Chatuchak (or Jatujak) weekend market in Bangkok is the largest market in Thailand. Frequently called J.J., it covers over 1.13 km² and contains upwards of 5,000 stalls.
It is estimated that the market receives 200,000 visitors each day, so it’s very crowded. But enjoy! 🙂
Most stalls only open on Saturdays and Sundays though Jatujak Plaza, the western section is open daily. In the north west corner is the J.J. Mall, with three floors of assorted oddments as well as eateries.
The market offers a wide variety of products including household items, clothing, Thai handicrafts, religious artifacts, collectibles, foods, and live animals. For tourists, there are a number of onsite companies who will send purchases abroad. It’s a must visit market for tourists unless you have absolutely no interest shopping.
Inside Chatuchak market, one main walkway encircles the entire market, and it branches off into a series of numbered alleyways called Soi 1, Soi 2, Soi 3, and so on.
These alleyways are grouped into sections, with 27 sections in all. You will find more than one category of goods contained in one section, and the same category of goods will appear again in the other sections. In terms of locating your category of goods, this system is rather useless; but it will come in handy when you try to locate your particular stall or where your exact location is on the Chatuchak map.
Many vendors sell factory rejects. For ‘antiques’, don’t trust the vendor when he tells you it is genuine. It’s better to bring along an expert, unless you are happy with what you are paying for.
Many tasty food can be found at Chatuchak Weekend Market and Or Tor Kor Market. Try the refreshing grass jelly in iced syrup, luscious bite-sized Thai sweets, or old-fashioned popsicles, to cool off amidst the market madness.
In recent years the market has gained considerable notice among conservationists and the World Wildlife Fund; Chatuchak has become a notorious hub for trafficking illegal and endangered species, notably in the north west corner of the market which is all but isolated from the rest of the market.
This activity was covered on CNN’s “Planet in Peril” series. Despite publicity, Thai law is rarely able to pursue a course of action in preventing the illegal trade as it would just go underground elsewhere.
How to Bargain at Chatuchak Weekend Market
At Chatuchak, remember this “ALWAYS BARGAIN!”. For most times, the price offered is not the best price and could be far more than what you can get. Just take it as an opportunity to practice your negotiation skills and don’t take it too personal; some people just try to make a living. Smile, walk away and get the product from another shop.
Tip: as you will probably spend at least half day there, be prepared. At least, don’t carry any heavy bag or luggage when you visit CHatuchak. Better go to the market in the morning as when it’s very crowded in the afternoon, it could be very hot!
Chatuchat Market Hours
The weekend market is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 09:00 – 18:00, and Fridays 18:00 – 24:00. Plant sections are also open on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 07:00 – 18:00.
Chatuchat Market Location Map
How to find Chatuchat Market?
Chatuchak market is adjacent to the Kamphaengphet station of the MRT Bangkok Metro Blue Line, or about a 5-minute walk from the Mo Chit station of the BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit Line and another MRT station, Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park).
View Google Map here.
Map of Chatuchak Market
Download a high resolution Chatuchak market map here. Free Chatuchak maps are also available from one of the information kiosks.
- Clothing & Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26)
- Handicrafts (sections 8-11)
- Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
- Furniture and Home Decoration (sections 1,3,4,7,8)
- Food and Beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27)
- Plants and Gardening tools (sections 3, 4)
- Art and Gallery (section 7)
- Pets and Pet Accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13)
- Books (sections 1, 27)
- Antiques and Collectibles (sections 1, 26)
- Miscellaneous and Used Clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)
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