Bangkok is well-known as the place to be in South East Asia for a great shopping experience. Shopping malls, as Siam World and MBK, carry all the bigger brands and markets as Chatuchak Weekend Market show cheaper, often brandless items to the consumers. Bangkok is paradise for those who want to update their wardrobe. However, shopping malls and the bigger markets can be crowded and filled with tourists. Hence, if you are looking for a market which is less packed with tourists and has a more traditional Asian feel, look no further! The Wang Lang market will answer your prayers.
The Wang Lang market can be found just across the river from the Grand Palace. Catch the ferry to to Wang Lang pier. The smell of Thai street food will welcome you to the Wang Lang market from the moment you step off that boat. Walk just a couple of seconds from the pier to find the first vendors. Please, do not let the first vendors with plastic bags and phone cases scare you. Walk just a little further and I promise, you will be pleasantly surprised.
The streets are narrow and crowed, but in my opinion, this contributes to the real market experience. Vendors will offer a range of different products and constantly yell through the narrow and busy streets, hoping to catch your attention. As mentioned above, the street food is great at Wang Lang market. The smell of herbs and spices can be found in many places in Asia, and this market is definitely one of them. Noodles and rice dishes can be found in great quantity. Besides warm dishes, I recommend also giving the deserts a shot. They might look a bit weird at first sight, but taste great!
Other than food, you can also find a great amount of vendors selling second hand closes for bottom prices. It might take some time before you find that one piece you’ve always been looking for, but hidden treasures can be found! I actually found a cute little backpack there once. Five years later, the leather has been seriously worn out, but I still have trouble letting it go. The bag and I have been through so much! Even the hipster Thai visit the Wang Lang market for new items. Walk just a little further away from the pier and well dressed, young Thai will be seeking for new clothes, sunglasses, wallets or small leather goods.
Wang Lang market is definitely one to visit when in Bangkok and seeking for a place which is less packed with tourists. Give it a shot and update me on your findings!