Chatuchak Market (or JJ Market for short) is a real bargain market and is also one of greatest markets in the world. Not surprisingly, it has become one of most popular place for shopping in Bangkok for years. It can be seen as a great shopping place for both Thais and foreigners in all genders and ages because there is almost everything in the market, such as fashion clothes, footwear, leather products, accessories of several styles, handicrafts, antiques, home decors, food, plants, old books and as well as pets like puppies, kittens, birds and, hand-made products, second-hand books, mobile phone covers, DVD movies, pets and so many more. With the area of 36 acres and 27 sections, there are almost 8,000 market stalls and they all open together every weekend, but just some on weekday. Well, the greatest thing here would be that almost goods are on sales. Undoubtedly, Chatuchak Market on weekend is a place to visit.
Facilities of Chatuchak Market are also adequate - Information center, supporting area for PR, various banks, J.J. shopping mall, and Chatuchak park. Transportation to get here is also convenient because it is just at the final destination of BTS Sky Train, Mo Chit Station. Apart from that, the market today has also become non-smoking market, where those who break the rule have to pay for 2000 baht. It is really impressive for becoming successfully healthy market.
However, there are some points of Chatuchak Market making visitors a little frustrated. Firstly, since it is not air-conditioned market, your day for look around in the market can be a little annoying in a pretty hot day (though, there are drink sellers almost everywhere). Another point is that visitors who come to this market for the first time can get confused with walking through the many areas in the market. It might result in walking there and coming back, walking there and coming back. If you get lost, walk in one direction rather than confusing yourself by go randomly. The recommendation is that don't forget to take a free map at any information points in the market.
Note that bargain here is common, and ask for lower price is what foreign visitors should do because some sellers might overprice when the customers are not Thais. However, price of some products are unable to be reduced, if there is a clear tag on the items. In short ask first when it is unclear whether the sellers can offer a lower price or not.
History of Chatucahk Market
This weekend market has been existed for more than sixty years. Due to the idea of setting flea market in Bangkok, the market at first was located at Sanam Luang, near Wat Phra Keaw and The Grand Palace. Laters on, it had to be moved from Sanam Luang to Phaholyothin district as Sanam Luang needed to be clean up at that time. The new market was at first called ‘Phaholyothin Weekend Market’. Then, the market had been given a new name, Chatuchak Marke, which is given after the name of ‘Chatuchak Park’ that located nearby.
In the early years of Chatuchak Market opening, the market was not so popular and not so convenient for visitors to get there. However, nowadays, Chatuchak Market has been improved and become more convenient due to public transportations like BTS Sky Train and MRT Underground Train.
- Prepare yourself with casual clothes and comfortable shoes.
- Wearing hat also helps to avoid from the sunlight.
- Not carrying many stuffs or big luggages because it might stuck or be blocked in narrow passage ways in the market.
- When buying several products at the same shop, don’t forget to ask for a bargain price.
Comparing product prices from different shops are usually good but It is not recommended in this market because visitors may get lost and cannot find the shop they want to buy for the second time.
- For having a meal, visitors should try looking for clean venders.
- There are no seats for a rest in the market except for having food or drink in some restaurants, so after a long walk you can rest your legs by sitting under the trees to get the fresh air in Chatuchak Park.
Prepaid restrooms are provided near the entrance and along the main road.
- Also, make sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydrated in a hot weather, but there are a lot of drinks you can buy in the market though.