When you are in Bangkok there will be several possibilities for visiting markets. The smaller markets and night markets are to be found all over the city. Around Khao San Road tourist area and in certain neighborhoods more for locals. Then there are two bigger or more famous markets.
One is Pratunam and the other one is Chatuchak. Pratunam is open daily and the stalls are selling mostly clothes, bags and shoes. With a few stalls selling different items. Its location can be done by foot from Sukhumvit. Step out on station Siam or Chit Lom and take the side road between those stations. Another option is a cheap motorbike taxi. Pratunam is almost opposite the well-known Pantip plaza, formerly known for IT items.
The other big market is Chatuchak. With big we mean that large that you can literally get lost in it and won’t have enough time too see all in one day. With over 15000 stalls from over 11000 vendors it is the biggest market in the world related to that. Chatuchak weekend market is as the name indicates only open in the weekends. With a visitor number of around 200.000 per weekend you can imagine its size and impact on both the economy and the transportation system. Regarding economy, the rent for a stall lies somewhere between 10.000 and 18.000 baht per month and the average sales revenue lies around 140.000 baht monthly.
The weekend market is divided in 27 sections. Every section has alleys with a number. So you can be at section 11, alley 6. Alleys are small paths of about a meter wide with on both sides the stalls. Each alley has numbered side alleys. As mentioned before, you can get lost. Each section though should have a certain category of products for sale, to make it easier for you to find something specific. Still as first impression all looks more disorganized or chaotic than that. The alleys are under a roof which is good in the rain season and against the sun but it also makes it very hot and humid.
Products & History
What kind of products can you find on Chatuchak weekend market? Anything you can think of. Clothing, cosmetics, electronics, souvenirs, shoes, bags, furniture, house accessories, plants, pets, books, antiques, religious items, and much more beside the always available food stalls in Thailand. For more illegal products Chatuchak has been a center in illegal wildlife trade. Hundreds of sorts of bird species of which many on the list of threatened or near to that.
Chatuchak park is the name of a park in Chatuchak district of Bangkok. It is also the name of the MRT metro station under the park. The construction of the park began in 1975 and the opening of the park was in 1980. The size of the park is around 0.305 square meters.
During the week there is hardly anything going on in the park and some of the smaller gates are closed. In the weekends Chatuchak park is full of people who are hanging out on the grass, walking around or having their picnic. In those days the park is also used as shortcut between the weekend market and Mo Chit BTS station or the buses stopping there. There is an artificial lake with bridges in the park too.
To get there
There are several options to get to Chatuchak weekend market or park. When you take the road at gate 1 side which runs from Mo Chit Bus terminal you must take into account a long ride when you take a car taxi. This road has always a traffic jam. Especially during the weekend market time. The motorbike taxi’s are a better and cheaper option from the bus station or minibus station. The road at gate 2 site lies between the market and the park and is usually full with tuktuk’s and taxi’s. Then there is the road at the site of the market that connects those two roads and which shows actually the width of the market. That road is used by (motor) taxi’s to get you to the Mo Chit Skytrain station.
When you come from any area along or near Sukhumvit road. The best option is to take the BTS skytrain, Sukhumvit line to Mo Chit station. Which is per Aug ’19 the second last station of the line. This line will keep on expanding to more stations in the city. Depending on which station you start the price will vary from around 18 to 65 baht. When you come from other areas you can take the MRT metro. Motorbike taxi’s bring you for 60 baht from the (mini)bus station Mo Chit. From Khao San Road by taxi it will cost you max 200 baht but as mentioned, jams are normal at any day and any time in Bangkok.
of the weekend market and park into the Mo Chit skytrain station