Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok happens every Saturday and Sunday from early morning until late at night. The best time to visit when all the shops are open is between 10am and 5pm. It’s a kind of market you will not see anywhere else in the world. And the best part: it’s pretty near to The Yard Hostel!
A BIT OF HISTORY
The Bangkok weekend market was set up in 1938, but in another location. That space was getting smaller and in 1982 the market called Sanam Luang was transferred to where it is today, and renamed Chatuchak Weekend Market, because it’s next to Chatuchak Park.
HOW’S THE CHATUCHAK?
The Chatuchak Weekend Market (or JJ Market) is one of the largest weekend markets in the world, with 27 acres. The weekend market is divided into 27 sections and has more than 15.000 stores selling everything you can imagine from all over Thailand for great deals. I would say it’s something like Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Market, but in gigantic proportions.
Here in Bangkok, the Chatuchak weekend market is the favorite market of the locals, being visited by more than 200 thousand people during the weekend, and “only” 30% are foreigners. You can find clothes, shoes, accessories, furniture, spices, food, pets, decoration, souvenirs, things for home, stones, silver, plants, traditional items, exclusive products, and many other things.
IS IT CHEAP TO BUY?
It’s the same factory price, but obviously always open for negotiation if you want to buy more than one piece. Some sellers have shops in malls, such as Union Mall and Terminal 21, others sell online and at Chatuchak. And also some sell only in Chatuchak, because there are local factories and this is the way to show their products, such as wood carvers, clay crafts , handmade products, etc.
It’s definitely cheap, even more than MBK. You can find dresses for 200 bath, sueters for 250 bath, shorts for 100 bath, tote bags for 100 bath, backpack for daily use for 190 bath, porcelain pieces painted (cup, plate, etc) for 30 baht, watches for 150 baht, earrings for 20 baht. Brides: there are some shops selling wedding accessories.
CHATUCHAK HAS FOOD
Food is not a problem in Chatuchak weekend market. There’s a whole section dedicated to eat well, but in every section there are always some food and beverage stalls.But not everything is street food! There’s some restaurants, such as the Paella of Chef Fernando, and also some coffee and juice shops.
IT HAS ART!
But if you want to see more than elephant print pants, suitcase tag and beer tank top, go to section 7 see art galleries. Section 7 of Chatuchak has shops and small galleries of local artists and painters. Even if you don’t want to or cannot take anything home, it’s still worth having a look.
HOW CHATUCHAK IS DIVIDED
There are 27 section in Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok, but sometimes it seems like a mess. So keep in mind that you will have a bit of everything in different places, but the majority will be concentrated in some sections:
- SECTION 1:Jewelry, silver, books and coffee shops.
- SECTIONS 2 TO 4:Boutiques of local designers, home decoration, paintings and fine crafts. Clothes here are fashionable and with good prices.
- SECTIONS 5 TO 6:Vintage and second hand clothing and accessories. Perfect to find a good jeans.
- SECTIONS 7 TO 9:Everything for home: antiques, art, furniture, ceramics, plants and gardening equipment. In section 7 are the art galleries.
- SECTION 10 TO 24:Clothing and accessories, food, seasonings, toys and accessories for pets.
- SECTION 17 TO 19:Ceramics and kitchen utensils.
- SECTION 22 TO 26:Antiques, furniture, clothing, jewelry and handcrafts in general.
- SECTION 27:Books and food.
HOW TO SURVIVE CHATUCHAK
- There are 200,000 people passing by and it’s an open space in a hot country, which means it will be hot and crowded!
- Go early, about 9:30 am when most places are already open.
- Go in comfortable clothes and make sure is good for trying clothes over, if you are allowed by the seller.
- Hardly any place allows you to tray clothes, so if you are in doubt, ask for size in centimeters.
- Chatuchak doesn’t has electronics, but it has cables, selfie stick, etc.
- Drink plenty of water. It costs 10 baht and is easy to find.
- It has a bathroom and costs 5 baht.
- There is an ATM and currency exchange.
- It has a DHL office and the Thai Post with direct mail from Chatuchak.
- You have to take care of the bag, even if you have security walking around.
- You have to bargain, especially if you buy more than one piece.
- Not everything is original, not everything is new.
- Bring cash, almost all sellers don’t take cards (yet!).
- If you like something and you will not have time to looking for a better deal, buy it. The chances of getting lost are almost 100%.
- Use Maps.me (https://maps.me), a offline map app or Google Maps to find yourself in there. Also check the Chatuchak websitehttp://www.chatuchak.orgfor the map.
HOW TO GET TO CHATUCHAK
The Chatuchak weekend market is in the north of Bangkok, next to the Chatuchak Park. It’s at the exit 1 of BTS skytrain Mo Chit, or by the MRT Kamphaeng Phet, exit 2 exit. From The Yard Hostel is just 2 stops by BTS skytrain (26 baht). By taxi is about 70 baht.
On the Chatuchak side there is the night market JJ Green, my favorite Bangkok with unbelievable prices and bars with live music.
Now it’s easy to include Chatuchak in you itinerary! If you need more help to plan you trip, read:
- More Than Partying: What more is there to Travel in Bangkok? (7+ DAYS)
- 5 Best Night Market in Bangkok
Come to The Yard Hostel!