Chatuchak Weekend Market is probably one of the largest markets in the world. The sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise is just crazy, there are over 8,000 market stalls on a 35-acre site. It might not be the cheapest place to shop, but one of the most interesting ones. Every Saturday and Sunday over 200,000 people visit this market, it is really a popular place.
The market is split into different sections, which branch of from one main walkway that circles through the whole market. There are 27 sections in total and a category of goods is contained in one section. So if you are looking for household items, they tend to be grouped together and in a different section than the books or ceramics for instance.
It really is an interesting place – there is so much to see and explore. We were not looking to buy anything, but of course there were lots of fake brands, unique artwork, the typical incense sticks, cushion covers, wooden frogs and scarves that you see at almost every market in Thailand plus many quirky clothes to choose from.
We had great fun just to stroll through the market and look around. Luckily it was a slightly rainy day so not that many people had ventured out into the market. It was not as crowded as it could have been, Monica told us that last time she visited Bangkok and the market it was packed full of people and you could hardly move. You had to wait until you could approach a stall.
The market provided us with great photo opportunities, there was so much to explore. Not just goods, but also people working and shopping. We took hundreds of pictures, but I’m not going to bore you with those. You have to come and explore Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok for yourself.
I am actually quite surprised that we did not end up buying much – we left with one scarf and a few Bossa Nova CDs (Lady Gaga songs sung in a Bossa Nova style – very quirky and great to listen to). I would have loved to take some bronze figures with us, but they were really too heavy to carry!
We stayed about 3 hours at the market, including a small break to eat at one of the food stalls – I’ll share more about the food stalls tomorrow, so come back to read more.
- How to get to the market? Hop on the BTS skytrain to Mo Chit station, take exit no. 1 and follow the crowd until you see rows of canvas stalls selling clothes. Turn right while continuing to follow the crowd and you will see a small entrance that leads into the market
- The weekend market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am (some shops open earlier). It’s best to come earlier as it can get very crowded
- Take cash with you – most shops don’t take cards and while there are a few ATMs you have to find them first and then queue to get some money
- For a great experience make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, don’t carry large bags (there is no space), take some water with you (but you can purchase more in the market) as well as hats and sun spray. It can get very hot in the open areas. If it rains, try not to go as most of the market is outside
- There are free maps available at the info kiosks throughout the market. If you get lost, go to the centre (clock tower) or agree to meet back at the BTS station
- Thailand is a safe place, but of course, typical rules apply: keep your money hidden (maybe in two pockets), leave valuables at home or your hotel room, don’t believe that all antics are that old and valuable and when bargaining remain friendly and respect other people