Shopping & Food Exploration at Ratchada Train Night Market | Bangkok, Thailand


Taking over the place of an abandoned railway station in the Chatuchack district of Bangkok, the Ratchada Train Market spreads out on an open-air field dotted with colorful tents selling the top of the pops of Thailand's street food culture, along with clothing items and an endless array of fascinating trinkets to fill up your suitcase — or if you're like me, your backpack.

Melissa Ferrer

As our host Mam Len from the Tourism Authority of Thailand handed us 1,000 Thailand Baht each to "go forth and eat what you like and buy what you fancy", I joined Karla and Erika to go stall-hopping first to survey the food.

Cheekie Albay

What I found out was an endless variety of choices that would take me until midnight if I don't decide on the fly what to order. From grilled skewers, crispy fried chicken, sushi rolls, Thai pancakes and roti, sticky mangoes, holy shrimp and local favorites like Leng Zabb, Kung Thep, grilled crabs and prawns, Thai noodles and my favorite, Tom yum, there's an amazing selection of food choices everywhere I look.

Milet Miranda

Eventually, I got separated from Erika and Karla and ended up bumping with Mam Len who is also busy eyeing the food stalls with two other fellow writers — both from the print media. We ended up sharing what we order; a big bowl of Thai soup filled with delectable toppings, grilled shrimps, vegetable platter, sushi roll, Thai noodles, Tom yum soup and a few more Thai dishes we just randomly pointed.

Marky Ramone Go

Finding a vacant table in the bustling Ratchada Train Night Market took us a while until an usher hollered us to "come, sit here" as he points to four empty chairs beside a small rectangular table.

Celine Murillo and Levy Amosin

With the aroma of innumerable dishes being cooked around us, it made our dining experience more appetizing.  After wolfing down a delightful feast, I counted the pocket money given to us still exceeding 500 THB. This time, I excused myself from our small group and went on my own to explore the other sections of the night market.

Reese Rayos

I ended up on a row of stalls selling refreshing fruit shakes and smoothies. I ordered a mango shake and continued walking until I stumbled upon the "chill spot" section; the bars of Ratchada.

Gretchen Filart

Set-up in container vans and industrial-themed interior, the bars lined up perfectly offering both an indoor and an alfresco venue for you to enjoy some affordable drinks and cocktails.

Sophie Gianan and Koryn Iledan

Regretfully, I skipped the drinking part that night. As I opted to walk around sober, I saw my fellow travel writers one by one. We spent our remaining time in the night market on the shopping section where one can find heaps of cheap stylish pieces from accessories, souvenir items, footwear, bags, art pieces to clothes and even electronic gadgets.

Sara Abdollahi

It took us more than couple of hours before our group of 12 went back to our respective vans heading back to our hotel satisfied by food and ready to call it a night.

Erika Zepeda

Update: Bangkok's Train Night Market Ratchada was closed during the pandemic but has now emerged in a new location with a new name. It still features the same vendors of street food, clothes, accessories, furniture, vintage items, and handicrafts stalls.

The market, now known as JODD Fairs, is located close to Central Plaza Grand Rama 9. In the new spacious area, there are open-air bars and more "Instagramable" spots.