It is quite easy to hop the BTK Skytrain to the end of the line
(Mochit station). The new subway also goes to Chatuchak.
A short walk along the sidewalk yields the biggest and most varied
market we have ever seen anywhere, including Africa, Europe,
South America and the U.S.
It comprises an area of 26 acres, and is as much an experience as
a market. About 200,000 shoppers arrive each weekend day, and there is no charge for entry. There are 9,000 shops and stalls. Many of the
merchants are families who work all week to prepare merchandise
for the weekend market. It is an excellent place to find bargains
IF you have bargaining skills.
It is only open on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. Get
there early since it so hot. A map from the police booth will
provide the general layout of goods. The clock tower serves as
a great meeting point. Though pickpockets are around, it is
one of the best SE Asia shopping experiences anywhere.
Nancy Chandler has a great illustrated map of Bangkok, including a visit to Chatuchak. Here are her ten rules for a
successful shopping experience.
1. Sundays are the most crowded, so go on Saturday (which we do).
2. Get there using the Skytrain, Mo Chit station as I mentioned.
3. Get a map, which I also mentioned, they are free and available at any kiosk.
4. Avoid the crowds, by getting there early.
5. Bargain for discounts, it is always done in good faith and the best of humor.
6. Beware when buying CD’s and DVD’s. The are all pirated but quality varies with each vendor.
7. Don’t get lost. Use the clock tower as the meeting point, no matter what.
8. Dangers: pick pocketing and dehydration. Watch that purse or wallet, and drink lots of water.
9. Taking things home: even the knockoffs might get incur a duty like a real one. Ship it home on DHL.
10. Market facilities: ATM machine and adequate toilets, bring your own toilet paper and hand cleaner.
You are now an expert on Chatuchak. We have been there three times. Each time, we get a little bolder with what we buy and eat. The first time was a little overwhelming. The second was comfortable. We went crazy on the third, eating many of the local delicacies, and talking to many vendors and locals.