Our last weekend in Thailand was in Bangkok, which was lucky because we were able to visit the Chatachuk Weekend Market. I had done some research before our trip about places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do, especially in Bangkok and this was number 1 on my list. I refrained from shopping for most of our trip until we got to Bangkok because I knew this would be the place to get the most unique and fashionable pieces, and I was right! I planned our three days in Bangkok around this market, making sure we gave ourselves enough time to explore it as much as possible. Saying that though we didn't even begin to see everything in the market and we were there for over three hours!
Chatachuk Weekend Market is made up of over 15,000 stalls and over 200,000 people visit it weekly. The market is made up of 26 sections which make visiting it a little bit easier. The sections range from food stalls, art and antiques, fashion and housewares and so much more. It is located just outside the skytrain station so it is easy to get to but make sure you plan your day a bit before you go. The market stalls are both covered and open. You will go through alleyways of stalls inside before you come out to the open roads that divide the market up. This is both good and bad. It can get very hot, sweaty and stuffy inside the covered stalls so when you get outside it's nice to have some more room to move around. However, make sure you are wearing sunscreen because it can get very hot. Also make sure you bring water or at least keep hydrated by buying water at the stalls. I can't emphasize this enough. When we visited in January it was 34 degrees celsius with the humidity making it feel like 38/40. Needless to say it was a sweaty day.
As you can probably tell I am a bit of a planner. When I knew I would be spending half a day in the market I decided I would map out where I wanted to go and not go to make the most of my time. Again you probably realize how much I love clothes so that was my main goal, the fashion section and then of course the food section, because you need to eat and the food in Thailand is so great! So when we arrived, Dave and I split up from my parents and we made a meeting spot for a two hours later. It's hard to shop with a lot of people in a market like this so it was better to split up I thought. We saw so many amazing small artisan and designer spots in the fashion section I was in awe. I picked up two dresses and a t-shirt, that I will post soon on the blog! However, I wish I had picked up even more! Everything was so cheap and unique that you could never find something like that here. Dave did quite well too, picking up some great tees and shorts. We also walked through some of the houseware section which had beautiful home supplies, however, we thought it would be too hard to get them home.
Then came the second best part of the market, the food! My sister had told me I had to have the coconut ice cream while I was at the market and we came upon numerous stalls selling it. We found one with a short line so decided on that one. The coconut ice cream is served in half a coconut and then you can add whatever topping you like to it. There was chia seeds, peanuts, sweet beans, sticky rice and jellies. I decided I had to try them all since they were all included and I had delicious bites of everything! It was delicious and I'm so glad I tried it. After we finished the ice cream we scraped the bottom of the coconut and ate that too.
Overall the Chatachuk Weekend Market was probably my favourite part of Bangkok. It was like nowhere I had ever been to and a truly amazing experience. In saying that, it isn't for everyone. I think my mum enjoyed it but my dad did not as it was so hot and quite overwhelming with people. Come prepared, with water and sunscreen. Also I would suggest carrying a backpack so that you can put all your shopping in it instead of taking a plastic bag at each stall. I wore my backpack on my front the whole time though since there are pick pockets around and you have to be careful. Don't be afraid to barter too, however, if the prices are on the pieces they are most likely fixed. I can't recommend visiting it enough, one of the highlights of my trip for sure!