Think of a trip to Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market as a day-long expedition.
Your provisions are cash and you’re on the hunt for wild and exotic buyables. It’s a long and hot journey demanding patience and fortitude but it’s worth every sweaty second.
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The market offers everything from pets to plants to vast arrays of ceramics and strange shops selling military gear. Spread over 28 acres, the market boasts 200,000 shoppers every weekend.
It’s a bewildering sprawl of lookalike stalls along narrow corridors thronging with people.
It’s best to go at it in stages. First shop, then eat and rest, then shop again, eat and rest, etc. This cycle is especially pleasant as the eats are as varied and multicolored as the merchandise. You can sip icy sweet watermelon shakes along with a bowl of spicy hot Tom Yum soup.
Young Thai designers rent stalls at the market. Catch them before they make it. The stalls offer a mix of both very good and very bad authentic Thai design. American Apparel-style sleek tube dresses run at around 300 Bhat ($10.50) while retro Converse-style tops can be had for 250 Bhat ($7.50).
The market’s open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Take a Skytrain to to Mochit Station or the MRT to Kamphaengpetch Station.