Klong Suan 100 Year Market, or Klong Suan Roi Pee Market is rapidly gaining a well deserved fame. What the Damnoen Floating Market have lost to mass-tourism is what makes Klong Suan Market a great day trip destination: its authenticity. Despite being quite crowded on weekends, the market still retain perfectly the charm of the bygone era and even though the first signs of change start to emerge, each shop is still frozen in time. It feels like each shop owner was doing the same trade and was having the same exact daily routine more than five decades ago.
Built under the reign of King Rama the fifth, Klong Suan 100 Year Old Market is a photographer’s gold mine. Almost all tourists are Thai from Bangkok and very seldom will you see a Farang (a foreigner, like me), but already you can tell this is not going to last long.
Daring as far as the Klong Suan 100 Year Old Market is located in 20 km south of Bangkok airport… Build along the Prawet Burirom canal, the market is a lot larger than I originally anticipated so it was quite a surprise. Long time ago when the river was used daily to transport goods to Bangkok, boats would frequently stop here before reaching Bangkok. Trade slowly decreased as roads and air replaced water transit, but in recent years the market was reborn as young Thai started to rediscover their own country.
All the shops are made of wood, basking in the warm light so typical of old piers and each store is just an amazing bric-a-brac of goods ranging from vintage candies to home made cookies and Thai sweets. But what adds to the magic of the place are the everyday shops, a couple of hairdressers trimming hairs the really old fashioned way, some fishermen drying fishes, several bookshops and amulet vendors. And how could we miss Mister Lee’s tea shop, this old man is now a celebrity and loves to pose for a photo. Inside his cute tea shop, he will be the first one to handle you his photo albums, mostly pictures with all kind of famous visitors (well, they looked famous). His teas and ‘O-Liang’ traditional coffees coffees are worth a short but well needed break. And of course, what would be a market without dozens of restaurants, including some famous ones. It’s just a pure feast for the eyes… Note that the market is a bit hot so dress lightly, and ideally, try to come during weekend… it might be busy, but some shops are closed during the week days.
Klong Suan 100 Year Old Market is located 20 kilometers south of Suvarnabhumi International airport. You will need a map and a car to get there.
On the way, don’t miss the road vendors selling ‘Freshly caught roasted rats’… lovely. (see last photos)