In July I was lucky enough to travel to Bangkok Thailand for the premier vintage event of Thailand, Made by Legacy. This edition, hosted indoors, was on the unseen 6th level of a Luxury Mall off of Sukhumvit Road, in the center of Bangkok. First, though, I had to get there. I was lucky enough to be able to redeem airline miles for this trip, and thanks to tips from several travel websites, such as thepointsguy.com, I was able to to do this without breaking the bank.
My Initial trip went from New York to LA (6 hours), with a one day layover, followed by LAX to Seoul South Korea (13 hours), and then Seoul to Bangkok (6 hours). Combine all of that with going against the international date line, and I lost an entire day in travel! But before leaving, had to get my America on in LA. I hit up the In and Out Burger in my (rented) 2015 Mustang Convertible, and then burned rubber up the PCH to Malibu in time to watch the sunset.
The next day I arrived at the airport early, and luckily got to spend some time in the airport lounge, including their roof top deck, with its own waterfall, and free drinks.
On the way there, I got to Sample the cuisine on Asiana Airlines, which was quite good. As I mentioned, I was able to score a great deal on Business Class on the way there, so it was quite a flight experience. Here is a sample of one of the meals, the main course: Korean Bimibap.
After spending a long time in the air, rushing on the ground in Seoul, arguing with security about how necessary it is to x-ray the film for my Polaroid Camera, another 7 hour flight, I finally arrived in Bangkok.
The currency in Thailand is Baht, and at the time of my trip, the exchange rate was about $1 to 34THB. While getting there can be very expensive, many things on the ground can be very cheap. My cab ride from the airport to my hotel, for example, clocked in at about 400THB for the 45 min ride, but I had to pay two tolls, totally 75THB as well. I arrived in Bangkok late at night, and it was hard to get a sense of the city until the sun came up. Here is a view from my hotel roof top.
I spent most of my first day in Bangkok getting acclimated, changing money, eating, getting used to the traffic patterns (they drive on the left and insane, and this makes New York Traffic look like nothing!), and I went and visited the site of the Made by Legacy Event. The mall, Central Embassy, looks like a spaceship that landed in the middle of Bangkok.
Finally, I got down to business, and visited the Night Train Market at its new, second location. This market used to be housed at the old Thai State Railway Station, but due to construction it moved to the outskirts of the city to Srinakarin, and kept the name. The newest branch is in Ratchada on Ratchadaphisek Road. Both markets run 6 days a week (Closed Monday) from 6PM to Midnight.
This brings me to my first point: Events in Thailand all go until midnight. Here in the USA, the Brooklyn Flea, Punk Rock Flea Markets, and every other similar event wraps up by 6PM. In Bangkok, 6PM is early; things don't really get cooking until about 8PM, and just keep going. Here are some photos from the Night Train Market:
Nice denim for sale
Amazing toy shop
Vintage American Gas Globes, and signage out the Wazoo, hot rod culture is here!
One aisle of the market
Wow, Sportswear, Screen Stars, Russel Athletic, and Sneakers, some poly cotton rayon trip blend, all for just 150 THB a piece (less than $5)! What could be wrong? Most of these shirts should retail for $75-$200 no problem, so lets buy them all, right!
Yeah, the old saying, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. These were all modern, made overseas with fake made in the USA tags, copying all of the most famous vintage brands of the USA, with fresh Prints. Hilariously, the Hawaii surfing print on the right had a graphic copyright of 2011 on it.
This brings me to my second point: in Thailand, reproductions of vintage t-shirts are everywhere. As one of the largest purveyors of Authentic Vintage T-shirts on the internet, looking at them in detail it was pretty obvious, but to a standard customer, it may not be. The materials are not that bad, but the prints are way too fresh to be old. The signs are there, if you want to see them. There are fake vintage t-shirts everywhere in Thailand, being produced in Pakistan, and brought in to Thailand for sale. At the night train market, no one seemed to care; the seller was just sitting there reading a book, and no one was buying any.
All I can say to vintage sellers and customers is Beware! If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
After eating so much awesome street food at the Train Market, most of it priced at 30THB per seving (less than $1), I headed off to my hotel to try to sleep despite my excitement, and to prep for Day 1 of Made By Legacy.
Midnight Event Prep
Only one of these came home with me!
More to come in Part Two, from my two days of selling at Made By Legacy, in Bangkok. Thanks for reading!