By: Alissa Evangelista
Take a break from your temple run, and drop by these markets for a complete Bangkok experience.
Look up what to do in Bangkok, and shopping and food tasting come next to visiting its majestic temples. Since it is such a cheap destination, you’ll have a lot of extra money to spend on your food and retail cravings once you visit this city.
Here are our high five market recommendations where you can give in to retail therapy and food binging in Bangkok.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
If you happen to be in the city on a weekend, it feels wrong not to drop by the world’s largest weekend market. True to its name, Chatuchak Weekend Market is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, with only a few selections open on Fridays. It is possible to dedicate the entire day here sampling street food and bargaining for touristy souvenirs. Some stalls also feature curated pre-loved clothing priced around 150 baht. It is no surprise that you can find almost everything in this 14-hectare market.
Beware though, it can get hot, especially during summer in Bangkok. Quench your thirst by buying soda slushies or freshly-squeezed fruit juices in one of the many food stalls available there.
How to get there: MRT Kamphaeng Phet Station or BTS Mo Chit Station
Got limited time to immerse in Bangkok’s market culture? Jodd Fairs is a newly opened market during the pandemic, which combines your shopping and food cravings. Situated conveniently near the MRT, this night market is home to a lot of food stalls with varying local and international food concepts. One of the famous ones is the “Leng Saap” known as “Volcano ribs”, which is actually made out of pork spine.
Once you have satisfied your palate, head over to their retail sections where you can purchase clothes, phone cases, and more. Fun activities to let time pass such as painting and nail services are also here. Come on a weekday to avoid crowds. Otherwise, get fascinated as to how many people can fill in this place during weekends.
How to get there: MRT Phra Ram 9 Station
The Pratunam district is home to a lot of retail shopping. Many affordable malls are situated in the area such as Platinum Fashion Mall, Krungthong Plaza, and Indra Square, but for hardcore shoppers, Pratunam Market is not to be missed. Known for its wholesale shopping, Pratunam Market is perfect for those who plan to buy in bulk. If you are coming with friends, it’s best to visit this market and avail of wholesale prices by buying a minimum of 3 pieces. Sport your matchy tops as you take selfies in Bangkok’s tourist attractions.
Pratunam hosts a lot of affordable hotels, so shoppers might consider staying here. If walking does not bother you so much, the nearest train station is around a 15-minute walk from the main shopping areas.
How to get there: BTS Chit Lom Station
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market
When Bangkok is thought of, floating markets may easily come to mind. However, the actual floating markets are a bit outside of the city. Located southwest of Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is one of the most famous floating markets in Thailand. Experience eating and haggling while you tour the markets on a boat. However, food and souvenirs here are quite pricey, so consider yourself warned!
A trip to the floating market can be combined with visiting the Maeklong Railway Market, dubbed the “Most Dangerous Market”. There is an actual train that passes by at certain times of the day, which is the highlight of visiting this market. You can see how each stall packs up to make way for the train. Produce and seafood are priced quite fairly here, but cafes here are a bit on the touristy end.
While the other markets on the list are best visited on your own, these two markets are better visited on an arranged tour. This ensures that you catch all attractions such as the train passing through, and you do not get lost in the long commute.
How to get there: Arranged tours via Klook
Got no time to visit a floating market? SOOKSIAM boasts its artificial floating market and a state-of-the-art interior featuring landmarks from Northern Thailand to the Southern Islands. While you won’t be able to actually ride a boat here, you would have more food options from vendors in food stalls and boats. Small souvenir shops are also dotted around the area for a more unique selection.
Located on the ground floor of the lavish ICONSIAM, SOOKSIAM presents affordable options in contrast to the designer and Michelin-starred counterparts on the higher floors. Head over here after sulking in the grandiose ICONSIAM mall and beautiful riverside views.
How to get there: ICONSIAM Shuttle Boat via BTS Saphan Taksin or BTS Charoennakorn Station (Sky Train Gold Line)
Which market are you heading to next?