One can already smell it when the boat stops at the Memorial Bridge. The Pak Khlong Talat flower market is located on the Chao Phraya and has existed since the reign of Rama I. However, back then the flowers, fruits and vegetables were sold out of the boats. Today the salesmen have solid ground under their feet and probably one of the most beautiful working places in the city. The market is overwhelming with all its exotic magnificence, the intense scent and the rich diversity of flowers and tends to let the visitor almost forget that the temperature is about 35° C in the shade at a humidity of around 90 per cent. Even though the Pak Khlong Talat is open continuously - a visit is possible anytime - one should try to be there at sunrise. At this time the boats land with a fresh delivery from the province and the retailers of the city stock up with the daily requirement. And don't forget the camera! By the way: One bunch of 50 roses, rolled up in newspaper, costs only one Euro, orchids a bit more. And the salesmen can also pack the flowers suitably for a flight.
The historic market in Old Town brings an extraordinary charm with it. Even though it is near the Grand Palace, one will hardly see any tourists. The local shops and little stalls have very often been in the same family for generations. And it fits the offer: Different than on many Thai markets, there are hardly any mass-produced goods around the Moon-Pier, as it would be called in English. Instead, there are antique coins, Moroccan lamps, bronze figures, vintage-jewellery, Buddhist amulets and talismans. The Thai Sompong lies his cards onto a little, shaky table, a few meters away an old hippie wearing a dozen pearl necklaces shows his jewellery proudly, and on the end of the street pendants made of boar tushes have been sold for over 40 years. One thing is certain though: On Tha Prachan you can find a souvenir which is out of the ordinary and which you will want to keep for yourself at the end.
To support Thai arts and crafts the ministry for industry has opened the Narai Phand on the Phloen Chit Road together with investors from the private sector. For about 72 years it has been Thailand's biggest shopping center for local premium arts and crafts from the most diverse regions. The range of products goes from Vishnu and Ganesha statues made of bronze or stannic to handcrafted, braided bags to traditionally painted picture frames and jewellery boxes. In addition, there is an own area for Thailand's famous cutlery: the Celadon. It is known for its delicate green or blue colour and the cups, plates and ashtrays are elaborately decorated with (golden) paintings - of course by hand. All products are packed securely and can be sent to Europe by request.