Chatuchak Market, Bangkok
Guests looking for a unique place to indulge in a spot of shopping should make sure that they take a trip to Chatuchak market. The market is open throughout the day on Sundays and it is one of the largest markets in the whole of Asia. More than fifteen thousand stalls can be found here in a vibrant collection of bags, bangles, t-shirts, skirts, and even pets. Expect to find yourself jostling for space with as many as 200,000 people and watching spontaneous street performances and the weird and wonderful behaviour of the other shoppers, which can often be just as entertaining. .
A Brief History
Chatuchak Market was originally established in 1942 around the time when it was decided that every province in Thailand needed to have its own market. The close proximity of the railway station and later the Skytrain made it easy for people from all over Bangkok and even further afield to travel to the area to sell their goods on weekends. The market is divided into eleven different sections, with different types of goods located in certain sections which can help make bargain hunting a little easier.
Before wandering through the covered area of the market it is a good idea to take a stroll through the centre Chatuchak market which is in the open air. This area forms a circle with stalls lining both sides, while street performers can often be found playing music, dancing, putting on magic shows and also displaying a wide range of other types of skills in the hope of earning some donations for their shows. While most of the goods for sale have hand printed price tags on them, most sellers accept bartering and visitors often make offers themselves, it is all part of the bartering process
What to See
Cross the road behind Chatuchak, walk a few meters and you will come to one of Bangkok’s best kept secrets. Known as Suan Rotfi or Railway Park, this is one of Bangkok’s most beautiful and little visited parks, full of great facilities guaranteed to keep you coming back time and again. The best way to explore this lush wonderland is by bike, and bicycles can be hired from the far end of the park. As you pass, pause to explore the Insectarium and Butterfly Centre, where you can find a colourful collection of butterflies, plants and insects. The park also contains a gym, swimming pool as well as beautiful places to sit and relax.
Tips for First Time Visitors
In order to avoid the crowds and heat as much as possible, visitors should aim to arrive at Chatuchak Market just after it opens. It is a good idea to carry plenty of water and loose change as you may find sellers are unable to give change when paying with large notes. When the heat gets a little overwhelming, head to the market’s large street food area for an icy drink and a bowl of noodles.
Area of Bangkok
Located in the Chatuchak district.