Bangkok Day 3 (8 Nov 14) – Chatuchuk: The Weekend Market Shopping

This is the day I finally get to visit Chatuchak Market. The plan to include a visit to this market was hatched as this is the first time one of my friends visited Bangkok. As for me, despite having been to Bangkok for around 10 times, all along I have never been to Chatuchak Market. The outdoor market, spanning 27 acres, is only opened on weekends. As such, weekend visits to the Chatuchak Market becomes one of the past time of visitors and locals alike. To get to the Market, we took the MRT to Kamphaeng Phet station. The naming of the MRT station can be confusing for first-time visitors to Chatuchak Market. There is another station by the name of Chatuchak Park which is one station before Kamphaeng Phet station and that is not the station to alight for Chatuchak Market. Once at Kamphaeng Phet market, there is no lack of signs to point visitors to the weekend market. The station exit, where we came out from, is right smack next to the entrance of Chatuchak Market.

Having Breakfast at the hotel before we head for Chatuchak Market
Taking the MRT to Chatuchak Market
Discussing what to shop at Chatuchak Market
Taking the MRT to Chatuchak Market
The MRT station that is right smack at Chatuchak Market

When we emerged from the station, my friends, like kids in a candy store, were immediately excited by the numerous shopping to quench their thirst for shopping. There are approximately 15000 booths selling goods from all over Thailand at a near cost price. Despite that, one should never give up on bargaining when shopping, especially here in Chatuchak. We walked along the main streets, stopping by at the booth that sells what we wanted throughout our stay here. One tip when shopping at Chatuchak market – one would rarely need to compare prices around as the price quoted by the vendors are usually around the same. When one sees the stuff that one likes, one can approach the vendor to reach a price that is win-win for both the buyer and the seller. There is indeed something for everyone here in Chatuchak market. The market offers things from clothing to pots and pans to massages services to footwear to essential oils. There are even banks in the market that offers forex services for foreigners who did not bring sufficient cash with them while shopping here. There is also a section where one can find pet food and pet clothing. As I speak Thai, my friends relied on me to bargain for them. One can be expected to spend at least one full day here at Chatuchak Market mainly shopping. Shopping in Chatuchak Market will also mean shoppers will never go hungry as there are stalls popped up all over the market selling food. Shoppers also shouldn’t miss out on some of the booths in the sheltered area of the market. Despite the price variation is minimal amongst the shops here, these shops in more isolated areas of the market are where one will be able to drive the price lower by bargaining. There is this shop in one of the isolated area, where my friend wanted to buy a couple of shorts for her casual wear. We drove such a hard bargain that the shopkeeper was able to match our price. At the end of the bargaining session, the shopkeeper naughtily joked that we made his life difficult. He even hugged us before we left his premises. Smokers beware!! There has been a smoking ban in the market in place since 2008, which carries a 2000 baht fine if caught.

Along the streets of Chatuchak Market
One of the sections in Chatuchak Market
Chatuchak Market
The crowd is starting to gather at Chatuchak Market
Taking wefie in Chatuchak Market
Taking a photo with one of the mascots in the market 
Taking a photo with one of the mascots in the market
Wefie in Chatuchuk Market
My friend spotting a pair of shades in Chatuchak Market
My friend with her new shades in Chatuchak Market
Street food in Chatuchak Market
More street food in Chatuchak Market
Time for a drink
Counting change for a drink in Chatuchak Market
Street food in Chatuchak Market
Thai style fried carrot cake in Chatuchak Market
Shopping in Chatuchak Market
Chatuchak Market
Chatuchak Market
Shopping in Chatuchak Market
Taking wefie in Chatuchak Market
My friends wandering where to go in Chatuchak Market
Shopping for shorts in Chatuchak Market

After spending the whole day at the market (we stayed till most of the shops are closing), my friends still couldn’t get their shopping bugs fixed. We headed towards MahBoonKrong centre (or affectionately known as MBK for locals and visitors alike) to get some souvenirs and more shopping!! There is a shop in MBK, that is known by most Singaporeans, where one can get relatively cheaper local snacks at Level 4. MBK is a place that I would not visit these days (if not for the local snacks that I wanted to bring home for my friends and colleagues). Generally, the goods are a little pricer than what one can find compared to Chatuchak market or Patpong night market. Nonetheless, MBK remains a “must go” mall for visitors as it offers one-stop shopping. The crowd at MBK did not seem to thin throughout the years. MBK seemed not to have reduced its popularity even when the new malls sprung up in downtown Bangkok. We had our dinner at Sumo restaurant, that serves Thai and Japanese food. The food is a letdown and is rather pricey as compared to other restaurants with the quality of the food. The food is rather blended and lacks the spiciness and sourness which made Thai food famously (despite us ordering Thai food). After dinner, we walked around Siam Square a little, which is right opposite MBK centre. One of my friends saw a nail art salon and went to get her nails painted. While the rest of us roamed around Siam Square, stopping by for an A&W root beer float. Originally we had a massage appointment at 10 pm, however by the time my friend got her nails done, it was already past 11 pm. As this is our last night here, my friends wanted to get a good Thai massage before heading back. The only place that has Thai massage near midnight would be Patpong. The massages parlours in Patpong usually closes at around midnight to 1 am. Hence should one still wants to enjoy Thai massage late at night, one can try one’s luck at Patpong area. After the massage, we headed back to the hotel to pack and rest for the night, getting ready to depart Bangkok the next day.

Dinner at Sumo restaurant in MBK Centre 
Tom Yam Chicken soup
Thai Fish cakes
Pandan Chicken
Phad Thai
Pineapple fried rice
Root beer and Root beer float!!

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