UPDATE: We’ve been keeping a close eye on the situation surrounding the much-loved night market Talad Rodfai since it broke a few weeks ago—and to be honest it’s all a bit confusing. It’s since been confirmed that there is no longer a Talad Rodfai Chatuchak either at the former location opposite Chatuchak’s Express Way entrance or at the mooted new venue behind IN Square. In brief, here’s what we now know: after its contract with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) ended, Talad Rodfai Chatuchak needed to move out to make way for the Bangsue-Rangsit electric train project. The market’s admin then tried to negotiate with the SRT to extend their stay for a further six months while they prepared to move to a new location on Srinakarin Road. The SRT finally allowed them to operate at the abandoned warehouses behind IN Square. Soon after, however, Talad Rodfai admin claimed that the local mafia was calling the shots at the new location, so they decided to shut everything down (Read more on www.bkmagazine.com). In short, if you’re really sold on Talad Rodfai, prepare to drive to their new location behind Seacon Square on Srinakarin Road. Talad Rodfai Srinakarin is open Fri-Sun, from around 5pm till midnight. www.facebook.com/taradrodfi
Many Bangkokians were up in arms last week following the news that workers from the State Railway of Thailand had attempted to demolish one of the city’s most beloved night markets in a sneaky midnight move on May 27.
Quick action from vendors who turned up en masse prevented the workers and their diggers from doing too much damage, but it left the fate of Talad Rodfai hanging in the balance.
The good news is that despite initial fears and the SRTs heavy handed tactics, this isn’t the end of the Railway Market—just yet. After further discussions between vendors and the head of the SRT, Prapas Chongsanguan (pictured above), a new plan is in place which will see all the stalls relocate to an empty warehouse situated behind the nearby under-construction mall IN Square.
Spokesperson for the vendors, Charin Roikaew confirmed that stall holders will start moving to the new location from June 4, which means that this weekend (May 31-Jun 2) will be the last chance for dek waen and hipsters alike to catch the vintage and secondhand market at its current location. The vendors will then be able to stay at the new warehouse (Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd.), which is actually closer to MRT Kamphaeng Phet for five months for a small operations fee.
At the end of this grace period, they will then need to leave, with the option to relocate to the new branch of the market which is now open (though not totally complete) on Srinakarin Soi 51 (and has a 15 year lease).
While it was common knowledge that the closure of the market was coming, no one really expected it to happen quite so quickly. The reason for the demolition is the fact that the market lies directly on the route of the new Red electric railway Line between Rangsit and Bang Sue.
This new 21km extension to the existing rail network will run along a similar route to the abandoned Hopewell Project and is currently due for completion in 2017. The SRT points to the tight time frames involved as the reason they can’t delay construction work on the existing market site any longer.
We spoke to current vendors and many of them seem to be raising the white flag. Waris Mukdasanit, the owner of Kafé Retro, says: “Everything has its ending. It’s okay if this place will be used for everyone’s benefit as they said, but if we have to move for a sake of a few people, that’s wrong.” Many also confirmed that they are not eager to relocate to the new market on Srinakarin Road, a location they consider too remote.
2011 >> Rod Fai Market opened
Nov 9, 2012 >> Lush Music Festival
Feb 27, 2013>> Rodfai Market on Srinakarin opened
Mar 1, 2013 >> SRT sign a contract with a construction company to start the demolish
May 22, 2013 >> First, partial demolition
May 27, 2013 >> Second, demolition
May 28, 2013 >> An official discussion between Rodfai market’s admin and SRT
Jun 4, 2013 >> Vendors moving to the warehouse behind IN Square