Bangkok is a shopping haven. This city has plenty of shopping places that will surely delight all shopaholics. Tourists can go to Mahboonkrong (MBK), Siam Center, the shops in Bangkok Chinatown and other street shops. Of all the shopping places in Bangkok, the one that I prefer to visit is the Chatuchak Weekend Market.
|The iconic clock tower of Chatuchak.|
I bought most of my souvenirs and pasalubong in Chatuchak Weekend Market. As I had said in the previous post, Chatuchak Weekend Market is a mecca for affordable Thai souvenirs. This market has plenty of shops and wide array of products to choose from.
How to Go to Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Weekend Market is located just beside the Chatuchak Park in Mo Chit. It is accessible by bus and taxi but the best and fastest way to reach it is by riding the Sky Train or the underground train of MRT. Go out of the Mo Chit Station of the MRT or the BTS (Sky Train) if you used the train to reach Mo Chit.
Chatuchak Weekend Market is touted as one the world’s largest weekend market. The whole market has a total of 27 acres* and have more than 5,000 stalls** selling products from different parts of Thailand.
My Chatuchak Weekend Market Experience
A Myanmese friend brought me to Chatuchak Weekend Market during my first visit. I was overwhelmed by the place because it is very big and has a lot of stalls to choose from. The place is very crowded too, especially in the hallway where goods for sale and buyers block the way.
The crowd and chaos in Chatuchak is nothing as compares to that in Divisoria. Shopper-veterans of Divisoria will find Chatuchak Weekend Market easy to navigate.
|Map of Chatuchak Weekend Market. (Source: Asian Escapes)|
The labyrinthine lay-out of this market made it very hard for to locate the shops that I visited previously. Thus, I just kept on walking until I found a stall that had good prices.
The immensity of this market will be a challenge to shopaholics. Like what an article in Bangkok.com said, “this is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’”.
I shopped two or three times in Chatuchak Weekend Market, and thankfully I didn’t “drop” due to exhaustion. I only experienced fatigue and aching limbs because of too much walking. Bargain hunting is truly exhausting in Chatuchak.
Vendors in Chatuchak Weekend Market are very strict when it comes to taking photos. Many stalls don’t allow tourists to take photos of their wares. There is one time that a vendor approached me and demanded to hand over my camera so she can delete the photos. From that day on, I avoid taking photos of stores in Chatuchak.
I always enjoy shopping in Chatuchak Weekend Market. There are so many things to see and that includes the different people coming from different countries. I even met a group of Filipinos buying souvenirs in this market.
How I Bargained in Chatuchak
Negotiating prices with vendors is a challenge in Chatuchak. They know that buyers will ask for discounts so they mark up the prices of their goods. Thus, it is imperative to haggle with the vendors for a lower price.
I make it a point to ask for discount whenever I buy an item. I leave the stall if the item is common (i.e. key chain, ref magnets, etc.) and the vendor don't want to give any discount. I just go to other stores that will give better prices.
I managed to shave 10% of the original price most of the time. Take note that you will get better prices if you buy many items in a store. This is their tactic to make customers buy more items in their shop.
Items for Sale in Chatuchak
Name it and Chatuchak Weekend Market probably has it. I saw ref magnets, key chains, figurines, clothes, caps, and all the typical souvenir items. I also saw dogs and other pets for sale. There are books too. The wide variety of goods found in Chatuchak Weekend Market draws many tourists.
There are also bars and restaurants within the market grounds. The most noticeable restaurant, I think, is the one with so many Europeans. I noticed that people actually line up just to eat at this place.
In the previous post, I said that I made the mistake of going to Chatuchak during the weekdays. What I saw, instead of souvenir items, are decorative plants being sold throughout the market.
I discovered that there is market schedule for Chatuchak. Plants and flowers are being sold from Wednesday to Thursday. Fridays are wholesale day. Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) are the days when Chatuchak is fully open.
So, to avoid any hassle, I suggest that you go to Chatuchak during the weekend so you will not be disappointed like me.
Chatuchak Weekend Market may not be as grand as MBK or Siam Center mall but it has charms of its own. What I like with this place is its rawness. It is as if tourists come to this place not only to strike a bargain but also to find an adventure.
**Chatuchak Weekend Market page of Wikipedia.