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.
Shopoholics ahoy! Read on to ensure that make good use of every minute and every cent that you spend at the Chatuchak Market.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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).
- 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!
- 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.
- If you are a vegetarian, carry your sandwich along with you. We could not find any vegetarian food to eat in the entire market.
However, those with a sweet tooth surely can try some traditional colourful iced Thai dessert.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- The little clothing shops do not have trial rooms….most of them are stalls.
- 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!
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!