Catagorize: Floating Market
Contact: at Ban Khlong Luek, Tha Kham Sub-district, 6 kilometres from Aranyaprathet District to the east, bordering with the Thailand – Cambodia frontier. Tel. Contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Thailand in advance for inform
Rong Kluea Market or Ban Khlong Luek Border Market is the biggest market in the eastern border of Thailand. It is located in Aranyaprathet District of Sa Kaeo Province, near the Aranyaprathet - Poipet border, in Banteay Meanchey Province of Cambodia. Rong Kluea Market consists of five markets; old Rong Kluea Market, Det Thai Market, Tessaban 2 Market (new Rong Kluea Market,) Tessaban 3 Market (Gloden Gate Market) and Benjawan Market. It has over 3,000 shops selling variety of products all day long and is the biggest market for second-hand goods. Thousands of visitors come to shop at the market for cheap and good quality brand names from all over the world. The place is most crowded during winter. It has over 10 million baht in circulation each day and the amount is 10 times during holidays.
There are both new and second-hand items sold at the market such as clothes, handbags, shoes, jewelry, silverwares, dried fish, grilled fish and bowls from Cambodia and electric appliances, chinaware, curtains and fruits from China and Vietnam. Variety of insects is sold such as scorpions, grasshoppers and bamboo caterpillars. Before selling them, the Cambodians would clean the insects by taking their wings and tails off. After rinsing them, they would keep them in a cold room and then pack for selling. Rong Kluea Market is the center of new and second-hand brand name goods from all over the world such as from Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Pakistan, France, USA, England and Germany.
The history of second-hand apparels at Rong Kluea Market began at the end of the Cambodian War when Cambodian people were in poverty. The apparels in good condition were donated to Cambodian people by members of the United Nations. The Cambodians crossed the border to sell the donated clothes to Thais at cheap price. Nowadays, there are no longer donated clothes sold at the market but second-hand items bought from Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, making Rong Kluea Market in Sa Kaeo Province the biggest international second-hand market of Thailand.
Products like shoes, handbags and sweaters are categorized and shipped in containers before arriving at Laem Chabang Port in Chonburi Province. Jeans and trousers are transported from Sihanoukville Port in Cambodia. Expensive brand name jeans are repaired into good condition and then shipped to sell in Japan. When items arrive at Rong Kluea Market, middlemen will categorize them from their conditions and set the prices. After that, they will clean or repair certain items. If you are not an expert, you will not be able to notice that some products are second-hand and were repaired.
Merchants at Rong Kluea Market are mostly Cambodians with Chinese or Vietnamese heritages emigrated from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang, with only 10 percent of Thai merchants.
The border opens 7.00 – 20.00. During 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., there are over 2,000 Cambodians crossing the border. They are divided into 3 groups; employees with no belongings that has been in line since dawn to open the shops for their employers, merchants bringing along with them sacks of products and trolley workers or carriers for tourists travelling to Angkor Wat.
Shopping at Rong Kluea Market, it is recommended to check the goods thoroughly as there are both authentic and fake brand name products. Levi’s jeans originally priced at 1,500 – 2,000 baht can be bought at 700 – 950 baht. But, if you don’t check the item well enough, you might get the fake one at the same price. Bicycle renting is available at 20 baht per day. Trolleys are also provided at negotiated price.
To get to Sa Kaeo Province, by car, four routes from Bangkok are possible.
1.Phahonyothin – Rangsit Route: keep left and cross the bridge to enter highway No. 305, passing Ongkharak District of Nakhon Nayok Province. Then, enter highway No. 33 route, passing Kabin Buri District of Prachin Buri Province, to Sa Kaeo Province. The total distance of this route is 214 kilometers.
2.Highway No. 1 Route: turn right at Kong Hin intersection to enter highway No. 33, passing Nakhon Nayok and Kabin Buri. The total distance of this route is 245 kilometers.
3.Highway No. 304 Route: passing Min Buri District and Chachoengsao Province, enter the route to Phanom Sarakham District. At the 35th kilometer of the route, turn right to highway No. 304 to Kabin Buri and turn right again at the 95th kilometer. Enter highway No. 33 and proceed until arriving at Sa Kaeo Province. The total distance of this route is 210 kilometers.
4.Highway No. 304 Route: passing Min Buri District and Chachoengsao Province, enter the route to Phanom Sarakham District. After passing Khao Hin Son Royal Development Study Center, turn right at the intersection to enter Sa Kaeo Province via highway No. 359.
Alternatively, take public bus from The Transport Co., Ltd., normal or air-conditioned, leaving Mo Chit Station on Kampaengpetch 2 Road every day, at various time. For more information, contact tel. 02-936-2852-66 ext. 311.
Travelling by train is also possible. State Railway of Thailand offers two trains, Bangkok – Sa Kaeo – Aranyaprathet, daily at 05.55 a.m. and 13.05 p.m. Ticket costs 48 baht per person. For more information, contact the travel information service at tel. 02-223-7010, 02-220-4334 or 1690.