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Chatuchak weekend market

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Every Saturday and Sunday, more than 200,000 shoppers peruse some 5,000 stalls spread over 35 acres at Chatuchak Market (pronounced “ja-too-jak”, or JJ for short), which is reportedly the largest outdoor market in the world. One of Bangkok’s top tourist attractions and a must for shopping enthusiasts, it’s also hot, crowded and confusing. Go early, and pack your patience.

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This is not a made-for-tourists destination, with hordes of locals making the pilgrimage to JJ as well. Though the gargantuan pavilions are partially open to the air, the tight maze of roofed lanes can feel like an underground labyrinth. No matter the season, JJ always seems to be 10 times hotter and 10 times more crowded than the rest of Bangkok. It can feel like you’re trapped in a maze of leather shoes and ceramic bowls, yet perpetually distracted by more things to buy. (And just when you think you've found a whole new area, you realise you're back at the stall where you started. It's bewildering!)

Pre-loved shirts for the very affordable taking. Photo taken in or around Chatuchak weekend market, Bangkok, Thailand by Samantha Brown.

Pre-loved shirts for the very affordable taking. Photo: Samantha Brown

From wholesale bamboo mats to one-of-a-kind works of art, JJ is absolutely stuffed with stuff to buy. Both men and women come for the unparalleled selection of cheap clothes, used and new, including conservative lace tops for Thai grandmas, straightforward dress shirts for office workers, and vintage shoes, handbags and jeans for the hip young things.

Though some designers have moved to the air-con confines of Siam Square and Terminal 21, JJ remains a cornerstone of Bangkok’s fashion scene. Far from the pretentious boutiques of New York and Paris, many of JJ’s stalls are staffed by the designers themselves, and items rarely cost over 500 baht. You’ll find graphic tees, funky jewellery and floral jumpsuits among wears meant for the street rather than ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,100 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
Chatuchak Market is located next to Chatuchak Park (one of Bangkok's largest green spaces) in north Bangkok and can be accessed from either Mo Chit BTS station, Kamphaeng Phet MRT station or Chatuchak MRT station.

Chatuchak weekend market
09:00 to 18:00 on Saturdays and Sundays (only some vendors open on weekdays)
Admission: Free

Location map for Chatuchak weekend market

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