Flowers for Valentine’s Day

Flowers for Valentine’s Day

“Happy Valentine’s Day.” thinkCHUA said to me at midnight on February 14th among a beautiful display of brilliant bouquets and fragrant flowers at Pak Khlong Flower Market. Though the market is open 24 hours it is busiest late at night and was especially busy for Valentine’s Day.  Love was in the air as vendors struggled to keep up with the demand of hopeful lovers, doting partners and eager florists working to get the best bouquets.

A sample of the many gorgeous flowers on offer at the Pak Khlong Talat in Bangkok

As I mentioned the market caters to both consumers and wholesalers and has a wide variety of customers. Many local florists visit the market in the early morning hours to stock their shops for the coming day. Many urban poor make a living stringing and selling flower garlands (phuang malai).  They come to the market to buy sacks of jasmine, marigold and rose blossoms to meet the demand for the prayer offerings they create to sell. I read about the market in our guidebook, however there were very few foreign tourists to compete with for front row pictures.

Women stringing bright yellow marigolds to make the ever popular flower garlands that people bring as offering to the many temples in Bangkok.

The market has a rich history, it has existed for over 60 years first as a fish market, then a produce market and finally as Bangkok’s primary flower market.  It’s location right on the Chao Phraya River along Chak Phet Road and adjacent side-streets, close to Memorial Bridge offer the explanation for it’s roots as a fish market.  You can still find produce at the market, but flowers are the main attraction.  The best way to get to the market is via taxi or tuk tuk as buses don’t run late at night, if you plan to go during the day bus #53 will take you there from Khaosan Road.

A happy vendor at the flower market, it would be a lot of fun to sell something you know makes others happy.

Most of the flowers sold in the market are delivered from Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakhon, and Samut Songkhram provinces, though flowers that require cooler growing temperatures come from up North in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, which means they travel as far as 700 kilometers to the market.  The market’s selection is extensive and is delivered from across the country.  I was particularly enthralled with the orchids and the locally popular Lotus blossoms in both electrifying pink and ivory white.

The uniquely Thai lotus flowers in blossom and for sale at the flower market.

You may visit the florist at home, but a trip to the flower market is a much more exciting experience and one that I would recommend if you are planning to head to Bangkok.

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Comments

» Mom A :
Feb 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day! Night in Bangkok. Got up and first thing tuned in to your Valentine’s Day coverage, kicking myself for not sending an e-love note earlier, taking the time difference into consideration. Your pictures are a gorgeous valentine to all your readers! Now a follow up on the sweet treats you like will be of interest. Anything there as good as those sweet bean mash-ups in Vietnam?
Sending our love – xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo – and our insurance protection for safe travel.

LOCAVORista Reply:

Mom, you send e-love all the time no worries. I will have to think about sweet treats in Bangkok, with so much delicious fresh fruit readily available we havent sought too many sweets. We are loving the fresh fruit though, we have a whole kilo of mangoes and then another kilo of oranges stashed in our room as we speak- they are so cheap!

» dad :
Feb 15, 2011

happy valentines day to you both as well……our tradition of the gopher bar will once again continue, no pad thai for us !!…..everything is melting here this week, weather in the 40’s……still trying to figure out how to answer our “smart” phones…..need to go to phones for dummies class…..enjoy the lima beans in Bangkok……be safe……..love dad

LOCAVORista Reply:

Dad, Happy V-day to you too, enjoy the coney dogs and hopefully you figure out how to answer your phones before I call next.

» Leslie :
Feb 15, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day to you! Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. I especially liked the lotus blossoms. You two didn’t happen to join a kissing contest in Pattaya did you?

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/national_world/stories/2011/02/14/offbeat1.html?sid=101

LOCAVORista Reply:

Leslie, glad you enjoyed the pictures and I hope you had a great Valentine’s as well. We did not participate in a kissing contest, 33 hours is a long time though. Thanks for sharing the article!

» Mom A :
Feb 15, 2011

I sent this beautiful post to many friends yesterday, telling them I could never send them so many beautiful flowers any other way. Sent it out today to more friends in case they didn’t get flowers for Valentine’s Day. Wow! Lotus blossom bouquets! What a treat!! Keeping following beauty.

» Donna :
Feb 15, 2011

You can never go wrong with flowers! I remember that in Germany it was customary to bring a small bouquet to the hostess when you were invited over … and when I lived there, they were very inexpensive, so it was easy to have fresh blooms around all the time. My mom was a great gardener and every Sunday there were bouquets of fresh flowers on the platform, and no matter who was sick or home-bound, they seemed to always have a fresh bouquet from the garden to cheer them up. Give us a few more weeks in MN and we’ll be watching those blooms pop out of the ground again! Enjoy!! Keep having fun!

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{ May 8, 2011 - 03:05:29 } Living If | 5/8/11 Snapshot Sunday
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About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
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