First things first: The place is NOT in Soi 62 as stated here on TA, but in Soi 58. Soi 62 is just a very short and dirty dead end alley with nothing to explore. And you can see that on the sign indicating the right Soi – It says “Saphan Pla”, with means Fish Bridge. I did not see any bridge though.
Soi 58 is five to ten minutes walking from Saphan Taksin Sky Train Station. Just pass the temple named “Wat Yannawa” – the one with the concrete boat – then the Bangkok Dock and you are almost there.
If you “smell something fishy” upon entering the Soi do not worry! Here it means that everything is fine and you have come to the right place. The whole street and the buildings smell like fish, even when the market is closed in the daytime. But it is not too bad, not like it’s rotten, it is just…fish.
Note that this is not a tourist place. It is a wholesale market where the fisherman’s catch from the night is traded to restaurant owners and fish factories. There are no fancy seafood restaurants anywhere nearby. There is actually nothing nearby that has to do with tourist places or fancy stuff at all.
But the good part is that here you can see and experience real Thai life and you are off the beaten path. If you were looking for places where no Farang – tourist or Bangkok resident – show up, well…you’ve found one!
To be honest, I missed most of the action. I went one day in the afternoon and the market was deserted. I took only some photos of the beautiful graffiti (all related to the ocean in general and fishing in particular) on a wall near the market building.
The next day I went at six o’clock in the morning and even this was too late. Only three places still showed activity by working on or selling fish. I found out that the busiest time is between midnight and four o’clock. The photo opportunities are seemingly endless, I’ve been told. But remember: You are invading people’s daily work space. It can be rough at times and you should ask for permission to take photos. In Thai the question is: “Tai roop dai mai?”. I always got a positive response and a smile.
For the smell alone working with fish is not a dream job to have. Some people might feel uneasy when a tourist shuffles along and takes photos of them. Don’t be too pushy and respect them!