Mr Mode and I have next to nothing in common except for our love for old things, which we discovered only very recently. I’m glad we share the same old-school taste, which is the theme of our future home! ^_^
Another interesting thing we did besides cooking Thai cuisine at a cooking school was a trip to Talat Rod Fai Night Market, an abandoned Railway Station owned by State Railway Thailand. This retro shopping village is a haven for vintage lovers like us, and a different kind of shopping experience for anyone who is tired of the usual street markets.
There’s a shopping area with shops laid out a little like those of Chatuchak, but brighter and cleaner. I think most people would skip this section altogether and go straight to the bars and more exciting night market area.
Love this cute old-school mama shop turned cafe. Look at the old Milo cans, tingkats and childhood snacks.
I was looking forward to the vintage market so imagine my disappointment when I thought reaching the tents signified the end of the market.
But see the brightly lit building on the far left of the above picture?
That’s the warehouse that contains all the beautiful things of the past.
Guess what is this?
It’s a vintage refrigerator! This is the freezing compartment.
I have no idea what this bullet-lookalike motorbike is actually called.
My feet for size comparison. Heh heh.
I know next to nothing about cars, but this monster was incredibly beautiful.
You need to see it for yourself to fully appreciate its silent strength, charm, and beauty. It must have been a beast in its heyday.
On one side of the village you have all these colorful tents hawking the usual things like clothes, shoes, bags, phone casings, street food – everything typical of a night market.
And just one little alley away, an entirely different world showcasing and selling vintage brick-bracks and knick-knacks – gramophones, typewriters, furniture, household wares, toys, electronics, signs, vintage clothing, war memorabilia, and all kinds of collectibles.
Such a beautiful contrast.
Couldn’t figure out what is this. Any idea? It looks like a text copier, but I’m not sure.
Some shops looked really eerie. A lot of the shops had no one mending them, like it’s an open museum for all to marvel at.
Super creepy. >.<”
The one of the top right is a traditional coconut grater.
This Malaysian couple was looking at a well-maintained WWII gramophone, which cost THB 65,000 (about SGD 2,700). So I chatted with them and asked if they were going to purchase that.
Definitely pricey, but if you think about it, there aren’t many WWII gramophones in the market. Most of the gramophones have a horn, but this being a wartime gramophone was something really unique.
I hope they managed to negotiate down to a better price!
Local designer working on his collection.
Squealed with delight when I saw this vintage clarinet. Glad to know that the look of the clarinet hasn’t changed much with times. =)
Bars & Restaurants
Another thing I love about Talat Rod Fai is the abundance of bars, restaurants and eateries. There were big ones with a concept and live band, little ones with makeshift tables and chairs, and a central location with plenty of food stalls.
The whole town was such a lovely place to be in – the colors and sights at the night market section, the kampung laid back vibe from the vintage zone, audience waving and singing on the top of their voices along with the live band, friends taking wefies to remember the moment, others leaning back just chillin’.
Most importantly, the majority of people there were Thais, so you can truly experience the local culture. Besides, when we left at 1am, the place was still bustling with life. The night was indeed still young at Talat Rod Fai, a place of art, design and music.
Getting to Talat Rod Fai
I read that one could take a taxi from Udom Suk or On Nut. After dinner at Thong Lo Food Street (I wrote about this on Dayre Day 14), we took the BTS to Udom Suk. In the taxi though, I thought I saw a directional sign pointing towards Udom Suk. So I’m not quite sure if we actually backtracked.
There is no BTS station of walking distance to Talat Rod Fat so you have to take a taxi. We took a meter taxi and were expecting the fare to not exceed 80 baht according to reviews online, but we ended but paying more than 100 baht. The taxi driver could have dropped us opposite Seacon Square and we only had to cross the overheard bridge to reach Talat Rod Fai. Instead, he drove on and went to the back of Seacon Square where we were stuck in queue for 20 minutes.
The taxi meter in Bangkok does not jump as quickly as in Singapore, but we could have reached our destination in 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes. It’s not so much the difference in price but delay in time that irked us.
So if you do intend to travel via taxi, tell the taxi driver to drop you OPPOSITE Seacon Square to save on all that unnecessary jam. As a guide to know you’re going in the same direction we did, you would pass a shopping centre named ‘HAHA’ before reaching Seacon Square.
We left the place on a high and promised to return in the future. If you have time, definitely make a trip to Talat Fod Fai. It is on the far end of the BTS line and requires more traveling by taxi, but trust me, it’s worth it.