9 Great Vintage Shopping Experiences in Bangkok

Bangkok's Best Retro Shops

    Bangkok is a real treasure trove of vintage delights, whether you are looking for a new/old outfit or a desk made from a 1950s Mercedes. There is nothing more fun than rummaging through racks and boxes to find something special and unique.

    The weekend train market (Rod Fai Market) on Srinakarin Road makes for a fun evening out as well as offering the opportunity to purchase some weird and wonderful second-hand goods, Thonglor and Ekkamai each have a host of vintage boutiques and there are also specialized shops selling old-fashioned cameras or 'like-new' '50s Thai movie posters. Here are our picks for those shopping for a slice of history.

    1

    Papaya Studio

    Trekking all the way out to Papaya Studio Bangkok might seem like a lot of effort, but once you have peeked behind their rather unassuming doors you won’t regret making the visit. This is the place to revisit your childhood and finally come face to face with Batman, Spiderman and the Green Lantern. Sadly not everything is for sale here, but if you have time to work your way around the shelves and piles of memorabilia and furniture, you'll be sure to find some real vintage gems. To add to the adventure, there are no price tags on anything. Don’t get too attached to that Tiffany lamp before you’ve asked “tao rai?” ('how much?')

    Location: 306/1 Soi Lat Phrao, Phlabphla, Wang Thonglang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9am to 6.30pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 539 8220

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    • Shoppers
    • Unusual
    2

    Rod Fai Market

    Bangkok's weekend train market, Rod Fai Market is vintage heaven, with goods ranging from antique furniture to second-hand shoes. This place is not that easy to find as it's set on a sprawling patch of land in the eastern suburbs of Bangkok. There are 3 separate zones to explore, with dozens of stalls and shops, as well as a warehouse zone where you can buy an unbelievable range of retro items.

    You’re unlikely to come away empty-handed, but remember that the life-size Japanese Anime characters are not so easy to transportation! There are plenty of other fantastic things that are far easier to carry, like beautifully kept leather handbags, racks of cool clothes and the occasional scary doll with very little hair. The market has become a weekend destination for hip Bangkokians, with plenty of options for a beer and food as well.

    Location: 51 Srinagarindra Road, Nong Bon, Prawet, Bangkok 10250, Thailand

    Open: Thursday–Sunday from 5pm to 1am (closed from Mondays to Wednesdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)81 827 5885

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    • Food
    • Nightlife
    3

    Tuba Restaurant and Bar

    Tuba is run by the guys who own Papaya Studio but is far easier to get to. Situated on the corner of Ekkamai Soi 21, this restaurant and bar serves up a blend of feel-good Thai and western dishes and some goldfish-bowl-sized cocktails.

    What makes this restaurant even cooler is that right next door is Tuba 2, a small warehouse jam-packed with alternate versions of the décor that you can purchase. So, after you have had a Tsunami cocktail in their funky lounge, pop across and have a browse. Interesting items include a lamp shaped like a gnome and Victorian-inspired vases.

    Location: 34 Ekamai, Soi 21, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11am to 2am

    Phone: +66 (0)2 711 5500

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    4

    Classic Movie Poster

    Classic Movie Poster is Thailand’s premier retailer of vintage movie posters (as you might have guessed from the name). From outside, this narrow shop in Siam Square might not look like much, but to those in the know, it's a goldmine of classic movie memorabilia. It’s an impressive collection, ranging from obscure Thai movies from the late '50s to recent blockbusters.

    Given the size of the shop, not everything is on display, so pull up a stool and let the smiley owner delight you with a collection that deserves to be in a museum. If you feel inspired after a trip here then pop round the corner to the retro Scala movie theater, a vestige of silver-screen history, where you can easily imagine these technicolour prints hanging.

    Location: Siam Square Soi 2, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Friday from 2pm to 8pm, Saturdays from 2pm to 7.30pm, Sundays from 2pm to 7pm

    Phone: +66 (0)87 084 3131

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    5

    (un) FASHION Vintage Collection

    Even before you get a chance to look at the goods on display at (un) FASHION Vintage Collection, you can smell the quality leather. If you're looking for a fabulous bag or some unusual shoes then this is the place to come. With new stock arriving every Wednesday, there are the occasional designer pieces, but the coolest stuff is definitely the items imported from Europe and Japan.

    The goods here will stand out from the crowd and the prices are reasonable, too. A small, black '60s purse from the UK cost only 365 baht and some resoled men’s brogue boots come in at about 1,200 baht.

    Location: 3 Ekkamai Soi 10, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11.30am to 9pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 726 9592

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    6

    Thai Auto Vintage

    For classic car lovers, this small garage on On Nut Road is worth the slight detour out of central Bangkok. Run by a small group of dedicated motorists with a passion for bringing these beautiful machines back to life, their garage is part museum and part repair shop, with a handful of vehicles for sale. If you can’t afford the cherry-red Mercedes Benz W113 soft top (priced at 3,350,000 baht), check out the glass cabinets full of classic car models. The owners don’t speak much English, but they're happy to show you around. Be sure to check out the desks made out of classic car fronts in the office.

    Location: 385/1 On Nut Rd, Prawet, Bangkok 10250, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10am to 8pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 721 6859

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    • Shoppers
    7

    Dasa Book Cafe

    Located just next to the Phrom Phong BTS station is Dasa Book Cafe, a small shop housing around 16,000 second-hand books. If you are looking for somewhere to swap your old novels, this bookstore has a great book exchange program, either for other books in their collection or for cash. Just bear in mind that they take their literature seriously, so they generally won’t take pulp thrillers.

    If you're looking for a real vintage find, ask for their rare books collection, which includes some fabulous 1950s travel books about Bangkok and Southeast Asia. Dasa also has a small café area so you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of cake while you read your new purchase.

    Location: 714/4 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10am to 8pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 661 2993

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    8

    SiamTLR

    Everyone is snapping away on their digital cameras, but the real test of your photography skills is taking brilliant pictures with some of the old machines you can find in SiamTLR. This small shop in Mahatun Plaza has a wonderfully preserved collection that includes vintage Polaroid, Lomo and Kodak cameras.

    Among the cameras are also some old telephones and radios. SiamTLR feels more like an enthusiast’s living room than a shop. The friendly and helpful owner sits at a dining table making repairs, surrounded by cabinets full of film and spare parts.

    Location: Mahatun Plaza Building, G Floor, Phloen Chit Road, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 12pm to 7pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)8 1431 0351

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    9

    Again & Again Vintage

    One of the smartest vintage shops in the city, you won’t have to rummage through piles of musty clothes at Again & Again Vintage – everything is beautifully arranged on hangers and shelves by color and style. They usually stock shoes, clothes and accessories for women.

    Prices range from around 500 to 5,000 baht, depending on the item. It's clear that Again & Again Vintage have picked out the best of the bunch. The boutique has a penchant for bold colors and plenty of diamantes, making it a good choice for some unusual partywear. Its accessories collection is also mostly exquisite, including beautiful costume jewelry, and hardly used leather belts and bags.

    Location: 3654 Rama IV Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10am to 8pm

    Phone: +66 (0)86 626 6965

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    • Shoppers

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