Ready to get lost in another world? Are you a shopper with a keen eye for bargains who is willing to brave the heat while searching the seemingly endless corridors of small shops and stalls at Asia’s largest flea market?
Bangkok is a shopper’s paradise with stores to satisfy every desire. But even against the backdrop that is the glitz and glamour of the city’s air-conditioned mega malls stands many iconic outdoor markets that sell everything from vegetables to the latest in couture clothing. The undisputed king of these markets is Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market. Imagine if all of the city’s outdoor markets combined, the result would be Chatuchak Weekend Market. It is the place to seek out Bangkok designs at bargain prices.
The Chatuchak Weekend Market is world-famous and has a reputation of being the one market in Asia where you can find ANYTHING. Shoppers can stock up on unique souvenirs, clothing, handicrafts, antiques and home decor items at this market. Literally anything is available at this market, from the legal to the ‘don’t ask if it’s legal’ variety. Search hard and you will find what you are looking for – Or simply visit the market to experience what it’s like to discover hidden treasures. You will find it difficult to leave the Chatuchak Weekend Market empty handed.
Although the market has designated areas that are known for selling particular types of items the lines between these areas have become blurred over the years and it is not uncommon to find someone selling handbags near the food stalls and an antique shop right next door to a pet store or custom wedding dress tailor’s shop. To help shoppers more easily locate what they’re looking for there have been several attempts to produce a map of the Chatuchak Weekend Market areas, which all eventually become a loose guideline to understanding the market’s layout as shops close, relocate, and change the wares they sell. But don’t panic, your private tour guide can assist by asking the shop owners where to find the specific items you may be looking to buy.
Some of the areas that draw many locals to the weekend market are the antique, animal, and book sections of shops. Many tourists enjoy visiting the art section of the market as it provides a beautiful and varied selection of works on display by artists who are usually present in their shops painting, drawing, and sculpting new and commissioned projects. Of course ladies enjoy perusing the vast amount of clothing and clothing accessories stores that make up a large part of the market. First time visitors to the market are sometimes surprised to learn that some well-known clothing labels are original creations from designers with small shops within Chatuchak. Interested to buy clothing items in bulk at extremely low prices or have a custom one-of-a-kind piece made specifically for you? Chatuchak Weekend Market is the place.
Unlike many other markets you don’t want to arrive too early at Chatuchak Weekend Market because even though the shops open at 10am many shop owners are slow to open and even slower to bargain in the early morning hours. It’s best to visit in the evening as many shops remain open until 6pm, and sometimes even 7pm, when the shop owners become more social, the mood of the market becomes more festive, and sellers are more agreeable to bargaining.
For a truly unique experience you can choose to arrive directly in the middle of Chatuchak Weekend Market by taking Bangkok’s underground train system (MRT) and getting off at the Kamphaeng Phet station. Chatuchak Weekend Market can also be reached via Bangkok’s elevated train system (BTS). BTS station Mo Chit is a short walking distance from Chatuchak Weekend Market.
Open only on Saturday and Sunday, hence the name Chatuchak Weekend Market. Sometimes visitors are confused because of the nearby JJ Mall, also called Chatuchak Mall, which is open every day of the week.
Things you should be aware of when visiting Chatuchak Weekend Market:
- Visitors should use the restroom prior to arriving at the market as the waiting lines at the market bathrooms can be very long.
- Comfortable walking shoes are recommended when visiting the market.