THE CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET
In case you happen to stop by Bangkok on a weekend, then the Chatuchak is a stop that’s required from every Bangkok shopper. Hop to the Chatuchak and make sure you start at Gate 2 or 3! The thing about this market is that it’s HUGE, and it’s important to start at the right place so you don’t end up browsing for appliances, toasters and whatnot instead of the good stuff.
When you first enter, make your way through the tiny, roofed areas of section 5 and 6 for interesting, nay awesome vintage finds. When I say vintage, I mean leather bags, vests and cowboy boots, authentic Levis from the 70s, printed collared shirts for the guys and vintage dresses from Japan and Korea for the ladies. I saw a gorgeous white bandleader jacket with the most beautiful details for abou 300 Baht, and it would have been a permanent fixture on my closet had it fit.
These sections actually have a bit of a cowboy theme going on (we saw Thai people dressed as cowboys and playing the banjo), but a little digging will do a lot of good.
But when you’ve had enough of crazy clothes and cowboy boots, it’s safe to wander around the area near the clock tower as a meeting point, and a place to get more conventional (albiet still having the Bangkok touch of crazy) clothing items and pieces.
A word to the wise, though. Shopping in Bangkok isn’t a walk in the park, because the salespeople will make buying anything verydifficult. Unlike the Chinese, who love a good dramatic fake walk-out before letting you have a good price or the Vietnamese that will literally drag you into their store and chat with you until you buy some thing, the Thai salespeople are not one to wait around for you to make your purchase. Take too long to decide on something, and they will kick you out of their shop.
So be fast, be decisive. Get in, and get out, as they always say.
Haggling is also very difficult, as they can be firm on their prices (I’m not kidding, these people are firm.). Trying to pull the usual drama of trying to walk away isn’t going to work on them. They also have the potential to laugh when you buy something that they think is too small or too big on you. They usually have sizes available though, so it never hurts to ask. A little patience will have its rewards, trust me!
Oh, and don’t forget to bring your own bag for your stuff! It’s much easier than hauling around several small plastic bags, and it’s good for the environment!
When the sun sets and you’ve cooled down with your tenth cup of Thai Milk Tea for the day, sit in your hotel room, swimming in your purchases and soaking your feet in warm water. Congratulations, you’ve just survived Bangkok!
444 Phayathai Rd.,Pathumwan, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
The Platinum Shopping Mall
Ratchathewi, จังหวัด กรุงเทพมหานคร, Thailand
Open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Thanon Kamphaeng Phet, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
The Ultimate, One Night Guide to Bangkok