Journal Travel

Chatuchak Market, Bangkok


Covering over 35 acres with more than 15,000 stalls — I’ve just stepped into the biggest market in Thailand.

If you’re in Bangkok when the weekend market is on, visit it. It’s awesome. It’s so big that every time you visit you’ll get lost in another section you didn’t know about before. The scale of this place is huge and I didn’t quite realise it until it came time to leave.

Dropped off by taxi outside a few stalls I’m thinking, this is a nice market, just like most of the others I’ve seen. A few minutes later after walking past those initial roadside stalls I realise it’s bigger than I thought, but still not as big as I eventually found it out to be.

Anything you need to buy, this place has it at a price you can haggle. Leatherwork sections, bag sections, clothing sections, food sections, illegal animal sections, furniture sections, section sections, every section you can think of and we also saw a magician.

It’s the kind of market where you can come to Thailand with nothing but a passport and a bit of Baht and buy everything you need to stay here for as long as you want.

It’s a nice concept.

To the holiday goer with an empty suitcase, I say to you, go crazy. Myself — as a man with a single hand-luggage sized backpack I had to show more restraint, buying only a T-Shirt, small day bag that holds a camera, passport and sunglasses (The North Face, faux style), a smaller sack on a string (for carrying just my camera and some money), a couple of leather bits and some super airy, lightweight shorts.

Walking through this market, I think we circled the same set of stalls a few times. Every direction seemed to take us to the same place. After navigating our way finally out into the main strip we had our first taste of pork on a stick (so. freaking. great) and Mango with Sticky Rice (also great).

Fed and ready to head out we start walking in thee direction we think is right. We start to see a whole bunch of new stalls and a guy selling the cutest puppies out of a box. This wasn’t the way we came in? We continue walking, hoping to reach an edge so we can find our bearings. There are signs that tell you section numbers but as the Internet has destroyed my long term memory, I’d forgotten our starting point.

An hour later and after seeing a man spinning around while pouring a drink from one container held as high as his head into another by his hip we finally found an edge to cling on to. We were saved!

Half an hour later we finally hit the road we came in on and with no taxis willing to charge on the meter we decide to walk a stretch of it.

Getting lost on the highway we give in to a Tuk Tuk driver who takes us home.