Chatuchak weekend market Bangkok popularly known as J.J market by the locals is one of the largest markets in the world. Located in the North of Bangkok city this market is equally popular with locals as tourists.
Chatuchak Weekend Market sells everything buyable on earth, both original and fake from antiques to clothes, pets, plants, fresh and dried food and drinks, home decor, ceramics, souvenirs and the list is endless.
This market sits on a 27-acre land also houses media centre, banks, ATMs, Forex bureaus and hospital in its 15,000 stalls.
Even if you’re not going to buy anything, which i doubt, Chatuchak weekend market is highly recommended during a visit to Bangkok. You never walk out empty handed, that i guarantee 🙂
How to Get there from Khaosan Road
This is the easiest means of getting to Chatuchak and the most expensive, well not too expensive given transport in Bangkok is cheap. A metered taxi will cost around 100 THB, which is cheaper if not travelling alone.
Taxi plus MRT
Take a metered taxi or tuk-tuk from Khaosan road to Hua Lamphong Station. From there take an MRT to Chatuchak park or Kamphaen station. The market is located between these two stations, only 5 minutes walk away.
This is the cheapest way of getting to the market. From Khaosan road, take bus no. 524 and 3 and alight at Mo Chit bus station. From here the market is a walking distance.
Take consideration of the notorious Bangkok traffic before you choose to travel by bus.
Walk to Phra Arthit Pier then take a Chao Phraya Express boat, about 10 minutes journey. Jump into another bought, the Green line BTS at Taskin/Central Pier that goes directly to Mo Chit BTS where you can walk to Chatuchak weekend market.
Chatuchak Weekend Market opens from Wednesday to Sunday as below:
- Wednesdays and Thursdays – Only the flower section is open from 6 am to 6 pm
- Friday – wholesale customers only from 6 am to 6 pm
- Saturday and Sunday – All shops are open from 6 am to 6 pm
A rough guide on the 27 sections of Chatuchak Weekend Market
|1||Amulets, books, collectibles, food shops, café|
|2 – 4||Collectibles, home décor, paintings, terra cotta|
|5 – 6||Clothes, adornments, miscellaneous products|
|7 – 9||Antiques, furniture, ceramics, handicrafts|
|10 – 24||Clothes, consumer products, adornments, household appliances, pets|
|17 – 19||Ceramics, fresh and dry food|
|22 – 26||Antiques, furniture, handicrafts|
|27||Books, food and dessert shops, collectibles|
Exploring the entire 27 sections could be a full day job. It’s advisable to arrive early first before it gets overly crowded and second to ensure adequate time is given to all stalls of interest to you.
Wear comfortable clothes
Thailand is hot! Temperatures average 34 degrees Celsius during summer and can go as high as 40 with a humidity of 75%. This means one is constantly sweating which may call for wearing mostly cotton apparel and any other fabric that will absorb the sweat.
With a market covering 27 acres of land and over 15000 stalls to choose from, you’ll definitely need to wear comfortable walking shoes as well. Avoid plastic shoes by all cost before they melt in your feet.
In Thailand generally, most places accept cash only. If you find those accepting debit/credit card, they come with conditions like purchase must be over 500 THB and a 3% surcharge is added to the bill.
However, there are many ATM booths at Chatuchak weekend market in case you need to draw cash.
Stay aware of Pickpockets
The market is overly crowded especially on Saturdays and Sundays which makes it possible for pick pockets to slip something out of your bag without you realizing. It’s therefore advised to carry your backpacker on your chest instead of your back where you can see it all the time.
If you like it, buy it immediately
One mistake i made was to think i’d see the same pair of shoes at the stall around the corner. I was totally wrong! I ended up not buying much and sad about a tee i didn’t buy from our third stall.
Personal advice, if you like it, go for it, immediately.
Don’t carry food or water
Food and drinks stalls are available almost at every corner of Chatuchak weekend market and are super cheap. Food is prepared as you wait which means it’s fresh and there are many options to choose from.
Water is also readily available. Fresh fruit juice can also prepared as you wait or you could also choose from available non-organic options.
Toilets or bathrooms are available inside the market and cost 2 THB payable in cash at the entrance. Tissue paper is not provided so carry some with you. Easier to locate ones are near the entrance and exits.
Don’t be shy to bargain
Just like in any other informal market, Chatuchak weekend market has a tourist price and locals price. The secret to paying a local price as a tourist is to bargain. Bargain and bargain hard!
Just to emphasize, Chatuchak weekend market is worth a visit while in Bangkok. Take a day and explore this huge market; shop, eat, drink, watch people and anything else you can do. It’s all here.
Carolina | My Global Attitude