Bangkok April 2015 (Day 3) | Chatuchak Weekend Market
Bangkok Itinerary Overview (2015). p.s. Read about our post of how to get from BKK airport to downtown.
Chatuchak Weekend Market is hugeeeeee!
The market has more than 15,000 booths, selling almost anything that you can think of. Yes, literally anything, even animals! The goods at the market include food, drinks, clothes, ceramics, souvenirs, home decor, plants, antiques, and animals. You can really shop till you drop here, no matter how seasoned a shopper you are!
The market is divided into 30 sections, with a designated category for each section, though you can find many cross-sellers, e.g. food in the clothes section. There are also makeshift booths without shelter, opened only later in the day, but there’s also a bigger crowd by then.
How much time should you plan for a Chatuchak trip?
One whole day! It’s best to schedule time from morning till evening to roam and scour through Chatuchak. We went from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Yeah! Yes! Yup!
Unless shopping is not your cup of tea. But I am sure you can find something you like.
Unless you melt easily under heat. It’s not air-conditioned for most part. The place can get especially hot and stuffy in the narrow alleys snaking through the market.
Unless you just want to walk a small portion of the market, just so you can say you’ve been there, done that.
Okay, I am ready to conquer Chatuchak! Or not…
You can try to shop the whole market, but it is best not to even attempt. You most likely do not have the time to cover the whole area, unless you skip all the shopping and just do a walkabout.
So before you enter into the jungle of Chatuchak, select the sections you are more interested in and head there first. Hope the following Chatuchak maps helps! Click image to enlarge.
First timers: If you haven’t been to Chatuchak, be blown away by its massive scale of economy. If it’s your first time in Bangkok, be sure to make a trip to the far end of the city to visit Chatuchak!
Been there: I heard of many Singaporeans who are frequent travellers to Bangkok skipping Chatuchak and just do their shopping at Platinum Shopping Mall – better fashion apparently.
But both Mr S and I can’t miss a trip to Chatuchak, even though it is not our first time there. It has a lively and vibrant atmosphere of Bangkok. And if you look hard enough, there are nice enough clothes selling cheaper than Platinum. What’s more you get to shop more than just fashion!
When you are hungry, just grab some interesting Thai street food around to appease the hunger. (p.s. Victory Monument Market is worth checking out too.)
How to go?
Saturday and Sunday, 9:00am to 6:00pm.
Plant sections are also open on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 07:00am – 6:00pm.
For Fridays, the market’s peak traffic is from 10:00pm to 11:00pm. However, only the roadside stalls are opened, which are mainly clothings, accessories, and street food. Do note that the shops inside the sois are not opened.
Hence, I would recommend you to go to Chatuchak on a Saturday or Sunday instead. Many more shops are open, and the atmosphere is definitely livelier!
p.s. You can also visit the relatively new Weekend Night market, Jatuchak (JJ) Green, just behind Jatuchak Park. It’s a small market selling vintage stuff.
Mo Chit BTS station: Take exit 1 and walk straight 100m to Chatuchak Park on your right. Cut across the park for a shortcut to the market. (5 minutes walk)
Kamphaengpecth MRT station: Chatuchak Market is adjacent to this station. For the plant and flower section, get off at this station (exit 1).
Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park) MRT: Take exit 1.
I know once I start my shopping spree in Chatuchak, I cannot stop. I would go crazy for hours because of the large selection of affordable goods. And for the past 2 times I was at Chatuchak, I missed out on the section I wanted to go, Section 7 – ARTS and PAINTING.
So this time I made it a point to start from the appreciation of arts before heading to a frenzy of shopping. I was glad I made the right choice!
The whole section felt like a mini gallery for the emerging artists, also a place for them to sell their works.
There was this particular artwork I was drawn to – elephants – but I spent too much time contemplating that I forgot to take a photo of the work and shop. I wanted to bargain, but felt inappropriate to do so for someone’s hard work.
Just lamenting here. :( Should have just bought it and support the local artist! It would be nice to spice up my home with an artistic touch without spending a bomb on big name artists, nor spend the same amount on mass manufactured paintings.
BUT we did get something from this shop below. Featuring prints of famous people with their quotes. The guy in the picture was really friendly, a good salesman with a knack of dishing out lines in different few languages, depending on your nationality.
Oh and he gave out Chatuchak Market map to us and even passer bys! Of course, marking his shop in the map with an X, which you could see in the map above.
Spotted Mr Lee Kwan Yew? Martin Luther King Jr, or Mahatma Gandhi?
But the couple are just in charge of manning the shop, it’s another young guy who enhanced and printed those pictures you see in the background. He is apparently a Man U fan, because there were so many Man U personalities found around the shop. This, of course, excited Mr S, a fellow Man U fan, and he got this:
Grilled Honey Roast Pork
After a few days in BKK, I have yet to find something nice to eat… until this piece of pork.
Tantalizing! Or probably I was hungry by the time we found this shop. It is very hidden inside the lanes of Chatuchak Market. The meat was juicy, sweet and tender. We got a bun to go along with it.
They sell their pork by weight, so either you pick a piece of meat from the tray for them to weigh or tell them the grams of meat you want. The bun is purchased separately – either 10 or 15 baht, can’t recall.
For one piece of meat and one bun, we paid in 95 baht in total.
45 Baht for 100g
Section 22, Soi 4
Coconut Ice Cream
There are several stalls selling Coconut Ice Cream but the one supposedly famous is the stall with big green umbrellas and coconuts hanging from the umbrella. And definitely crowded.
Most of the stalls serve coconut ice cream in a coconut husk, topped with slices of coconut flesh and two other toppings of your choice. You can even find a stall that gives you unlimited toppings. But I prefer the complimentary fresh coconut drink provided by the famous stall! Would have loved this quencher…
But we had the coconut ice cream at another stall, which didn’t come with a free coconut drink. :( Anyhow, it’s delicious as well! The stall is near the tall clock tower – the usual pre-arranged meeting point/landmark for big groups, if you get separated or decided to meet at a fixed time after breaking up into smaller groups to shop.
A good place to rest your tired legs too!
Okay, I side-tracked, but be sure to get this dessert to cool you down!
Famous Stall: Entrance of Section 2, near Kamphaeng Phet MRT
Where we ate: Beside the Clock tower
Thai Milk Tea
Chanced upon a cup of Thai Milk Tea that I liked, but I didn’t take note of the location. My guess is that the stall should be near to entrance 3. We were lunching at this Thai Eatery, and were told that they don’t serve drinks and we can get the Thai Milk Tea from across the “main road” of Chatuchak Market at 25 Baht.
The Thai Milk Tea is in a black cover cup. If you can’t find, the Thai Milk Tea sold in other places at Chatuchak are generally not too bad!
25 to 30 Baht for Thai Milk Tea at Chatuchak
On a sidenote: When I was writing this post, I came across a Thai Milk tea that’s highly recommended and has come to the shores of Singapore.
Number One Brand Thai Tea
You can buy Thai Milk Tea to drink on the spot or tea products to bring home.
They have numerous locations: BTS stations including Mo Chit, Asoke, Chitlom, Plernjit, and Chong Nonsi; Central World, Terminal 21, and many more.
It’s been more than a year since we last visited Chatuchak, and were surprise to see that hipsters have invaded the market and set up shops for the trendy and young crowd.
If you are already a cafe hopper in your local area, then you musn’t miss hopping to these places at Chatuchak!
Thai Street Food and Others
There are many other food to choose from, dine in or takeaway!
Noodle Soup with Chicken: Herbal soup with braised chicken and noodle. | 50 Baht | Section 21, Soi 29 facing Soi 47
Ice Sticks: Made from Miranda, Coke, Sprite, Thai Ice Tea, etc. | 4 Baht for 1 stick, 10 Baht for 3 sticks | Near to clock tower
Choconana: Frozen banana coated with chocolate and nuts/sweets. | From 35 Baht | Roadside
Red Ruby Dessert: One of the popular Thai desserts. They are crunchy water chestnuts in glutinous rice flour and served with coconut milk. The stall has a big pot of rubies displayed – pinkish and round. | 35 Baht | Section 26, in between Soi 1 & 2
This time round, there were a lot more stalls displaying their fixed price, which was good in a way, because I think bargaining is a stressful affair. Hence I avoided shops without a displayed price, and headed to those which did.
I was much more restraint in my shopping than previously, because impulse buying almost always lead to regret buys. But, I kinda regret not getting more of the cheap goods. I forgot there’s still Carousell for me to load off goods that fall from my favour when I am back home.
Have fun shopping!
Do you have any other recommendations of where to shop and eat in Chatuchak?
You may also like to read: Bangkok 2015 Itinerary, Bangkok April 2015 (Day 2) | Siam Square, Bangkok April 2015 (Day 2) | Asiatique
Travels 23 to 26 April 2015 | © 2015 Joogo Travel
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