One of the most popular places in Thailand is Chatuchak market. The series Guide to Thailand this time will provide important experiences for buying stuffs in this place.
Chatuchak market is known as one of the largest market in the world with the area of 70 rai (27 Acres). Chatuchak is dividied into 27 smaller markets, with about 10,000 stores and approximately 300 mobile stalls. In weekdays, the market remains normal activities with the main items are pet, interior decoration or clothes…However, the market is truly dynamic and eventful in Saturday and Sunday. In these two days, shop owners start selling in the early morning and close the shop at about 5 pm. In a typical weekend, the market might have up to 200,000 visitors from all over the world coming and buying several things. That’s why Chatuchak is called weekend market. If you have a plan to buy things in Chachutak, bellows could be suitable advices for you before going.
From Bangkok, there are several ways to come to Chatuchak such as going by bus, tuktuk or taxi. The price is quite suitable for tourists. However, the most preferred ways are travelling by metro or skytrain. These two ways are not only convenient but also cheap.
If you want to go to Chatuchak by metro, you have to buy the ticket to Chatuchak Park station. Right at your fist step outside the station, you can see the market on the opposite side across the street. If you use Skytrain, choose Mochit station as the last station. At the station, follow the guiding way down to the stair, go along the Chatichak park for a few minutes and you can reach the market.
How to shop
Chatuchak market opens after 8 a.m and closes at 6 p.m. However, after 7 p.m, you should still stay because there are numerous chains of stores open outside the market with many people gathering and trading. You might be able to buy stuffs with cheap price at this time.
The items in the market are diverse with many categories, such as electronic stuffs, cosmetics, furniture, religious items, food, pet or fruit. It could be stated that almost everything in Thailand could be found in this market. Especially, the zones which sell clothes and shoes are extremely bustling. Chatuchak is really a “giant warehouse” of textiles with diverse types, colorful and cheap clothes. Similar to many other markets in Asia, Chatuchak sells clothes and items follow vintage style. There is a zone called “zone 6” which sells Levi’s jeans from 1970s, leather coats, denim dresses in more than 400 stores.
Each booth has a different style and is very easy for consumers to choose. There are vintage booths, jean booths, shoes and stuffs for rockers. Each booth has unique terms. In some of them, you can get the cheaper price if you buy 3 or more of a particular type of stuffs. In some other booths, you have to buy more than 10 to get the discount. Some booths only sell unique items such as: clothes for art performing, dusty clothes. But in general, almost every store sells similar items.
One advice for anyone who thinks about doing business with Thailand stuffs, you should carefully choose the right target. The way to buy items in the market is quite simple. The price is already cheap, however, you can bargain and get the price of 75% what they offer.
For antique items, if you are not an expert, try to ask for helps from experienced person. You should carefully check the status and the condition of the items. There might be fake antique stuffs in the market.
The best way to shop is preparing a shopping plan. You should list all the category of stuffs you wanna buy first, before coming in the market.
Besides buying stuffs
Come to Chatuchak, you will have the chance to not only buy stuffs but also enjoy the street food. You should not miss the amazing foods which contain the unique taste of Thailand. Tourists can easily eat Luk chup in almost everywhere in Bangkok. However, Luk chup from Chatuchak market is considered to have the best taste.
If you are tired, taking a massage could be a good suggestion. The traditional massage shops could help you feeling better.
Coming to the market, you should wear comfortable clothes and sneakers because you will have to go through numerous different booths. In the day, you should wear sun glasses, hats and use sunscreen. Bring a large bag to carry as many things as you want.
Try to bring cash because you will need more of them than in your credit/ATM card. The reason is that almost no store applies card payment (until now). You should come to the market from 10 a.m, when there are not too many people. That would help buying stuffs easier.
This market has various booths, which are divided in different zones. There is always a possibility that you will go around and turn back to the original place. Therefore, remember to use certain points as marks. The clock tower at the middle of the market could be a suggestion.
Every destination has bad sides, no matter how wonderful it is. You must be very careful with the thieves. Always keep an eye on your stuffs, and you should wear the bag on your front side (in front of your chest). There have been many cases in which tourists lost all of their money because of “bad guys” in this market. You should not bring your ID card or any other important documents with you.
The market is extremely large but don’t get panic. The market is designed in a very systematic way with sections being named by number from 1 to 27. Each section usually sells a particular type of stuffs. This system is not so effective in helping tourists choosing items, but it will work when you need to identify the directions and your location.