Months before our Bangkok trip, a friend who knew that we're planning to go gave me a couple of tips and one of those include "Do not miss shopping at Chatuchak."
This began to ignite our interest on the place and after asking more questions, we found out that Chatuchak is a giant outdoor market that only operates during the weekend and is every bargain shopper's dream come true. Also, the market is arranged in what they call an organized-chaos which means, it's highly impossible for one to go back the same route and find the store where you saw the _insert name of item_ worth 100baht vs. the one you just found at 120baht. In other words, the best shopping strategy here is to buy the item as long as the price is fairly reasonable enough already for you.
Thus, we have mapped out our plan early on, we woke up at 6AM to take the BTS down to the Mo Chit station before 8AM. This is to be able to go around Chatuchak before it gets bloodily crowded. From the station, it was a good 5 minutes walk to the entrance of the market. We found out that there's another way which is to cut through the Chatuchak Park.
We arrived a little after 8AM and with our adrenalines way up high ready for shopping battle, we began our way in. There are a lot and I really mean a LOT of stalls! We also noticed that unlike our bargain markets here in Manila, each stall sells really unique items. Rarely do we see stalls located beside each other selling identical goods.
It was definitely a shopper's haven! Shirts selling for only 80baht (approximately Php. 110 / $2.44), sandals for only 120baht (approximately Php. 170 / $3.78) and a lot more! Store vendors are willing to offer their wholesale prices provided you meet their minimum quantities.
Beginning 10AM though, it can get pretty crowded and very warm in Chatuchak. It's a good thing, some very enterprising locals opened a couple of juice stalls and carts to help shoppers cool off. Just a word of caution though, sanitary is not one of their forte here so these food items are not suitable for people with weak stomachs. :-/
We've been forwarned that the market is the largest market in the world covering a total of 35 acres. Therefore, it is really not possible for a shopper to go around the entire market in one day. In fact, we've shopped for just 3 hours and our legs were already crying of too much exhaustion, our shoulders ready to collapse with the weight of our shopping bags and our body all sticky and sweaty. Finally, we agreed to end our Chatuchak adventure at 1PM to head back to the hotel to rest and freshen up.
Chatuchak Weekend Market is located at the Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok, Thailand. The easiest way to get there is through the BTS (Skytrain), get off at the Mo Chit Station and take a 5 minute easy beezy walk to the entrance of the market. You may also take the MRT and get off at the Kamphaeng Phet Station.