The Chatuchak market in Bangkok

Buddhist Monk examining religious artifacts in Chatuchak

The Chatuchak weekend marked was born from an idea of Field Marshal Phibulsongkram, twice prime minister of Thailand (1938-1944, 1948-1957), who decided that every city needed to have it’s own flee market. The first flee market in Bangkok was held at Sanam Luang and later (in 1982) moved to the area near the Chatuchak park.

In it’s current incarnation the market is the largest in Thailand and the world’s largest weekend market.

It covers an area of 35 acres and contains more than 5,000 stalls.

Navigating the market is at first a bit scary, the sheer size of it, the amount of people, bot browsing and working in the market is enough to disorientate even the most navigated explorers.

There is a system to all of this:
A large walkaway encircling the market.
A series of small passage called stemming from the walkway, each passage named Soi and a number. So Soi 1, Soi 2 etc…
Sections are numbers and they include blocks created by the Soi.

The system makes it easy to navigate the market, to meet someone in a specific spot, but is rather useless if you’re trying to reach an area specializing in specific products.
In fact the same type of items can be found in different sections of the market, making the whole thing rather unorganized.

Chatuchak Map

Click Here for PDF High Res Version of the map.

A rough subdivision can be synthesized as :

• Clothing & Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26)
• Handicrafts (sections 8-11)
• Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
• Furniture and Home Decoration (sections 1,3,4,7,8)
• Food and Beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27)
• Plants and Gardening tools (sections 3, 4)
• Art and Gallery (section 7)
• Pets and Pet Accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13)
• Books (sections 1, 27)
• Antiques and Collectibles (sections 1, 26)
• Miscellaneous and Used Clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)

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The market will put all your senses to the test. You will bombarded by colors, smells, noises, you will be walking elbow to elbow with a lot of people, but if you will be patient you will find a lot of value in here. There’s something for everyone and even if you won’t buy anything you will be entertained by the dynamics among the people buying and selling. You will be able to buy anything from a few cents to hundred thousand of dollars and they will ship to anywhere in the world.

Whatever you do don’t miss the fantastic Viva Bar hidden in one of the sections around the central tower, they serve the best Espresso in town. Section 26 – between Soi 1 & 2, Chatuchak market.

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Getting to the market:

SkyTrain BTS get off at Sapan Khwai Station or Mochit Station MRT get off at Kamphaenpetch Station
Bus No. 3,826,27,28,29,34,38,39,44,52,59,63,77,90,96,104,408,112,122, 134,136,138,153,159
Aircondition Bus No. 2,3,9,18,19,28,34,39,44,134,145,153,510,512,513

Taxi or Tuk Tuk.
Taxi is by far the best option, traffic is crazy so let the taxi driver know that it’ ok to take the paid highway, it will cost a few extra dollars, but potentially spare you an hour of traffic!

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