Monday, November 4, 2013

Chatuchak weekend Market - Everything is on here

The Chatuchak (or Jatujak; Thai: : จตุจักร) weekend market in Bangkok is the largest market in Thailand and the world's largest weekend market. Frequently is called J.J. It has reached a landmark status as a must-go place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees. This is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’. The local brochure says 1 in 1,000 places to see before you die.

art and home decoration stall at Chatuchak market
The Chatuchak  market covers over 35 acres (0.14 km²) and contains upwards of 15,000 stalls. It is estimated at the market receives 200,000 visitors each day. Most stalls only open on Saturdays and Sundays though Jatujak Plaza, the western section is open daily.

cool staffs at Chatuchak market
The Chatuchak Market is definitely a worthwhile experience for those looking to buy just about anything from household items, clothing, Thai handicrafts, religious artifacts, collectibles, foods, live animals, to souvenirs for folks back home. You name it and you can find it here. For tourists, there are a number of onsite companies who will send purchases abroad.

colorful flower decoration at Jatujak market
Chatuchak Weekend Market is the perfect place for bargain hunting. Brush up your negotiation skills and be prepared to walk away when the deal fails to go your way. It also helps to do a few practice runs before you actually start buying. Note that a friendly attitude and big smile are your biggest allies in securing the best possible deal. Then, you’ll either be offered a lower price or simply find the same merchandise at another stall. Although whatever you buy here is probably no longer the best deal you can find, but you can use the average price for the same item at several stall as a best deal price.

lamps and accessories stall at Chatuchak Market
You can save your time if you know exactly what you want or which stall to go to. However, many expect to be surprised and let the sights of all the goods take them through a journey down the maze of stalls. Most often, shoppers arrive with a rough idea of what they want, then are hypnotized by what they see and end up going home with more than a few extra shopping items.

gate 1 chatuchak weekend market
Alleys are number and in sections, however what they say is in the section isn't always consistent with what is there. Here is the list of stall at Jatujak market with section number .

1. Miscellaneous & secondhand clothes
2. Trees & Home Furniture
3. Trees & accessories
4. Home furniture
5. Handicraft & Miscellaneous
6. Pets and animals accessories
7. Trees and gardening accessories
8.    Arts and crafts. Clothing & wickerwork
9.    Pets and wickerwork
10. Handicraft, clothing and miscellaneous
11. Wickerwork and ceramics
12. Dried food, hiking equipment and clothing
13. Pets and animals accessories
14. Clothing, hiking equipment and leather
15. Food and drink, clothing and miscellaneous
16. Food and drink, clothing and miscellaneous
17. Food and drink, ceramic and furniture
18. Clothing, food and drink
19. Dried food, gift and benjarong
20. Clothing, gift and hiking equipment
21. Clothing, shoes and miscellaneous
22. Food and drink, clothing and miscellaneous
23. Food and drink, clothing and miscellaneous
24. Trees & agricultural equipment
25. Handicraft, antiques & collectibles
26. Antiques, dried food & clothing
27. Food & drink, book & miscellaneous

Map of Chatucak

Jatujak market map
Here is some tips:
  • Remember this is a weekend market so if you are in Bangkok on Saturday or Sunday, this makes a great shopping attraction to consider
  • A lot of stalls also have fans or even aircon, so you can strategically plan your purchases with nice free cooling. The air-conditioned JJ Mall next to it is worth checking out, lots of small shops selling interesting things.
  • Food & drinks available all over and exchange office at all entrances! Bottled water was only 10 baht so no worries there. Coconut ice cream, fried chicken, coconut water, shrimps, durian sticky rice, pineapple ginger smoothies, Wanton Noodles.....everything delicious. You can also find Chatuchak a prominent place to find skilled Thai iced tea makers practicing their trade.

Resto at Chatuchak Market
  • Be advised that if you make an offer, be prepared to pay. If you back off you will create a tense situation.
  • It is very hot in the market due to enclosed areas, due to lack of ventilation. Dress in cool clothing, and take it easy, even if you get excited about all of the stuff you can buy
  • There are many pick pockets and petty thieves watching, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The local said theft is common here!
art and antique stall
  • Go as early as you can as it does get hot and very crowded (risking missing most shops if they are not opened) or late afternoon so at that time local sellers also joins as a street vendors and they are much cheapers in the rates.
  • When you get tired or hungry there are lots of stalls where you can sit and eat or you can go next door to the Railway Park which has lots of benches to sit on. Try foot massage for 100 baht!
foot massage at chatuchak market
  • The BTS stops right at Chatuchak and is probably the easiest way of getting there.. My favorite sections were the art area and the housewares/furniture area. Each vendor had unique pieces in these areas
  • Bring a few empty big shopping bags & and haggle away!
T-Shirt for souvenir
  • This is a place where you can't find any honey with your credit card. and it can be a long walk to the next ATM. Money changer is quite crowded so get your Baht ready.
  • Protect yourself against the sun, by wearing sunglasses, a hat and use sunscreen
  • Make sure you get a map at one of the entrances. If you venture right into the centre of the markets where you can find pets, ducks, chickens etc. it may take you a little while to find your way back without a map.

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