If you’re headed to Bangkok, have a spare day up your sleeve and you want to shop ‘til you drop, then look no further than the famous Chatuchak Markets (or Jatujak as it’s referred to by the Thais).
Comprised of 27 sections with 8,000 stalls and sprawled over 35 acres, it’s not hard to see why Chatuchak is one of the biggest markets in the world (it definitely rivals The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul).
Now if markets aren’t your thing, (and to be honest, they’re not really my thing!) Chatuchak Markets can be a living nightmare (ask my husband). But if you go prepared and you follow my quick guide below, it can definitely be a fun and rewarding activity on your Bangkok itinerary!
Chatuchak Tips & Tricks
- Go Early – when there are over 20,000 visitors each day it’s wise to arrive at the market early before the crowds get too much! We arrived about 10:30am on a Sunday morning and this was probably too late!
- Have a Plan – the markets are ridiculously huge so it’s a good idea to have an idea of what you would like to purchase. Below I share where you can find different products broken down into the different sections.
- Grab a Map – to help execute your plan, make sure you grab a map from one of the Information Booths as you enter the markets. This will prevent you from walking around in circles….although we still got lost!
- If you see something you love, BUY IT – don’t fool yourself and think ‘oh, I like this, but I’ll keep looking in case I see something better!’ I can guarantee you, that you’ll NEVER find your way back to the original stall.
- Take Water – we visited at the end of Winter and it was super hot, which resulted in us consuming a lot of water.
- Be Security Conscious – with so many people about, it’s easy for pickpockets to take advantage of keen tourists as they shop up a storm.
- Take Cash – Most vendors don’t accept credit cards and I didn’t see too many (if any!) ATM’s around.
- Don’t Take Your Husband – if your travel companions aren’t keen market goers, don’t invite them! As wonderful as my husband is, as soon as he decided he had had enough of Chatuchak he made it his mission to leave…..and I could’ve kept going!!
What Can I Buy at Chatuchak?
The answer to that question, is pretty much anything!
You may want a vintage leather jacket, a copy Rolex watch, a bag full of trendy succulents, a beautiful Thai ceramic dinner set or a new (and ridiculous) outfit for your puppy!
You can find:
- Clothing and Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26)
- Vintage Clothes more specifically section 6
- Plants and Gardening Equipment (sections 3,4)
- Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
- Homewares and Antiques (sections 22-26)
- Pets and Pets Accessories (sections 8,9, 11, 13)
- Art (section 7)
How To Get To Chatuchak Markets
The easiest way to get to Chatuchak is to jump on either the skytrain (BTS) or the subway (MRT).
If you go by BTS catch the train to Mo Chit station, which is the last stop, and take exit Number 1. Follow the hoards of locals and fellow tourists until you see rows of canvas stalls outside the market – there are many entrances for you to use.
The other option is to catch the MRT to Chatuchak Park Station and take exit Number 1.
The weekend market is open Saturday and Sunday 9am – 6pm and Friday evenings 6pm – Midnight.
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