Thailand : Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok 11 Nov 2012

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Chatuchak weekend market is the best place to head to on your Saturday or Sunday. Having arrived late Saturday night on an Airbus A380 by Thai Airways, the first thing we had to do was head to Chatuchak in the morning. This was going to be the only chance we have on our short splash and dash trip to Bangkok.  Taking the BTS Skytrain, you head to Mo Chit, the final stop on the northern route. We arrived at 1030am local time. From the left side of the skytrain, you will see a large area covered in zinc roofs. You will see people streaming below. Mostly bargain hunters and curious tourists like you, will zig zag thru a maze that will probably let you buy anything under the sun. (pun intended). It is HOT. Do bring sun screen and a towel. A wet towel will be nice to cool down. Bring lots of water.

Follow the Signs

Follow the directions.

Overhead shot of street peddler.

As you walk down the stairs from the skytrain, you will be greeted by opportunist street peddlers who set up shops along the route to Chatuchak. Most of them, I believe are illegal peddlers but enforcement is not strict. There are many things to see. You will see wallets, brass rings, pillows, boxer shorts and many more on sale.

This is my favorite photo. I lowered my camera and shot from the ankles. Caught the seller gazing into my camera whilst taking a drink to cool down from the hot sun.

Brass rings, anyone?

15 baht for a small purse

100 baht for a soft floor mat.

Once you pass the street peddlers, you will find yourself going thru small alleys lined with shops. The morning heat was not too bad but you can imagine what the afternoon sun will do. As the hours pass by, more and more people will arrive. We do advise you to head to this place early. 9am probably would have been a good time to arrive. The only problem with this that there may not be many shops opened. (travelers’ opinion)

Spot the elephant trying to climb up.

Take your time to go thru the alleys.

I’m a little teapot…….short and stout.

Thru the alleys.

T-shirts are cheap. Ranging from 100 to 150 baht depending on your bargain prowess. Linen shirts range from 180 to 250 baht. A dress ranges from 300 baht to 700 baht depending on the materials and workmanship. I’d average it at 500 baht.  If you have money to spend, this place will make you feel rich.  There are many good deals and bargains. If you over buy and am worried about the costs of overweight luggage, there are Logistics and Delivery Services so that you can mail/ship your items to your home country ala Fedex style.

The alleyways are so small, you cannot spot them.

Lunch Time

Pad Thai. A bit on the sweeter side. Needed some soy sauce. 50 baht.

Fried Pork Basil with Rice. 50 baht.

Pay Up

Udang Galah ( River Blue Prawns). I walked by only. Did not feast on these. Average around 30-50 baht per Prawn.

Famous Clock Tower at Chatuchak.

If you walk around long enough, you will stumble into this clock tower. As you can see, the noon sun is high up and the harsh sunlight has cast its spell on the photograph.

High Noon

Coconut Ice Cream.

35 baht coconut ice cream

This was an overpowering sweet ice cream. Sold for 35  baht, this is something you will want to take to cool down. By noon, the place is packed with tourists, the popular Bangkok heat and the sun beating down on you. Do anything to cool down. Thailand has an abundance of coconuts. This is my personal experience. Coconuts everywhere. They are sweet and very refreshing. Coconut ice cream is a must try in Thailand. This one was a bit unexpected and we will need to try others to compare.

Buy drinks and drink coconut. Plenty of them.

Chatuchak was a hit and miss. You have the heat beating down on you, alley ways cramped with people trying to get thru and yet, cheap deals and bargains everywhere. It is an experience you may want to try for a first timer. we did not find the food section.  Sometimes, you find yourself trying to decide if you want to go left or right. You also question yourself if you had already been thru a particular place. Prices are pretty much the same compared to most areas of Bangkok. You get probably the same stuff. Bangkok feels like a Wholesale city.

It was getting very hot and with other things to cover for the day, we decided to head back to the hotel to shower and change. Wear breathable clothing , as I always say and bring lots of water. Cheap deals are plenty but bargaining was not too easy. Most prices are quite low. If you walk away, you probably won’t be back as this market is huge. We do advise you to come here a bit earlier when there is less people. As we left at 1230pm after 2 hours here, we had trouble going up the stairs to the SkyTrain. There were tons of people. If you ask me, would I return, maybe…maybe not.

Items bought : Huge soft hotel grade towel for 220 baht. Flip flops 69 for baht. T shirts for 120 baht each.

Click here for more photos.

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