The One With Brilliantly Bangkok – Of MOCA Bangkok, Chatuchak Market & Talad Rot Fai

The final day in Bangkok finally dawned on us, and we had our first very much-needed late start to the morning. A leisurely breakfast, a slow lap up and down the infinity pool, and soon we were ready for a spot of culture.

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

The plan was to start our day at MOCA Bangkok, the new contemporary arts museum in Bangkok which is located so far out of town, it took us two tries before a taxi driver who runs on meter agreed to take us from the Chatuchak market. I don’t know about you, but I am always suspicious of taxi drivers that quote a flat price for any distance at all. We ended up paying only half of what those dishonest drivers were asking for.

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

Having been to a couple of contemporary arts museums around the world myself, I was very excited to see the Thai version. Apparently the government invite a particular individual to exhibit his collection, and those who have been there before were raving about what they have seen.

From the outside, everything looked promising (though much can NOT be said about the mediocre-looking cafe). The first floor exhibits of some famous Thai artists were not as “shocking” as I hoped for, but to my delight I discovered that there are five floors to this museum! Perfect for a leisurely afternoon.

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

But after a few galleries, I came to a few conclusions. The arts, for what it was worth, were monotonous. I mean, they were vivid expressions of Thai cultures and idealism, interpreted through many different ways – oil on canvas, charcoal on metal, and what-have-yous. But after five floors of the general sameness, everything seem to blend into one another, and the shocking use of colour became… bland.

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

It was then we realised, this is indeed the collection of ONE individual, hence it reflect his taste of arts. No offence, but it does felt like visiting someone’s private gallery (albeit a huge one).

By the time we hit the top floor, we were knackered. My feet were aching and I was hungry. So after some adventure with The Egg and, err, a journey through the universe (aka a short stroll through a passage with a very questionable display LEDs depicting the Milky Way) we went on to Chatuchak Market.

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

And food! The moment we hit the street I saw my favourite Thai snacks – fried bugs! TTM was disgusted to the max but I was happily munching away on some fried larvas. Never miss a chance to taste these lovelies if you see them. Trust me, they tasted just like tiny pieces of chicken.

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

And then we moved on to have some proper food, one along the roadside. I mentioned that we should do our (late) lunch at any stall that serves piles of fresh veges on the tables, and the aforementioned stall appeared in front of our eyes, almost magically.

Food was decent and cheap, what else could I ask for? After all, we really should leave some allowances for the inevitable deluge of street snacks that would come out way as we explore this very popular, very large market.

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

And so we eat, we drink, we shop, we massaged and we shopped some more. We kept ourselves mostly to the main streets, as the inside stalls were more than a tad stifling. We even had some very questionable massage at Chatucak – complete with grainy (read: sand), a distracted therapist and warn weather – but hey when in Rome…

At our very last stall, where I finally got myself a lovely home signage for my front door (so that those poor delivery boys won’t press the bell for the wrong door again), we asked where we can find our way to Talad Rot Fai, also commonly known as The Train Market.

“Just cross the main road – just ONCE – and follow the crowd”, the stall lady told us wisely in broken English with much arms gesture. So we followed her advice…

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4
… and found ourselves walking for almost a kilometre to the market. There was a crowd alright, but it wasn’t apparent where they were heading to; for all we know, they might be going to work in some forsaken factory.

And then suddenly we see it! The arts and crafts market! Entrance is through a tiny side door – their version of crowd control I believed. So with much glee we took a deep breath and dived in.

Talad Rot Fai was exactly what our friends have promised. It was the epitome of the cool and the hip in Thailand, presented to everyone in that understated, polite way of the Thais but impresses never the less.

I will let the photos do the talking here.

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

Just so that you know, at the back of the main building here is yet another market; possibly a larger one, but a typical Chatuchak-like market with none of the artistry and charm of Talad Rot Fai. We figured that this must be a night market for the locals. By then we were too tired out to enjoy our unexpected findings, and it took us almost an hour trying to find our way back to where we came from.

Brilliantly Bangkok Day 4

At last, we found it. I said we should really sit down for a drink, and TTM promptly agreed. Just goes to show how bad the situation was. So we ordered some beer at this very cool, chic retro bar which name I can’t typo nor pronounce. All around us locals were chilling out and we felt very much at home… so much so that both of us partake in a spot of water pipe. That’s sisha, or nargileh. Ahhh… smoking never felt so nice.

After such a long tiring day, we drag our sorry asses back to the hotel before it gets too late to pack our luggage, since our flights are early morning the next day.

See more of my Brilliantly Bangkok posts:

Exploring Around & Attractions

MOCA Bangkok
3 Vibhavadi Rangsit, Chatuchak
Bangkok 10900
+66 2 953 1005

Chatuchak Market
Thanon Kamphaeng Phet, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900

Talad Rot Fai

The One With Brilliantly Bangkok - Of MOCA Bangkok, Chatuchak Market & Talad Rot Fai by

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