Bangkok’s best vintage finds
IT seems that at on any given day in Bangkok, a new mega mall is being hastily constructed somewhere. Bangkok residents are constantly bombarded with new advertisements, luxury boutiques and gimmicks designed to lure them into the latest air-conditioned monolith. However, if you find yourself averse to the labyrinth of MBK and other, large designer shopping malls, Bangkok offers up an array of unique vintage shopping destinations.
Cocou Basics, Ekamai. Pic: Sarah Waldron
Cocou’s main branch is tucked off Ekamai’s Soi 21 and offers a wide, eclectic range of vintage and newer creations by young, international designers. The owners curate a collection that includes up and coming designers from around Asia, as well as a large stock of vintage in the back room. If you are a vintage hound, you are sure to find something to your liking at Cocou. Their collection includes shoes, hats, jackets, jewelry, and even glittery party dresses. The prices range from cheap to fairly expensive, depending on your choices. Recently, Cocou offered a 50% off everything sale, so be sure to keep your eyes and ears open to more deals offered here.
Location: 1/F, Baan Ekamai, Ekamai Soi 21, Ekamai BTS. Tel: 02-711-4783
If vintage shoes and boots are more your fancy, (Un)Fashion Vintage Collection is the place for you. Also located in Ekamai (Soi 10), this small boutique is filled to the brim with various types of leather footwear. The owner takes vintage leather shoes imported from Italy and restores them to their original glory. It can be difficult to find larger shoe sizes in Bangkok, but (Un)Fashion Vintage collection carries shoes in a wide range of sizes, so you’re sure to find a winner no matter how large (or small) your feet are.
Location: Ekamai soi 10, Ekamai BTS. Tel: 02-726-9592.
Chatuchak, the world’s largest outdoor weekend market, has everything you could ever hope to find. It also houses a sizable vintage clothing market, but the real trick is figuring out how to find it. The clothing section of Chatuchak is mainly housed in Section 5. Once you find your way to this area, your best bet is to explore at your own pace. Shop stalls in Chatuchak are rarely labeled and the most unique finds are usually ‘discovered’. The market offers an array of incredible vintage denim stalls as well as shops offering shoes, dresses, purses, jewelry, tee-shirts and much, much more. Good luck! Bring a bottle of water and prepare to make a day of it.
Location: BTS Mo Chit, open only on weekends.
At the other end of the spectrum is the more upscale Again and Again, located on Thonglor Soi 4. Again and Again carefully curates the clothes that they bring in from around the world and their prices often reflect that. They have a beautiful collection of shoes, belts, handbags and dresses – all quite girly, if that’s the style that you are after. One of Again and Again’s perks is that they also offer online shopping and update their website quite frequently.
Location: Thonglor, soi 4, Thonglor BTS. Tel: 089-486 5359.
Talad Rot Fai
Another market, located near Chatuchak, is Talad Rot Fai, or the “train market”. Open only on Friday and Saturday nights, this bustling market has a decidedly retro feel. Wares are laid out on mats or on makeshift clothes racks, often in front of vintage VW vans. Talad Rot Fai has a relaxed feel, far less crammed than Chatuchak, and also offers a wide selection of food and drinks. The market itself is not only dedicated to clothes, but to all sorts of random unique vintage finds. Sunglasses, old magazines and signs, hula hoops, clocks – it can all be found here, making Talad Rot Fai a definite must-see on any vintage lover’s list.
Location: MRT, Kampaeng Phet, exit 3, walk 450 meters west.