Thailand is noted for many things and one of it is the amazingly huge Weekend Market of Chatuchak. When you are visiting Thailand especially if you are in Bangkok over a weekend, make sure you pay a visit to the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Some tour and travel agencies in Bangkok do offer a weekend of shopping in Chatuchak Weekend Market as part of their tour and sightseeing in Bangkok packages. It is listed as one of the great weekend shopping extravaganzas in Bangkok. IF you are planning to visit this place on your own without a time limit, then there are many ways you can actually get there and conveniently. Taxis and buses are available; you just need to mention “Chatuchak Market” or “JJ Mall” and they will get you right to the doorstep. Another alternative is to take the BTS and stop at Mochit Station. The weekend market is just a short walk away.
This weekend market occupies an area as large as a combination of fourteen football fields, divided into many zones for different trades. There are three main areas to the Chatuchak Weekend Market. The primary and largest section which is open only on Saturdays and Sundays, sells everything from clothing items, household all the way to exotic pets with freight forwarding services thrown in for good measure. The other section is a wet and dry market, also known as the OTOP Centre. Here you will find a food court ala street food style, vendors selling all manner of produce and seafood as well as a delicatessen that serves up a great cup of coffee. The third area is known as JJ Mall, which is an enclosed fully air-conditioned shopping complex. You can also find shops that sell almost the same items as in the Weekend Market but they are a little pricier.
The main shopping is open only on the weekends starting Saturday and ending on a Sunday but on a Wednesday to Thursday it is open to the plants and flower market. This is where you can find a large variety of houseplants, landscaping plants as well as decorative items for your gardens and landscaping needs. These stall vendors come from far and wide over the Kingdom to sell their products so here you will be able to find plants from different climates in the region. On a Friday, it is Wholesale Day, which means you can buy anything that is on offer wholesale at the market. Therefore, such things as household goods, kitchen wares, pet food, and even pets are on wholesale! Saturday and Sundays are allocated for miscellaneous shops and stalls that occupy the main area. Here you can find almost anything on sale. The opening hours for the Chatuchak Weekend Market starts from 9.00 am – 6.00 pm on Wednesday to Sunday for the various sale categories.
A visit to Thailand is never complete without a tour of Chatuchak Weekend Market in your travel itinerary for Thailand. Since the area is so large and mostly packed with throngs of local Thai and tourist alike, it can get rather hot especially in the enclosed stall areas. Therefore, it is advisable that if you are planning a visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market, to dress comfortably with a good pair of walking shoes and o always keep your personal belongings especially your wallets secured. There are small buggies available at the main entrance that can take you along the main road section of the weekend market but it is best to mooch around at your own pace and decide on which section you would be interested to see. There are signboards placed in the main areas that indicate the different sections and what they sell. IF you are lost in the maze of shops, look for the nearest exit point to get your bearings. Signs are also located above the shops indicating the section you are in, so just look up to see if you are in the right section. There are many entrances to the weekend market so it is best to make a note where you came in and where you would like to exit.
A trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the fun things to do in Bangkok on a weekend. You can find a good selection of street designer wear by young up and coming fashion designers (in fact it is considered a hip place for the artistic to hang out). Those who enjoy art and craft will also find a good selection of art materials such as glass beads, artificial flowers, and handmade paper. Those of you shopping for souvenirs will not leave disappointed, as there is everything from small decorative knick-knacks to t-shirts and very Thai souvenirs for you to bring home. If you are an antique or collectibles hunter, take your time to look around. Tucked in some small shop corner is probably what you are looking for. There are also interior supply shops that stock a good variety of interior decorative items and while you are there do check out the teak furniture on display. Most of them exhibit very good artisanship but prices can be a little steep. There is also a pet section that sells everything from fish, aquarium supplies, cute puppies and kittens as well as exotic wildlife.
If you tire of all that walking around and just want to sit for a drink, there are many stalls, restaurants, and sidewalk cafes that offer a good meal and drinks. If you prefer food on the go, then make a choice at the many street food stalls available all along the way. Visiting the Chatuchak Weekend Market can be both exciting and yet tiring but all in all a worthwhile experience for what mass shopping can be like in Thailand. Spending a Saturday or Sunday here will open your eyes to the creativity of the Thai people and the plethora of skills at their disposal to eke out a living. Therefore, if you would like to broaden your experience of having been to the largest weekend market in the world, make your way to Chatuchak Weekend Market for a great shopping experience in Thailand!