Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok

Normally I’m not a huge shopper and I don’t like to spend vacation time looking for things to buy, but in Asia I totally fell in love with street markets. There’s just something so fun and entertaining about the atmosphere and the haggling. Street markets differ from regular markets/shops/stores in that they are mostly just tables set up with people’s wares, some homemade and some from actual shops around town.

The other big difference between regular shops and street markets is that people are willing to haggle. It can be a lot of fun to try to negotiate a lower price. The more friendly and personable you are, the more fun it is. Troy is really good at joking around with the vendors and getting all buddy-buddy with them real fast. Most vendors will laugh with him and tease while trying to get a better price, yet be willing to go lower because they like him. We had some really great negotiations where they would laugh and tell us we should just pay the higher price because we were nice people. lol. Troy just had a way with them and would tell them, “Come on, you know you want to go with the lower price.” while winking and being all goofy and the vendors would laugh and say okay. It was so fun!

Chatuchak was the first street market we’d ever been to, so we didn’t quite know what to expect. I thought it was just going to be a small, flea-market style operation. Yeah, it’s kinda like a flea market, but this one definitely would not be considered small. When I looked it up on the internet to write this post, I discovered that the Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the largest markets of its kind in the WORLD. Crazy, right?

When I grabbed a brochure from a table outside the market, I looked at the map and thought, “Wow, this is pretty big, but it’s just a street market, so it’s not going to be THAT big.” haha. Little did I know. I didn’t realize that every square on the map was a different vendor.

Chatuchak Weekend Market map

I think part of the reason this market has gotten to be so big is because it has been around for so long. I couldn’t pinpoint when it actually came into existence, but the closest I could come is that it was created during the 1940’s. The Thai Prime Minister at that time, Field Marshal Phibulsongkram, decided to start local markets in every town in Thailand and the one in Bangkok just took off. They moved it a few times for various reasons, but now it is located by Queen Sirikit Park, the Children’s Discovery Center and JJ Mall. 

Our first glance of the market wasn’t entirely impressive. The taxi dropped us off on the opposite side of the street and we had to cross a bridge to get to the entrance. I think this view probably contributed to my thinking that the market wasn’t going to be very big.

Chatuchak Market

 It doesn’t look very enticing from the outside, but once you get under all the umbrellas and tarps, it looks pretty neat.

There are a lot of handmade items for sale at the market.

Chatuchak Market

69 baht for slippers? That’s about $2.13. Pretty good deal.

Chatuchak Market

This lady really wanted to sell us passport holders. They’re cute and I thought about it, but we didn’t get any.

Chatuchak Market

This shop was pretty cool. It was an actual shop adjacent to the market, so I don’t think they would have negotiated the price any. But it was fun to look around their shop. They had quite a lot of shiny things for sale.

Chatuchak Market

 Chatuchak Market Chatuchak Market Chatuchak Market Chatuchak Market

One thing that is common across street markets is the open-air food vendors. There’s just something about street food that tastes so much better than regular food.

Chatuchak Market

The guy that tried to get us to buy some of these insisted that these were ‘real’ movies and not pirated copies. haha. Nice try.

Chatuchak Market

I do love the variety of trinkets and souvenirs.

Chatuchak Market

There were quite a few really neat sculptures for sale at the market. I love the detail on this one.

Chatuchak Market

Can’t have a street market without wind chimes!

Chatuchak Market

Periodically there will be items with price tags. Those ones can’t be negotiated much, if at all.

Chatuchak Market

There were several jewelry and rock stalls with these really cute figurines.

Chatuchak Market

I really wanted to take these home. They’re so beautiful!

Chatuchak Market

This box is great, too. If I’d had enough room in my suitcase, I would have bought several of these.

Chatuchak Market

Necklaces and strings of beads were items that were EVERYWHERE in the market.

Chatuchak Market

There were a few places where these beautiful lamps were hanging down from the ceiling.

Chatuchak Market

In one section, there were plenty of places for weary shoppers to relax and get a quick massage.

Chatuchak Market

I loved the flower section of the market. It smelled so good!

Chatuchak Market

We found this guy in the middle of a walkway between sections of the market. Nobody could tell us what it was for and I haven’t been able to find anything online. We assume that it has to do with luck or receiving blessings.

Chatuchak Market

Anyone for some reverse cleats?

Chatuchak Market

Feeling peckish? Grab a cup of fruit to keep you going!

Chatuchak Market

If you’re really hungry, there’s always plenty of food ready for you to dig into.

Chatuchak Market

These guys are just too adorable! We ended up buying a bunch of these for all of Troy’s coworkers and for us, as well. There were so many different kinds and they were all just as cute.

Chatuchak Market

What street market is complete without something totally creepy?

Chatuchak Market

This is a common mode of displaying wares. It’s fun and whimsical, but not very theft-preventing.

Chatuchak Market

This market also has a housewares section. You can buy pretty much anything you need in your home here, which is kinda cool.

Chatuchak Market

I think this was my absolute FAVORITE part of the market. I’m a sucker for anything coconut-flavored, so I just HAD to buy some of their homemade coconut ice cream. What made it taste even better was that it came in a small coconut! Yay!

Chatuchak Market

What I hadn’t expected in this street market was the indoors section of it. There are dedicated stations for lamps, silks, tshirts, dresses, pants, dinnerware, furniture, curtains, bed sheets, pictures and all sorts of things you’d find in a regular shopping center.

Chatuchak Market

When we were leaving the market, we came across this Buddha shrine. It’s very interesting that the Thai people have these shrines anywhere and everywhere.

Chatuchak Market

Overall, I really liked the Chatuchak Weekend Market, though I’m not sure it should be called a weekend market. It is open most days, but only for certain sections. The weekend is when the entire thing is open at the same time. So, if you’re in Bangkok on a weekend and want to see something interesting, check out the Chatuchak Weekend Market. You will be sure to find some souvenirs and fun gifts for everyone, along with being able to see some pretty neat wares that the locals produce.

ADDRESS
Kamphaeng Phet 2 RoadChatuchakBangkok

LOCATION AREA
Chatuchak Market is close to the Kamphaengpecth Station (MRT) and about a  5 minute walk from both the Mochit Skytrain (BTS) Station and the Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park) Station (MRT)

HOURS

WED-THU (Plants & Flowers) 7:00 am – 6:00 pm.

FRI (Wholesale day) 6:00 pm – 12:00 am.

SAT-SUN (Everything) 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.

For more pictures, please visit my Facebook page and/or my Google+ page.

As always, if you have any questions or comments or want to share you own take on the Chatuchak Weekend Market, please leave a comment below!

21 Replies to “Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok”

  1. CarmensTravelTips

    Bangkok is on my list of places to visit. I love going to local flea-markets and shopping. My daughter would of probably loved the shoes with the spikes. Nice pictures.

    • Erin Post author

      Thanks! Those shoes are pretty crazy, aren’t they? I almost bought a pair, but we didn’t have much room left in our suitcases and it was our first day there, so I decided against it. They sure are fun to look at, though.

  2. Hannah

    I love markets and this looks like a lot of fun! I don’t tend to buy much but they are always fun to browse- never know what you will find! The croc head is a little odd though!

    • Erin Post author

      I feel guilty haggling, too, sometimes, but you have to keep in mind that they jack the prices WAY up, so you’re not doing anything wrong by trying to get it to a reasonable level.

  3. Jen Seligmann

    Great photos! Looks like a nice way to spend a few hours in Bangkok. I had such a hard time in Bangkok that I never made it to the markets. One day I will go back though and will definitely be checking them out.

  4. Sarah Ebner

    I’m with you on the ice cream – sounds delicious. I really love how you’ve used the pictures here too – gives a real idea of what it was like. Sounds a great thing to experience.

  5. jslivingthedream

    We found this market to be amazing! We really wish we would have purchased more at the street markets around South East Asia. We were trying not to buy much, but we passed up some great deals and gifts that now in Europe we cant even fathom buying!

  6. Els

    I love to stroll around on street markets, I just love the hustle and bustle of it. This one seems particularly interesting, I would probably hang around the food stalls all day 🙂

  7. amyclark256

    I love visiting markets in new cities and this one looks fantastic! I’m not usually a big shopper either, but I could wander markets for hours, just looking at all the different things for sale.

  8. Milosz Zak

    Visiting markets is a must in any country, and I say that as an ECON MA. You gain so much insight into the people and culture by doing so.

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  10. Liz M

    Hi! Would you know if Chatuchak really opens on Friday at 6 pm onward? If yes, what are the stores that open? We would most likely buy apparel, souvenirs, and bags? On Saturdays, do they open at 9 am? Will appreciate your reply. Thank you!!

    • Erin Post author

      Hi, Liz! Thanks for your comment and I’m sorry for the delay in responding. I was double-checking with someone who lives there that I do have the times right. They are correct. The market opens Friday nights at 6pm and is open at 9am on weekends. We were there on a Saturday morning and they had soooooooooooooooooooooooo many things. Clothes, movies, kitchenware, bags, souvenirs, food, shoes, decor, jewelry. My friend said most shops are open Friday night, but it can vary if a vendor decides not to come that Friday. You should be able to find what you’re looking for.

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