Chatchuchak Market, Jatujak Weekend Market, JJ Market Bangkok, Weekend Market, whatever you want to call it, is the biggest open air market in all of Thailand! If you want to be specific, you can try and count the 9000 shops and kiosks to be certain. Or maybe just enjoy the crazy experience. Because it is unlike most markets you’ve seen, I am pretty certain!
How to get to Chatuchak Market
There several ways to get to Chatuchak Market. Whether you are opting for public transport or your own wheels, it isn’t hard to find. The easiest way would be hiring a metred (!) taxi to take you there. A more cost-effective alternative is taking the metro to ‘Chatuchak Park’ or the Skytrain to ‘Mo Chit’. For both stations, you need to get out at exit 1.
Once you are on the street with the park to your right side, you keep walking onwards until you find a small intersection with market stalls already lining your right side. You can branch off here and enter through the clothing section of JJ Market. In short, you simply follow the crowds. There is no way there isn’t a flock of people shuffling towards the famous weekend market.
What to Shop at Chatuchak Market
First-time visitors to Jatujak Market will be overwhelmed and simply just wander around, which is the best way to get to know it, if you ask me. You could grab a free map from an information booth and then strategically walk around, but don’t forget to look around and not just tick off sections. In case you are looking for specific types of items, such as clothing, pottery, furniture, antiquities, pet (accessories) or plants, check out the location of your desired Chatuchak Market section. There is order to the madness, I swear!
The most popular items are clothing, which includes shirts, dresses, jeans, shoes, jewellery, accessories and hats. These can range from touristy to hipster over to casual business. You can get pretty great deals as a lot of items cost around $3. Know, that mostly you cannot try them on. If you buy multiple items, you might get a discount or simply bargain for one.
If you get hungry or thirsty, there are plenty of food stalls, from the ever-present coconut ice cream to more classic soup kitchens. Should your feet start to feel heavy, get a massage next door! Chatuchak Market really has everything. By the way, my favourite fashion store was Thaicraftsgallery.com with their vibrantly coloured and embroidered dresses and shirts.
I hope you are smarter than I am because I fell for a little misadvertisement regarding a JJ Market postage service. There is a stand for the regular Thai Post and then there is a private, wholesale delivery service with excellent prices, but starting at 22kg shipments. The latter detail was grossly neglected in their communication to me and left me disappointed when I rocked up with my purchases ready to be sent home. Should have known, really.
Important Tips for a Chatuchak Market Visit
Timing is everything! First, come as early as possible to avoid the crazy crowds as it will get super busy quickly. There could easily be 200,000 visitors on one weekend! Alternatively, you could come in the afternoon, around 4pm, as a fraction of the people will have left by then. Since it is so busy and there is so much to see, you should be realistic and block out a few hours for a visit. There is no such thing like “let’s just have a quick look and then leave”. It is an experience!
JJ Market is popular both among locals and tourist and a paradise for pickpockets. I personally didn’t notice anything suspicious or had trouble with my bags, but it’s always better to be on the safe side. On the information, there are plenty of warnings about pickpockets, so just be aware of that. Don’t store any valuables in outside zippers, wear bags on your side or front and keep them close to you. This also helps squeeze through the narrow pathways. A daypack or small backpack is essential because carrying all the plastic bags is annoying.
You will walk quite a bit, so wear a comfortable outfit and walking shoes. Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses. (Even though it doesn’t seem like Thai people actually wear sunglasses, but that’s up to them.) Carry a full waterbottle to kep hydrated. There are plenty of options to stock up on water and juices, but it certainly helps to be prepared on Chatuchak Market. Don’t forget to stock up on cash. Credit cards aren’t generally accepted. There are ATMs onsite in case you really need to take out more. Again, be careful around them and always cover your code and don’t keep your wallet out in plain sight.
Chatuchak Market Opening Hours
The actual Weekend Market with all shops runs – obviously – on Saturday and Sunday only. However, if you are visiting for only a few days in the week and want to see the Bangkok Market badly, you can visit on Wednesday and Thursday for the Plant Market, on Fridays for the Ceramic Market and from Friday to Saturday for the clothes.
Chatuchak Market hours:
Tuesday: 3PM – 12AM
Wednesday: 1AM – 6PM
Thursday: 6AM – 6PM
Friday: 8AM – 6PM
Fri-Sat: 10PM – 5AM
Sat-Sun: 9AM – 6PM
Where to Stay in Bangkok
You don’t have to stay close to the Chatuchak Market to easily reach it. The inner city is well connected and as long as you have access to a nearby metro or Skytrain stop, you are good to go in Bangkok. However, if you do wanna stay close both to JJ market and Don Muang Airport, why not get a fancy vacation home? Tobacco One ticks all the boxes: it is close by, has an uber stylish and laid back interior, includes daily housekeeping, wifi, air conditioning and an outdoor terrace. It comes at a cost with around $150 – but if you visit with multiple people, it’s a fantastic Bangkok stay.
If you want to be treated like royality and sleep in white panelled rooms with chandeliers, the Siam Champs Elyseesi Unique Hotel might leave no wish unfulfilled. And this for only around $70 per night! In Bangkok, you can really pamper yourself. If you have half the budget, try the modern and tasteful Aim House Bangkok.
Is Chatuchak Market Worth the Hype?
I certainly think so. It is such a fun market, a little bit like getting lost in wonderland. Everywhere you look, there are items stocked to the ceiling, mannequins with rabbit heads and wonderful scents and colours. It is a unique experience and the perfect place to stock up on travel souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones at home. I visited multiple times and enjoyed every time as you will easily overlook sections or new items are added. Definitely worth a visit on any Bangkok trip!
Have you heard of Chatuchak Market before? Would you want to brave this exciting weekend market?
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