Also known as Talad Dek Neaw (hipsters or “cool people’s” market), Bangkok's Talad Rot Fai retro market got its start when Thanayut “Troy,” the owner of Rod’s, a chic antique shop-cum-restaurant-cum-bar over in Chatuchak decided to move. He rented out an empty warehouse on land owned by the State Railway of Thailand, site of some former train tracks and rusty carriages, and set up shop. As the property was so enormous, Troy invited some of his vendor friends from Chatuchak to come sell their stuff for free there. Word got out, and soon loads of vendors set up camp.
Taking it easy at Talad Rot Fai — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
The collection of retro items is astounding, and will make frequenters of U.S. flea markets feel right at home. ABBA records and other ancient vinyl, old clocks, telephones, bar signs, roller skates, furniture out of a Leave It To Beaver episode and plenty of antiques are just the tip of the iceberg.
Going retro at the Talad Rot Fai — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Additionally, there are live bands that play inside of the swanky-looking Rod’s Bar, which also has food to go along with its alcoholic offerings. There are several other cozy bars and cafes located inside of antique warehouses, but the rest of the action takes place outside, where VW bus bars have set up shop, along with plenty of food vendors to ensure nobody goes hungry.
Drinking at Rod's — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Getting here: you can take the MRT to Kamphaeng Phet Station, use exit 3, and then walk down Kamphaeng Phet Rd away from Chatuchak about 400 meters, where you will find the market area on your right. It's also easy to go via the skytrain, getting off at Saphan Kwai, and taking a short 40 baht taxi ride. Make sure the drivers don’t confuse the market with the nearby park of the same name (Rot Fai).