Shop ‘Til You Drop at the Chatuchak Weekend Markets

So, you think you’re a shopping pro? If bargain hunting is your thing then look no further than Bangkok’s world famous Chatuchak Weekend Markets. Here you will find the term ‘shop ‘til you drop’ to be taken quite literally. The Chatuchak Weekend Markets are an expansive 35-acre area which houses over 8,000 unique shopping stalls and, on a typical weekend, attracts over 200,000 visitors. Any local will tell you that this is the mecca for Thai bargain hunting and that there is only one negative to these brilliant markets-you will most definitely be buying another suitcase.

What’s on offer?

These markets are considered unique not just because of sheer size but because of the variety of products that are on offer. In one section you will find a range of clothing from handmade knitted products, handbags, singlets, shirts, hats, Levi jeans, shoes and shorts. In another you will be greeted by the aromas of home cooked Thai Cuisine and sweets, or perhaps a fresh fruit shake to quench your thirst. You also have the opportunity to delve into the more exotic side of Bangkok, with a large selection of unique animals on display. Ever wanted to own a Monkey or a Python?

Boy busking at markets

How to find what you’re looking for

At first, conquering the Chatuchak Markets will be daunting to even the more savvy shoppers. But thankfully there is a method to the madness. Once you have made your way into the markets you will find yourself on the main walkway which surrounds the entire market. This walkway then branches off into a series of alleyways which are grouped into sections. There are 27 sections in all, and it will require some navigational skills to remember where you have already visited. But fear not, with the help of this brief guide and the friendly market volunteers you will find exactly what you’re looking for.

Market Directory (sections guide originally published by Chatuchak.org. http://www.chatuchak.org/)

  • 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)
  • Miscellaneous and Used Clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)

The weekend markets are open on Saturdays and Sundays, 09:00 – 18:00, and Fridays 18:00 – 24:00.

Tips for the penny pinchers:

Getting to the Chatuchak Weekend Markets can be a stressful exercise, though there are a number of different options available that can make this a relaxing and affordable experience.

SkyTrain

Bangkok’s SkyTrain is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to see Bangkok and has become a great alternative to the congested Bangkok traffic. There are SkyTrain stations spread throughout Bangkok (most likely within a walking distance from your hotel) and once aboard you will be taking a short trip to Mo Chit station. Upon arrival you will join the crowd of eager shoppers for a short 10 minute walk to the markets.

TukTuk

For the more adventurous travellers, it can be quite beneficial to hail a TukTuk (Thailand’s answer to a Western taxi), which will drop you at the front gate of the markets. TukTuk’s can prove quite cheap depending on how skilled you are at bargaining, though be warned that this is not the safest of travelling options. While there are few TukTuk related accidents, the bustling roads of Bangkok can prove quite daunting for some travellers. However, this can be an exciting way to see the streets of Bangkok and for a small tip can prove a convenient ride home. After a day at the markets you and your feet will be searching for all the convenience you can find.

Riding in a Tuk Tuk

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