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Suan Lum Night Bazaar, Bangkok

by Nick Howell

One of the most fun places to go for an evening out in Bangkok, Thailand is Suan Lum Night Bazaar.

Suan Lum Night Bazaar is one of the best markets in Bangkok, with inexpensive prices, unusual things to buy, delicious Thai food, beer gardens, and even a puppet theater. Suan Lum is an incredibly stylish market, as much of it is undercover (perfect if you suddenly get one of those famous Bangkok downpours), with trendy cafes, bars, and tiny boutique shops.

Suan Lum is a wonderful place for singles, married couples, family, and both young and old, as there really is something for everyone.

Products at Suan Lum Night Bazaar

There are hundreds of small shops and boutiques at Suan Lum, selling clothing, shoes, handmade Thai silk, artwork, CDs, DVDs, dried flowers, dried fruit, Thai snacks, jewelry, and in fashion household decorative items. Some of my favorite things to buy are handmade pillowcases, bedspreads, towels, bags (love the ones with the embroidered Thai elephants), wooden boxes, fisherman pants, and Thai movies.

Prices at Suan Lum are cheap, and you can also bargain stall owners down in price at least 10-20% of what they first offer.

Not as large as Chatuchak Weekend Market, Suan Lum still has an excellent selection of items and is a wonderful place to buy gifts to take home.

Food at Suan Lum Night Bazaar

Suan Lum is famous for its enormous food court (farangs say, about the size of two football pitches), beer garden, and live concert. Every night of the week, the food court is open, with around 50 food stalls selling every kind of Thai food imaginable.

With prices starting at 30 baht for a plate of rice and green chicken curry or som tam (spicy Thai papaya salad), you can try several dishes and also request them less spicy if you can’t handle fiery Thai dishes.

I normally go with a group of friends, order 6-10 different dishes, which we all share, and then get a couple of pitchers of beer too. The food court is located right in front of an enormous stage where, while you eat, you can watch Thai dancers, pop singers, and bands playing – free.

Away from the food court, you will also find a couple of Japanese restaurants, several Thai restaurants, some noodle shops, a seafood restaurant, a very good pizza place, Chinese food, Mexican food, and more.

The food court is the cheapest place to eat but all these restaurants aren’t even that expensive, especially taking into consideration Suan Lum is a big tourist attraction.

Coffee Shops, Bars, and Beer Gardens at Suan Lum

Suan Lum is famous for its trendy coffee shops, little bars, and large open-air beer gardens and restaurants.

One popular cafe is Doi Tung, a Thai coffee shop where much of their profits go to support hill-tribe people in northern Thailand. Doi Tung is crowded at any time of the day or night because it sells delicious coffee and pastries, as well as wonderful Thai handicrafts made by hill-tribe people.

There are also three or four large beer gardens, where you can order beer either on tap or in cans and bottles as well as food. Suan Lum beer gardens are fun places to hang out with a group of friends and just watch people walk by.

Entertainment at Suan Lum

Live shows at the food court stage change every day, so you’ll see a variety of Thai performers; great fun to watch while you enjoy a meal.

The Joe Louis Puppet Theatre is also at Suan Lum. Joe Louis is a famous traditional Thai puppet troupe that has won awards all over the world and is one of the few puppet troupes left in Thailand that still performs the stories from the Ramakien (also known as the Ramayana in India). You can even enjoy a dinner show here.

Some of the beer gardens and restaurants have live music – with guitarists, folk singers, Thai pop singers, and more playing most nights.

Suan Lum is a wonderful place for an evening out in Bangkok. The shopping is fabulous, the prices are cheap, there are many choices of food to suit every palate, beer drinkers will love the Thai and imported beers, and coffee lovers will die for the coffee shops.

Suan Lum Night Bazaar is easy to get to as it’s right next to the Lumpini underground station. Just follow the signs out of the underground station and take a right at the train station exit, which will take you straight into the Suan Lum Night Bazaar area.

Just remember, don’t spend too much, although you’ll find it’s difficult to stop yourself.