Written by: Nattakan Published: September 17, 2020
Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, or what Thai people simply called the “JJ market”, is the biggest outdoor market in Thailand and is often referred to as the world’s largest weekend market. However, from April 2021 it has actually changed to be open every day.
How big is it? More than 15,000 stalls are scattering, around 27 sections selling everything that you can imagine from foods to clothing, antiques, arts, plants, and even pets.
Moreover, the surrounding has many other markets and shopping malls like Mixt Chatuchak, Bangsue Junction, JJ Mall, and Or Tor Kor market. If you are a shopaholic a few hours is never enough. Getting lost is easy to do here, so we will be guiding you with some useful information on how to explore the Chatuchak market and nearby places.
Note regarding COVID-19: While we do try to keep our content up to date, please be aware that due to the impact of COVID-19, restrictions may impact our recommendations, and businesses may temporarily or permanently close. Please double test.
How to Explore Chatuchak Without Getting Lost
Even though walking in this market somehow seems to be quite complicated, it is arranged into relatively 27 coherent sections and a map is available. You can also use the clock tower as a handy landmark as it’s in the middle of the market.
Chatuchak Plant Market
Let’s start with the plant section, which opens only on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Walk into the outer circle of the Chatuchak market you will be surprised by a long circle street full of plants and flowers. Lots of trendy and rare varieties from all over the country have gathered in this market as well as all kinds of gardening tools. One thing that is special for this market is whilst shops at other plant markets are mostly retailers but most of the shops at Chatuchak are the real farmers selling their own plants. And some farmers only sell their plants there. Therefore, this market is totally a large hub of plants in Bangkok.
Best Day to Go
Depends on your purpose. If you are finding rare varieties, the first 2 days – Tuesday and Wednesday are best. As there are still many plants for you to choose from. On the other hand, if you want to get a good deal you may go on the last day – Thursday. As we have mentioned that shop owners are from all over the country and many of them are from the countryside. Before traveling back mostly they will offer a good deal. However, there might be not many plants left.
The most convenient way to get to this zone is taking the MRT metro to Kamphaeng Phet Station and leave via exit 2 connected to the market. Or taking BTS to Mo Chit station and head to exit 2 or 3.
Clothing & Accessories
The most popular and the biggest part of the market is located in sections 2-6 and 10-26. More than a hundred shops are selling various interesting clothing that can dress you from head to toe. Moreover, if you are a vintage clothes and accessories seeker or lover, you will never be disappointed here. Lots of chic secondhand items are gathered in sections 5 and 6. This is truly a shopper’s paradise.
Antiques, Art and Handcrafts
Antiques are available in many sections; 1, 7, 8, 11, and 26 but the real separate sector is section 26. There are full of Buddha’s image, bric-a-brac, bulky furniture, and old LPs. Also, arts and crafts can be found in sections 7, 25, and 26.
Housewares & Décor
Sections 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 17, and 19 are areas that have anything you need for your house, ranging from soaps to furniture, home decorations, and ceramic works.
Pets and Pet Accessories
Though you are a foreign tourist who unlikely to buy pets, you can spend some time seeing lovely pets such as puppies, kittens, rabbits, fish, reptiles, and much more. Also, great pet accessories are available. The easiest way to get to the pet zone is to start from Mixt Chatuchak. Can walk through the mall to exit 5. The pet and pet supplies section is in front of the exit.
Chatuchak Fish Market is located in the northern section of the market, between Mixt Chatuchak and JJ Mall. This section is also well known as the biggest fish market in Bangkok – selling fish, fish tanks, fish tank decoration, medications, fish food, and fish keeping equipment. There are two zones, the indoor zone opens daily at 09:00 – 18:00, and the outdoor zone opens on Wednesday at 09:00 – 20:00.
Our Favorite Shops
One of our friends who is a fish and reptiles lover recommended his favorite shop named Zooya Farm. It is a fish and reptile shop of the 2 sisters. They sell good quality animals at a reasonable price. Other good shops selling various kinds of fish which you should go test out are such as Siam Amazon, J Jeau Fish shop, Af Arowana, and Farang fish. Do not miss such shops if you like these kinds of animals!
This area is only 20 meters close to Kamphang Phet MRT underground station, exit 2. There are all kinds of books in sections 1 and 27. The price is also very cheap. Who knows, you might find some very rare books that you have been searching for ages here.
Food and Beverages
Even though Chatuchak is not a place where people come for food, there are numerous food stalls selling Thai foods, seafood, Thai desserts, fresh foods, dried fruits, and drinks in sections 2-4, 23, 24, 26, and 27 (the same area where the plant market is). Some stalls are well known for locals and tourists.
A small duck noodle shop in the middle of the market called Drumstick Duck Noodle is popular for its noodle soup with braised duck drumstick. A coconut ice cream served with a shell and toppings also seems to be a good choice to beat the heat (few stalls lining on the street and they are the same). To effectively explore the market, make sure your energy is full filled!
How to Get to Chatuchak Market
Take a taxi or use a BTS Skytrain to Mo Chit station, exit 1 or MRT metro to Chatuchak station, exit 1 and Kamphaeng Phet, exit 2. Best to use BTS and MRT as convenient and can avoid traffic.
Chatuchak weekend market: Wednesday – Sunday at 05:00 – 20:00. Tuesday 11:00 – 20:00
Plant market: Tuesday at 11:00 – 20:00 / Wednesday and Thursday at 05:00 – 18:00
Fish market: Indoor zone opens daily at 09:00 – 18:00 / outdoor zone opens on Wednesday at 09:00 – 20:00
Mixt Night Market: Friday, Saturday, Sunday at 12:00 – 19:00
When is the best time to visit Chatuchuk?
To avoid crowds and heat, it is recommended to go in the morning around 10 am. It will get very hot and busy in the mid-afternoon.
Can you bargain at Chatuchak?
Bartering is common in Thailand especially at markets since
many shops might sell duplicate stuff or some shops even sell the same thing.
So, it is fine to find the best possible price. Saying “lod noi dai mai
krup/ka” (males/females) – could you give me a discount? with a big smile is
the best way to get a good deal.
Can I get a map of Chatuchak?
A free Chatuchak map is available from the information kiosks scattered throughout the market.
- Toilets are located throughout the market.
- There are an information centre, a ngân hàng with ATMs and money exchange booths at the perimeter.
- Locker storages are available near the Kamphang Phet MRT station, exit 2. Prices are vary based on size and number of hours, starting from 20 THB/hour.
If you think your shirt is soaked enough after having fun at Chatuchak Market and want to cool off, there is an interesting air-conditioned shopping mall called Mixt Chatuchak in the area. It’s just right next to the Chatuchak market and the Children’s Discovery Museum. This mall opens every day from 10:00 to 22:00. What interesting about this is its concept, Mixt Chatuchak Selected. This claims that they have selected more than 700 famous and unique stores from Chatuchak Market and other places all over Thailand and combined them to make this place a new landmark of Bangkok. Also, this 3-story mall provides a map and details of every store in which you can just scan a QR code to see.
Moreover, zones are well organized, and the ambiance is good and comfy for shoppers to walk around. The first floor is where there are fashionable things – clothes and accessories, food and beverages, shipping services, and money exchange. The second floor has few restaurants and many IT and electronic stores, and home & décor. And the last floor is where there are a food centre, a few home & décor, and spa & beauty shops.
Mixt Night Market
A new Bangkok’s night market located in front of the Mixt Chatuchak and right beside the fish market. It is the place where there are different varieties of goods – clothes, accessories, bags, shoes, home decor, instruments, antiques, collectibles, pet accessories, and many more at a cheap price. This probably sounds like a normal market but actually, it has its own uniqueness which you must go experience yourself. Stalls are well organized and clean. The market opens on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12:00 – 19:00.
Another air-conditioned mall in the area is JJ Mall or what is well known for Thais as air-conditioned Chatuchak (Chatuchak tid air in Thai). A 3-story shopping mall located in the corner of Chatuchak market. The building is obvious you can notice it while walking in the market. As it is one of the biggest buildings there. This shopping mall is a hub of good quality goods at an affordable price from famous wholesale shops in Bangkok. As mentioned, there are 3 floors. The G floor sells clothing items, accessory, handcrafts, dried flowers, fish, pet accessories and equipment, also there are coffee shops, and fresh mart. The 1st floor is where there are imported goods such as clothes, jewelry, and gold shops. Also, there are restaurants, and banks on that floor. And there is plenty of house décor, beauty shops, bookshops, thương hiệu shops, and international food centre on the 2nd floor. Even though it is not as cheap as buying directly from wholesale shops, it is still cheaper than other shopping malls. And is not a bad choice compared to traveling costs going to individual wholesale shops.
When and How to Get There
The mall opens at 10:00 and closes at 22:00 every day. The easiest way is to take MRT metro and head to exit 2 then you will get to the southern end of Chatuchak. From there you will notice a large building with a big red name “JJ Mall”.
Or Tor Kor Market (aka MOF – Tiếp thị Organization for Farmers)
If the food at Chatuchak Market is not enough for you then cross the road to “Or Tor Kor market” Bangkok’s old premium indoor market. In the area of 6,500 sq.m, more than 600 stalls are selling good-quality fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods. Also, the place is clean and well organized. Stores are separated into zones – dried food zone, meat zone, seafood zone, fresh vegetable zone, fruit zone, rice zone, organic zone, ingredient zone, and food center zone with proper seats. Besides food, there is a small clothing zone as well. Moreover, this market ranked the 4th world’s 10 best fresh markets by CNN. The prices at Or Tor Kor Market are slightly higher than other local fresh markets. Yet, it is reasonable compared to the quality and environment.
How to Get There
Take MRT Metro to Kamphaeng Phet station. The market is right in front of the exit no 3. Best to go from 08:30 onwards as most stalls fully open.
Chatuchak Playground Flea Market (Bangsue Junction)
The market in front of Bangsue Junction, the red mall opposite to Chatuchak market or what Thai people simply call red building or Tuek Dang in Thai refers to the colour of the building, is going to be your favorite if you are vintage lovers. Even though you are not, it is still fascinating just to spend hours walking in this vintage paradise and chilling at surrounding bars. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from the ground in front of Bangsue Junction and inside the building on floor 1-2-3 will be packed with people looking for rare and interesting antique stuff including home décor, furniture, collectibles, old books, and vintage clothes & accessories. Can say this is the place where best describes the sentence “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. To take a break there are several bars/food trucks around with a good atmosphere and live music.
When and how to Get There
Chatuchak playground market opens every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 20:00. Leave via exit 1 of MRT Kamphaeng Phet station you will be welcomed by antique stuff lying on the long street.
Chatuchak area is the place that has everything for everyone. If you are looking for some awesome area to explore when visiting Bangkok, this is a must!
What’s Going on in 2021
We will update this section soon as the main Chatuchak market has recently moved to be open during the week so we will wait to see the impact.
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