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Sep
2015
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Chatuchak Market: Tips

Raise your hand if you love shopping! I would have both my hands up in the air if I didn’t have to type the post!

When we were in Bangkok earlier this year, I visited the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It is a shopaholics’ delight – hands and legs up in the air with excitement! If shopping is a sport that interests you, then make sure you make time to visit the Chatuchak market.

Ankur ...shopping! This does not happen too often!

Ankur …shopping! This does not happen too often!

Shopoholics ahoy! Read on to ensure that make good use of every minute and every cent that you spend at the Chatuchak Market.

  1. The Chatuchak market is a weekend market that is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 6 am to 6 pm. Get here early in the day to avoid the Bangkok heat and crowds.
  2. Locals call the market ‘Jatujak’ or JJ Market. Your taxi driver will understand ‘JJ Market’ better that ‘Chatuchak Market’; I am assuming that you do not have an authentic Thai accent and the way ‘Chatuchak’ spills out of our mouth sounds rather funny to the locals… at least, thats my story!
  3. Mo Chit station (BTS) is the closest to the market. Chatuchak Park is another station, a little away from the market (let the name not confuse you).
  4. Get yourself a map of the market (from one of the market security guards), which highlights sections in the market that sell various products (furniture, books, clothes etc). Its your cheat sheet to get you to the section of your choice!

    At Chatuchak Market...the main street

    At Chatuchak Market…the main street to buy clothes

  5. Its Bangkok…and its hot and humid! However, you need not carry bottles of water. Shop keepers keep water and cold drinks for sale in ice boxes. I preferred having some sugarcane or tiger herb juice instead.

    'Tiger herb' juice

    ‘Tiger herb’ juice

  6. If you are a vegetarian, carry your sandwich along with you. We could not find any vegetarian food to eat in the entire market.
    Nothing for us vegetarians :-(

    Nothing for us vegetarians 🙁

    However, those with a sweet tooth surely can try some traditional colourful iced Thai dessert.

    Local Thai dessert...lots of ice...some juices ...cubes of jelly...interesting!

    Local Thai dessert…lots of ice…some juices …cubes of jelly…interesting!

  7. If you like something, buy it! It is unlikely that you will be able to retrace your steps back to the shop as the market is spread over 27 acres of land and has over 5000 shops!
  8. Bargain …and bargain hard! I did not get too much success in getting the price down, unlike the Ladies Market in Hong Kong. I ain’t too great at bargaining…but you must go on and do try it out!

    Shoe shopping

    Shoe shopping

  9. If a hot scented bath is what you enjoy, pick up some fancy soaps. The soaps at Chatuchak were 75% cheaper than their clones at the Bangkok Duty Free. Same is the case for a lot of other souvenirs.

    Srub-a-dub time

    Srub-a-dub time

  10. Cash is the preferred medium of payment. Keep your cash and wallet safe. The market is very crowded and there could be pick pockets around. In case you do run out of cash, there are ATMs around.
  11. The little clothing shops do not have trial rooms….most of them are stalls.

    Time to buy clothes for the next beach vacation!

    Time to buy clothes for the next beach vacation!

  12. Shopped too much and not enough baggage space? DHL, TNT and Fedex to the rescue! Their outlets at the market will ship your stuff home!

    Handcrafted lamp shade...can be shipped to your home!

    Handcrafted lamp shade…can be shipped to your home!

The Grand Bazar in Istanbul, Khan-el-Khalili in Cairo on the Chatuchak in Bangkok…each is a different experience in itself! So…shop on…and feel the pulse of these buzzing markets!

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11 Responses

  1. Shweta Singh

    Sonia, you’ve got me all excited about shopping at JJ markets (trying to be a local here). If this market could get you enthused about shopping, am sure the shopaholics will go crazy!
    Thanks for the vegetarian tip, as always.

    1. Glad that I could get you enthused to visit the market. More than shopping, its the experience in these big market that attracts me to them. Off course, the inexpensive shopping is what makes me exceed the capacity that my bags have ever so often!

  2. I can speak Thai and luckily I have a good enough Thai accent for the Taxi driver to understand if I directed him to Chatuchak! A great tip you gave to get there early, you’ll also avoid the traffic, Mo Chit station like you mentioned is how I’d choose to arrive. Great tip about using a map, I think the market is bigger than the village I live in!

  3. I really like these kind of markets. Its big fun to explore and the time to discover all these little treasures there. Best thing is, that when you spend there much time with checking all the stuff and negotiating you don’t need to stay hungry, because you have all that great food already there, even though for veggies it might be a bit harder

  4. I generally don’t like shopping, but I do like outdoor markets. Chatuchak Weekend Market looks so colorful and fun. Good tip on bringing vegetarian snacks. A map seems essential — 5,000 vendors!

  5. These are great tips to visiting Chatuchak Market because it totally can be so overwhelming for the first time traveller…it’s HUGE! I loved the Thai Iced Tea that they served here…was so yummy. I must admit, I was a rookie the first time and forgot to bring my own bottled water. Good tip to make sure you are carrying your own because it’s so hot and humid in Bangkok. The bargains here are so good, but yes I agree with you – BARGAIN HARD!!! Great roundup of tips!

  6. We’ve been to Bangkok twice – but never on a weekend – so have missed the delight that is JJ Market! I’ve heard that its a shopaholics paradise and can totally understand why you would want to get there early in the day to avoid the heat – although I wonder if going later in the day, sellers may be more willing to negotiate and you might get a better deal!

  7. I have both hands up in the air 🙂 I also think it was so humid when I visited and probably got a bottle of water all the time. I was not a vegetarian back then but good to know it is hard to find veggie food (so I will be prepared).

  8. If there’s anything I definitely am, it’s a shopaholic. Especially when I’m traveling! This market looks like it has so much energy, but it’d be hard for me not being able to find any vegetarian food as I’m a 10-year vegetarian myself!

  9. As much as I love exploring street markets, being a vegetarian I have been disappointed with the food options available so I agree with your tip on packing veg food for yourselves. With all the walking and bargaining involved while in the market, you do need to have food and water to charge you up ;). 27 acres and 500 stalls does sound like an incredible market experience, I would be completely lost and confused on where to go and what to buy, a map is definitely a life saver here :).

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