Papaya ShopPapaya vintage is unlike any shop you have even seen before. Many people in Bangkok have heard of it but few have actually stepped inside it. Many people in the world have no idea that this amazing place actually exists. It is so bizarre that some of the best genuine vintage items on display are not even offered for sale! What kind of shop would do that?

This shop is Ali Baba meets Indiana Jones. If you haven't been there before, you won't be impressed by the location and nor by the exterior of the warehouse. Because that's what Papaya is; a warehouse in the suburbs of Bangkok.

It is out of the way and somewhat difficult to get to. The entrance is small and looks like a workshop cluttered with weird artefacts and junk and some workers chit chatting while fixing unidentified pieces of unidentified junk. Psychologically, this modest entrance will play a role in the way the shop progressively reveals itself to you.

Entering the first room is already a treat for some... it's dark, dusty, dank, with no apparent logic and a complete mess really. But quickly your eyes will be drawn to the thousands of toys and objects from the past, vivid reminders of the greatest moments of bygone young years. Standing between Darth Vader and a collection of Ultraman figures, a full scale Albert Hitchcock endlessly stares at James Dean - Forever posing and looking cool next to the doorway. Now if you think this room is amazing you are about to have a big shock, this is just a tiny fraction of what is behind the door where the real stuff for sale is kept!

Probably by pure coincidence, but the way things have been displayed in a haphazard fashion acts as a crescendo. After the first room, a narrow maze meanders between walls of shelves adorned with more and more treasures until it suddenly expels you into a wide open, three-storey high space. This space is literally packed from floor to ceiling with thousand of strange, vintage, and industrial style objects and collectables. Some are instantly familiar and are antique, and some others unidentifiable. Among all this there are hidden away some real rare gems of vintage design furniture, absolutely stunning art deco chairs, desks and light fixtures.

Exploring the upper floors is like travelling randomly through time. Trying to list the amazing eclectic objects, items, figures, toys, household objects and furniture tightly packed next to each other would be almost an impossible task. Everybody's reaction is different and personal. Amongst all of the retro paraphernalia there are pinball machines, Vespas and full-size familiar comic characters.

If you decide to buy, you won't see any price tag hanging from any of these fabulous items. You will need to get someone to help you, and due to the risk of never finding your way back to that object of your desire - A good idea is to take a picture with your mobile and go back to the counter in the shop where someone is always at the computer to assist you. You can expect some bargaining, but even worse, the owner might just casually announce that this item is not for sale! So why is that? Is it some kind of museum? Well, kind of.

Go all the way up to the top floor and you will notice a lot of buzzing activity next to an empty room - Often some very pretty girls and handsome guys all dressed up like they were about to stride onto the catwalk. And that is exactly what is going to happen! Papaya shop has become a favourite destination studio for professional photographers. Thinking about it, where else can you find such a treasure trove of fantastic props readily available to use in the most eccentric way? A fashion photographer's paradise. Same for those in the fashion world, there is no limit to your creativity here.

If you are a vintage lover this place is a must visit destination, otherwise go there to delve into a world of retro fantasy and fun. It's like a free museum where you can take home many of your favourite pieces.

 Location: Soi Lat Pharo 55/2, Lat Pharo Road Wang Thong Lamg, Bangkok 10310 Tel: 02 539 8220


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