Chatuchak Weekend Market

If you are in Bangkok for one weekend or indefinitely – you have to go to the Chatuchak Weekend Market. I am not saying you are going to love it – but it is an experience worth having whilst exploring the city. Your first visit to the market is more than likely going to be rather daunting, but there are few things you can do to make your visit as pleasant as possible!

The market is very big – made up of about 8000 market stalls… At the stalls you are almost guaranteed to find at least one thing you are either looking for, need or want. Navigating the market can be quite confusing on your first visit – but a relatively clear system has been developed to guide you to areas and stalls which you are interested in. One main walkway encircles the whole market, with numerous alleyways branching off from this main walkway and one another. The market is divided into 27 sections. These sections sell almost anything and everything you could possibly ponder – from clothing items, to animals, to linen and crockery, to plants and ceramics.

This list is a rough guide to the different sections:

  • 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)

Locating Chatuchak Market is not a problem at all and there are very few taxi drivers who will not know where the market is. We entered at the Mo Chit BTS/MRT entrance. From here, we looked at the main map and worked out a general idea/plan of action of where we wanted to be. There is a monument not far from this entrance which a great point of reference – particularly if you plan on separating from others in your group. However, it is very easy to get lost at Chatuchak so I do not recommend wandering off on your own!

When visiting Chatuchak, I suggest wearing sunscreen and taking a fair amount of bottled water. It gets very hot and dehydrating is definitely a possibility! If you are planning on doing a fair amount of shopping (even if you aren’t planning to, you probably will) take sufficient cash with you. There are ATM’s available but only at certain points and stall owners are not going to have credit card facilities available! Leaving a stall to draw money and then trying to navigate your way back to that specific stall, is bound to be frustrating and almost impossible. Having said this – you need to be constantly aware of pick pockets. Chatuchak is full of people and crowded alley ways – making it a prime location for pick pockets to linger and a thieves heaven.

The best advice I can share is to take a large bag which can be used to place your individual purchases and shopping bags into. Carrying one bag rather than 10 is a much easier!

The food for sale at the market is delicious! There are plenty of street food vendors around – providing a much needed break in the shopping and browsing experience.

If you would like to read more about our trip to Chatuchak, please read my post Work Mode, Beer on ice & Pay Day.

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