Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Conquering Chatuchack Weekend Market

 Seriously late but better late than never right?? =D Ahhhh... Chatuchak Market. If you are traveling to Bangkok anytime soon and you have been searching for spots to see, You'll most likely read that it is a must visit spot in Bangkok. Also called Jatujak Market or more affectionately called as simply "JJ" by the locals. It is only open on Saturday and Sunday from 6:00am-6:00pm. Unless you are shopping for plants, it's only open on weekends.

To get there you have plenty of options like taking the BTS and stopping at the Mo Chit Station from the Sukhumvit Line or the MRT and alighting at the Kamphaengphet Station of the Bangkok Metro Blue Line. But since we were coming from our tour of the Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha, we decided to take a Taxi! =D

Once we got there my jaw literally dropped at this sight...

Thousands of stalls as far as the eyes can see, and I'm not exaggerating!! So we figured we need some reinforcements if we want to keep our sanity here. Presenting...

The Nancy Chandler's Map of Bangkok. At first I didn't want to buy it because it costs THB200 (If I remember correctly) but it is seriously helpful If you want to make the most of your time in Chatuchak Market. The map has details of what section of the market is selling clothes, furnitures, animals, food etc.! They sell EVERYTHING here! and it's in total chaos! One stall may be selling bags, the next will be selling bedsheets and the next one will be selling antiques.

Be in your most comfortable walking shoes since you will be doing a lot of walking! There are trams too if you are too tired but mostly, walking is required.

Cute abstract Wall clocks

Assortment of potential Kikay Kits!! for THB69 that's roughly ₱99! Not bad! Great for pasalubongs!

More colorful Bags and Pouches!

The heat would most likely be your foe when you're here. It's packed with people and the temperature could get really hot. Treat yourself to some freshly squeezed orange juice!

This is my favorite drink in Bangkok! It's so refreshing and cold with all the pulpy bits that I like! =D
And after hours of walking and shopping, I hear my tummy growling! Plenty of street food options but at lunch time, all the stalls are full and have a long wait list so I suggest to eat earlier or later than the lunch rush. We settled for home-cooked thai food that had available seats.

I could not eat anything we ordered since it's ridiculously SPICY!! It was a good thing that I had my yummy orange juice to save me! =D

After hours of shopping, we could not do anymore since our items are too heavy! You can also buy  shopping bags with wheels to carry your purchases to make it easy to manage. 1 queen-size silk bedsheet set, 5 kilos of Thai Dilis, some bags and shirts and 6 nikon lens tumblers later, we were ready to call it quits! Yes, the shopaholic has given up. So I must admit that Chatuchak conquered us! Haha!

Tips to keep your sanity:
  • Go early in the morning so it wont be too hot.
  • Invest in the Nancy Chandler Map to Bangkok. 
  • Wear light clothing. The heat gets scorching mid-day.
  • Wear comfy walking shoes.
  • If you find something you like, and it's within your budget, get it immediately! It's close to impossible to find it again if in case you decide to finally buy it. (I learned this the hard way)
  • Be prepared to eat anything! Even if it looks dirty! =D You won't find popular fast food joints here and should eat as the locals do. Unless you wanna go hungry...
  • When buying clothes, no fitting allowed so make sure you pick the right size for you.
  • You can bring water to keep you hydrated but I find that it adds weight to your bag so just buy there.
  • Don't get frustrated with the arrangement of the stalls, because they are seriously demented! Just shop at a relaxed pace and enjoy the sights. I was in serious battle shopping mode since I've had high expectations that all the things I want in Greenhills would be here at a much lower price and I've been stalling shopping in the city until I saw what this market has to offer and I was disappointed.
  • Take a cab back to your hotel. It wont be too expensive plus getting back to the BTS/ MRT station is a bit confusing.
For me, visiting Chatuchak once is quite enough for me. I did not find great items here and the quality of the bags and shirts are not too well made but since I only bought them for THB100 (₱150) a pop, It was great while it lasted =)



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