Check out this hip, eco-conscious pop-up in Bangkok

Go low-impact lounging with Model Market at the Thai capital

Located on Sukhumvit Soi 53, the newly launched Model Market is a social space with a purpose: It hopes to raise awareness of the environmental effects of plastic pollution. The venue itself is an abandoned urban space that has been temporarily converted into an outdoor hangout where harmful environmental practices are strictly limited. Plastic straws and other non-biodegradable items are forbidden, while leftover food from the various vendors is composted to reduce food waste. In the same spirit, many of the decorations and furnishings have been salvaged from the storage spaces of other bars and restaurants (including the silver-plated replica hydrogen bombs from the now-defunct Bangkok Betty’s).

A number of Bangkok’s hippest restaurants and bars are represented at Model Market, so visitors have the option of trying plenty of different snacks and drinks. You can also shop at The ReMaker, which specializes in beautiful designer handbags and jackets made from repurposed leather, while local recycling initiatives will allow visitors to donate unused clothes, books, toys and furniture. Weekend entertainment comes via DJ sets, as well as live acoustic performances from Thai and international artists.

Model Market will be open until October 2019. Operating hours are Monday to Friday, 5pm to midnight, and Saturday to Sunday, 11am to midnight.

Six vendors to check out


Considered one of the best pizzerias in town, Peppina has a full-on pizza oven set up in their pop-up stall. The selection ranges from the simple yet superb margherita (THB260, about P430) to the swanky mozzarella with black truffle (THB500, about P830).

Meng Kee Hong Kong Roast

Classic Hong Kong-style roasted meats are the specialty here, with generous plates of roasted duck and pork both priced at THB190 (about P315), along with their signature soy sauce chicken.

Bootleg Brothers

Three Thai craft beer brewers run this operation, which is currently pouring plentiful pints (THB230, about P380) of their Peak a Brew IPA, Island Hopper lager and Stay Wit Me witbier (bottles and half-pints also available).

Nitro Labs

Try the signature nitro cold brew (THB70, about P115) from these craft coffee brewers; or, for something stronger, go for an Irish Nitro (THB220, P365) made with Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Gangnam Pocha

The only sit-down, indoor eatery in the market, this restaurant serves up an attractively priced Korean-style BBQ buffet for just THB299 (about P495) — the sesame fried chicken is a must-try.

Tropic City

Bangkok’s best tropical cocktail bar features pink neon flamingos, flower-shirted bartenders and inventive signature cocktails, like the weirdly delicious Tropicopop (THB300, about P495), with rum, coconut, lychee, lemon and goat’s milk.

This article first appeared in the May 2019 issue of Smile magazine.

Written by

Bruce Scott

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