance at night is surprising and the realization is that lots of people work from 8 pm to 8 am.
In 2016, there were a lot of talks that the Flower Market had closed. Actually it was just vendors that were banned from selling on the main street and the majority of vendors carried on selling in the main market areas as normal. As a consequence, a new flower market area opened just out of town, but the main Flower Market at Pak Khlong Talad has continued like little change. However, it is a reminder of how things change. For now, The Flower Market is here to stay but traditional market areas and street food vendors across Thailand to remain under threat from changes in government policy and changes in buying trends.