This market is not for the faint-hearted! Every time I have visited Chatuchak Markets the heat has nearly knocked me out! We were constantly stopping to find cold drinks and a seat at one of the many food vendors in the market. This place is huge (35 acres!!) and quite confusing. There seems to be nothing you cannot find here. Plenty of choice for food, fashion, homewares and novelties. The only problem will be trying to fit it all in your suitcase to get it home!
Chatuchak Markets Areas
Although it’s impossible to name all, the selection of goods being offered at Chatuchak Markets can be roughly divided into 11 categories:
- Clothing & Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26)
- Handicrafts (sections 8-11)
- Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
- Furniture and Home Decoration (sections 1,3,4,7,8)
- Food and Beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27)
- Plants and Gardening tools (sections 3, 4)
- Art and Gallery (section 7)
- Pets and Pet Accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13)
- Books (sections 1, 27)
- Antiques and Collectibles (sections 1, 26)
Prices will be significantly less than other places in Bangkok. There’s discounts for buying multiple items and many duplicated stalls – you start to think you are walking in circles but you’re not – there’s lots of vendors selling the same thing – or very similar. You will find the fake watches and bags. Quality is very problematic at markets like this. Some of the local designer clothes are great. The homewares are also fantastic. If you want momentos to take home that are culturally Thai, then you will definitely get them here.
Location of Chatuchak Markets
So, exactly where is this market? Well, it’s not in the heart of Bangkok – it’s a bit of a distance out of town. It’s easily accessed by the skytrain or the regular train (MRT). The station for the skytrain is Mo Chit. The station for the regular train (MRT) is Chatuchak Park Station. Both stations will drop you a small walk past the markets so you will need to trek back. You could catch a taxi as it’s not too far out, and taxis are quite cheap. If you do walk back from the station, you will see lots of street vendors even before you enter the market. It can get quite chaotic on the street as there’s not much room to get past people shopping at these vendors. Buses do stop outside too. I find the bus system quite confusing and far prefer the trains. The buses get caught up in the traffic so the train is definitely faster to get out to Chatuchak Markets. Click on the image below to see the full size map of the markets.
When is it Open?
Chatuchak Markets is a weekend market so only plan to go on Saturday or Sunday. It opens around 9.00am but we found stalls open earlier. You’ll want to go early to avoid the most heat in the middle of the day. Even at 9.00am it was really hot and humid. There’s no air circulating because of the crowds and closeness of the stalls. The buildings are not air conditioned except for a few designer-style shops with doors enclosing the area. At least inside you are out of the beating sun! The markets close up around 6.00pm so don’t expect a night market! If you last til 6.00pm, you are doing very well!
The Secret Tip for Chatuchak Markets
If this story of heat and crowds is putting you off visiting, don’t despair – go and have a quick look at the markets and then put my secret plan into action!
After wandering the markets for hours, we found ourselves out on the perimeter walking down a street with shops selling plants, bugs to eat, flowers, pet supplies, fish etc, but we kept walking. After turning a corner, there it was – Chatuchak Shopping Mall! OMG, this mall is basically Chatuchak Markets in a MALL! With AIR CONDITIONING! And a FOOD COURT! This was gold! It’s actual name is JJ MALL and it’s right next door, but if you don’t know it’s there, it’s hard to find and you probably won’t find it unless you wander like we did. See the map below for the location. Remember, it’s outside the markets, sort of behind. Ok, so the prices were slightly higher to pay for the air con convenience, but not as high as other places in Bangkok. We spent hours in this mall, browsing every floor.
Fabulous Art & Culture on Offer
I found the most beautiful Thai prints being sold by a man whose father was the artist. 130 baht for an A4 print! Amazing. I have not seen these artworks anywhere else, so I believe this was a legitimate local artist’s prints. The mall really didn’t have any tourists in it, we felt like we were the only ones there! I really believe the tourists have no idea it’s there, and they’re so exhausted from the markets, they don’t go looking. I was so glad we found this mall!!
Tips for Visiting Chatuchak Markets
Chances are you will end up spending at least half a day at the markets, so it is a good idea to prepare a few things to ensure that your shopping experience at Chatuchak Markets is an enjoyable one.
- Wear light and comfortable clothing, e.g. shorts and a t-shirt/tank-top
- Wear comfortable shoes, e.g. a pair of sneakers or sandals
- Protect yourself against the sun, by wearing sunglasses, a hat and use sunscreen
- Bring a backpack for storing your new-found treasures. It is recommended that you wear your backpack on the front rather than on your back
- Always have bottled drinking water handy
- Bring enough cash. Most vendors do not accept credit cards, and it can be a long walk to the next ATM
- Beware of pickpockets and watch your belongings
- Plan to go in the morning, as it can get very hot and crowded in the afternoon
- Free maps are available from one of the information kiosks
|Chatuchak Market Details|
|Where||587/10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Khwaeng Chatuchak, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok|
|What||35 acre market and JJ shopping mall next door|
|When||Market: Saturday and Sunday 9.00am to 6.00pm, Mall: Everyday 10.00am - 9.00pm|
|How||Catch the skytrain to Mo Chit station or the MRT to Chatuchak Park Station - walk back past the park to the market|
|Book||No bookings necessary for anything|
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