With more than 15,000 stalls in an area of less than 20 hectares, Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, Thailand is considered the largest in the world. It used to be a wholesale market but it has since evolved into a retail mecca for thousands of bargain hunters estimated at 200,000 to 300,000 on any Saturday or Sunday.
For new shoppers, it is easy to get lost by the sheer size of the market. It is indeed like a maze with its many interconnected alleys. However, you can navigate it by going in and out of the main road (walkway) that encircles it.
Of course, don’t forget to use reference points such as the BTS Skytrain and the MRT Underground Train and the clock tower.
Chatuchak or Jatujak (hence the abbreviated use of J.J. Market) is located at the current northern end of BTS Station called Morchit and on the south side of Chatuchak Park. See map below for exact location. It was opened in 1983 under the named Phahonyothin Market. It was renamed Chatuchak in 1987.
The market is divided into 27 sections for selling many different kinds of goods, including plants, antiques, consumer electronics, cosmetics, pets, food and drinks, fresh and dry food, ceramics, furniture and home accessories, clothing, and books.
Tips For New Shoppers
1. Go to the market as early as possible, maybe 9:00 am. It is accessible by bus, van, BTS or MRT. If you want to go by car, you can park at the nearby BTS Morchit parking lot.
2. Wear light comfortable clothes. It would get very hot at noon and in the afternoon.
3. Bring a backpack to store your purchased items and it is highly recommended that you wear it on the front rather than at the back.
4. Bring enough cash because most vendors accept only cash and it would be a hassle to go to the nearest ATM.
5. Go around the market first before making your purchases in order to select the best item at the lowest possible price.
6. Always take care of yourself and your belongings. Beware of pickpockets and other cheaters.
See also: Pratunam Market, Baiyoke Tower II; Where to Buy English Books in Bangkok