Chatuchak Weekend Market: the largest market in Thailand

Chatuchak map
Chatuchak map by Globe-trotter [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road ( ถนนกำแพงเพชร 2), the Chatuchak Weekend Market ( ตลาดนัดจตุจักร) of Bangkok is the largest market in Thailand and probably in the whole world. Having more than 15,000 stalls and 11,505 vendors spread over an area of about 35 acres, this market has an average visitors’ strength of about 200,000 every day during the weekend.

The name of this market is taken after the name of the nearby park with the same name: Chatuchak Park ( สวนจตุจักร).

Chatuchak Park
View of the Lake at Chatuchak Park. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Getting to this weekend market might be a tricky job for you if you are here for the first time, but it’s nothing to worry about because you can hop on to trains, buses, and tuk-tuks and they will lead you here or you can simply find your way by following the directions from the online maps.

Chatuchak Market
Musical performance to raise funds at the market main entrance. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The best way to get the market is by BTS or MRT, so avoiding all of Bangkok’s traffic jams. Mo Chit BTS station ( สถานีหมอชิต) and Chatuchak Park MRT station ( สถานีสวนจตุจักร), both very close, are located under the southern part of Chatuchak Park. Take Exit 1 in both cases and you have to walk about 5 minutes to get one of the main entrances (Entrances 2 or 3). Kamphaeng Phet MRT station ( สถานีกำแพงเพชร), the next station following Chatuchak Park in MRT, which will bring inside the market if you take Exit 2. 

Chatuchak Market
People walking down the busy main street on a Sunday afternoon. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The name might fool you, but it is not necessarily a market that only opens at weekends. Some of the vendors such as flower shops in the market are open during weekdays. On Fridays, the wholesale section is open and on weekend days, every single shop and stalls are available and you can buy anything from it.

Chatuchak’s clock tower
Chatuchak’s clock tower, built in 1987, commemorated the 60th birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It is commonly used as a meeting point for many tourists. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Once you get here, you might get confused or distracted even, by seeing the number of shops and the area that they cover. You may not be able to get to the area where they sell what you want to buy. Don’t be worried, they provide the maps of the market for free on which you can find your way to and through the market in no time.

Also, for your convenience, you can download the free Chatuchack interactive guide iOS app for iPhone and iPad at https://apps.apple.com/es/app/chatuchak-guide/id1268491943?l=en

Chatuchak Market
Stall with different spices and local food specialties. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

For the ease of the visitors, the weekend market has been divided into 27 sections which have a specific set of things to sell.

Chatuchak Market
Soi in the clothes section. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The clothes section is one of the largest sections in the market. You can access directly from entrance 2 on Kamphaeng Phet Road ( ถนนกำแพงเพชร). There you can find, from every day clothes like pants, shirts, etc. to specialized clothes like Thai boxing apparel.

Chatuchak Market
Stall with Thai boxing apparel. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Coming to the diversity of things and items that they provide here in the largest weekend market, this is considered as “find all in one place” market place.

Chatuchak Market
Stall with a wide selection of seeds of plants and flowers. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Bring water with you if you want to survive the walk and heat of the day or you can find stalls with food and beverages and also many carts with water and juices that are spread throughout the market to get rest from the long.

Chatuchak Market
One of the many stalls selling food and beverages. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

At the end of the day, you can also have a foot massage to relax from the walks in one of the many places around the market.

Everything is available here and almost everything is a sale here, but in addition to that, you have to have a happy face, polite attitude, and excellent bargaining skills if you want to buy maximum things at great prices.

Chatuchak Market
The book section has new and used books in different languages. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Everything from clothes and shoes, paintings and drawings, pets and fishes, accessories, antiques, souvenirs, flowers and seeds, incense and candles, and every other thing that you can think of is available here spread over different sections.

Chatuchak Market
Everything for your pets, clothes, houses,.. in the pets section. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Explore the different painting galleries and, if you like some of them you can buy and take with you some of these beautiful pictures. They come in different styles and painting materials: watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, colored pencils and much more.

Chatuchak Market
Small galleries selling different types of paintings. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The antique section, near to the entrance 1 of the market is something that is worth to pay a visit, and perhaps, take home some of these beautiful things and for large or heavy pieces you can ask to be sent home in your country.

Chatuchak Market
Stall in the antiques section with Buddha images and other articles. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

You are advised to get here early in the morning and bring a lot of cash because seeing the beautiful things, you will end up buying things that you didn’t plan to buy and most of the vendors don’t accept credit cards. In the end, be aware of pickpockets and have a nice weekend here.

Leaving the market through the entrance gates 2 or 3 we are on Kamphaeng Phet Road. Crossing the street and walking about 5 minutes to the right, we arrive at an area populated with a huge variety of flowers and plants in different shops.

Chatuchak Market
Beautiful white and rose orchids at the Siam Orchid Center. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The most relevant and the best known is the Siam Orchid Center ( ศูนย์กล้วยไม้สยาม).

Chatuchak Market
Beautiful white and yellow orchids at the Siam Orchid Center. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Orchid ( กล้วยไม้), which is the national flower of Thailand, is one of the flowers that are found in a great amount here and you can buy these from the shops at great rates.