Chatuchak, also called J.J. Market or the weekend market, is one of the world’s largest outdoor markets and sells almost everything you could possibly want, from pets to furniture to clothing. Because it’s so big (more than 25 acres!), and so popular, most visitors give themselves at least a few hours and up to a full day to wander and shop.
- Go early, before the crowds and the heat make it hard to enjoy the shopping.
- Get a map. Chatuchak is big and confusing, so it's easy to get lost. Grab a map from one of the visitor centers in the outer perimeter of the market or take advantage of the many maps posted inside.
- Act fast. If you like it, buy it now, as it will be difficult to find your way back.
- The clock tower in the center of the market is the easiest place to find.
What to Buy?:
For visitors, the best values at Chatuchak are the house wares, Thai silks, handicrafts and clothing. Everything at Chatuchak is cheaper than at shopping malls and more touristy markets in the city so savvy shoppers wait to do all their souvenir buying till they get here. There are also plenty of outlets selling furniture, hardware, music, instruments, Buddhist art, antiques, books, pets, plants and lots of fun, cheap, colorful shirts, dresses and shoes.
Unlike many of the other tourist markets in the country, Chatuchak is not a place for hard bargaining since all the competition keeps prices reasonable. If you're buying a lot from any one vendor, you may get a 10-15% discount, but rarely more than that.
There are a number of shipping companies with outlets in the market, and most can be found in the annex on Khampheng Phet II Road. Small items are probably best packed in luggage, but larger items can be shipped by boat to anywhere in the world.
Taking a Break:
There are over a hundred stalls and restaurants in the market where you can buy cold drinks, sit down and rest or have a full Thai meal. Most are outdoor, but for air conditioning, look for Toh Plue Restaurant in the main market or Rod’s across the street on Khampheng Phet II Road.
There are bathrooms, ATM machines and even a police station in the market.
How to Get There:
You can take a taxi or drive, but Chatuchak is easy to get to using public transportation. Take the Skytrain to Mo Chit station and walk north to the market or take the subway to Chatuchak Weekend Market station and follow the signs to the market.
Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., though some shops begin closing in the late afternoon.