Your one stop Chatuchak market guide
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with the famous Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok. Combing through rows after rows of stalls in the sweltering heat can be pretty overwhelming, especially with the crowds!
Sounds terrible? But here’s the catch! Chatuchak market is also home to stalls selling just about anything and everything you need. The usual suspects include clothes, accessories, shoes, plants, home decor, handicrafts of all sorts and delicious local food.
We’ve pooled some tips and tricks from our Bangkok regulars to help you conquer this behemoth market. With over 15,000 booths across 27 acres of land, you’ll need all the help you can get!
Chatuchak opening hours:
The market starts on Friday night, and there’s no better way to kickstart TGIF than with a visit to the market. This helps you escape the notorious Bangkok heat and with any luck, you’ll even enjoy a cool evening breeze while you shop.
However, if you are visiting on a weekend, the best time to go is the morning! The sellers believe that the first sale of the day is good luck, which also means they would be more willing to lower the prices!
How to get to Chatuchak:
We’d definitely recommend heading to Chatuchak via public transport. With everyone heading to the same area for the weekend market, the roads are sure to be congested and the last thing you’d want is to spend your time in the car instead of shopping.
Klook your One-Day BTS Pass or a Rabbit Pass if you’re a frequent traveller to Bangkok to skip the long lines at the ticketing counter. Everyone probably has the same idea of taking public transport so you can expect the ticketing lines at the BTS to be pretty long. Purchasing on Klook allows you to pick up the passes at the airport beforehand so you can dive right into exploring the city.
Check out these other Bangkok essentials you can pick up from the airport!
Tips for conquering Chatuchak
Photo credit: marcusyong
- Hydrate – The heat at Chatuchak can be pretty unbearable so don’t forget to keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Otherwise, grab a fresh coconut from the vendors along the street!
- Sunscreen or a giant hat – You can definitely expect to be in the sun a lot especially since some of the stalls are on the main street with little to no shelter.
- Bargain – Be sure to haggle! You might even be able to some items for half the quoted price
- Cash – most stalls only accept cash so be sure you have enough on hand for your shopping haul
- Lockers – If you’re coming straight from the airport, store your luggage in the lockers located near the Kamphenng Phat MRT station (exit 2). For those who are more familiar with Chatuchak, this is where the famous coconut ice-cream can be found!
With so many different sections in Chatuchak, navigating it might not be the easiest. Here’s a breakdown of the different sections and what they offer.
Shop till you drop
With so many stalls selling mostly similar items, you might be wondering where to begin. Here are some of our top picks!
#Klook Tip: For those of us who want to get our hands on these goodies but haven’t got the chance to head to Chatuchak soon, we’ve got a solution for you.
Airfrov is a peer-to-peer marketplace that helps you buy things from overseas through their huge traveller network. Luckily for us, they are having a Chatuchak pre-order, which means you can place your order for items that you wish to purchase and a traveller will bring it back for you! Read more about Airfrov at the end of this article.
Items marked with * are available via Airfrov
1. Mori Bags*
Mori bags is one of the cult favorites for a few reasons. Putting a new twist on your regular tote bag, there is a whole myriad of designs to pick from! The minimalist marble print, pastel candy tones, bright vibrant tropical hues, you name it, they’ve got it!
P.S. You can even put all your shopping in it while you’re at Chatuchak, reducing the need for plastic bags.
2. Tongkorn Jewelry
Add a pop of cute and color to your outfits with accessories from Tongkorn Jewelry. With adorable plant and animal designs, these hand painted accessories are quirky and unique. Plus, they are made of 24K gold plated brass so you don’t have to worry about wear and tear.
Store location: Chatuchak (JJ) market section 4 soi 51/1 no.260
3. Embroiderer Bags*
If you haven’t already heard, embroidery is all the hype now. Get your hands on these gorgeous embroidered bags from Embroiderer Bags, the perfect compliment to your #OOTDs.
Store location: Chatuchak (JJ) market Section 3 Room.295
4. Comma socks*
One can never have too many pairs of socks. These handmade socks by Comma are the cutest we’ve ever seen. With designs like hamburgers and fries, otters and even paper airplanes, we’d sweep up a whole lot of them and rotate a different pair everyday of the week!
Store location: COMMA STORE JJ Market Sec 3 Room 295
Feast on street food
All that walking is bound to leave you hungry. Fill your bellies with some grilled honey roast pork, Moo Yang, from Moo Yang Nam Peung. These sweet and tender honey roast chops are grilled fresh in front of you and the scent alone is enough to make you drool.
Store location : Section 22, Soi 4/2
We hear the roasted crackling pork and fried chicken wings at Section 19, Soi 7/1 are some of the best in Thailand as well. These are sold by weight so just order a whole bunch and share with the whole gang.
Coconut ice cream
If there’s only 1 thing you need to eat at Chatuchak, it’s definitely the coconut ice cream. Soft creamy coconut ice cream served with slices of coconut flesh and 2 toppings of your choice, this is perfect for cooling down after walking through all those lanes of shops. Most stores even give you a complimentary cup of fresh coconut juice.
These ice popsicles are also great for cooling down! Coming in a huge variety of flavors, our battle strategy is to try a new flavor every time.
Stock up on souvenirs
1. Cha Tru Mue Tea*
One of our favorite things to drink in Bangkok is Thai milk tea from Cha Tru Mue! While you might not be able to find a store in your home country, the best thing to do is to bring a can or two home. They also have 3 in 1 packs for the ultimate convenience.
P.S These make for great souvenirs to bring back for the colleagues!
2. Thai snacks
If you can’t get enough of the Thai taste, some of the things you have to take home are definitely their interesting snacks. The pork floss sticks and pork floss rice crackers are some of the hot favorites! You can buy them in bulk from Chatuchak and share them with the whole family back home.
Chatuchak comes to you with Airfrov!
While not all of us can afford to head to Chatuchak whenever we want, we can still get our hands on these Chatuchak goodies with Airfrov! For the uninitiated, Airfrov is a platform where you can post your requests and travellers to that country pick these up for you and mail it straight to your doorstep.
With their new Thailand pre-order you can choose from a myriad of stores and these travellers will pick them up for you. This means that you don’t have to battle the crazy Bangkok heat or squeeze with the weekend Chatuchak crowds.
If you’re new to Airfrov, take SGD5 off min spend SGD20 with “KLOOK5OFF”, valid till 31st August 2018. Ready, get set, SHOP!