In addition to temples, museums and ancient monuments in the capital of Thailand is a place that must visit. The Chatuchak Market in Bangkok is considered the largest in the world and is more like a separate city with its own laws and way of life. It works on weekends, but once there, many people say that the experience was enough for a week.
Description of Chatuchak Market
In the markets you can buy the necessary things and products can be much more profitable and the choice is wider than in shopping malls. The 140,000 m2 of retail space sees up to 400,000 customers on weekends. It is difficult to get lost in the shopping aisles, they are lined strictly by profiles and among the 15.5 thousand stores and small benches to find everything you dreamed of.
Chatuchak Market opened in 1942. In Bangkok, they couldn’t find a decent place for the market and moved it several times to different parts of the city until they stopped at an area near Chatuchak Park. Gradually it became an arena for super-shopping. One-third of visitors are tourists, attracted by its world fame. Metro stations, green and hipster markets are nearby.
A notable detail was the clock tower installed in 1987. It serves as a landmark and constant meeting place, considered the center of the market. The construction was carried out by the Thai-Chinese trade association.
Types of goods
It is much easier to list what cannot be found on the market. The impression here is that supply materializes at the slightest hint of demand. Even animals and birds of rare species listed in the Red Book were found in the trading rows during the inspection. The counterfeit trade was shut down.
Tourists are not recommended to leave the central lines, although with a talent for orienteering and with the approximate scheme of trade pavilions can buy amazing souvenirs for loved ones in memory of the trip.
The most popular products are considered to be:
- dishes, clothes and shoes in the national traditions;
- silk and silk products;
- jewelry, costume jewelry;
- exotic plants;
- animals, birds, fish;
- books, paintings, antiques;
- condiments, spices, sauces;
- souvenirs made in various arts and crafts techniques.
There are separate massage parlors, where after the session you can buy your favorite oil compositions, aromatic salts and sticks. Around the perimeter and inside the market there are coffee shops and mobile snack bars. Dying of hunger is not a threat to shoppers, rather you can get too heavy from tasting the goodies.
Such a huge area without a clear layout can quickly turn into chaos, so it is divided into 30 areas, delineated by product groups. Tourists at the entrance are offered a free map of the market, and locals navigate the abundance of shopping rows quite freely.
The rules of intelligent shopping
The unaccustomed bustle, the abundance of sounds, smells and colors makes you dizzy, and you want to buy everything at once. This is the main mistake inexperienced travelers make, leaving the market without their desired purchases with arms full of trinkets and an empty wallet. Before visiting the malls, be sure to make a list of necessary and desirable purchases. Then there is a chance to resist the all-encompassing temptation.
The next item that must be done is to plan for spending. It’s not worth taking extra money, unless the vacation doesn’t end tomorrow.
The market has its own subtleties and unspoken rules, by following which you can really save money and buy quality products.
- At the entrance prices are always higher than in the back of the rows, so it is not profitable to buy the first thing that catches your eye. If you compare prices, you will definitely find better deals.
- When making a large purchase, it is considered normal to ask the seller for a discount. Most often it is 10-15% of the total amount.
- Friendly communication with the seller, a willingness to support the conversation often promotes the occasional buyer to the rank of regular customers with the corresponding bonuses.
- Bargaining is possible and necessary, detailing the request will not only reduce the price, but also help you get what you want.
- You should not trust a vendor to choose fruits or vegetables without additional quality control, everything should be watched carefully.
- If you are the first customer at the opening of the outlet, an impressive discount is given automatically.
- Another secret is the mandatory overpricing of 20-25% for tourists. Knowing this peculiarity, you can bargain well and buy goods cheaper.
- Knowing basic phrases in English will make communication much easier.
- The quieter the conversation, the greater the discount will be, sellers do not flaunt to their neighbors the real purchase price.
- Politeness is very highly valued by Thais. If it was not possible to reach consensus, then you should gently say goodbye and step back. There is a good chance that the seller will change his mind and make concessions.
To keep your luggage or extra bags from being distracted from the selection process, you can leave them in the luggage room, your husband in the bar with beer and free Wi-Fi, and be sure to remember the section number at the same time. Children enjoy and participate without objection in children’s entertainment and festivities, which begin at one o’clock in the afternoon.
Prices and discounts
Going shopping, you should be in the mood for active communication. As in any market, the ability to haggle is credited to both sides, and knowledge of the approximate price points will help not to overpay.
Each retail pavilion necessarily has its own system of discounts on the principle of “two things for money, the third is given as a gift. There are a lot of options, the details are specified on the spot.
The price of goods is several times less than in the big fancy shopping malls, but no one guarantees the quality, you need to monitor it yourself. There are stores with an established reputation, there are less discounts, but the product is better.
To navigate, it is worth knowing the average price in advance:
- T-shirts from 50 to 100 baht;
- jeans from 150;
- jewelry costs 20 baht or more;
- bags within 200;
- Lingerie is sold in sets, with prices starting at 30 baht;
- Sneakers will cost 300-450 baht, depending on the popularity of the brand.
When to go shopping at Chatuchak?
The Chatuchak Market in Bangkok is designed mainly for locals. It operates only on Saturday and Sunday. On the other days are open separate sections, so you can shop, but get an unforgettable experience is not possible.
The first pavilions open at 6 a.m. Stores designed for tourists start working much later, from 10:00 later. The market closes at 6 p.m.
On Wednesday and Thursday there is a flower and exotic plant trade.
If you plan to buy a sprout and take it away with you, you need to transplant the plant from the ground in a special substrate. It is forbidden to export land from the country in any quantity.
How to get to Chatuchak?
Chatuchak Market in Bangkok is very conveniently located, there are subway stations and public transport stops nearby. If you do not want to wander in search, it is worth ordering a cab. The drivers know very well how to get passengers to the main entrance in the shortest way and with a profit for themselves.
Most residents of the capital prefer the subway, getting off at Chatuchak Park station. This way they avoid the huge traffic jams that form during rush hour. It’s worth following their example if you don’t want to waste time sitting aimlessly in a bus or car.
Location on the map
For tourists Chatuchak market has long been another attraction of Bangkok, and you should not deny yourself the pleasure of strolling through its rows.
Reviews of Chatuchak Market
Marina, 49 years old:
As I entered the gates of the market, I realized that only a wealth of experience in the field of trade would save me, so much is there. I spent 4 hours at the pavilions and really enjoyed talking to the vendors. For some, the profession is hereditary; they are true masters of their craft. But I negotiated an impressive discount, got a couple of trinkets as a gift. We parted with the seller very satisfied with each other.
Andrew, 36 years old:
I gave in to the entreaties of my beloved, went with her to the market. When I saw the volume and assortment, I almost chickened out. There was a good bar just in time, and there I hung out. The beer is good, the internet speed is great, but still 3 hours seemed like an eternity to me. My wife was thrilled with the shopping and I was thrilled with the shrimp and poultry kebabs.
Anastasia, 26 years old:
I went to the market out of curiosity. It cost me a decent chunk of my budget, but I don’t regret it. I found everything I dreamed of there, even fish slippers. I really liked the menu in the cafe near the entrance. I don’t particularly welcome Thai food, but the seafood smelled amazing and I couldn’t resist. Impressions of the market are very contradictory, but the leader is admiration.