One of the many things I love about Bangkok, Thailand is being able to buy incredibly cheap flowers. Unlike in the west, where roses can go for as much as $75 a bouquet, in Bangkok I often buy bouquets of tea roses for as cheap as $1.20 – yes, flowers are that cheap in Thailand’s capital city. Of course, some florists are just as expensive as their American counterparts – that’s why you need to know where to shop. For the best places to buy beautiful (and cheap) flowers in Bangkok, check out these.
Pak Klong Talat – Bangkok’s most famous flower market is called ‘Pak Klong Talat’ and is located in the Chinatown area of the city. It’s a wholesale market which, amazingly, is open 24 hours a day. The two busiest times to go are around midnight and again at 6am, when boats arrive with flowers from all over Thailand. The best thing too is this is predominantly a Thai affair – you’ll see hardly any tourists here.
At Pak Klong Talat, you can buy just about every flower you’ve ever heard of and a lot you’ve never seen in your life before. Small bouquets of tea roses for 30 baht ($1), marigolds, carnations, lilies, red roses, yellow roses, pink roses, Thailand’s famous orchids, jasmine, and on and on. Obviously, as it’s wholesale, the more you buy the cheaper they are, but even for just one small bouquet or a few single stems, expect to get away with less than a couple of dollars.
You’ll find Pak Klong Talat in Chinatown, near the Saphan Phut Bridge. Any taxi can take you there, or take a riverboat and get off at the Pak Klong Talat.
Sukhumvit Market Stalls – More expensive than Pak Klong Talat, you can still buy some relatively cheap flowers at various flower stalls around the Sukhumvit Soi 33 area. I discovered these flower stalls when I went to Villa Supermarket to buy a bouquet while on my way to a party. It dawned on me, when I saw the market stalls right outside the supermarket, why would I buy flowers at Villa when they were half the price right outside on the street.
To get there, take the BTS sky train to Phrom Phong station, go down to the street on the opposite side of Emporium Mall and walk a couple of blocks back towards Siam station. You’ll find a number of good flowers
stalls here, particularly after 6pm.
Chatuchak Flower and Plant Market – Located on the same spot as the famous Chatuchak Weekend market, the Chatuchak Flower and Plant Market is only open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6am to 6pm. Here you’ll find not only some wonderful displays of flowers, but also trees, plants, dried flowers, plant pots, mulch,soil, you name it.
Prices are as low as 20 baht (75 cents) for a small bouquet of cut flowers, and go up to a few hundred baht for the more exotic or rare types.
Flower Carts – All over Bangkok, you’ll see mobile flower carts being pushed by men and women on their way to their normal daily selling spot or to one of the local markets. You can stop them at any point and they’ll sell you whichever flowers you want.
Most of the time you’ll get ‘Thai price’ although, if you’re obviously a tourist, don’t be surprised if they bump up the price. Then again, it will still be a 20th of what you’d pay in the west. Prices begin at 30-50 baht ($1-$1.75) for marigolds, tea roses, carnations etc.