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26 October 2014
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Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak weekend market is a heaven for shoppers, especially if they are ready to bargain! The plant market is held every Wednesday and Thursday, while on the weekend, Chatuchak becomes the biggest market in Thailand when over 8,000 vendors from all over the country converging in a single area. The market is divided into 26 sections including antiques, books and magazines, fashion, food, furniture, handicrafts, jewelry, paintings, pets, plants and miscellaneous items.

Forget designer malls, Chatuchak Weekend Market or JJ Weekend Market is Bangkok’s true paragon of the retail experience. This is shopping as survival of the fittest: only those with finely tuned consumer instincts will persevere - the rest can get lost - literally. Taking the long turn’s almost a given in this sprawling, city-sized marketplace, upon which thousands descend every weekend, to trade everything from Burmese antiques to pedigree livestock. Originally a flea market, Chatuchak quickly outgrew the confines of the insect world to become much more than the sum of its disparate parts. These days, young Thai designers take advantage of the low onsite rent to punt their creative wares; if you so desire, you can peruse piles of customized Zippos that once belonged to American Gls’ during the Vietnam War and tasty pickings conveniently punctuate in many directions. Additionally, the exotic pet section supports the theory that JJ has somehow evolved its own diverse eco-system (albeit one that periodically is raided for peddling endangered species).

All this can be a bit overwhelming at first, but persevere and a semblance of order begins to crystallize from the chaos (Nancy Chandler’s famous map also comes in invaluable). Go in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the worst of the heat and the crowds. With many stalls opening for business on Fridays, you can come for a leisurely browse before the real surge hits - although only the weekend gives ardent shopaholics the fully-brown, unadulterated fix.

Chatuchak market is held on the grounds of a park donated to the people of Thailand by the State Railway according to the wishes of His Majesty the King on the anniversary of HM’s 4th Cycle birthday in 1976. Inside the park there are many gardens of various themes, an herb garden, and a garden devoted to flowers in literature.

Also of interest in the Prestigious Train Hall, located near gate 2. The Train Hall exhibits the history of transportation and features a wide variety of exhibits from London taxis to Japanese patrol cars used during World War II.

The Six Asean sculptors’ exhibition displays work from artists from six countries of the Asean region: Brunai, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. It is open daily 9.00 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please ring the call center on 1545.