Name basically any random object from anywhere in the world, and chances are pretty high it can be found hidden somewhere in this unassuming warehouse building in Bangkok’s suburbs. Papaya Studio is a veritable Valhalla for quirky vintage collectibles.
The store is the brainchild of the eccentric Mr. Tong, a collector of antiques, vintage, and curiosities from around the globe. For the past 25 years, he’s been accumulating everything from vintage Scandinavian designer furniture, creepy mannequin dolls, Chinese porcelain, retro racing bikes, life-size action hero figures, and literally thousands of other curiosities in his massive warehouse.
Spread over multiple massive halls, the items are on display in a maze of mock living rooms, spacious photo studios, and huge cabinets. There is no store map or publicly visible store index, but items are placed according to some form of logic, either by era—Victorian furniture, retro furniture, and so on–or function, such as chairs, mirrors, or children’s toys.
All items are technically for sale, but visitors are almost discouraged from taking anything home, as none of the items have a price tag showing, and most of the prices are surprisingly steep. In some cases, the owner might simply refuse to sell certain items, simply because they’ve become such a prized part of his collection.
Know Before You Go
Lad Phrao is one of Bangkok's lesser-visited suburbs, so the tourist infrastructure is far from developed. Your best bet is to hail down a taxi and ask the driver to head down to "Lad Phrao Soi ha sip ha". Alternatively, take a bus from the Lad Phrao MRT station Exit 3 (line 145, 545, 92 or 502).