Arduino, Sensors and more: Welcome to Ban Mo, Bangkok’s biggest electronic supply market
Pantip Plaza, MBK Mall and Fortune Town are well known places in Bangkok to find electronic devices such mobile phones, drones, cctv, cameras and small gadgets. Moreover, you can find consumer electronics in nearly all malls in Bangkok, including BigC and Tesco.
However, what if I am looking for electronics supplies for Do-it-Yourself projects (e.g. home automation) or more sophisticated engineering applications?
In this case, you should definitely take a look Ban Mo Market. It is Bangkok's biggest market for electronics supplies and truly a heaven for technology geeks, engineers, technicians and hobbyists.
What is special about Ban Mo Market?
Ban Mo is the name of a surprisingly little known, but special market in Bangkok. At the same time, 'Ban Mo' is the name of the very neighbourhood that is harboring this market. Local engineers, technicians, hobbyists, inventors and other people related to electronics & mechatronics know this place well. However, only few foreigners have visited or even heard of this unique electronics market.
Photos: Street View of Ban Mo Market (Top), entrance of one of Ban Mo's bigger passages (Bottom)
There are a lot people who visit markets and malls to see a variety of fashion, accessoiries and food. Now imagine a typical crowded Asian market. But instead of all the clothes, shoes, hats and delicious dishes, think of capacitors, resistors electric switches and circuits. This is pretty much what Ban Mo market is all about. It's an insider tip to those that have a passion for all kinds of self-made automation projects.
What can I find there?
Ban Mo Market offers a variety of electronic components, parts and supplies such as:
There are several smaller shops specialized in Microcontrollers such as the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, PICx, ESP8266, ESP32, Beaglebone Black in different variations that can be found in Ban Mo area's narrow passages.
Photos: Microcontrollers can be found at several stores at Ban Mo Market
Perfect for automation and robotics projects, there are numerous sensors such as:
- Strain gauges, load cell sensors
- Temperature/humidity/ pressure sensors
- RFID readers
- Capacitive sensors
- Hall sensors
- Inductive sensors
- IR receivers
- GPS modules
- Accelerometers, Gyroscopes
- PIR Sensors (Motion Detection)
- Radar modules
- Reed Switches
- Ultrasonic Sensors
Photo: Various sensors for automation projects can be found at Ban Mo market
For communication between electric devices several modules available:
- Radio frequency transceiver modules
- Wifi modules
- Bluetooth modules
- CAN transceivers
- LoraWan modules
- RS232, RS485 modules
- uArt modules
Electric Drives and Power Electronics
For robotics projects, rc cars, automated door openers, 3D printers and basically everything else that has moving parts, there are various electric drives at Ban Mo:
- Stepper Motors
- BLDC motors (for Drones)
- Linear drives (printers)
- AC-motors for more power
- DC motors of various power categories
But also related products such as ball bearings, shafts, gear boxes, and housings can be found.
Other Electric Components
Not only people who are experts in electronics come to Ban Mo. Many people come to find basic electrical components to build, repair or replace something:
- Power supply (AC-DC Converter, DC-DC Converter, Buck-/Boost Converter)
- Basic electric parts (such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors, diodes, potentiometers, fuses, MOSFETs
- Integrated circuits (Op Amps, Voltage regulators, drivers, logic ICs, comparators)
- Electric switches, circuit breakers
- Breadboards, PCBs
- Soldering & welding equipment
- Push buttons
- Male/female connectors
- Cables including jumper cables
- Heat sinks
- Solar panels
- Displays (LCD, OLED, LED Dot Matrix, 7-Segment )
- Housings and Spacers
Photo: Inductors (Above), Power supplies (Bellow)
Photo: Various types of connectors
Not only single chips and basic parts are sold here. You can also find already assembled modules and boards that fullfil a special task like a motion detection circuit, signal amplifier circuit (for load cells) or a garage door opener including remote control & receiving circuit for less than 100 THB.
Fun fact: Besides of electronics supplies and gadgets you will notice that there is an unusual large amount of adult DVDs offered for sale on several corners. It seems like buying porn is the finishing touch to complete an exhausting shopping tour here.
Where is it located?
Photo: A narrow passage with plenty stall for electronic parts in Ban Mo
Ban Mo Market is located about 1.3km south of Khaosan Road and about 0.9 km west of Chinatown, at the far end of Pahurat Road. Unlike other markets, it's not located on a larger open area, but rather it is spread over a main street (Ban Mo street), its side streets and passages between them. At first sight, it looks like a regular market, but if you look closely and dare to enter the narrow side streets and passages you will see a world full electronics. On the main road you will mainly find electric switches, buttons or cctv cameras. In order to find more specialized shops for electronic items and gadgets, you need to check out the passages and small malls that are around the main walking street
How to get there?
The most convenient way to get to Ban Mo is taking a taxi or motorcycle taxi, if you are not far away. Another option is to take MRT to Hua Lomphong station and from where you take a motorcycle taxi (when there is too much traffic). Of course, you can also walk the 1.6 km from the station to Ban Mo, if you feel confident.
At first sight, Ban Mo looks like a usual Thai market place, with hundres of stalls and booths scattered along the main road and its side streets. However, this place has specialized in electronics tools and supplies that are sold to wholesale prices. Shop owners, engineers, technicians, robot geeks, hobbyists and students who have a major in technical related fields visit this unique market to get supplies or just to discover new products.
People who are not related to any technical stuff might not find Ban Mo very interesting (unless you look for aduld videos). But if you work on a Do-It-Yourself robotics or automation project or just want to buy a voltmeter to measure voltages, then Ban Mo is the right place. You will find a vast variety of products. Shops specialized in certain products might be hidden in passages between the side streets and you will need to ask people for directions. Yet, you don't necessarily need to have a specific product in mind that you want to buy, you can come here for impulsive buying (i.e. an unplanned decision to buy a product or service, made just before a purchase) as well.
Photo: Stepper motors, a load cell sensor and a LED dot matrix (from left to right)