How to survive in Chatuchak market? Also known as Jatujak market, this weekend market is the largest in the northern area of Bangkok. How to survive in Chatuchak market? It’s literally a jungle out there because you will numerous kinds of stalls that sells all sorts of stuff. There are about 14,000 stalls in Chatuchak market so it’s basically a shop ‘til you drop kind of place. Perfect for all hardcore shopaholics out there! In this article, you’ll learn how to survive in Chatuchak market?
How to Get There
How to survive in Chatuchak market? You can ride the sky train because this iconic market is located just next to the Mo Chit station and it’s quite easy to get to. There are two stops for you to get off into if you use their MRT underground train. The first one is the Chatuchak Park and the second one is Kamphaeng Phet station. It will drop you off in the park right next to the market and gets you in the market itself, respectively.
How to survive in Chatuchak market? This market is open on weekends starting from Friday night all the way through Saturday and Sunday – whole day. You can also go there early at around 7 am but there aren’t much to see until around 9 am since most stalls are just opening up right about that time. However if you want to try out some food stalls, there are some that open up early. You can shop until 7 pm, and you can expect that around 9 pm, most stalls are already close. However there are some dining places and bars that stay open until midnight.
Tips on How To Survive in Chatuchak Market
Here are some tips on how to survive in Chatuchak market:
Tip #1: Be an Early Bird
How to survive in Chatuchak market? The best time to go especially on a weekend is around 9 am. This will give you time to grab a quick brunch before you hit the stalls. You can expect some crowd come noontime. If you arrive after lunch, it’s pretty much unbearable. You might want to not go on a Sunday because it’s even crowded than Saturday, so if you can’t get there until the afternoon try to make it a Saturday afternoon.
Tip #2: Watch out for pickpockets
How to survive in Chatuchak market? It’s best that you don’t bring a purse or wear something fancy that can attract some robbers. Be careful of your wallet! Bangkok is generally a safe country but of course if you’re quite flashy with your stuff and you’re not alert there’s a high risk of pickpockets. Chatuchak market is notorious for it.
How to survive in Chatuchak market? There’s actually an instance when one Westerner lost almost a couple of thousands of dollar, taken out of his wallet while he was trying to decide on which diamond ring to purchase for his girlfriend. It’s best to not carry a purse, only money, which you should put into your front pocket or in a money pouch. It’s best to split it into two sections just in case. This is lessening the risk of losing all of your money.
Tip #3: Stay hydrated
How to survive in Chatuchak market? This is not a worry and you don’t need to bring water but you have to remind yourself to stay hydrated. Out of the 12,000-plus stalls, about 8,000 of them sell water. If you are dying of thirst from all the shopping you’re doing, you can grab a bottle for 10 baht (about 25 cents). You can also buy shakes, fruit juices, coke, Pepsi, iced coffees and teas, beer, wine and pretty much anything else you could want. There are also public toilets, so drink as much as you like but please stay hydrated!
Tip #4: Grab a Map!
How to survive in Chatuchak market? It’s literally a place you can get lost in so make sure to have a map with you. There are free maps available at the information counter at the main gate. Chatuchak is literally a maze, which makes it difficult to find things if you don’t know where you’re going. Each section has specific things making it is easier to find things if you know what each section sells.
Tip #5: Buy It Now
How to survive in Chatuchak market? Here’s a pro tip for you: if you like something, buy it right there! Don’t wait to see if you will find a better price on an item you like. Keep in mind that there are 14,000 stalls so there’s a huge chance that you will never find the first stall again.
Tip #6: Make Sure to Bargain
If you’re an expert at haggling then this is something that will be fund for you! Of course, don’t be insulting but do try to get some discounts. Some stalls do have a fixed price and will not bargain, but most will. A good place to start is to offer about 70% of the original price. The seller will counter offer, but you can usually get them down to as low as 20%. If you buy more than one of an item, you will get an even better price since its bulk buying.
Tip #7: Go food tripping
How to survive in Chatuchak market? Chatuchak is known by the Thais to have some of the best food in Bangkok. There are stalls and restaurants everywhere that sell anything from street foods to traditional Thai dishes. You can also buy cut fruits, snacks, desserts, and pretty much all the food you can think of! The food is safe, dirt cheap and savory.
Tip #8: Drink away!
If you love to drink (who doesn’t right?), there are several bars that you can try. Most bars are usually populated by mainly Westerners but there are also lots of locals around. Beer is cheap, wine and mixed drinks are reasonable. You can also get some items in their ‘bar snacks’ such as nuts, beans, spicy seeds etc. that can go well with that beer.
Tip #9: Know Where the Toilets Are!
How to survive in Chatuchak market? You have to know where the toilets are! That’s because you just never know when nature will call you. It will cost you around 3 baht of toilet fee. Be sure to not forget to buy tissue paper or bring one yourself because there will not be any once you get in the stalls. Like most girls, Thai girls also take forever in the bathrooms, so be prepared for a long line.
Tip #10: Know Where the Toilets Are!
The market is a circular shape. This means it’s quite easy to get around it in that motion. There is a street that runs in a circle from one side of the market all the way around and back. Stalls and alleys then run off this street in all directions. If you head into the middle bit and keep going, you’ll eventually arrive straight through it and back onto the circular street on the other side. There are also policemen everywhere who speak enough English usually that you can ask for directions if you get lost.
The Best Bargain Market in Bangkok
How to survive in Chatuchak market? If you want to get good stuff at a bargain then this market is the right place for you. If it is raining, better to avoid Chatuchak completely. The narrow alleys flood, the corrugated iron roofs leak like a colander, and everybody scuttles for cover you won’t have a good time shopping for sure. Pedestrian traffic grinds to a halt and you will find yourself stuck sheltering in some roof crammed with others. Better to just go to indoor malls if it’s a rainy day.
Keep In Mind
Keep in mind that on a hot Bangkok day is the best day to go to this iconic market. Remember all the tips above so you can survive the Chatuchak jungle. At least 4 hours is required to get a good feel for the place, and to find what you are looking for.
How to survive in Chatuchak market? Make sure to get breakfast first, then shop. It’s also best to stop for a break and a drink after a couple of hours. Have another snack or lunch when you’re done, before heading back so that you won’t pass out. Shop ‘til you drop!