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Chatuchak

Chatuchak Weekend Market Bangkok

Chatuchak weekend market claims to be the biggest weekend market in the world. Even so, the weekend shopping market it is a popular tourist attraction.

Chatuchak Market is BIG!

In fact it is the biggest market in Thailand - some say the whole world - and open only at weekends during the day.

Night time market are for elsewhere.

Chatuchak Market Bangkok sells everything, with the accent on good value, variety, and quality.

Whereas most of the markets in Bangkok are of the 'wheel-in' types, with stall holders arriving with their goods on anything that does - or does not have - wheels.

Chatuchak Weekend Market has a degree of stability in that the market stalls are generally self contained lock-up shops.

Here at Chatuchak Weekend Market, you can think of doing up the home, being on top of the fashion in what you wear, be way out or conservative (comparatively speaking), spend a small fortune, or just look, eat and be merry.

Upon arrival at Chatuchak - by Taxi as I live just down the road (Soi!) - I was intrigued at the last section of the run-in, at the huge variety and numbers of Garden pots. I need something for my large balcony, so this will be another trip sometime - but with an empty taxi!

At 10.30 on the Sunday when I arrived, the place was already heaving with people. Chatuchak Market might be indoors - which is good if it rains - but there is no air conditioning. Air-con would not make a lot of difference down at people level, for in some areas you just get herded along - or perhaps foolishly try to battle against the crowd.

That Chatuchak Market was going to be different to all of the other Bangkok markets, soon became apparent at the first stall I came across on the way in.

The fried Grasshoppers - probably locusts based on size - and cocoons and other assorted deep fried maggots might have been staple diet for some Thai, but for me they were just an interesting picture, and a taste - excuse the pun - of what was to come.

A fried Grasshopper to start - or finish - the day perhaps?

I suppose at least the Grasshoppers had a quick death, which is hardly to be the same for the bags of goldfish that were then on display at Chatuchak Weekend Market . Thousands of them, with sometimes many dozens in bag the size that you normally associate with the pleased kid back home, who has just pulled a winning number out of a fairground stall.

Bearing in mind that temperatures in the market were already hitting the 30s, it is a wonder if any of them will ever survive. But, survive they will of course, because these market traders are here for the long haul, and the last thing they want is a return visit from an angry Thai with a belly-up goldfish the following week.

So, on through the assorted fish and stuff to feed them with. (We are talking of a hundred metres of fish in bags and fish food here.) In to the Chatuchak market proper.

Birds for Sale at Chatuchak Weekend Market BangkokBe prepared for the fact that Thailand - as with most Eastern countries - has a different understanding of what constitutes animal welfare than do most western cultures.

You will see birds crammed into pages, and fluffy dogs of all description, some just a few weeks old, having to be 'tended' for various weeping complaints even as they are being sold and other four legged 'friends' bound to bamboo cages lest they escape.

You will also be reminded that Thailand does not have the 'welfare benefits' system of most western cultures as you sidestep - or sometimes walk over - some poor limbless wretch who is dependant upon what gets put into the tin can that acts as a collection box.

Beggars are part of the street scene in Thailand, and whilst the government urges people not to 'encourage' them with a few coins, it is difficult to ignore the seeming plight of them. Chatuchak Market is a means of support for some of them.

Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market BangkokSo. on to the market proper. Where to start? What do you like?

Even those who thought that they had everything (before the present financial turmoil) will be sucked into a further spending frenzy as they figure out which Soi to go down next.

Sometimes there is no option to choose. If it's a one-way street, then just go with the flow. Don't worry about getting lost. Everything ends up somewhere eventually.

Chatuchak Weekend Market is renowned for 'things' for the home. It can be silk flowers - thousands to choose from - or a carved wooden ornament, or a fine painting, print, or other artistic wall-piece. Down at ground level, there are countless shoe shops - offering the latest in teen fads or perhaps a hand-painted shoe done on the spot.

Moving above the knee, there are those ever-so-short pants (shorts) and skirts that the modern Thai girl loves. (Why is it frowned upon for us men to wear similar - shorts not skirts!) and then the jeans or dresses.

Jeans are everywhere - except on the young girls! -and they are branded, embroidered, plain, ripped, pseudo-worn, etc etc etc. belts and buckles go with jeans of course, and they are here - by the thousand of course. we won't go into underwear here, but it is there at Chatuchak.

Whilst we are in the area of the body normally covered by underwear, I noticed a rather interesting collection of Phallic Symbols. Actually there was nothing symbolic about them. They were hand carved - presumably - replicas of the real thing.

Shopping at Chatuchak Weekend Market BangkokTitanic would best describe some of them. I suppose for some, there could be a slight inferiority complex! They are sold as 'good luck' Amulets and are usually worn dangling from a waist band. Ah well.

It would be a mistake to think that Chatuchak weekend market is for all things Thai. there are arty 'must-haves- from all parts of the world, but mostly of Easter origin of course.

I don't know how many miles of avenues, alleyways, Soi and the like there are at Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok. Quite a few, and many more than you can walk in just a few hours.

Go early - break off for lunch or grab a drink of fresh coconut milk - grit your teeth and enjoy the spectacle - this is Chatuchak Weekend Market.

On the way round, you will be entertained by pipe-blowers - and boy, did the young kid rock - the coffee maker who 'blends' his coffee at 1.4 metres from one container into another - and dances whilst doing it, or you can take in the sometimes relaxing atmosphere of the mother and daughter taking time out over a game of dominoes, or you can try to figure out what the guy with the pose was selling.

This is Chatuchak Market - Bangkok open at the weekend 10am - 5pm Saturday and Sunday - Enjoy.

Getting to Chatuchak Market Bangkok

Skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit station. Short walk to market.

Subway or Underground (MRT) to Chatuchak Park station. Well signed to the market from the station.

Gardening section - for flowers plants and pots. MRT Underground to Kampheng Phet station. Go out of exit number 3.

The main market is open on weekends - Saturdays & Sundays from 8.00am until 6.00pm

Garden section open on Wednesdays & Thursdays from 7.00am until 6.00pm.

Now you have been there - to Chatuchak Weekend Market - spend a little bit of time relaxing in Chatuchak Park.