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5 Markets In Bangkok Where You Can Splurge And Spend Your Christmas Bonus

5 Markets In Bangkok Where You Can Splurge And Spend Your Christmas Bonus

Markets reign supreme in Thailand, and they are a superb way to observe the local way of life up close. The city consistently promotes them as major tourist attractions and as essential parts of the experience of visiting. Thus, visitors are typically unable to resist their draw.

This Christmas, get the most bang for your buck by booking a Bangkok tour package and shopping at our favorite Bangkok markets! Here’s a list of 5 of them.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

For a market that’s only open during the weekends, the stats for the Chatuchak Weekend Market are nothing short of staggering. Over 15,000 stalls presided over by 11,505 vendors share 35 acres of space south of the Chatuchak Park. The market is divided into 27 distinct sections, where an estimated 200,000 visitors pour into the area when it opens for business at 9 AM every Saturday.

However, going to the JJ Market, as it’s fondly referred to by locals, isn’t just a market anymore; it’s an experience in and of itself, and no trip to Bangkok is complete without walking through its meandering passageways.

If you’ve ever had a hankering to buy something, anything, chances are high you can find it here. The question isn’t really “what do they sell?” but “what don’t they sell.” Here, streetwear, clothing and accessories share the same space as fabrics and textiles, but wander deep enough and you’re liable to find old LP records, antique handicrafts, decorative plants, and even live animals. It can get punishingly hot and humid in there during the day, though, so visit on a Friday evening instead to partake of the atmosphere — and some good Thai eating and drinking in a cooler environment.

Pratunam Market

Most people go to Chatuchak for the sheer spectacle of it. The truly savvy bargain-hunters, however, know that the best deals are in the Pratunam district of Bangkok, specifically Pratunam Market. The covered market is a veritable maze of narrow alleys and walkways filled with stalls selling clothing, costumes, textiles, and accessories at rock-bottom wholesale prices. Here, you can find quality unbranded goods, convincing streetwear knock-offs, formal evening dresses, and traditional costumes all in a single stop.

Pratunam Market can be a little overwhelming to navigate, however, and it can get hot and humid inside when the sun is high. Thankfully, Platinum Fashion Mall is nearby for people who need to take a breather or just want to bask in the glory of air-conditioning. The rest of the area is worth exploring, too. You can head over to City Complex to see what’s trendy and chic among younger females and students, or to Indra Square for quality silks and other fabrics, as well as fashion pieces for men and children.

Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market

Talad Rot Fai is all about everything retro and artsy. Here, you’ll find vintage goods and antiques being sold side-by-side with pieces from local artists, as well as clothing and apparel from independent designers. If you’re into a kitschy aesthetic or are into bringing back one-of-a-kind souvenirs for your friends and family back home, you should definitely check out this colorful market.

You might be surprised to find that the prices here are even lower than what you’d typically find in Chatuchak! Ratchada Rot Fai Train Market is also just a great place to hang out while sampling the available street food all around. Fresh seafood and boat noodles are the go-to dishes if you can find a table to park your rear in. Portable options, on the other hand, include meat skewers, roti, and takoyaki — all great for people on the move. Most locals enjoy washing all of these down with beer, which can be had by the bucket here, or with strong cocktails from any of the fine establishments around the area.

Amphawa Floating Market

For many visitors, no trip to Thailand is complete without seeing a floating market. There are plenty in Bangkok, but the most popular ones are Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa. We recommend Amphawa for its more authentic atmosphere. It still mostly caters to a local clientele, though food stalls have begun to dot both sides of the canal as the area begins to attract more foreigner attention.

Most people come here to fill their stomachs. There’s nothing quite like the novel experience of receiving a serving of boat noodles from a vendor as you pass by, or sitting on narrow steps facing the water and having plates of grilled seafood ferried to you from the boats.

Most of the wares being sold in the market are food products. There’s all the classic Thai food, of course, but you can also buy fruits and vegetables here, as well as an assortment of Thai snacks and sweets. Those who prefer to stay on dry land can instead explore the area using a rented bicycle. You can also rent a boat for a firefly viewing cruise on select evenings.

ThaiCraft Fair

The ThaiCraft Fair isn’t technically a market that permanently occupies its own real estate; rather, it’s a monthly event held at the L floor of the Jasmine City building on Sukhumvit Road. The fair aims to bring traditional Thai products and handicrafts from regional artisans closer to the masses by giving them space to directly sell their wares at a centralized and accessible location.

At the ThaiCraft Fair, you can pick up — among many other things — silver jewelry made by the Karen people, a tribal minority that lives near the border between Thailand and Myanmar, as well handwoven baskets from Narathiwat, a fishing village in southern Thailand. With a focus on fair trade principles and practices, the ThaiCraft Fair is for people who value ethical consumption and would like to help keep Thailand’s craft traditions thriving.

Bangkok’s public transport system is by far the most efficient way of getting around the fair city and visiting its famed markets. The BTS Skytrain covers most of the downtown area, while the MRT allows you to get to most of the locations we have on this list. However, the Amphawa Floating Market is about an hour and a half’s worth of travel, and you can get there by hopping on a minivan from the Southern Terminal in Bangkok. Keep in mind that market vendors exclusively deal in cash, so it’s a good idea to have enough on hand to cover your purchases. Happy shopping!

The Blue Ink

Dhadha Garcia is a lifestyle blogger from Bacolod, PH. She is a mompreneur, a full-time blogger, and a content creator. She started blogging in 2007 and became one of the pioneers of the Negrense Blogging Society, Inc. (NBSI) in 2009, where she has received several awards and nominations for her blogs. She also writes at www.twenteenmom.com and www.classysweets.com.

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