Bangkok Chatuchak Market is so iconic to Thailand that all my friends who had been to Bangkok will certainly talk about it for days upon return. Since Chatuchak is opened only on weekend, most will schedule their stay to cover either Saturday or Sunday, in order to spend a whole day there shopping!
The charm of this weekend market is it showcases lots of products you can’t see elsewhere, it’s unique, it’s cheap, it’s value for money!
Get into Chatuchak, you will realised that 80% of shoppers are tourists.
How To Buy AT Chatuchak?
One word: Bargain. The asking price of the seller is never the final price, it’s just a guide. Generally I bargain it 30% down. All sellers are sincere and eager to make money, so if the price is right, they certainly would accept the bargain, but please, buyer, please, do not and DO NOT go over board, quote an acceptable price you can afford to them. I’ve seen some buyer asking for 70% discount of how much the seller wants to sell. Don’t make a fool of yourself , there’s no free things in this world!
Getting Around – Map Of Chatuchat Market
Few visitors would come to the weekend market with a specific aim. Most visitors would casually walk around, get themselves soaked in the noisy atmosphere then buy as and when they come across things they like.
Visitors rarely need a map. But should you have a specific purpose in hunting a particular product, this map might be useful. You can get it at the information counter at the entrance.
At the entrance there is another huge signage of Chatuchat Market map.
Each row of shops can be identified by a block number at its roof.
Bangkok Chatuchak Weekend Market is built in such a way that only the very experience shoppers know how to get around, the rest is sure to lost their way less than 10 minutes upon entering.
It’s perfectly alright to lost your way, who won’t, when there are more than 15,000 stalls around. Just continue to walk and shop and you’ll eventually find the way out.
Currency Exchange At Chatuchat Market
There is even a currency exchange booth for those who needs more cash. Note that almost all stalls accept only local currency.
What To Buy At Chatuchat Market?
1. Bags and watches
Plenty of bags and watches out there, the branded and no-brand.
2. Art Gallery
There are a few rows of shop houses retailing fantastic pieces of art. I love many of it, but as a tourist, it’s almost beyond reach to bring it on board the plane, especially those very bulky one.
3. Superstars Picture
This is a hot seller, people just got crazy with it seeing their dream idol.
4. Food And Drinks
There are plenty of eateries at the market, lots of them are fingered food.
Fast food giant Mac Donald is setting up a huge restaurant on one of the entrance of Chatuchak, said to be ready by end of the year.
Chatuchak Market- Survival Kits:
The hot selling products at the weekend market is not the clothings, garments or decorations itself, rather it is the few essential things you need before you even get to survive the shopping.
The weather at the weekend market is extremely burning hot, running as high as 39 degree celsius ( 98 degree Fahrenheit). Worst, most of the time shoppers are exposed to the scorching sun.
Which is why sunglasses is a hot seller, available at THB$100 or USD$2.80, no wonder most shoppers want to get a pair of it.
Next is drinks. You can get them at extremely low price. Two recommendations here. The first is the colourful ice stick.
Next is the famous Coconut Ice-cream which attracts huge crowd and create long queues despite having so many stalls all over the place.
To keep yourself ‘cool’ all the way, get a portable fan. It cost THB$200 or USD$6.00.
For those who wants to take a remembrance picture with the name of Chatuchak on it, I found this one…. the backdrop is a let down, should the authority have done something better?
How to go to Chatuchak Market?
Take the BTS to Mo Chit station.
Upon there, go through Exit 1.
It’s hard to imagine anyone who could not find their way to the market. Most BTS commuters will alight at this station. If you don’t know the way, just follow the crowd. And the crowd never stops till late evening.
Anyway, the distance from the BTS station to Chatuchak Market is just about 200 meters away.
Chatuchak Market is more well known by the locals as JJ Market.
Another way to come to the weekend market is by underground train and alight at Kamphaeng Phet station.
It brings you directly to the heart of the market without walking 200 meters.
Opening Hours Of Chatuchak Weekend Market
On Saturday and Sunday the market is open from 9am-6pm. On Friday, operating hours is from 6pm-12pm midnight.
Actually though it is a weekend market, it’s open during weekday as well, except that about 40% of the stalls are closed. It’s less crowded also, so the atmosphere is certainly not there. The urge to buy is also less exciting.