Markets of China Town – Sampeng alley, Klong Thom Market and the Sua Pa area
The area of China Town in Bangkok Thailand holds a vast amount of colorful and energetic markets where you could find many things that you desire.
The entire area is generally one big mess and it’s pretty difficult to navigate there. Even the locals working at the place are sometimes confused on where one market ends and the other begins.
We reviewed the Saphan Lek market in the website before – a market where you’ll mostly find toys, car models, planes, everything that either flies, drives or sails, console games, photography equipment and more. In this article we’ll review three more markets – the Sampeng Lane market, the Klong Thom market and the Sua Pa Plaza area.
I’ve attached a map in which I’ve marked the locations of the markets and other points of interest – click it in order to zoom in.
Sampeng Lane Market in Bangkok: it is a long and very narrow alley, also called Soi Wanit 1 stretching adjacent and parallel to the main street of China Town – Yaowarat Street.
The Sampeng Lane alley along with the alleys intersecting it and reaching out from it are one big and chaotic market. It is amazingly designed and has incredible variety and a unique atmosphere.
In it you’ll find a vast variety of shops and stands selling almost anything you could think of – bags, purses, wallets, footwear, hats, fabrics, jewelry, belts, clothes, makeup kits and more and more and more…
Most of the shops are wholesale shops selling to shops and stands around the city where you’ll pay double the price for the same items. These shops also sell single items but usually, if you buy more than three items of the same product – you could buy it in a wholesale and cheaper price.
Take into consideration that the market is quite crowded, even during the weekdays. It might be very crowded on the weekends so you should probably rethink if you want to take your young children to the place on the weekends.
Hours: between 09:00 to 17:00
Klong Thom Market: the market of Klong Thom is in one of the alleys reaching out from the main street of China Town ( Thailand ) – the Yaowarat Street – not too far from the Sampeng alley and the Grand China hotel which is a significant point of interest in this area, which is very difficult to navigate in.
The alley in which the Thom Klong market is located is wider than the Sampeng Lane market and more comfortable for walking, even on the weekends. You’ll mostly find shops and stands selling non-brand watches or fake watches in different quality, sunglasses, electricity equipment, plane models, toys and more.
** not to be confused with Khlong Thom Center which is a nearby shopping center as well as the Klong Thom Night Market which is only active on the weekends.
Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
Sua Pa Market: of all of the markets of China Town ( Thailand ) – the Sua Pa Plaza area is the least known among tourists but very known to locals – so you’ll rarely find content regarding it in English.
The market is in the vicinity of the Charoen Krung Street and Sua Pa Street junction, one block away from the Grand China hotel and a few hundreds of meters from the Sampeng Lane and Klong Thom markets.
The word “market” might not define the place very well except for the several stands in the street itself. Most of them are in the buildings in the area, some sort of “shopping centers”.
The source for all of the accessories regarding cellphones and smartphones where you can encounter in MBK and other places around Bangkok could be found here – cases, earphones, battery chargers, batteries and everything else related to it – but here the variety is larger and you’ll pay a lot less. In short – heaven on Earth for lovers of gadgets and accessories of cellphones, tablets and smartphones.
Hours: between 09:00 to 17:00.
Arrival and Navigation: the area of China Town ( Thailand ) is one of the most difficult and most chaotic areas for navigation in Bangkok – I hope that the map and the explanations here would make your life easier and assist you during your visit.
A very important point of interest is the colorful and tall Grand China Hotel which is located in the junction of Ratchawong and Yaowarat streets. All of the markets in the article stand within walking distance of this hotel, and it can also be a meeting and resting point in one of the cafes in its air-conditioned ground floor.
Arrival: you could arrive at the markets’ area of China Town ( Thailand ) via two ways – one is simply by taxi – tell the driver you want to go to the Grand China Hotel and from there navigation should be easy with the aid of the map I’ve attached.
The second way that also holds for a nice and enjoyable trip in the lively river view of Bangkok is with the public river boats. Take a public boat (orange flag) from the central boats’ pier (Taksin) or one of the other piers and get off at Ratchawong Pier – this will get you to the core of China Town.
When leaving the boat station, you’ll find yourself in Ratchawong Street.
*there should be a nice little café to the left where you can enjoy high quality coffee prior to entering the markets’ disarray.
Continue walking along the Ratchawong Street and you’ll immediately encounter plenty of shops and stands on both sides of the street which will put you in the mood of the market in the area. After about 300 meters you’ll reach the Sampeng Lane alley crossing the Ratchawong Street and you could choose to go right or left. Grand China Hotel, the point of interest of the area, should be standing in front of you. if you pass through the hotel’s junction and keep walking straight – you’ll reach the Sua Pa market and if you turn left at the hotel’s junction – you’ll reach the Klong Thom hotel after about 150 meters.
As usual – a video with a variety of pictures and clips from the markets in the article is attached, hoping to convey some of the atmosphere of these amazing markets.