Markets are a must do for anyone making the trip to Thailand. In Bangkok alone you can find the world’s largest open-air market at Chatuchak Weekend Market, the beautiful flower market at Pak Khlong Talat, as well as the water-based Talin Chan Floating Market. A common theme among the markets is that many of the items available are marketed specifically for the Thai lifestyle. They are a must see for any tourist but can become a bit stale after you visit one or two. This is where ArtBox comes in; to throw you a curveball for your market journeys. The hipster-est of all hipster markets.
A new face in the market arena, ArtBox is a pop-up market that features independent businesses showcasing their handmade clothing, crafts, and delicacies. Think something similar to the Saturday Market in Portland, OR or the Handmade Market in Raleigh, NC… in shipping containers. As soon as you enter the grounds the creative juices begin to flow over you. Whether it’s a local Thai teen celebrity picking up the mic for a jam session or a way-to-skinny Superman dancing with the other visitors, your creative side is bound to be impressed.
The shopping varies from all kinds of apparel and trinkets. Items include everything from custom-cut stamps to leather earphone carriers. I came away from ArtBox with an amazing shark-print shirt, customized leather chukka boots, and a leather passport carrier with some questionable English printed on the front. You would be hard pressed to leave the market empty-handed.
The food here is quite unique to not only Thailand, but probably wherever you are from as well. It is sort of like fair food on crack. Do not take that to mean that everything is unhealthy because there are also culinary creations for the more conscientious as well. But “healthy” is not what I was here for. Through my two visits I was able to sample the pizza fries, the first hot wings I have had in over a year, and a bratwurst with the ever elusive spicy mustard. Also, it may not seem special to some, I found hand-squeezed lemonade. That is right. Not lime but lemon. Not an easy fruit to come by in this area.
Being surrounded by live music, amazing creations, illustrious smells of food, and hundreds of happy shoppers is sure to satisfy all social adventurers. Most vendors are on a rotation too so you always experience something fresh with each visit.
Keep an eye on the ArtBox Facebook page for schedule changes. The location may switch up occasionally too. The most recent iteration was based in the EM District. If you are in Bangkok one weekend and want something creative off of the tourist trail then be sure to make a stop by ArtBox. You will walk away with something good to take back in that suitcase.
Markets are some of the most fun you can have on your trip to Thailand. Just check out the Saturday Market in Sukhothai for example. ArtBox is an amazing change of pace with more crafty items. Do you have a favorite market to visit? Let me and the readers know in the comments below.
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