Visiting Markets in Bangkok
Wherever I am in the world, I always love to visit a good market. Sometimes I actually need something, and other times I just want to go and see what useless crap I can buy for the hell of it. Nearly every place you go to in Thailand will have some sort of market going on, whether it’s an all day thing, evening thing, or maybe just on the weekends.
Weekend Night Markets in Thailand
The weekend night markets are famous in Thailand, and are usually the biggest and cheapest. Most of the time you will find some, or all, of the sellers from the other weekday markets setting up stalls at the weekend market too.
They say that once you have been to one market, you’ve been to them all. While that may be true in terms of seeing some of the same stuff over and over again, I find that if you actually pay attention, and spend more than a few hours looking around, you will be sure to find something unique at each market.
I have been to some small markets where I have seen something that I really want but didn’t have the cash on me. Or just thought ‘ah it’ll be cheaper at the weekend market’ only to spend hours hunting around the bigger markets for it, often without any luck.
Some of the best markets in Thailand can be found in Bangkok. It has the world famous Chatuchak market which you have to see to believe. The sheer size of the place is enough to attract market lovers from all over the world. There are plenty of places to find everything weird, wacky, and wonderful in Bangkok, so I’ve put together a list of the top markets around.
Chatuchak Market Bangkok
As mentioned above Chatuchak is something that you have to see to believe, and is an absolute must when visiting Bangkok. Even if you’re not a fan of markets, this place will amaze you. Made up of over 15,000 stalls, and coving over 27 acres of ground, Chatuchak attracts over 200,000 visitors a day. You’ll find the market adjacent to the Kamphaengpecth Station or a 5 minute walk from Mo Chit Skytrain (BTS) station.
Here you will find everything from antique woodcarving, clay handicrafts, and local souvenirs from every part of Thailand. Buddhist amulets, wooden furniture, handmade decorated flowers, plants, ceramic wares, dolls, Thai Bejarong, Chinese wares, garden decorated plants, stones, trendy fashions, silk, hill-tribe outfits, and fluffy dogs are just some of the things available for a cheap, local price.
The market attracts Thai locals, tourists, and expats all looking for a bargain. Open Wednesday and Thursday for plants and flowers, Friday for wholesale, and Saturday and Sunday for everything else from 6am—6pm, it’s best to start early and make a full day of it.
Klong San Plaza
Klong San Plaza is another favourite of mine, and is popular with locals. Located in Thonburi, the street leading from Klong San pier is filled with market stalls. You’ll find mostly clothes here such as t-shirts, jeans, shoes, jewelry and accessories, all with a Thai price tag. Most tourists don’t know about this place, so don’t expect to see many there.
One thing I like about this market is that there are a lot of choices of food available too. It’s cheap, tasty, and fresh. The market is open every day from 7am right up until 10pm, which makes it perfect for an afternoon of light shopping followed by a short stop for something to eat.
This is one to hit during those rainy days, as pretty much all of the stalls are indoors. You can find everything from clothes to furniture here, all with wholesale prices. It’s a great place to come if you’re looking for a funky souvenir or something that is just a bit different.
Open everyday from 7am till 7pm, and easily accessible via Skytrain (BTS) Chit Lom station, this is one to add to your ‘to-do’ list. There’s also a selection of food and drink on offer around the market, just in case you’d like a break from all the shopping.
Klong Toey Fresh Market
Klong Toey is Bangkok’s biggest fresh market. Here you will find everything from raw meat, fish and seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables, amongst a few other things like kitchenware and clothing. It’s one of Bangkok’s most authentic markets, and supplies most of the local restaurants, cafés, food places and street vendors ect. It’s easily accessible by taking the MRT subway to Klong Toey station and is open everyday from 6:00am all the way up till 2:00am (it’s hardly worth closing isn't it?). However, I definitely recommend not staying anywhere near that amount of time, otherwise you’ll be washing the smell of fish off you for the rest of your trip.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Bangkok
OK this one’s not really in Bangkok, but it’s only about an hour outside the city and easily reachable by bus. If you’re looking to visit a floating market while in Bangkok then look no further as this is the most popular floating market in the whole of Thailand! Away from the concrete jungle of the city, the high rises are replaced with farms and countryside. You’ll take a long tail boat down the narrow canals, where you’ll get to appreciate the winding waterways and get a brief glimpse of those who live on the river.
After about 20 minutes you’ll find yourself at the busy stalls, selling similar products to those you can find at the night markets. Anything from t-shirts to stuffed toys can be bought for a low price here, as well a selection of food and fresh fruit. For the photographers out there, it’s a perfect place to come and snap some pictures of authentic Thailand.