Bangkok is a real treasure trove of vintage delights, whether you are looking for a new/old outfit or a desk made from a 1950s Mercedes. There is nothing more fun than rummaging through racks and boxes to find something special and unique. The weekend train market (rot fai market) on Srinakarin Road makes for a fun evening out as well as offering the opportunity to purchase some weird and wonderful second-hand goods, Thonglor and Ekkamai have a host of vintage boutiques and there are also specialised shops selling old-fashioned cameras or 'like-new' 50s Thai movie posters. Here are our ten picks for those shopping for a slice of history.
Trekking all the way out to Papaya Vintage might seem like a lot of effort, but once you have peeked behind their rather unassuming doors you won’t regret making the visit. This is the place to revisit your childhood and finally come face to face with Batman, Spiderman and the Green Lantern. Sadly not everything is for sale here, but if you have time to work your way amongst the shelves and piles of memorabilia and furniture you will be sure to find some real vintage gems. To add to the adventure there are no price tags on anything either, so don’t get too attached to that Tiffany lamp before you’ve asked “tao rai?” Read More...
- Location: Soi Lat Pharo 55/2, Lat Pharo Road Wang Thong Lamg, Bangkok 10310
- Tel: 02 539 8220
The weekend Train Market (Rot Fai Market) on Srinakarin Road is vintage heaven, with goods ranging from antique furniture to second hand shoes. This place is not that easy to find as it is set on a sprawling patch of land in the eastern suburbs of Bangkok. There are three seperate zones to explore with stalls, shops and a warehouse zone where you can buy an unbelievable range of retro items. You’re unlikely to come away empty handed, but remember that the life-size Japanese Anime characters are not so easy to transport! There are plenty of other fantastic things on offer that are far easier to carry, beautifully kept leather handbags, racks of cool clothes and the occasional scary doll with very little hair. The market has become a weekend destination for hip Bangkokians, with plenty of options for a beer and food as well. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 14:00 till 0:00
- Location: Srinakarin Road (behind Seacon Square Shopping Mall)
Tuba is run by the guys who own Papaya but far easier to get to. Situated on the corner of Ekkamai Soi 21, this restaurant and bar serves up a blend of feel-good Thai and western dishes and some goldfish bowl size cocktails (Their 2 for 1 happy hour is from 5pm – 8pm every day) surrounded by quirky vintage furniture and ornaments. What makes this restaurant even cooler is that right next door is Tuba 2, a small warehouse jam packed with alternative versions of the decor that you can purchase. So after you have had a Tsunami cocktail in their funky lounge, pop across and have a browse. Recent spots include a lamp shaped like a gnome and some Victorian-inspired vases. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 till 02:00 every day
- BTS: Ekkamai
- Address: Khlong Toei Nuea, Vadhana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 711 5500
Classic Movie Poster
From the outside this narrow shop in Siam Square might not look like much, but to those in the know this is Thailand’s premier retailer of vintage movie posters. It’s an impressive collection, ranging from obscure Thai movies from the late 50s to recent blockbusters. Given the size of the shop not everything is on display, so pull up a stool and let the smiley owner delight you with a collection that deserves to be in a museum. If you feel inspired after a trip here then pop round the corner to the retro Scala cinema, a vestige of silver-screen history, where you can easily imagine these technicolour prints hanging.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 14:00 to 20:00 and weekends 14:00 till 19:00
- Location: Next to Lido Theatre, behind the 7 11
- BTS: Siam
- Address: Siam Square Soi 2
- Tel: +66 (0)2 2553677
(un) FASHION Vintage
Even before you get a chance to look at the goods on display at (un) FASHION Vintage you can smell the quality leather. If you are looking for a fabulous bag or some unusual shoes then this is the place to come. With new stock arriving every Wednesday, there are the occasional designer pieces, but the coolest stuff is definitely the items imported from Europe and Japan. The items here will definitely stand out from the crowd and the prices are reasonable too. A small black 60s purse from the UK cost only 365 baht and some resoled men’s brogue boots come in at 1,200 baht.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 -21:00 Everyday
- BTS: Ekkamai
- Address: Sukhumvit 63 soi 10
- Tel: 02-7269592
For classic car lovers this small garage on On Nut Road is worth the slight detour out of central Bangkok. Run by a small group of dedicated motorists with a passion for bringing these beautiful machines back to life, their garage is part museum, part repair shop with a handful of vehicles for sale. If you can’t afford the cherry red Mercedes Benz W113 soft top, priced at 3,350,000 baht then check out the glass cabinets full of classic car models. The owners don’t speak much English that isn’t car related, but they are happy to show you around and their enthusiasm is infectious. Be sure to check out the desks in the office which are made out of classic car fronts. Read More...
- Location: Between On Nut Soi 57 and 59
- Tel: +66 (0) 816137777
Dasa Book Cafe
Located just next to Phrom Pong BTS is bookshop heaven, a small shop that houses around 16,000 second-hand books. If you are looking for somewhere to swap your old novels then Dasa have a great book exchange programme, either for other books in their collection or for cash. Just bear in mind that they take their literature seriously, so they generally won’t take pulp thrillers. If you are looking for a real vintage find then ask to check out their rare books collection, which includes some fabulous 50s travel books about Bangkok and South East Asia. Dasa Book’s also has a small café area so you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of cake whilst you read your new purchase.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 till 20:00 every day
- BTS: Phrom Pong
- Address: 714/4 Sukhumvit Road (Soi 26-28)
- Tel: +66 (0)2 661 2993
These days everyone is snapping away on their digital cameras, but the real skill is taking brilliant pictures with some of the old machines you can find in Siam TLR. This small shop is on the ground floor of Mahutan Plaza, a fairly ugly building near Ploen Chit BTS. Inside is a different matter, with wonderfully preserved selection that includes vintage Polaroid, Lomo and Kodak cameras. Amongst the cameras are also some vintage telephones and radios and it feels more like an enthusiast’s living room than a shop, the friendly and helpful owner sits at a dining table making repairs, surrounded by cabinets full of film and spare parts.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 18:30
- BTS: PloenChit
- Address: Mahatun Plaza Building Ground Floor, Phloen Chit Road
- Tel: +66 (0)8 1431 0351
Again and Again
One of the smartest vintage shops in the city, you won’t have to rummage through piles of musty clothes here - everything is beautifully arranged on hangers and shelves by colour and style. They stock shoes, clothes and accessories for women. Prices range from around 500 baht to 5,000 depending on the item, and it is clear that Again and Again have picked out the best of the bunch. They have a penchant for bold colours and plenty of diamante, making it a good choice for some unusual party wear. Their accessories collection is also mostly exquisite, beautiful costume jewellery and hardly used leather belts and bags.
- BTS: Thong Lor
- Address: Market Place Thonglor Soi 4, Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok, Thailand 10110
- Tel: +66 89 486 5359
The ornate, narrow door at Triple Stitched leads into a treasure trove of vintage denim, classic 60s sunglasses and American brand checked shirts. This diminutive menswear store has enough stock packed on its shelves to kit out the coolest of rock’n’roll bands…and their audience. There are signs of wear and tear on some of their items so be sure to check out items before you buy, but this place stocks some real stand out Indie style.
- Location: 2nd floor, Rain Hill Plaza, Soi 47 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok
- BTS: Thong Lor