Talad Liab Duan – Night Market by the Highway (ตลาดเรียบด่วนรามอินทรา)
There’s just something about the chill atmosphere of a night market in Bangkok that is so soothing. I’m not a big shopper for all sorts of knick knacks. But just walking through stalls and stalls of things that I don’t need but still love to look at is just simply – fun.
This is a very popular market for the locals because prices for clothes, toys, make up, fashion accessories and even knock off luxury items are affordable for the locals. Of all the times I’ve been there I don’t see a lot of tourists. I’m pretty much the only idiot with a camera. You can also find second hand camera equipment too.
Talad Liab Duan in Thai ตลาดเรียบด่วนรามอินทรา means night market by the highway or expressway. As you’d guessed it, this particular night market get its name from the adjacent highway.
This very popular local hotspot is open every day but doesn’t start to get busy during the evening times and closes around or after midnight. Because every vendor inside pretty much make up their own hours. If a certain stall is quiet with no customers they’ll close early. If a restaurant runs out of main ingredients they’ll close early as well.
Speaking about food – and when is it not a good time to talk about food? All the restaurants are located under one aluminum roof covered building. You can find all sorts of Thai classics from egg or rice noodles with chicken feet in a spicy broth to fried hot dogs and tofu skin. Barbecued squid, Chinese dim sum and buns and foods from Isaan are represented. It’s pure food bliss.
For this night however we opted for some pork chops over at Highway Steak and Pasta. This place was packed full of customers too. I was salivating waiting for a seat and some poor guy who was sitting down caught me eyeing his pork chop while we waited for a table.
There are many hawker style food vendors and I even saw a small shop with a mookata setup though I don’t think they do buffet style. It looked more like an a la carte type joint.
This area also has a handful of pubs and bar establishments nearby and I’m guessing those close around 1am or perhaps later into the night. Seems like a very popular watering hole for Thai teens. There was even a pub with a live band playing.
And yes there are loads of places to get your dessert fixes from ice cream to ice shakes to shaved ice desserts.
So what kind of stuff can you find in Talad Liab Duan night market?
They’ve got a little of almost everything. There’s even a small petting zoo with sheep. You’ll find mostly knock off items though from watches, handbags and clothes. There’s even a place selling well used heavy construction tools (hmm I wonder from where), used car stereos and used boots that are still in decent condition. I’m guessing this could be a place where thieves offload their “wares”.
In these types of outdoor markets you may find antiques. But you really have to know what you’re looking at though because today I know there are many things that are made to look older then they really are. I saw many old lamps and trinkets as well as toys. There is even a section on old movie posters and commercial signage. But I can’t tell if they were made decades ago or a few days ago. You can always ask but since I wasn’t interested I never bothered to ask. This is probably a place you want to go to find things to sell on eBay.
Aside from all the dubious items there are small makeshift nail salons and handmade arts and graphic t-shirts from starving artists. You’ll see that a lot of the vendors selling fashion items and accessories are young entrepreneurs, out there working under hot lights to make an honest living. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Thailand.
When to Go and How to Get There
As one of Bangkok’s most popular night market, it is open daily, though things don’t start becoming lively around 6pm or 7pm. Because most of the vendors probably have day jobs elsewhere or finished with school for the day. Also it’s cooler in the evenings when the sun starts going down.
Most shops and even restaurants may not open on Mondays, kind of like the only official day off. So I highly recommend going when it’s the weekend, Friday to Sunday, where every shop and restaurant is in full gear.
Talad Liab Duan night market is most likely not anywhere near where your hotel is. There are no MRT or BTS stations nearby. Not even close. So the best way to get there is by taxi. I don’t recommend going there even if you’ve rented a car. There is no parking at all unless you arrive there early on. My wife and I always take a taxi.
And don’t worry there are plenty of taxis in the area waiting in the area or passing by. So you’re not going to have a problem at all getting back to your hotel.
I estimate that it will cost roughly around 150THB by taxi (with no traffic) if you’re staying at a hotel in the Sukhumvit/Pratunam area. Show the driver this ตลาดเรียบด่วนรามอินทรา or the map above. Talad Liab Duan is one of the most famous night markets in Bangkok so any taxi driver should be able to find it without no problems.
There are plenty of night markets in Bangkok that is probably closer to where ever you’re staying. But if you want to roam around some place where you can count the amount of tourists on your hands then Talad Liab Duan will satisfy your adventurous instinct. Be prepared, the ground where the vendors make shop are not paved so there’s plenty of sand and gravel. And there are public toilets but you’d have to pay a couple of Baht to use them.
If you’re a frequent visitor to Bangkok and have already been to a lot of night markets but seeking something different – Talad Liab Duan is a must visit.