Home to perhaps the largest collection of bizarre vintage merchandise in Bangkok, the Papaya Vintage Shop is great for finding rare buys or merely just a curious peruse.
What’s in store at the Papaya Vintage Shop
Papaya is set in a huge warehouse down a very random and rather neglected road in Lat Phrao, a not-so-central area of Bangkok. Litter blows across the unusually wide and apocalyptic-looking road leading up to Papaya like hopeless tumbleweeds bouncing across a derelict landscape. Still, there are some interesting, colourful yet dilapidated-looking bars and body to body massage parlours to see along the way.
The entrance of Papaya is marked by a rusty old Tuk Tuk and a prominent life-sized dragon peering down from the warehouse roof. Entering the shop up the battered steps, the cluttered entrance sets the pace pretty accurately for what’s in store ahead – a chaos of seemingly infinite items from tacky junk to nostalgic treasures from throughout time.
Vintage shopping and snooping at Papaya
The gigantic warehouse of Papaya houses a plethora of vintage items from olden clocks, exotic vases, lavish china sets, musical instruments and war time trinket boxes; to bizarre paintings, antique furniture sets, 60’s pod chairs and kitschy phones from throughout the years. It also has a random scattering of shabby old mannequins, life-sized comic book heros, nostalgic childhood memorabilia, gaudy penguin bins, cabinets full of Garfield figures, and even more creepy mannequin babies.
Items at Papaya aren’t priced, so you need to find one of the workers if you’re interested in buying something there. Unfortunately, this is usually a sign that you’re probably going to need to haggle, so be prepared if bargaining isn’t your strong point. What’s more, don’t be too disappointed if the vintage item you’re itching to buy isn’t for sale; the Papaya Vintage Shop actually rents out a lot of their most prized and bizarre items to photographers to use as props.
How to get to the Papaya Vintage Shop in Bangkok
To get to Papaya Vintage Shop, the best way is to take the MRT subway to Lat Phrao station and then take a taxi from there. It’s about a mile along the road – a little too far to walk in the Bangkok heat. Ask the taxi driver to take you to Lat Prao Soi 55 (55 is pronounced ‘hah-sip-hah‘) – this will cost around 40 baht depending on traffic. Papaya Vintage is just a couple of minutes walk down the road directly on the intersection with Soi 55/2.