Chatuchak Weekend Market
The Biggest Open Air Market in the World

A visit to Chatuchak weekend market has to be a top priority if you are in Bangkok Thailand over a weekend. This market is thought to be the biggest open air market of its kind in the world and it is big – very, very big.

Making the most of Chatuchak weekend market takes some strategic planning. It is impossible to cover all of Chatuchak in a day. However, the stalls are cleverly sectioned in a grid system with items grouped together based on type.

One of the best investments you can make whilst in the City of Angels is a copy of "the Nancy Chandler Map of Bangkok." With its colorful and humorous illustrations, this map is unique and more importantly, it has a separate detailed plan of Chatuchak weekend market.

It is estimated that between 200,000 – 400,000 people throng the narrow walkways every Saturday and Sunday. There are over 15,000 stalls selling every possible item of clothing, Thai handicraft, souvenir etc you can think of, not to mention exotic furnishings and Thai silks that cost an absolute fortune back home.

One of the main attractions is the pet section (area 9, 11, 13, and 15). Even if you are a tourist it is still worth going to have a look. Dogs and cats, birds, tropical fish and all manner of other creatures. However, it can be somewhat distressing to see the animals in hot, cramped cages, so be prepared.

Due to its sheer size it is best to attack specific sections at a time (this is why you need a map!). The Dream Section and area 25- 26 is a must see if you haven't been to Chiang Mai.

There is a vast area set aside for jeans (sections 16, 18, 20, 21) and secondhand clothing (sections 5 and 6). Segments 22 -24 sell trendy clothing and the newly built areas at the far back, A, B, C , D sell all manner of items and are more comfortable to walk through, with small shop-type outlets rather than stalls. Some even have air conditioning!

Thais cannot last for long without food so there is a good choice of eateries and coffee corners. There are adequate toilet facilities strategically placed in the main intersections. ATM machines and money changers, and even a DHL counter for tourists to ship items back home, can be found by Gate 1 and the Dream Section, behind Toh Plue restaurant.

Try to get there early. Saturday is quieter but if you must go on Sunday then arrive around 9.30 am. By midday it's really crowded and in the afternoon it is impossible to move in some of the more popular sections. If you get lost, arrange to meet your companions at the clock tower.

If you leave a visit to Chatuchak weekend market until the end of your trip, you might be disappointed. You'll find that those items you so carefully bought at the various department stores and shopping malls are often much cheaper here.

Chatuchak weekend market is a five minute walk for the BTS/ Bangkok skytrain station, Mo Chit. Alternatively the MRT/ Bangkok Subway stop, Chatuchak Park, brings you out right in the center of the market. Car parking is a problem if you get their in the afternoons.

This market is not so much of a shopping venue, more of an experience. Whatever you do during your time in Bangkok Thailand , plan a visit to Chatuchak weekend market before you go home.

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Chatuchak Weekend Market
The Biggest Open Air Market in the World

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