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Rong Kluea Market – THE Second Hand Market

Rong Kluea Market

The adventurer and journalist in me always wants to check out weird places, so when I head about Rong Kluea Market, one of the largest second markets in the world, I simply had to see it…..

What is Rong Kluea Market?

Since the border o Cambodia and Thailand was alertly seated, bar the odd war over temples trade and markets have existed. These initially occurred on the Cambodian side in Poipet, before the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot took over, after which time it moved to Aranyaprathet province and the Krong Luk Border crossing.

Photo: Credit to owner

Its initial growth was spurred on by the cheap textile industry in Cambodia, which meant clothes were thus cheap and a second hand market became available. Clothes are now theoretically produced and cleaned in Cambodia before going to the Rongkluea market.

Here they join the huge buddings, as well as hundreds of stalls selling not just the aforementioned goods, but also cheap crap from China, mostly toys and electronics.

What is it like to visit Rong Kluea Market?

If you like dodgy border trade people watching and learning peoples tales then this is a must see. Essentially what you get here is not what you’d think. Most of the stores are actually selling new clothes, such as cheap t-shirts, underwear and socks, with the second hand market being, well second fiddle.

Most traders that come here are actually from Thailand, but ironically most of the goods are made in Thailand rather than Cambodia, at least according to one vendor that we spoke to. He also said that trade had been down somewhat since the pandemic even after the border had opened, a sad, but true reality we live in.

And as for the cheap Chinese crap? Ironically it arrived by container regularly, with the market merely acting as a conduit for trade in such things.

To read about Khao San Road click here.

And as for the second hand market? This is certainly evident in Rong Kluea, but what is most striking is the sheer volume of second hand shoes, many of which are pilled up high and being fixed in front of your eyes. These were we can confirm from Cambodia and again destined for the Thai market. Proof id ever you needed it that there is much more to Thailand than the bright lights of Bangkok.

Eating, drinking and sleeping at sleeping at Rong Kluea Market

You will not find bars at the border, but there are a lot of duty free shops should you need a drink and of course there is 7-Eleven, although it was not serving alcohol whilst we were there.

Photo: Credit to owner

To read about 7-Eleven in Cambodia click here.

Street food wise Rong Kluea market is buzzing with both local and Khmer dishes, not to mention a firmly well places KFC should you be hankering for western food. No judgement as we have all been there.

As for sleeping at Rong Klue market there is technically a Border Hotel which looks plush, but is always full. Another alternative is to head to Market Motel, which is about 100 Baht or ten minutes from the border, essentially halfway between Aranyaprathet Town and the border.

This place not only knocks out rooms at less than 10 dollars a night with a pool, but the market area has some truly authentic Thai street food. This was honestly some of the best squid I have had in Thailand and it shall warrant its very own article!

Is it worth braking up your day to visit Rong Kluea Market? If you book a bus, no it is not, but if you have tied in a trip with the a train journey and are in no rush when you do get to Cambodia then you should visit this famous second hand market. Worst case you leave with a t-shirt…

Want to join me in Cambodia? Check out our Dark Tourism Tour.