Pak Khlong Talat Market
Working hours: round-the-clock
Pak Khlong Talat is Bangkok’s largest flower market and one of the city’s oldest markets. It is situated almost directly in the center of the capital, near to the Memorial Bridge, which is not far from the China Town. Primarily, Pak Khlong Talat is a paradise for florists, but tourists coming to Bangkok find it very interesting as well, as it is arguably one of the most picturesque places in the capital. It is worth visiting the market not only to enjoy the riot of colors and aromas, but also to feel the real spirit of the city, immersed in the whirlpool of its everyday life.
Pak Khlong Talat, or the "Market at the Mouth of the Canal", has a long history. The first marketplace appeared on this site in the late 18th century, during the rule of King Rama I, and was one of the first floating markets in the city. A hundred years later it turned into a fish market, before moving onto the land in the neighbouring canal street and specialized in selling flowers, vegetables and fruits.
Pak Khlong Talat has maintained its status as the main gathering point for florists from all over Bangkok for the last sixty years. The head spins from the amount of flowers that are brought here from all over Thailand: vast armfuls of roses, orchids, chrysanthemums and lotus flowers. The market consists of two parts – a long street lined with shopping stands and a large indoor market.
In addition to the huge number of varied exotic flowers, you can find an incredible selection of both tropical flowers and local vegetables for bargain prices at Pak Khlong Talat. It is impossible to find such a variety of mango, papaya, ginger and other gifts of tropical climate anywhere else in the city or even the world. Bangkok’s locals prefer to buy fruits and vegetables at this market than elsewhere: firstly because they are always fresh, but also because they cost much less than in the capital's supermarkets.
Pak Khlong Talat works round-the-clock. However, it is most spectacular at dawn, when boats and lorries overflowing with flowers of varying colors, tints and scents, arrive along canals and roads from the local provinces. Locals gather here approximately at the same time: They mostly buy lotus flowers and orchids, because home altars, houses for spirits, temples and statues of Buddha are usually decorated with arrangements of these flowers. In addition to this, local sellers make original decorations from flowers, for example, jasmine necklaces are very popular with the female visitors to the market.
The best time to visit Pak Khlong Talat is early morning or late evening, when the most brisk trading can be made. It gives visitors the opportunity to feel the real atmosphere of this stunningly bright place.