CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET
Looking for some retail therapy in Bangkok? Then a visit to the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market should be top of your list. Regarded as the largest market in Thailand (also known as JJ Market), it has more than 15,000 stalls, spread across 35 acres and divided into 26 sections, which range from clothing, food, art, homeware, antiques ….and much more.
When is the market on? The market opens Friday night at 6 pm and closes at midnight. On Saturday and Sunday, Chatuchak is officially open between 9 am to 6 pm but many stalls disregard these hours and stay open much later! The best time to visit is in the morning, when it’s cooler and less crowded (200,000 visitors visit on average per week).
Getting there? Simply hop on the skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit station, take exit no. 1 and follow the crowds, until you see a small entrance that leads into the market (clothing section).
Market layout? The market is big. The equivalent of 26 football pitches in size. To ensure you get the most from your visit, we recommend that you take note of the section location numbers.
Furniture and home decor (sections 1,3,4,7,8)
Books (sections 1, 27)
Antiques and collectibles (sections 1, 26)
Clothing and accessories (sections 2–6, 10–26)
Miscellaneous and used clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)
Food and beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27)
Plants and gardening (sections 3, 4)
Art and galleries (section 7)
Handicrafts (sections 8–11)
Pets and accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13)
Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
What to Buy? The choice of things to buy is immense and far superior than you will find on roadside stalls along Sukhumvit, Silom or on the Khao San Road. The market is famed for houseware, Thai silks, handicraft and clothing. There are also plenty of outlets selling furniture, hardware, music, instruments, art, antiques, books, pets and plants. Cash is the preferred mode of payment but some stalls do accept credit card. There are a number of ATM’s around. Oh… and don’t forget to barter. Unless it clearly states a price then feel free to haggle. Don’t be scared to walk away if you are unsure of the price. Of course, you can shop around and see if you can get a better deal at another stall or you can always come back to renegotiate.
Best place to chill out & eat? Viva 8 is a unique bar in section 8. It is hard to miss with the loud party tunes, which grabs a lot of attention from passing tourists. This bar is a worthwhile stop on your tour of Chatuchak. Viva 8’s signature dish is paella, which is made by an eccentric Spanish chef, Fernando. His flamboyant personality draws in the crowds, while cooking in Bangkok’s largest Paella pan. His motto is “A smile needs no words”. The tasty paella is 160 Baht for a decent serving, which is quite expensive for food in the market, but you certainly won’t be disappointed! As expected, there is an abundance of different food outlets throughout the market, so you will never go hungry.
Entertainment? Apart from the crazy Fernando (see above), you will find locals playing instruments, kids playing ‘keepy uppy’ with toilet rolls, dancing and singing. There’s always something to draw your interest.
What’s new? The biggest addition to Chatuchak will be the new adjacent modern shopping mall called The Mixt. This modern venue will provide visitors with a mixture of bustling market shopping, as well as, big brand names. The Mixt shopping centre will cover 60,000 square metres, include 700 shops and is expected to be open by July 2019. 2 international branded hotel chains will open soon after, with Dusit International and Best Western allowing people to stay in the heart of one of Bangkok’s busiest shopping districts.
Overview: Chatuchak Weekend Market has changed so much in the past 10 years. The pathways / roads have been modernised, the quality of products on sale have improved, the food and beverage outlets have become more diverse. If you have been away for a decade like me, then you will be shocked how the market has evolved (in a good way). This surely has be be on anyone’s list of things to do when visiting Bangkok.
Article written by Jonathan Wilkins @ Select Representation. Excursions can be arranged via Tour East and booked pre departure with our partner tour operators. For further details, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org