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Chatuchak Weekend Market

Listed under Markets in Bangkok, Thailand.

Photo of Chatuchak Weekend Market
Photo by flickr user tamaranich
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To shop your way through this 35-acre market with upwards of 15,000 stalls, you’ll need to be prepared. Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market is not only the largest in Thailand, it’s the largest in the world.

At least 200,000 visitors come during Saturday and Sunday for this market’s range of household items, antiques (be careful as mostly they are fake), books, records, clothes that haven’t been in shops for years, beautiful flowers, and live animals. You’ll need a permit to take antiques out of the country, even for the fake ones which can sometimes fool customs.

The market opens at 9 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. Get there early though before the crowds and the heat kick in, and be sure to grab a map from one of the information kiosks for its seemingly never-ending rows of stalls, which are helpfully colour-coded and numbered.

Bring enough cash because most vendors will not accept credit cards and ATM’s are sometimes hard to find. And, lastly, don’t forget your bargaining skills. Many Thai artists, craftsmen, and business people have started their careers as vendors at Chatuchak, so be on the lookout for some good finds.

Written by  Allison Hansen.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Chatuchak Weekend Market

This market has a sprawling 15,000 stalls. Seriously. They cover something like 35 acres of land so it would actually be a hike to get round them all. Once you’ve tried to imagine the sheer size of it you can direct your mind to considering how many different things you’d be able to buy here. Yep. Pretty much anything. Local crafts for the tourists and religious arts and antiques for the travellers and homewares and animals for the locals, the list just keeps going as do the streets of stalls. Items are supposedly arranged in areas but most people end up wandering where ever takes their fancy on the tail of a pretty local girl or boy or the wafting scent of cooking…

Bargaining is expected, and you can get the same items as in the local shops just for a lot less.

There’s a fair chance the antique you buy won’t be the real deal, but if it’s good enough to fool you it might be good enough to fool the customs man in which case you’ll need a permit to take it out of the country.

Open from 9am ‘till 6pm on the weekend the market is open to wholesale shoppers on Friday as well – but they’ll still sell to you if you show up.

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