Pak Khlong Talk is hands down the prettiest place in Bangkok. It is also the most fragrant. In fact, you can smell it even before arriving there. Located on Chak Phet Road and the surrounding radiating side streets, Pak Khlong Talat is a large flower market, which literally means “a market at the mouth of the canal”. Open 24 hours each day, you can smell the market, even when you reach the nearby Memorial Bridge and the actual first sight of the flowers is quite breathtaking. Being a primary flower market of Bangkok, Pak Khlong Talat is close to the heart of the citizens and it also has a rather long history. Once a floating market, Pak Khlong Talat existed for more than 2 centuries and it evolved into many avatars before being changed into a flower market. Thus it has stayed as a large flower market since last 60 years and nowadays is quite popular among city walks organisers.
I stumbled upon Pak Khlong Talat, after reading a lovely blog post by Mridula Dwivedi. Her photos spoke volumes and I bookmarked it for a future trip. That trip happened after a few years on this January and Pak Khlong Talat did not fail to mesmerise me. Spread out and sprawling, it was a fragrant photographer‘s delight. Clusters and piles of jewel coloured orchids, roses, button carnations, sunflowers peeked from shophouses and markets that line Th Chakkaraphet and marigolds and jasmines tumbled out on the pavements. Lilies and lotuses peeped from leaf wraps and Bangkok‘s flower ladies busily made their living by stringing phuang malai (garlands) for sale.
It was late evening when I wandered about the marker aimlessly and the crowd were already headed towards the nearby Chinatown. Pak Khlong Talat was quiet, with vendors snoozing, gossiping, cooking and staring at tourists and a few, even had time (and humour) to smile for my camera. Bangkok‘s quintessential tuk tuks, loaded with flowers weaved in and out of the fragrant lanes and old men played chess on the streets. It was a lovely relaxed evening, something quite contrary to the frenetic pace of touristy Bangkok and one of the loveliest memories I have of the Thai capital.
TRAVEL TIP – The best time to visit Pak Khlong Talat is late at night, when the flowers arrive from upcountry. The market is open 24 hours and before dawn boats and trucks deliver flowers which are sourced from Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakhon and many other provinces. Many blossoms are delivered from as far as Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. The best way to get to Bangkok’s Flower Market or Pak Khlong Talat is by SkyTrain. Take the SkyTrain to Saphan Taskin station and then head to Taksin Pier. Hop on a Chao Phraya Express boat and get off at stop #7, Rajinee. You can also reach Pak Khlong Talat by taxi, tuk tuk or motorcycle taxi. Try carrying the name written in Thai text for a hassle free ride
RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE