LOCATION SPOTLIGHT – THEPPRASIT NIGHT BAZAAR
By Belinda Wilson
This time I’m not writing about Pattaya’s most popular weekend market, the one in Thepprasit road – by the Outlet Mall. I have, after all mentioned it many times
before as a favourite haunt for picking up bargains, cheap food, and all manner of inexpensive extras. No, the location spotlight for this issue is just across the road and slightly further towards the Sukhumvit road. It is the “Thepprasit Night Bazaar” and you will spot the entrance by its “Universal studios style” large Transformer model just inside the arch.
This market , as opposed to its larger brother across the road, is a semi-permanent fixture, combining actual shops with more makeshift stalls. Actually laid out as a complex on two floors, when you first walk through the arch you will see to your left an extensive food area with noodle stalls, fruit juice and the obligatory smoothie offerings, skewers, grills and (the night I visited) even a Suckling pig given free to all comers.
There is a real feeling of camaraderie here from the assembled sellers. Those sitting outside their shops (yes there are a couple of shops in this area) taking a break from the monotony of low season and a lack of tourists, bonding together with their competitiors in their hope of increasing the footfall for the whole area. They were only too pleased to see some curious “Farangs” curiously exploring the market and were they were quick to point out the free food on offer and smile at us without hawking for sales.
The stage just beyond the food stalls was empty although there have been many bands and even ladyboy shows offered as free entertainment for the visiting
Walking through the main selling area had “much of a muchness” about it. As can be found around most of Pattaya’s markets there were tourist typical take home products such as bags of teas, coffee, coconut oil, aloe vera, tooth powder and the like. Underwear stalls – that still don’t seem to really be taking on board the sizes needed for the average overseas traveler to Thailand! Electrical goods – mostly for the primping of hair, T shirts, T shirt like clothes and make up –and some better than usual shoe stalls. But travel further down the aisles and there are even more interesting treasures to be found. Furniture and antique stalls with mainly Chinese or Japanese inspired offerings had some interesting china, art, vases and the like, and the handmade leathers, shoes and ornaments stalls interesting pieces to take home.
Clocks, pictures, umbrella pots (we are after all coming into rainy season) and even piebald cow skins all available to the intrepid shopper willing to go further and further down the aisles where to be honest the temperature and humidity did worsen. That said it is not the most uncomfortable market to walk though as it does not have the dusty dirty ground of say the Jomtien Night market. After al,l it is paved and this can make a big difference to your level of comfort when you are wearing say flip flops or open toed sandals.
Also when you really have had enough and need a break from it all you can go upstairs to their very own “Beer and Wine Garden” . This is really just some seating on the roof but does have a bar, a photo opportunity spot for the kids and most importantly a refreshing breeze and rather pleasant overview of the streets below.
Out on the Sukhumvit road there is another walk in entrance – again continuing the theme park idea with a “more than life size” green Hulk figure for further photo opportunities and also amble parking at the side.
Have a look at this little market the next time your passing. The enthusiasm and willingness to please of the vendors in this little spot is quite charming and you might just pick up some interesting item, eat some inexpensive “nosh” and perhaps catch an evening’s entertainment.