Energetic, Hectic and Colorful!
These are three words that may best describe Pak Khlong Talat, Bangkok’s largest flower market. This vibrant riverside market excites visitors not only with a wide range of colors and smell but also the energy exuded from local vendors and buyers.
The name ‘Pak Khlong Talat’, which means ‘the market on the confluence of canals’, is derived from its location where small canals and rivers meet. Due to the development of the city, you will not see these canals because they are turned into roads. Luckily, it does not lose its charm.
Historically, the market originated more than 200 years ago as a fish and seafood market. It was a big market with a strong smell. So King Rama V (1853-1910) decided to move the fish market to another place and introduce vegetables and fruits to the place. The flower market emerged about 60 years ago when local gardeners in the area started to bring flowers to the market. It was a successful transition and became a symbol of the Pak Khlong Talat area. Nowadays, the market is still considered a big wholesale market for vegetables and fruits but flowers certainly takes center stage.
What sets Pak Khlong Talat apart from other flower markets is that it is open 24 hours and most of the trade happen on narrow sidewalks on both sides of the road. The market is always busy but has its peak early before dawn. The road is lined with hundreds of small vendors and flower shops, selling a wide variety of flowers from roses, orchid, jasmine, white champaka, chrysanthemums, water lilies, carnations, gerbera and hydrangea. It also has colorful garlands, decorative plants and everything related to flower arrangement. The flowers here are inexpensive and gorgeous.
Flowers are not the only thing that draws people to Pak Khlong Talat. The market is also appealing for its hustle and bustle. It is common to see wholesalers, local florists, event planners, floral designers and housewives choosing flowers and chatting with the vendors. Young porters transporting fruits, vegetables and flowers on their trolleys navigate through a busy sidewalk, jogging in and out of the traffic. It is incredible to witness the quiet energy of this community, which has been going for two centuries.
Getting to Pak Khlong Talat
The market is situated on the riverbank of the Chao Phraya river and close to another famous attraction, the China Town. You may travel to the market by bus or taxi but the best way is by boat. Take the Chao Phraya boat from any pier and get off at Pak Klong Talat pier. The flower market is located behind the Yodpiman Community Mall.