The one place that everyone says you can’t miss if you’re in Bangkok on the weekend – Chatuchak Weekend Market. It is everything everyone says it is and more!
Chatuchak is easily accessible via the MRT line that travels between Bang Sue and Hua Lamphong. You can alight at one of two stations – Chatuchak Park or Kamphaeng Phet, the latter being more accessible. BTS Station, Mo Chit, is also a short distance away.
The best time to head to Chatuchak is early in the morning at 9am when it opens. Tourists usually pour in during the afternoon and it gets very crowded. Moreover, the weather becomes hot and muggy as the afternoon wears on. Although quite a number of stalls open later, you do have time to take a leisurely walk and as more stalls open, you do get the pick of the crop.
You can bargain at every single stall, except that I don’t tend to do that in order to support their business. If something is overpriced, I’ll most likely skip the stall entirely anyway since there are multiple stalls selling the same thing.
The market is really large. On our first day there we decided to simply look around to see what it had to offer and the best bargains to be had. There is a police post at one of the entrances where there’s a map of the entire location. You can also grab a brochure at the information counter at the air-conditioned shopping arcade attached to Kamphaeng Phet Station.
There are several sections to the market – clothing and accessories, handicraft products, ceramics and pottery, decorations and furniture, food and beverage, arts and gallery, plants and gardening tools, pet and accessories, books, antiques and collectibles and miscellaneous and used clothing. You can probably find something you like. I saw loads of decorative items which I was tempted to buy, but wisely decided against it.
They have some hipster stalls too if you look closely. The only thing I was rather disappointed about was that I didn’t manage to find any shops which sold secondhand film cameras. I would have been all over that!
The food at Chatuchak is the best I’ve ever had. We had kebabs the first afternoon with hot sauce and it was delicious! I hesitated with some of the stalls as they looked like they would send me to the loo. And moreover, I had no idea what ingredients made up some dishes with no way to find out. I stuck with the safe choices for the most part.
We left in the early afternoon as the crowd started coming in and survived to shop another day!
After that, we decided to visit Central Plaza at Phra Ram 9 Station since we had seen it advertised on the train multiple times. Our legs were so tired we ended up going back to the hostel to rest.