Bangkok is a shopping lovers paradise! Seriously there is a shopping option for everyone. From sprawling luxury shopping malls to tiny street-side stalls, Bangkok has it all. My favorite shopping option is the Chatuchak Market—one of the largest outdoor markets in the world. Covering almost 27 acres with 15,000+ stalls, you can find almost anything you need. Since a place of this size can get a little overwhelming, I put together this guide to the Bangkok’s best weekend market.
Quick Facts About the Chatuchak Market-
- The Chatuchak Weekend Market opened in 1942 when the current Prime Minister declared that every province have their own market.
- The locals call this market JJ Market
- The market covers 27 acres and has over 15,000 booths that sell a variety of goods.
- Over 200,000 people visit the market each weekend day, according to the official website.
How to get to the Chatuchak Weekend Market-
The Chatuchak Market is easily accessible by Bangkok’s Skytrain (BTS) or subway (MRT).
Take the BTS to Mo Chit Station and follow the crowd out of the station until you see the stalls. There is a small entrance to the market here. This option is a little farther than the MRT station.
Take the MRT to Chatuchak Park Station and use exit 1. From there you can walk to a small entrance into the market. You can also get off at Kamphaeng Phet and take exit 2 to enter the market at section 2.
Taxi drivers will definitely know where the market is. Traffic can be really messy around the market, so be prepared to wait a bit. Be sure to insist that your cab driver runs the meter so that you don’t overpay for the journey.
You can also take the bus but I heard this is the worst option. They are often super crowded and can get stuck in traffic. According to the market’s official website you can take the following bus numbers to get there: 3, 826, 27, 28, 29, 34, 38, 39, 44, 52, 59, 63, 77, 90, 96, 104, 408, 112, 122, 134, 136, 138, 153, 159.
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See the best of Chatuchak Market in one day-
With so many stalls & sections, it is impossible to see every single part of the Chatuchak Market in one day. Wandering aimlessly around the markets in Bangkok heat is a recipe for disaster, so it’s better to go in with a solid game plan.
First off, plan to spend the majority of your day here. There is so much to see, do and eat that you could spend several weekends here and not see it all. The best time to arrive is early morning– you’ll beat the heat and arrive before most of the crowd. The weekend market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM to 6 PM.
Next, make sure you are prepared— wear light clothing, bring a water bottle to stay hydrated and a backpack to carry your purchases. Bring enough cash to cover any purchases you think you will make. There are ATMs in the market but they are very spread out.
Lastly, you’ll want to decide what items you are shopping for or which sections you want to see. The market has 27 sections that each specialize in selling particular items.You can find anything from vintage dresses, antique tables, a puppy or any beauty product imaginable. There is a little bit overlap but for the most part, you can plan your visit based on what you are looking to buy.
Chatuchak Market Sections-
- Section 1: Collectibles, books, and souvenirs such as Buddha statues. This section has tons of books for any book lover!
- Sections 2 to 4: Plants, gardening supplies & home decor. This part of the market has a more hipster vibe, where you can find cute clothes and kitschy accessories. These (and section 3) is definitely the most attractive section of the market.
- Sections 5 & 6: Clothing & Accessories. You can find a lot of vintage or second-hand items here and jeans galore. Be careful when buying because it might not be authentic.
- Sections 7 to 9: Antiques & ceramics
- Sections 13 & 15: Pets & Pet Accessories (ps- If you are an animal lover it might be best to skip this section. The conditions that the animals live in is not the best. I left the area pretty sad).
- Section 24 & 26: Accessories & jewelry
The market can easily get overwhelming and it is common to get a little turned around in the various sections. Definitely pick up a map from one of the information booths to help you keep your bearings. If you get lost, use the clock tower as a landmark to keep your bearings. It’s also a good meeting place should you get separated.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to haggle. The price listed is usually a bit higher than the actual price the vendor will accept. The key here is to keep it friendly and always smile! If you can’t come to an agreement, just thank them for their time and keep going. Chances are someone else is selling the same thing and you can try again.
Be sure to keep an eye on your belongs. The market can get crowded and being a tourist can make you an easy target for thieves. Also, keep your wallet in your front pocket and keep all bags in your sight and not on your back.
Where & What to eat at the Chatuchak Market-
The Chatuchak Market is a foodie’s dream. There are hundreds of stalls scattered throughout the market to keep you fueled during your shopping.
- Viva 8– This place was bumpin’ when we visited for a quick Singha to cool off. They have DJ that is playing music all day long and the staff is very friendly! It’s a great place to take a rest from the heat of the market and apparently, the paella is to die for. You can find Viva 8 in Section 8.
- Coconut Ice cream- You can find this pretty much everywhere along the main road of the market. Coconut ice cream is amazingly refreshing and delicious. Costing about a dollar, it’s the perfect mid-afternoon treat 🙂
- Meat on a stick- This is my go-to snack in Southeast Asia. It’s always delicious and a safe option to avoid food poisoning as it’s usually hot off the grill.
- Thai coffee- There were tons of vendors selling this throughout the market, especially on the main road. If you like sweet coffee then this stuff will blow your mind!
Hope this guide to the Chatuchak Market helps you make the most of your visit to the Worlds Largest Weekend Market! As one of Bangkok’s best markets, it’s a can’t miss on any Thailand itinerary.
Not tired of shopping yet? Be sure to add the Bangkok’s floating markets to your itinerary for another unique shopping experience.
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