Saturday, July 09, 2016

Sampeng Lane Wholesale Market @ Bangkok Chinatown [Thailand]

I cannot remember when my last visit to Sampeng Lane was and this revelation came as a shock to me given how much i love the wholesale market in the past; so much so that my accommodation had to be in Chinatown then!

Sampeng Lane isn't visible from the main Yaowarat Road (the main artery of Chinatown) but it isn't difficult to find; just follow the human traffic. On a side note, do keep in mind that the wholesale market generally closes at about 4-5pm.

My recommendation is to go at about 1-2pm, do your shopping and once that's done, maybe about 2-3 hours later, it would be about time for an early dinner at nighttime famous eateries like T&K!

As the heart of Bangkok for Chinese commercial entities, it's a given to find shops selling Chinese herbs and medicinal products. My mom ever hauled back a kilogram of dried fish maw; i didn't know there's a non-puffy version!

Chinese temples attract my attention whenever i am overseas although i am mindful of my company; Alex dislikes the waste of time whenever i want to check out temples. As a superficial human, i would see if the facade is interesting before deciding the insistence level.

There are over 70 photographs and faced with such a long post, i would have to apologise in advance in event i get out of topic or sprout really nonsensical stuff towards the end.

Many things were up for sale even though the scale couldn't compare to Chatuchak Weekend Market. In addition, this was essentially a wholesale market and a price for one can differs a lot if you buy three or more of the same item.

Hence, don't bother bargaining unless you have the quantity or you are certain that the shop isn't into wholesale marketing.

One giveaway sign for wholesale marketing - the lack of / simpleness of decoration and the magnitude of items on display!

I am thankful and grateful that i am a man as many things for sale were catered more for the ladies. Just a handbag of the same style can have so many colours! I would get frustrated just thinking which one i should get.

Cute pouches for the kids; i have mentioned this many times before, verbal and written, that Sampeng Lane is a great destination for parents to buy cheap yet good gifts!

Coin pouches - i am missing the one my sister got for me which came in handy when i am overseas, especially towards the end when i can just dump all the foreign coins to buy some snacks at the convenience store.

Otah on bread or its lookalike. Befitting Bangkok's image with street-lined food hawkers, there were food hawkers every now and then along the lane.

Hats! I do respect the decision by store owners in disallowing people to try their products. Photography, however, is a bit hard to stop nowadays with the advancement of technology! If anyone really has that conviction to copy your style, they can do so easily without the big ass camera i had in my possession.

Bags of soft toys! I don't know what the trend is nowadays but when i was in kindergarten, it's common to have the birthday boy / girl distributing goody bags to their classmates and it could include erasers, chocolate wafers, pens, sweets etc. 

Pretty key chains at 50 baht each; i think. 

Some sections along the way maybe unsheltered so do bring along an umbrella in case it rains. As it was a super hot period when i visited, there wasn't a drop of rain throughout the six days!

Umbrella would be helpful to shield those UV rays! My mom is always prepared with a brolly in her handbag in the event she feels a tinge of warmness on her face.

Plastic containers to organise your house / office; judging from the dimensions, i am inclined not to buy anything that's not expensive yet can substantially eat into my baggage space.

More photos for your viewing pleasure; fake flowers that can be made into a flower garland, ribbons for the presents, necklaces that came with pendants and hairbands! 

Sampeng Lane cuts across a few roads and you have to be prepared to look out for traffic!

Not enough luggage? Get these old school plastic / nylon bags for lighter items like clothes! I bought one before in Bangkok and it lasted me quite a few years.

As the market's main customer base is Thais from all over the country, it makes better sense to use the Thai language. Nevertheless, the vendors do see a ready stream of tourists and simple English can still be accepted. In case all fail, take out a calculator and use basic sign gestures.

I have always wanted to buy sunglasses but it's hard for me to wear them as i wear prescription glasses and seldom go for contact lens. 


Lifelike dolls that give me the creeps! I don't understand the fascination people have with dolls; wouldn't it be scary if you hear them talk or see them move? I think i should cut down on horror movies like Annabelle.

The lane can be narrow but because it's a straight line, i don't get as confused with the navigation compared to Pratunam area! 

OK Station - it's a one-stop station for you to buy things for your kids or their friends! And you know what's the most attractive thing about the shop? It's air-conditioned.

With home-sewing machines gaining slow yet steady popularity, maybe you can find the fabric you want from the massive selection available! 

Hello Kitty stuff - with such economical pricing, please don't expect the brand to be legitimate. The same goes for quite a few other notable cartoon characters like those from Frozen.

Or Doraemon.

Beads for craftwork; Alex's had a wide range interest to occupy his mind and one was making bracelet / necklace from beads. I suck in craftwork.

Face masks - remembering that Joyce had specifically asked me to buy a few from China when i was in Gulin last year (and couldn't find them), i took the opportunity to buy a few for the kids!

Watches - those who know well will know i don't wear any accessories and that include the watch. Reason is that i sweat profusely and the watch strap tends to stink after a while! 

With the kids growing exponentially year by year, i am finding it more and more difficult to buy clothes for them! For Jerald, he can already fit into my young sister's tee shirts!

Neon vests for emergency workers etc. As a member of the fire safety committee, this brings back memory from Singapore as i am expected to wear a luminous green vest when an emergency hits!

Cosmetic jewellery, watches, undergarments and more garments! 

Crowd thinned as we advanced further and further away from the main Chinatown buzz. 

Fabric stickers - from what i recollect, these have never really taken off in Singapore but this is hardly surprising as the little red dot isn't known for the fashion scene. Food binds us much better!

From far, i thought they were real gold!!! 

I should have purchased a few meters back to Singapore so that i can get a tailor to make my office pants! Given my short stature, normal off-the-shelve pants are just too long for me! :( 

Food hawkers along the lane. I remember a cafe in the past although i didn't chance upon any in my recent trip. 

Without looking closer, you wouldn't have noticed the pedestrian crossing button! If this happens in Singapore, nothing would be done yet the news would likely make it to the social media. 

Crossing another main road cutting through Sampeng Lane.

A new schoolbag for your kid? I almost wanted to buy one for both Jerald and Jovyn and decided not to as i don't really have an eye for such things. Actually, i do get frustrated buying presents as i am worried the recipient would not like it and i would spend my money for nothing. Better to give cash sometimes. 

More photographs for your viewing; shops selling laces, flower-print tablemats, cushion covers, plastic hairbands and children pajamas and swimsuits (i think)! 

Are you still using handkerchiefs instead of tissue paper? There are a few things that have gone obsolete in my generation and i presume handkerchiefs would be gone soon. 

Oh my gosh! The kind of clothes my grandmas wore in the past! My mom said once in her early 40s that she would wear this traditional attire when she turns 60. Nope, thankfully it didn't happen!

Need special buttons to adorn your shirt / dress? Look no further!

Shimmering beads for craft-work! The lady manning the store was so nice as she kindly allowed me to take photographs! 

A nicely decorated hat / cap shop. 

Traditional biscuits in a tin. Now that i have my own house, i think i should pay Biscuit King a visit to stock up the snack cupboard. Back when i was in my parents' house, i am hesitant to buy as my younger sister can easily finish half a tin in one sitting!! 

I think we call this fruit Salak (also known a snake skin fruit); couldn't quite remember how it tastes like even though i am sure i have eaten it before. 

The end of the wholesale market was easy to spot as you would have to reach a canal and with a cement pedestrian crossing.  


Bangkok, Thailand

Highlighted in yellow. Nearest MRT station is Hualamphong.

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