Bangkok is a mecca for shopping especially for bargains. Between shopping centers, markets, and malls, the markets of Bangkok offer the best prices, along with the best shopping experience. Strolling through a market here feels like a carnival fair, no matter what the product, time or location. Among the day, night, religious, vintage, floating, flower, and food markets, the following should not be missed, even if without the intention to shop.
1) Chatuchak Weekend Market
One of the world’s largest and famous markets with over 8,000 stalls, Chatuchak Market unites all merchandise imaginable from antiques to plants at bargain prices. For a first or second or third time visitor, the market may feel extremely overwhelming. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9am to 6pm, and Fridays, from 6pm to 12am. For easy transport, you can take the BTS to Mo Chit Station or the MRT to Chatuchak Park Station. Plan to spend a full day browsing and shopping considering its grand size.
2) Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Probably one of the most touristy markets, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is out of the norm for many travelers. Small canoe like boats squeeze through tight canals offering fruits, vegetables, drinks, and meals. There are several other floating markets for those who despise crowds as Damnoen Saduak is recommended for its chaoticness. Be prepared to wake up early for this trip as it is open from 7am to 11am. To reach the market, you can take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal to Samut Sangkhram Ratchaburi province. Most tourists go with a tour for convenience.
3) Pak Klong Market
Another interesting market selling only wholesale and retail fresh flowers is Pak Klong open 24 hours. Local and imported exotic flowers are all sold here, mainly in bulk. It’s best to visit around 3am when colors fill the streets as truckloads are purchased. The best method of transport would be a taxi or tuk-tuk.
4) Patpong Night Market
Open nightly from 6pm to 2am, Patpong Night Market grew its fame erotically with many go-go bars in the area. Surrounding a strong nightlife, the market makes a good pre-party stop. All sorts of merchandise can be found here, especially knock off goods and DVD’s. Located in the built up area of Silom, you can reach Patpong by BTS to Sala Daeng station.
5) Amulet Market
Another specialty market, but this one focuses on religion with an array religious amulets and charms, all bringing luck in some sort. Ranging from pendant to medallion sizes, these amulets are none alike, from rare objects or relics to images of monks or Buddhas engraved in wood, bronze, or clay. Vendors spread their amulets on blankets along the broken sidewalk or in shops along the river in dark alleys. The market is an easy walk from the Grand Palace and is open daily until 5pm.
6) Or Tor Kor Market
Not much different than an open-air supermarket, Or Tor Kor Market offers cheap prices on food while still being considered upscale. It is one of the most organized markets in Bangkok. Known for its variety and freshness of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and flowers are also sold. Open everyday from 6am to 8pm, you can easily get there via the MRT to Kamphaeng Phet station.
7) Rod Fai Market
For vintage lovers, Rod Fai Market is as exciting as a toy store for kids. Separated into two parts, the atmosphere is laid-back, but kept funky. One section occupies a large space where items are displayed on the ground or on interesting props like crates and retro cars. The other section lies beside an abandoned railroad track. Anything from the past can be found, from furniture to fashion to memorabilia. Rod Fai makes a great place to chill on a Saturday or Sunday night from 5pm to midnight. The best way to reach the market is by MRT to Kamphaengphet station and be prepared to ask for directions as it is hidden behind Chatuchak Weekend Market.
8) Pratunam Market
Clothing wholesalers would be pleased to know there are several market options for them and Pratunam is the best. Another wholesale market open 24 hours, very cheap bulk prices are offered when purchasing 3 or more pieces of an item. It is a maze of clothing, shoes, and accessories. Retail shops are also available from 10am to 9pm. The market can be found at the intersection of Ratchaprop and Petchburi roads.
9) Khlong Toey Market
Undeniably the best food market in Bangkok, Khlong Toey is where most of your Bangkok meals will come from. It offers the best prices on raw meat, fish, and farm produce. Be prepared to see some grossness, especially when it comes to the meat. The market is open daily from 6am to 2pm. It’s hidden location can be found a 10 minute walk from MRT’s Klong Toey station.
10) Ratchadapisek Night Market
Well off the beaten path and better known as Ratchada Night Market or Vespa, this market is scarce of tourism. The crowd at the Vespa Market is quite intriguing as it is filled with hipsters and punks being a melting pot of youth subculture. What attracts most to this market is the collection of vintage vehicles including Vespas, Lambrettas, Volkswagens and Austin Minis. Not all displayed are for sale, but their beauty is classic enough to just look at. From 5pm to midnight Friday and Saturday night, it can be reached easily by taking the MRT to Ratchadapisek station.