As part of my trip to Thailand, I wanted to visit the world famous weekend market- Chatuchak Market, Bangkok. I changed flights and itineraries just to make sure I was there for a day where the market was open… And boy it was worth the effort! What a place!
Chatuchak (Jatujak) Market, is found right near the sky train station: Mo Chit. It is also very near a subway station too. It is only open on the weekend- so when planning your trip in Bangkok, make sure you take this into consideration. I was staying in Langsuan, near Sukhumvit and so I took a direct skytrain from Chit Lom to Mo Chit- it cost 42THB and took 20 minutes. So easy and the Skytrain is so clean and efficient! From Mo Chit its a 3 minute walk to the market- just follow the crowds!
Despite being very busy and crowded I never felt unsafe or claustrophobic. I kept my rucksack on my front but also had my camera hanging. Everyone smiles and greets you- nobody makes you feel unwelcome! Just keep valuables close and stay alert- pickpokets are rife.
Even if you visit the market for a whole weekend- it is impossible to cover the entire place! I tried to be systematic with my ‘route’ and followed the free map I was given upon entry- but despite my best efforts the little alleys and paths will tempt you and you’ll just enjoy wandering!
I had a great time negotiating on souvenirs, clothes, furniture and massages! Its always fun to barter, but important to remember not to quibble over a few pence/cents! These wonderful guys and gals work hard long hours- respect them! I had 2 wonderful foot massages 30mins each- and it only cost me £5 in total!
You start to see some weird and wonderful foods- grilled squid, fried pork were all on the menu. Im a vegetarian so I didn’t venture in too deeply- but was satisfied with some deliciously fresh coconut ice cream with jelly and peanuts! It was absolutely gorgeous!
Chatuchak sells everything and anything- from jewellery to dvd’s, clothes, footwear, second hand clothing, pet clothing(literally hundreds of stalls selling this), candles, scent oils, furniture, soaps.. You name it, they’ve got it! They also sell pets! I was quite disturbed seeing dwarf guinea pigs, dogs and all sorts. I have to say the animals are stuffed in small cages and looked very traumatised. Its probably for this reason that you are not allowed to take photos (although you can if you pay). I did not want to see the animals in that way- so I quickly sped off, but apparently they sell snakes, rabbits etc too. Theres a whole pet area also in a separate plaza nearby. (I did not want to go here)
I recommend taking a bag with you to fill all your purchases (or even better- buy one there!) if you need money it can easily be exchanged- with competitive rates as well! If you go overboard with the shopping- don’t worry there are courier services there so you can pack and send it all home… Theres just no excuses!!
Chatuchak has thought of everything- it doesnt matter how big or small your budget… Im not a shopping lover (although my boyfriend begs to differ!) but I still had a great time just soaking in the culture and vibes!
Definitely add Chatuchak to your itinerary.. Im now on a flight to Chiang Mai, update you soon!