Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market: Photo blog and pro tips


Posted by Beth | May 27, 2016

Bangkok is one of our favorite cities in one of our favorite countries in the world. It’s chaotic and exciting and edgy, but somehow remains charming and authentically Thailand, and nowhere else in the city epitomizes that more than the Chatuchak Market. This was somewhere between our second and fifth trip to Bangkok, depending on which one of us you ask and how we’re counting, but the first time we made the trek up to the last stop on the skytrain for the infamous weekend market.

According to bangkok.com, the 35-acre area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer. We expected one of the world’s largest markets to be a “do it once to check it off our list” type of experience, but I fell in love with it and am already scheming about how on my next trip to Asia I will end in Bangkok so I can buy all the things to take home with me.

At this point in our trip we are somewhat over markets, but this one was entirely different. I felt like we could be walking through a hipster craft market in Brooklyn. The handmade (and incredibly affordable, this is Thailand) clothes section was definitely the highlight for me. As someone who hasn’t really bought new clothes in the better part of the last three years, I was tempted to go really, really crazy but of course am still limited by backpack space.

Here are my 12 favorite photos of the day, with a list of some tips below if you’re heading to Chatuchak anytime soon.

No Thai market is complete without fresh fruit shakes.

No Thai market is complete without fresh fruit shakes.

A large part of the market was permanent structures lining little alleyways. Most stores were even air-conditioned.

A large part of the market was permanent structures lining little alleyways. Most stores were even air-conditioned.

Of course many of the market stalls are just your typical 'Made in China' souvenirs.

Of course many of the market stalls are just your typical ‘Made in China’ souvenirs.

Buddhas, Buddhas everywhere.

Buddhas, Buddhas, Buddhas, Buddhas rockin everywhere.

This Spanish tapas bar was cooking up giant batches of paella. The perfect place to sit down with a glass of wine and people watch.

This Spanish tapas bar was cooking up giant batches of paella. The perfect place to sit down with a glass of wine and people watch.

A giant section of the market is dedicated to antiques.

A giant section of the market is dedicated to antiques.

I love lamps

I love lamps

Big person, little world. Ducking down to get the feel for the juice options.

Big person, little world. Ducking down to get the feel for the juice options.

After you've shopped till you drop you can stop and rest your puppies with a cheap foot massage.

After you’ve shopped till you drop you can stop and rest your puppies with a cheap foot massage.

So this was technically outside of the market, but had to show off my favorite purchase of the day, my new hat.

So this was technically outside of the market, but had to show off my favorite purchase of the day, my new hat.

Chatuchak Weekend Market Pro Tips: 

  • Give yourself plenty of time. We thought a few hours would be enough but could have easily spent the whole day there. The weekend market is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 9a.m. to 6 p.m.,and Fridays 6 p.m. to midnight.
  • Take public transportation. If you’re taking the BTS Sky Train, get off at the Mo Chit Station. If you’re taking the MRT, get off at the Kamphaeng Phet Station.
  • Don’t expect vendors to barter too much with you. Yes, you can certainly try bargaining, but I didn’t personally have much luck and consider myself to be an expert barterer. At most stalls you had to buy multiple items to get a discount.
  • Try the app OffMaps – an offline map service you can download for each city that includes public transportation. We didn’t use this at Chatuchak but apparently it includes all of the numbered sections, which will help you navigate your way around.
  • For more incredible photos of the market and pro tips, check out this post from Souvenir Finder.

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