The Klong Suan 100 year old market on the outskirts of Bangkok

You’ll find Klong Suan 100 year old market outside Bangkok, about 20 kilometers past Suvarnabhumi airport. It’s actually more than 150 years old and is a wonderful slice of traditional Thai life. Because of its remote location, Klong Suan has only recently been discovered by international tourists who mostly flock here on the weekends when boatman also arrive on the local waterway to sell their wares. While the floating market is restricted to Saturdays and Sundays, the main market is open every day and is much less crowded. If you take the time to explore you can discover some true treasures. If you love collectable tin toys, then Klong Suan delivers. Some of the vendors here have become famous within Thailand. This bakery is not busy on a weekday, but when the weekends roll in the queue for cakes is non-stop all day. Klong Suan is several hundred meters long and packed with an endless line of tiny old-fashioned wooden shops, where many of the owners still live upstairs. Some have been here since they were born and many of the businesses have been maintained for 3 or more generations. 70 year old Dumrong has been a barber here for all of his working life. His father started the barber shop before he was born. Somchai and Siriporn run one of Klong Suan’s most famous candy stores along with their granddaughter Porntip and if you head here with your children this is usually one place in the market that’s hard to avoid. 53 year old Penpat runs the coffee shop started by her 80 year old father, Mr Lee, who is one of the most famous vendors at Klong Suan. She is the 7th of his 9 children and oversees the business when Mr Lee takes a rare day off. You can sip on Arabica coffee from Thailand’s north and gaze at the array of family photos that decorate the walls.
There is a small museum at Klong Suan that displays all kinds of products sold in the past. Vintage shampoos, washing powder, and old tea and cookie boxes share dusty shelves with antique medicine bottles. It’s housed in what was once the residence of one of the market’s founders. Klong Suan market is clean and beautifully maintained, so as you explore the wooden walkways, stop for some traditional local food and enjoy the atmosphere of a bygone era, when time definitely moved at a slower and friendlier pace.