Bangkok’s Khlong Toei Market: 3 Travel Tips

Khlong Toei Market in Bangkok; Fresh Fruit Vendor

Nestled deep within Bangkok’s concrete jungle is the Khlong Thoei Market, a chaotic jumble of stalls where locals and porters weave their way through crowded, claustrophobia-inducing lanes.

It’s an experience that’s not for the faint of heart as this market can get “raw” – animal heads will be on display as dying fish slap murky water onto your clothes. All the while, you’re carefully treading over puddles of questionable origins, trying your best not to slip on the floor’s grime.   

While you may not get used to the market’s overwhelming stench and heart-pumping sights on your first trip, Khlong Toei plays a significant role in the underbelly of Bangkok’s highly-regarded food scene. From high-end restaurants to street cart vendors, culinary masters traverse these lanes daily in pursuit of the some of the best raw materials that Bangkok has to offer.     

If you’re a fan of Thai food, then visiting the Khlong Toei Market is basically a rite of passage to both enjoying and appreciating this country’s mouth-watering cuisine.  

Table of Contents

Tip 1) Khlong Toei Market

How to Get to the Market

Bangkok is notorious for having some of the worst traffic congestion in the world, so it’s best to avoid taking a taxi unless you’re staying close by.   

In general, it’s best to take the subway to the Khlong Toei MRT Station. From there, you can walk (~15 minutes) to the market or hop on a motorbike taxi that’s parked alongside the main road. Tuk-tuks are available within the vicinity, but are much less common than touristy Asoke. 

Tip 2) Khlong Toei Market

Explore the Back Alleys

Khlong Toei is much more than a pungent fresh market, the alleyways outside of its overcrowded epicenter are full of vendors selling a wide array of non-perishable items – from inexpensive clothing to bamboo-woven kitchenware.     

So whenever your nostrils need to escape the deathly smell of fermented fish sauce, you can duck and weave over to the market’s back alleys for a breath of fresh air. 

Tip 3) Khlong Toei Market

Take the Long Route Back

Instead of heading straight back to the Khlong Toei MRT station, we recommend going on an off-the-beaten-track route towards the Queen Sirikit MRT station.   

Just plug the station’s GPS coordinates into your phone and you’ll end up walking through streets that are lined with hawkers and friendly locals. Since it’s rare for foreign tourists to walk through here, don’t be surprised if the locals curiously stare at you and smile.  

By going on this route, you’ll end up seeing what Bangkok is really like for most of its residents. If possible, stop by a local restaurant for lunch or breakfast (just don’t expect an English menu).    

Khlong Toei Market, Bangkok

Actionable Information

We recommend staying along Sukhumvit and within walking distance of the sky train (BTS). In our humble opinion, Thong Lor is the best area to stay within Bangkok – there are many delicious restaurants along Sukhumvit 55 and the entire area isn’t as touristy as Asoke.

For the best value hotel in Thong Lor, the Ariva Ivy is our top choice. For convenience, The Somerset is our primary pick.  

From Thong Lor, the Khlong Toei Market is ~30 minutes away. Take the sky train and get off at Asoke BTS, followed by walking a short distance to the Sukhumvit MRT station.

Bangkok which is the world’s most-visited city is a year-round destination, both high and low seasons are worth a trip.

During the low season (aka rainy season), you’ll get better prices on hotels and less places that are compacted with tourists – rain isn’t usually much of an issue outside the months of September and October (some flooding might occur). 

Be sure to check Thai government’s meteorological website for accurate weather forecasts.

The market is open 24 hours, but the best time to visit is between 6:00am and 2:00pm. 

In the evening, head over to one of the sky bars / restaurants along the Chao Praya River and watch the sunset over Wat Arun – it’s a must-see while in BKK.  

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