Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok – How to Get Around
The Bangkok Weekend Market – the place to be to find EVERYTHING.
Here are pictures from my adventure today.
The Chatuchak Market (JJ Market) is only open on weekends as the name implies. Its magnitude of size and diverse availability of merchandise will bring any seasoned shopper to their knees – this is where you can literally shop till you drop. Which I most certainly did. With more than 7,500 market stalls one can find anything you could think of. One spot for jewelry, one for clothes, and ones for art, vases, animals, fresh fruit, towels, and leather.
With 7,500 stalls – For first-timers, conquering Chatuchak may seem like an impossible task. Due to its sheer size, there are stalls available offering you a free map of the market. I still managed to get lost. The map is only going to give you a rough estimate of where you are, evening though the alleyways are numbered and so is each stall. For a shopaholic such as myself – I was hypnotized by the Eden which is Chatuchak market all the extremely affordable merchandise! Another great tool is the interactive stall map of Chatuchak market; an online resource for orienting yourself prior to arrival.
Chatuchak can be roughly divided into 11 categories:
- Clothing & Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26)
- Handicrafts (sections 8-11)
- Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
- Furniture and Home Decoration (sections 1,3,4,7,8)
- Food and Beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27)
- Plants and Gardening tools (sections 3, 4)
- Art and Gallery (section 7)
- Pets and Pet Accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13)
- Books (sections 1, 27)
- Antiques and Collectibles (sections 1, 26)
- Miscellaneous and Used Clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)
How to escape the wonderland of market? I used the tactic of walking in one direct for as long as possible until I found a street. It worked well – even though at times I ended up on the wrong side of the market – this tactic is easy to implement and fun to execute. Who knows, maybe you will be lucky enough to cross through the animal stalls which sell everything from dogs&cats to alligators and monkeys. Who buys a live alligator, certainly not me.
Another plus of an already cheaply priced market? One may bargain here in Thailand! Now – bargaining is an art form here in Thailand, and you must not let your upbringing hinder your bargaining skills. Bargaining is a must in Thailand since 1) Thai’s raise the prices since for foreigners and 2) it is part of the culture and the price is always hiring until you bargain.
As a general tip, always say half of what the price they offer to start, if not lower! This is a good starting point for bargaining on any item. Also, remember that a smile on your face and a friendly demeanor are your greatest allies when bargaining. It is part of the Thai life to bargain, and also part of Thai culture to never show anger or irritation openly. If you become angered, simply walk away, you may be offered a better price, and if not – you can always look at the next stall offering similar merchandise.
Make sure to allocate at least half a day at the market if not an entire day – the size, diversity, and rhythm of the market are all something you’ll want to take in. Also – you may end up engulfed in the shopping or lost – so giving yourself time also gives you leeway to escape.
So how much monday I spent in the Chatuchak market today?
- Orange Skirt: 200 Baht = $6.67 (I got ripped off for sure)
- Two Face towels: 2 for 35 Baht = $1.17
- Green Purse: 150 Baht = $5
- Lotus flower Burner: 75 Baht = $2.5
- Incence for Burner: 30 Baht = $1
- Flower Lights: 130 Baht = $4.33
- Green flower Comforter: 200 Baht = $6.67
For a Grand Total of: 620 Baht = $27.33
And that i the price of me being “ripped off” because I did not bargain too much. I will have to hone those skills before my next market adventure.
Location: Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road,Chatuchak, Bangkok, Thailand
Hours of Operation: Saturdays and Sundays 09:00 – 18:00, and Fridays 18:00 – 24:00.
- Take the Skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit Station or Sapan Khwai Station – exit number 1.
- Take the Subway (MRT) to Suan Chatuchak Station or Kamphaengpetch Station – exit number 1.
- Take a Bus- No. 3,826,27,28,29,34,38,39,44,52,59,63,77,90,96,104,408,112,122, 134,136,138,153,159
- Tale am Aircondition Bus – No. 2,3,9,18,19,28,34,39,44,134,145,153,510,512,513
- Take a Taxi.
This is some giant thing over a bridge. Decoration. But is was pretty. and pretty massive.