Chatuchak Weekend Market
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Chatuchak Weekend Market information
Lonely Planet review
Among the largest markets in the world, Chatuchak seems to unite everything buyable, from used vintage sneakers to baby squirrels. Plan to spend a full day, as there’s plenty to see, do and buy. But come early, ideally around 9am to 10am, to beat the crowds and the heat.
There is an information centre and a bank with ATMs and foreign-exchange booths at the Chatuchak Park Office , near the northern end of the market’s Soi 1, Soi 2 and Soi 3. Schematic maps and toilets are located throughout the market.
There are a few vendors on weekday mornings, and a daily vegetable, plant and flower market opposite the market’s south- ern side. One section of the latter, known as the Or Tor Kor Market , sells fantastically gargantuan fruit and seafood, and has a decent food court as well.
Once you’re deep in the bowels of Chatuchack, it will seem like there is no order and no escape, but the market is arranged into relatively coherent sections. Use the clock tower as a handy landmark.
Antiques, Handicrafts & Souvenirs
Section 1 is the place to go for Buddha statues, old LPs and other random antiques. More secular arts and crafts, such as musical instruments and hill-tribe items can be found in Sections 25 and 26. Baan Sin Thai sells a mixture of kŏhn masks and old-school Thai toys, all of which make fun souvenirs, and Kitcharoen Dountri specialises in Thai musical instruments, including flutes, whistles, drums and CDs of classical Thai music. Other quirky gifts include the life-like plastic Thai fruit and vegetables at Marché , or their scaled-down miniature counterparts nearby at Papachu .
Clothing & Accessories
Clothing dominates most of Chatuchak, starting in Section 8 and continuing through the even-numbered sections to 24. Sections 5 and 6 deal in used clothing for every Thai youth subculture, from punks to cowboys, while Soi 7, where it transects Sections 12 and 14, is heavy on the more underground hip-hop and skate fashions. Somewhat more sophisticated independent labels can be found in Sections 2 and 3, while tourist- sized clothes and textiles are in Sections 10 and 8.
For accessories, several shops in Sections 24 and 26, such as Orange Karen Silver , specialise in chunky silver jewellery and semiprecious uncut stones.
Eating & Drinking
Lots of Thai-style eating and snacking will stave off Chatuchak rage (cranky behaviour brought on by dehydration or hunger), and numerous food stalls set up shop between Sections 6 and 8. Longstanding standouts include Foon Talop , an incredibly popular Isan restaurant; Café Ice , a Western-Thai fusion joint that does good pàt tai and tasty fruit shakes; and Saman Islam , a Thai-Muslim restaurant that serves a tasty chicken biryani. Viva 8 features a DJ and, when we stopped by, a chef making huge platters of paella.
If you need air-con, pop into Toh-Plue for all the Thai standards. And as evening draws near, down a beer at Viva’s , a cafe-bar that features live music or, if it’s dark, cross to the whisky bars along Th Kamphaeng Phet 2.
Housewares & Decor
The northern and northwestern edge of the market, particularly Sections 8 to 26, specialises in all manner of housewares, from cheap plastic buckets to expensive brass woks. This area is a particularly good place to stock up on inexpensive Thai ceramics, ranging from celadon to the traditional rooster-themed bowls from Lampang.
N & D Tablewares has a huge variety of stainless-steel flatware, and Ton-Tan deals in coconut and sugar palm–derived plates, bowls and other utensils.
Those looking to spice up the house should stop by Spice Boom , were you can find dried herbs and spices for both consumption and decoration. Other notable olfactory indulgences include the handmade soaps, lotions, salts and scrubs at D-narn and the fragrant perfumes and essential oils at AnyaDharu Scent Library .
For less utilitarian goods, Section 7 is a virtual open-air gallery – we particularly liked Pariwat A-nantachina ’s for Bangkok-themed murals. Several shops in Section 10, including Tuptim Shop sell new and antique Burmese lacquer ware. Meng features a dusty mish-mash of quirky antiques from both Thailand and Burma.
Possibly the most fun you’ll ever have window shopping will be petting puppies and cuddling kittens in Sections 13 and 15. Soi 9 of the former features several shops that deal solely in clothing for pets. It’s also worth noting that this section has, in the past, been associated with the sale of illegal wildlife, although much of this trade has been driven underground.
Plants & Gardening
The interior perimeter of Sections 2 to 4 feature a huge variety of potted plants, flowers, herbs, fruits, and the accessories needed to maintain them. Many of these shops are also open on weekday afternoons.