Chatuchak Weekend Market is Asia’s largest market. It is located in the Chatuchak district of Bangkok on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road. The weekend market is divided into 27 zones with more than 15,000 stalls spread across 35 acres of land. Just to put this in perspective, 35 acres means 26 football fields. That is huge! It is impossible for anyone to cover that amount of area in just a day or even the whole weekend.
You will probably come back exhausted and sweaty, and you might even get lost, but it will be worth it. It is highly recommended that you visit this world-famous market for souvenirs. Here, you can get gifts for your family and friends, clothes, as well as some delicious foods. We will try to provide you with the best of tips to fully prepare for this great shopping adventure.
When should I go?
As the name states, Chatuchak Weekend Market is open on the weekends only. Stalls are ready to sell at 6pm on Friday, offering a great start to your weekend. Going at this time will not only help you buy what you need but also allow you to shop in relatively pleasant weather as the heat is replaced by the cold breeze in the evening.
On Saturday and Sunday, the stalls operate from 9am to 6pm. These are just the timings given; however, many stalls are open till late, ignoring the official timings. It is recommended that you visit early in the day when the sun is still rising, so you can avoid the heat and be there as the first customers. Not only will you avoid the rush, but it is a common belief amongst shopkeepers that the first sale of the day brings them good luck. That is why you will notice that the shopkeepers will happily reduce the price as much as possible at that time.
How to get to Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok?
The best way to get to Chatuchak Weekend market is by travelling through public transport. This is mainly because you would not want to sit in traffic instead of shopping. Since many people are driving to the market in their cars and shopkeepers come with their products in vans, there are high chances of traffic.
Taxi: You could always hail a cab and ask the driver to take you to the market. They might fail to understand the name, so you should try to pronounce it like ‘Jatujak’. Another option is to download the GRAB application. This will get a taxi to come to your hotel, and they will run the meter – it is common for taxi drivers not to run the meter at all otherwise.
BTS: You can take the Skytrain to Mochit, where you will meet up with large crowds headed towards the Chatuchak market in Bangkok with signboards. It is best to get your passes at the airport to avoid the ticketing lines at the station.
MRT: Another alternate is to get on the MRT, which will take you to the nearest station to the Chatuchak market (Kamphaeng Phet).
Zones you cannot miss!
As mentioned before, the Chatuchak Weekend Market has a total of 27 zones. Every zone has its own category of products available for sale. That being said, every corner looks just like the previous one or the one before that. You need to be incredibly careful, or you will end up losing your way or walking in circles. That makes it essential for every tourist to carry a map available at kiosks or through the online application called ‘Guide To Chatuchak Bangkok’.
These are the zones you should prioritize visiting if you do not have enough time to go through the whole market:
Zone 2: This zone does not only look different from the rest but feels quite different. It is known as the hipster and bohemian zone where you can find clothes, jewellery, and accessories.
Zone 5 & 6: This is the used clothes aisle. You will find a lot of branded clothing, barely used, for sale in that area. If you are lucky, you might even find brand new clothes as well.
Zones 2, 3, 4: Quirky, hipster fashion
Zones 5, 6, 10-16, 18, 20-23: Fashion & accessories
Zones 2-5, 7-10, 15, 17, 19-22, 25 and the Chatuchak Plaza: Decorations and homeware
Zones 2, 6-10, 19, 21, 23, 24, 27: Souvenirs, art, and handicrafts
Zones 7, 9, 11, 24: Spa & beauty products such as soaps, diffusers, and candles
Zones 9, 11,13, 15, Chatuchak Plaza: Pet accessories
Zones 1-5, 7, 26: Gardening equipment and plants
Zones 1, 8, 19, Chatuchak Plaza: Books, musical instruments and ancient treasures
Zones 1,7-19, 27: Food
All over the world, if there is a price tag, that means there is no bargaining. However, if the products do not have a price tag, you should always negotiate. You will find several stalls selling similar products, and if you feel that the price is too high at one stall, you should move to the next seller who might give you a better deal. Often, when you buy multiple items, there is a greater chance for negotiations.
What can I eat at the Chatuchak Weekend Market?
There is a variety of food available at the weekend market including Thai Crispy Pancakes, Thai Milk Tea and grilled meat. You would definitely want something to eat after hours of walking and negotiating under the blazing sun. Let us recommend a few places:
Moo Yang Nam Peung
They provide some of the best grilled sweet honey roast chops of pork known as Moo Yang. They make sure to grill it right in front of you to tease your hunger. They cost around 45 baht for 100g.
Coconut Ice Cream
This is one of the famous refreshing ice-creams available in an actual coconut. It is the one thing that you must try, no matter what. This creamy coconut flavoured ice-cream is full of toppings and shavings of coconut and serves as a perfect refresher against the heat. The price ranges from 30 to 50 baht throughout the market.
Flavoured Ice Popsicles
These multi-flavoured popsicles help to cool you down for under 30 baht. They are available from various stalls throughout the market. We would recommend that you try a different flavour every time you pass by a stall.
Aur Tor Gor Farmer’s Market
This is a well-known food court with a variety of different foods available for every type of person. It is also famous because it is the most popular fruit market in the city. They also have very reasonable pricing.
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