Exploring Thonburi's bohemian creative space.
Drive across to the Thonburi side of the river and you’ll find this 11-rai creative hub, whose name in Thai means “sloppy artisan.” Opened in 2017—and featured in Time magazine’s 2018 list of the World's 100 Greatest Places—Chang Chui is the brainchild of Somchai Songwattana (read our interview), CEO and art director of Thailand’s pioneering fashion house FlyNow. Each of the 18 separate buildings are made from reused materials, including its main attraction, the head-turning disused Lockheed L-1011 Tristar airplane.
What we like: Chang Chui is undeniably a hipster’s paradise. The eccentric sculptures and urban art pieces make for cool Instagram backdrops, while the clothing stores and F&B choices are trendy, yet refreshingly different. Aside from all that, Chang Chui feels very down-to-earth. It’s surprisingly kid-friendly, with slides, tree houses and swings, and is well-organized into two main zones—Green and Night. Unlike most night markets, it’s not overcrowded, making strolling around a pleasant experience.
What to buy: More upscale than most others, so don’t expect to see piles of secondhand clothes or designer knockoffs. Instead, you’ll be greeted with stylish fashion boutiques and other unique shops selling leather goods, arts and crafts, books, stationery, home products and gifts. There’s a handful of outdoor pop-up stalls selling high-quality preloved clothes, Muji-style canvas totes, beach-ready tie dye garments and plants. The F&B choices are the real highlight—think insect restaurant Insects in the Backyard (02-035-7000), fine dining airplane restaurant Na-Oh (088-612-2188) and craft beer expert Hoay Bar (081-817-2888).
What annoys us: Even with its media attention, the market doesn't seem to be able to attract much traffic and closing hours for the shops seem unpredictable—this is probably because it’s so far out of town with no transport links nearby.
Who goes there: Thonburi families, artists, creatives, and a few tourists.
Pro tips: Although Chang Chui also opens during the day, it’s best to come as the sun sets, as that’s when the market has the best vibe with both zones open.