Chatuchak Market in Bangkok

Though there are many markets throughout Bangkok, Chatuchak Weekend Market is still pretty much the undisputed king of them all. The scale of it is pretty unbelievable - it covers an area of 70 rai (35 acres), contains more than 15 000 shops and stalls, has over 200 000 visitors each day, and they spend an estimated total of 30 million baht (approx US$750 000). The range of products on sale is extensive, and includes household accessories, handicrafts, religious artifacts, art, antiques, live animals (which unfortunately are frequently caged in cruel conditions), books, music, clothes, food, plants and flowers etc...

Chatuchak is a particularly good place to buy all sorts of Thai handicrafts, as there's a huge range, the quality is high and the intense competition keeps the prices low. Be careful when buying antiques, the large majority on offer are fake and telling the difference between the genuine and the copies can be extremely difficult. Genuine antiques require a permit to be taken out of the country, but you will also need a permit if a fake is good enough to fool the inspecting customs officer.

Bargaining is expected, if not mandatory, at Chatuchak and the prices are generally substantially cheaper than the shopping centers and street stalls on Silom and Sukhumvit. Many shops in the more centrals areas of the city also have a branch here, selling the same goods for much lower prices.

The published opening hours for the market are from 9.00am to 6.00pm on Saturday and Sunday, though many of the stalls actually open sometime between 9.00am and 10.00am and close around sunset. Chatchak is also open on Friday as a market for wholesalers, but there is no problem doing normal shopping on this day either (same opening times). The Garden Plants section is also open on Wednesdays and Thursday from 7.00am to 6.00pm. Watch out for pickpockets, as even though they're not a particularly big problem the crowded conditions make it easy for them to operate successfully.

Chatuchak has in theory been segregated into areas depending on the types of goods sold, and there are maps available for the market which detail the various sections. You're as well to just forget them and just wander wherever takes your fancy, as it is an extremely disorientating place of many narrow alleys and trying to follow a map around can prove very frustrating.

Chatuchak always gets very hot and humid during the day, and it's far from the most comfortable shopping experience but for most people the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Going early in the day when it is a bit cooler is recommended.

The best way to get here is on the Skytrain, Mo Chit station is only about five minutes walk away from the market. Finding your way from the station is easy - just follow the large crowd of people that will also be heading to/from there (right). Alternatively, many buses go past here: Ordinary buses 3, 8, 26, 27, 28, 34, 38, 39, 44, 52, 59, 74, 77, 96, 97, 104, 108, 112, 134, 136, 138, 145 and air-con buses 2, 3, 9, 10, 12, 13, 29, 38, 39, 44, 136 and 138. To get a taxi ask for suan jatujak (Chatuchak park, where the market is held), or print out the instructions below and give them to the driver.

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thank you for this informaion... pls be careful and keep mind for keep your valuable thing (wallet-gadget etc) during shopping in this market... ***bargain before dealing***
' kris bon-bon
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Thank you for very useful informations. I am Thai living in the United State for 35 years. I am lost when I am in Bangkok. I hate to say I don't know how to get around on my own in Bangkok. I plan to take a vacation to Thailand in summer 2009. This time I will use buses and skytrain. I am looking forward for a new experience. San Jose, California U.S.A.
' Taw
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the market is great visited last month trying to find the company selling natural lemon grass oils room spray but no luck plenty sellers with other oils they may have stopped business it was Jan 2008 can you help
' catherine
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Dears, I ask you some info about clothes shop of international brand in bangkok. Thanks in advance. Lucia
' dolphin
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I actually have a question. I am a buyer for a store in the united states and I was wondering if you know if this market would be a good place for me to buy. Can I establish relationships here with the vendors? and can they ship things to the states or would I have to arrange that myself?
' laney
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Can u let me know which hotel in the near to the weekend market like walking distance
' Kalsom
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This page is brilliant, very well laid out, honest and informative. Love the thai taxi instructions.
' Lucy Howl
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I have been to Chatuchak week end market, and its one of the best market places i have been to, a person can buy almost anything there, and its very interesting to just look around, i plan on going back to bangkok on holiday. and i wont miss visiting the weekend market again, i can recommend anyone to visit this place.
' lance halliday
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I wanted to ask if because of the "water holiday" the are changes in the days ang times of the opening of the weekend market? what day the "holiday" ends?
' eyal doron
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Really insightful article - I found it really helpfull and will definately take its advice!
' Brian
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can you publish average rate of price of clothes. we are far from you so it is difficult to go and check it.. help me...
' shanyx
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you know,, actually, some products aren't cheaper there. People should ask for discount to buy at low price.
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I visited Bangkok markets about 2 yrs ago & loved it. Is there anywhere I can shop online with a stall I purchased some items from. Thankyou kris
' kris
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We were in Chatuchak in October and was pickpocketed, early the morning while the market was relatively quiet. Be aware at all times - they watch the tourists and they are so quick,you have no idea that you are targeted. Ricci - South Africa
' Ricci Marais
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need to know where in bangkok i can buy baby clothes? please send address of shops or markets
' LIZELLE
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Get on the Skytrain, get off at Mo Chit and you are in shoppers heaven. Hot as blazes, humid to boot but wonderful. Local shop owners supply their shops with products from Chatuchak so you know the prices are excellent. My grand daughters and I return on June 11th, "Let the Shopping Begin"
' Chet Hobart
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Hello, I live in BKK, and want to go to JJ market on Friday. Do they have an extensive amount of items for wholesale? I read in your article that upwards of 15,000 stalls are open on Sat, and Sun. Do they have anywhere near that many open on Fri. from 9-6? Your advice will be crucial. Thank you.
' Jay
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Hello, I am looking to start a business relationship with a person who sells Thai fisherman pants. I was just in Thailand at the weekend market a few weeks and would like to source these pants and shorts in Canada. If you have the names and emails of any of the vendors that sell these pants/shorts please email me!
' Mike Budreski
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hi i wonder if i come to your beautiful country to buy at your local market clothing if any recomended agent named be given to me to do the pakaging and sent to my country does such facility exist for small quantity
' vayavery
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Hi, great website - one of the most helpful ones I've found. I've just returned from Bangkok (to Cape Town, SA) and spent quite a lot of time shopping at Chatuchak. I will be travelling to BKK regularly to shop for trendy high fashion garments and accessories for our shop in Cape Town. I would really appreciate it if you could send me advice on wear the best and cheapest places are for trendy urban fashions to export. I am more interested in lesser known labels than than bigger world wide recognised ones. Ideally I would like to find the manufacturers who supply goods to markets. Thank you so much, Ashleigh
' Ashleigh Battle
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