If you are flower lover, then this Bangkok flower market or Pak Khlong Talad, the largest flower market in Thailand, is the place for you. Pak Khlong Talad is located close to historic main attractions such as Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and etc. Therefore, if you visit Wat Pho or the Grand Palace, I suggest you check out Pak Khlong Talad and other off-the-beaten-path sites nearby such as Phahurat, Sara Chalerm Krung, and Saphan Phra Phuttha Yodfa. These site visits will show you a lot more of the local culture.
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Pak Khlong Talad
The old market and community which was built at the same time as the Rattanakosin Kingdom. Because it was located near Pak Khlong Khu Mueang Doem (the old capital canal), where there were many trading vessels from the Tha Chin River selling fish and other marine goods. During his reign, King Rama V ordered the market moved to Hua Lampong, since he decided that there should not be any fish market in the Palace area. The market has been selling only fruits and vegetables since then.
After that, farmers from Thon Buri came to the market with flowers in their boats. Flower selling became very popular among the market, and it has become the symbol of the place. Pak Khlong Talad is the fourth biggest flower market in the world and the largest one in Thailand. It became known among travelers as ‘Flower Road’ with many kinds of flowers and affordable price.
Learning how to fold flower
The place is also ‘the living museum’, where visitors could learn about Thai people’s authentic way of life, in the midst of the old buildings from King Rama V’s reign. Travelrs who like observing the city could walk from Pak Khlong Talad to Phra Phutthay Yodfa Bridge and go to Thanon Yaowarat or Chinatown.
Sara Chalerm Krung
From a ten minutes walk from the market, there is a royal theatre, Sara Chalerm Krung, situated. Sara Chalerm Krung (name means celebration in Thai), was built in the reign of King Rama VII to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Bangkok in 1932 and also to serve as a film theatre, as film was growing as an important type of mass media.
It was a luxurious modern cinema with an air conditioning system which was the reason for the crowd that caused traffice congestion on its first screening day.
During WWII, due to a lack of films to screen, the theatre turned to be a venue for music performances and dramas. After renovation in 1992, the theatre has been the venue for ‘Khon Chinta Naruenit’, the modernized version of the Thai mask play.
Nowadays Sala Chalerm Krung stages a monthly music show in order to preserve the works of the country’s best singers and songwriters as well as serving as concert venue all year round, Sala Chalerm Krung keeps its original architecture, despite being decades old.
The theatre also performs the Thai mask show for free to visitors who bought the ticket to the Grand Palace. A shuttle from the Grand Palace will take you there for free if you have the Grand Palace ticket. It’s a cultrral performance that was once only shown to royalty.
Saphan Phra Phuttha Yodfa (The Memorial Bridge)
Close to the flower market, there is a bridge over the Chao Phraya River called Saphan Phra Phuttha Yodfa. The bridge was used to be foldable but not anymore since it was bombed during the WWII. The local youg teenagers enjoy hanging out at the bridge in the late afternoon. I do too. It’s another great place for watching sunset over the river and the city.
King Rama VII commanded the construction of the bridge in honour of the 150th anniversary of the founding of Bangkok. This bridge serves as the memorial of Phuttha Yodfa Chulalok the Great, or King Rama I, the first to rule the Rattanakosin Kingdom and the founder of Bangok. The “Pathom Borom Rach Nusorn” (the memorial of the first great king) is located at the base.
King Rama I Statue
A formal opening ceremony was held of the 6th of April , 1932. Now , the Memorial Bridge is a public recreation place. In the late afternoon , it becomes an excercise ground and meeting point. In the old day, in the eveing, there was a big night market, Saphan Phut Night Market, with many kind of goods for sale such as cloths, shoes, food, accessaries, and more. Nevertheless, the market later was relocated to the other side of the bridge in Thonburi side which within walking distance.
Photo by plynoi
Dedicated to Princess Phahurat Manimai, a daugther of Rama V, who died at age 10. This quarter is Bangkok’s biggest textil market. Various sorts of textiles and clothing, including national dresses and stage costumes like saree, the Thai national dress, or costumes for Chinese opera are available here, as well as tailoring equipment, accessories, and chemicals.
Photo by plynoi
Phuhurat is also home to a small Indian community that preserves their way of life and this makes people call this quarter Thailand’s ‘Little India’. An important site in Phahurat is “Wat Guruvarasri Gurusingh Sabha’, whihc is the first Sikh temple in Thailand. Phuhurat is by the way connected to Bangkok’s Chinatown. So you can explore one of the largest Chinatown in the world at the same time if you prefer.
Not only Pak Khlong Talad is an interesting place to visit, the other attractions nearby such as Phahurat, Saphan Phra Phuttha Yodfa, and Sara Chalerm Krung are also certainly worth a visit. Thus, if you plan a trip to visit the flower market, now you know there are more to explore in the area.