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Chatuchak Weekend Market is certainly an assault on all five senses. Food stalls will bombard you with wafting aromas of seafood and sweets. Techno music blasts from trendy clothing stalls. Herds of people shove their way through the market, one stall at a time. That being said, Chatuchak Weekend Market is one destination you cannot miss visiting. Being that Chatuchak is the largest market in Asia, navigating it can be confusing. That is why we’re here to offer you a guide on Bangkok’s massive market.
Bartering is a must. That being said, everything is already cheap, so don’t feel as though you must fight with a vendor to get a certain discount. One great way to get the best deals is to arm yourself with some Thai, for example, knowing a few numbers or two. Otherwise, brush up on your calculator skills. You can also ask a vendor, thao rai (how much). The more Thai you use, the less likely you are to be ripped off.
You can buy anything and everything your heart desires at Chatuchak Weekend Market. Are you on the hunt for a rare, one of a kind piece of art? There is a section for that (section 7, to be exact). Do you need a new wardrobe before returning home? There’s a section for that. One of the best ways to approach exploring this massive market is to venture in not knowing what it is that you want. If you go in with hopes of purchasing jewelry, odds are you won’t be able to find the clothing and accessory section. Getting lost is easy to do here, so arm yourself with one of the free maps from one of the information kiosks. These maps break down where the sections are, as well as what you can buy there.
Chatuchak Weekend Market is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The market opens Friday night at 6PM and closes at midnight. On Saturday and Sunday, it’s open all day from 9AM to 6PM. Many of the stalls disregard these hours and stay open much later. The best time to go shopping is in the morning, or when the market first opens. Many shopkeepers believe that the first sale of the day is good luck. Because of this, they’re more than happy to bring the price down more than usual!
If shopping isn’t your thing, be sure to check out the endless stalls of food throughout the entire market. Chatuchak Weekend Market has a wide array of dessert options. Some of these desserts include chocolate-dipped bananas, crepes and brownies. The market is also well-known for its many coconut ice cream stands, served in its own coconut. You can also add an array of toppings, including nuts or strawberry syrup. If you don’t like ice cream but like coconuts, be sure to find the man with the machete selling them. He can be found near the main entrance. If you don’t see him, just listen for his booming voice, screaming, “coconuts!”
There are many different ways to get to Chatuchak Weekend Market. Take the BTS Skytrain to Mochit and follow the signs or the crowd. You can also take the MRT Subway to Chatuchak Park. A taxi driver should also know where this is. If a driver seems to have trouble understanding, pronounce Chatuchak like Jatujak.