Siam Square: a night market at the heart of Bangkok

Written by Team Expique
Published: July 2, 2016

Siam Square isn’t one of the Chatuchaks or Talat Rot Fais of the world, the kind of market that gets its name thrown around on every itinerary recommended to visitors to Bangkok. But that’s not to say that it’s not a Bangkok night market that’s worth a visit – in fact, on the contrary, here’s why you should stop by.

Siam Square - photo by Anton Strogonoff

More an accumulation of evening roadside stalls than the kind of organised market that are generally more popular with travellers to Bangkok, the vendors around Siam Square set up each evening on the roads that throng the area around Siam BTS station, stretching almost all the way around to National Stadium, home of the popular mega-mall MBK.

On these roads, you’ll find hawkers touting everything from cheap street fashion to electronics and DVDs, and of course plenty of food – after all, it just wouldn’t be a Bangkok night market if there wasn’t plenty of Thai nosh to chow down on.

Expect all your favourite eat-on-the-go Thai dishes to make an appearance, including the likes of somtum papaya salad, moo ping grilled pork skewers, fried chicken, and plenty of deep-fried unidentified skewered meat and fish balls slathered in chilli sauce, known as luk chin.

Siam Square - photo by YANG HAI

There’s no denying that part of Siam Square night market’s appeal lies in its advantageous location. Sitting literally right beneath the Siam BTS station – which serves as the interchange between the Sukhumvit and Silom lines of the Skytrain system – it’s a doddle to get here from wherever you might be staying in Bangkok.

That same location also puts you within hopping distance of plenty of other attractions, if the night market action happens not to be enough to sate your appetite for retail therapy. You’re between some of Bangkok’s most world-famous shopping centres, like Siam Paragon, Siam Center, and Siam Square One, as well as just a couple of minutes’ walk from high-end Ratchaprasong’s Central World, perhaps Bangkok’s most iconic and sprawling retail destination of all.

Scala cinema in Bangkok - photo by Chris Wotton

The small lanes of Siam Square itself are also tightly packed with other places to spend your baht – there’s everything from independent retail outlets through to coffee shops, co-working spaces, and restaurants popular with local office workers and students. And that’s all without even mentioning that Siam Square is home to some of Bangkok’s most classic movie-going experiences, including one of our personal favourites Scala – the Thai capital’s first single-screen cinema, dating back to 1967 in all its stunning retro glory – and sister cinema Lido. Both cinemas screen Hollywood flicks alongside more alternative films.

We can’t get enough of night markets in Bangkok, but it pays to look beyond the most popular and most talked about ones – and a visit to Siam Square is the perfect opportunity to mingle with likeminded shopaholic locals and pick up something you didn’t even know you needed. You’ll have to hurry, though, as the word on the street is that Bangkok’s authorities are planning to relocate many of Siam Square’s vendors elsewhere – so get there fast!

Have you been to Siam Square night market? Let us know in the comments!

Photos by Anton Strogonoff, YANG HAI, and Chris Wotton.

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