You haven’t experienced Bangkok is you haven’t visited Chatuchak Market. At this weekend market, you get to experience the best of Thailand – friendly people, rich culture, and excellent food.
Overview and history of Chatuchak Market
Chatuchak Market was the idea of the late Field Marshall Phibulsongkram, a former prime minister in the 1940s. It was his dream to establish a market in every province in Thailand. This market only settled at its current location in 1982.
For years, Chatuchak was only popular among traders and wholesalers. But now it has reached a landmark status. This weekend market that sits on a 35-acre land receives more than 200,000 visitors weekly. So, it is not only the largest open-air market in Asia but also the world’s largest weekend market.
JJ Market, as the locals call it, has more than 26 sections, and 15,000 stalls. You will find food, art, antiques, jewelry, clothes, furniture, etc. Just about everything is for sale at this market.
What makes Chatuchak Market unique?
The main selling point of this market is its size. To put it into perspective, 35 acres is the equivalent of 26 football fields. Here you will find anything you are looking for, and other things you didn’t know existed.
Of the 200,000 weekly visitors, only 30% are tourists. A place that attracts so many locals is, without a doubt, awesome.
Why visit Chatuchak Market?
Visit Chatuchak Market for an immersive experience of Thailand’s culture. This is not just a market but also a tourist attraction. As you sift through the stalls, you will come across “made in Thailand” merchandise such as:
- Woven thatch hats and bags
- Handcrafted ornaments
Also, you can go there for the sole purpose of experiencing Thailand cuisine. The market has endless food stalls serving not only Thai food but also dishes from around the world.
How to get to Chatuchak
You can use one of three modes of transport to get to this weekend market in Bangkok.
- Taxi: Boarding a taxi is the easiest way to get to the market, especially if you are new to Bangkok.
- MRT: The MRT is an underground train. Board the MRT at Silom and alight at Chatuchak Park. Then, walk for about two minutes to Entrance 2 of the JJ Market.
- BTS: The BTS is a sky train. Get off this train at Moi Chit Station, which is near the entrance to the clothing section of the Market.
- Bus: Catching a bus is the cheapest way to get to the market.
- Tuk Tuk: Tuk Tuks are a fun way of experiencing Bangkok.
When to visit Chatuchak
JJ Market opens every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
On Fridays, the market opens from 6 pm to midnight.
On Saturdays and Sundays, the market is open from 9 am to 6 pm. Fortunately for shoppers, the traders do not strictly follow the closing time. Most stalls remain open till late into the night.
Of course, the best time to go shopping is early in the morning when the stalls are opening. Most traders believe the first sale is good luck. For that reason, they are more than willing to offer significant discounts.
The market’s website
Visit https://www.chatuchakmarket.org/ for more information about the market. On this website, you will find a pocket guide of the market, tips on how to shop, and other valuable information.