Ultimate Chatuchak Weekend Market Review 2024 Update

Welcome to our Ultimate Chatuchak Weekend Market Review 2024! As briefly introduced in our earlier Bangkok itinerary blog post, this WORLD-LARGEST weekend market is a must-visit destination you cannot afford to miss.

Chatuchak, also known as Jatujak or JJ, is not just a market. It is an entire stadium-large park  (26.8 Acres) with over 15,000 stalls in 31 sections (updated per 2024). From homewares and local souvenirs to clothing, antiques, and jewelry, it serves over 200,000 visitors each day. At the same time there may be some sessions you may not want to go such as the pet one.

So given this scale and complexity, you will need some tips before visiting.

No matter how fast you walk you would not be able to visit them all within one day.

So our ultimate Chatuchak Weekend Market Review is to equip you with the most concise information.

Chatuchak's Clock Tower at the center of JJ Market
Chatuchak’s Clock Tower at the center of JJ Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market Review – when does it open

As the name suggests, the market is mainly open during the weekend. It starts every Friday from 7 PM to 12:00 AM with the night market. During the Saturday and Sunday, it opens as early as 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM. During the weekdays like Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, only the plants market will be open (9:00 AM on Tuesday; 5:00 AM on Wednesday and Thursday).  Yes, it is usually longer than the official time stated on the official website below.

  • Wednesday and Thursday 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Plant section only)
  • Friday 6:00 PM – 12:00 PM (Wholesale only)
  • Saturday and Sunday 9:00 AM -6:00 PM (Whole Market open)
Opening hour Chatuchak Weekend Market
Opening hour Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market Review – where is the market

The Chatuchak Weekend Market is located in Bangkok, Thailand, in the Chatuchak district. Specifically, it is in the Chatuchak district. The market itself is within Chatuchak Park, making it easily accessible for locals and also tourists like us.

You can reach the market by public transport like bus, MRT, and BTS or Tuk-tuk and taxi. I would recommend you take the MRT or BTS given the horrible traffic on the ground in Bangkok.

Chatuchak Park MRT Station
Chatuchak Park MRT Station

MRT / BTS to Chatuchak Weekend Market

The closest MRT station for the market is Chatuchak Park station. From exit 1, you just need to go right and walk straight for around 5 minutes.

For BTS the closest station is Mo Chit Station, you will just need to walk around 5 minutes from Exit 1 entrance 3 to reach the park.

Given the popularity of the market, you just need to follow the crowd from the station. If you have a BTS day pass, you shall use it on the day of visiting Chatuchak Weekend Market. This is because the Mo Chit station is far from popular stations such as Asok, Chit Lom, and Siam and thus the fee is more expensive.

Chatuchak Weekend Market map

Chatuchak Weekend Market Map
Chatuchak Weekend Market Map

The market map is available on the notice board near entrance 1. Alternatively, there are also brochures with maps and information available at the MRT or the entrance.

Chatuchak Weekend Market Review – what to buy

The most controversial topic would be what to buy in the Chatuchak weekend market. While you and I may have a different preference. I have summarized the different sessions for your reference.

Sections 1 and 29 –  Antique, Accessories, Thai Instrument, Book

Section 2 to 4  –  Teen Clothing & Accessories

Section 5 to 6  –  Used Clothing & Shoes

Section 7  –  Art & Painting

Section 8  –  Carving, Spa, Incense, Handcraft & Artificial Flowers

Section 10, 12, 14, 21 to 24  –  Clothing Accessories, Shoes, Postcards, Souvenirs & Pets

Section 15, 19, 20  –  Tableware, Ceramic, Silver & Home Decoration

Section 16 to 18  –  Clothing, Hiking Equipment, Leather & Dried Food

Section 25  –  Clothing Silk

Section 26  –  Antique, Home Decoration & Photo Frame

Section 27 to 28 –  Handcraft, Book, and Others

Souvenir hunting in JJ Market
Souvenir hunting in JJ Market

For tourists like us hunting for souvenirs, you may want to check out the scents in section 8. If you want small memorable souvenirs, go for the handcraft session. If you are looking for clothes then sections 10, 12, 13, 21 to 24 are a must for you. There are a lot of decent local brands for you to choose.

Clothes at JJ Market section 10
Clothes at JJ Market section 10

I know you may be confused by the numerous sessions above. But don’t worry! Just walk randomly in the market for discovery. Note that the section is for reference only and it would switch given the dynamic business. Just use the above as a guide if you have some specific targets.

Otherwise, just chill out there and you will have some surprises. For me, I found a rare stylish underwear and Hawai shirt brand there at a great price.

Chatuchak Weekend Market Review – where you may not want to go

Despite the fame, the weekend market pet section is controversial or notorious. There you will find vendors selling various live animals from cats, dogs, and rabbits to pythons and even endangered animals. I don’t feel very comfortable walking around this section. And if you have similar concerns, you may want to refrain from going there as well.

Live animals being sold in the animal section
Live animals being sold in the animal section

Chatuchak Weekend Market Review – what to eat

Similar to every market in Bangkok, you will find numerous cuisines in the market. Ranging from Thai cuisines such as Pad Thai, boat noodles, different snacks, skewers, and juices to international cuisines such as duck noodles, fried octopus, and even PAELLA.

From my personal experience, you must try the ice cream from Coco JJ and the Paella from Viva 8. The former has been a local brand of ice cream since 2008 with special flavors such as Thai milk tea and durian. There are also special toppings such as sticky rice, mung beans, and pumpkin available for you to choose from at 60 THB (~ 1.5 USD) only. I strongly recommend you to have Thai milk tea ice cream with sticky rice topping.

The latter is another signature food in the JJ market. Opened by a Spanish chef living in Thailand, Viva 8 is a daytime bar offering live music along with fresh local beer (Singha) and freshly cooked seafood Paella. Due to its popularity with the locals and tourists alike, you will find it quite crowded throughout the day.

Chatuchak Weekend Market Review – Where to take a rest

Despite the comprehensive offer from the market, walking for over 15,000 stalls is a very formidable task. Adding on the hot weather in Bangkok, you will need a place to take a rest in between each section. Plus, you will need to find a toilet after all the ice cream, juice, and beer.

For that, the two shopping complexes located near the weekend market are the must-go options. Mixt Chatuchak shopping center near sections 27 – 29. It is the most convenient one with a decent food court on the 3rd floor. There are also a lot of pop-up shops inside for you to check out. There is also an exchange shop there, in case you are running out of THB but the rate is not as good as the SuperRiches.

JJ Mall on the other hand is a bit far near the pet session. Make sure you take advantage of both malls as a rest and toilet point during your day visit to the weekend market.

Chatuchak Weekend Market Review – Other Tips

With all the information, you shall be ready to go for the wonderful market. Before you go, let me offer you some final tips to enhance your experience.

Get cash(THB) ready

Remember most of the shops in the market accepts cash(THB) only. Yes there are a few exchange shops nearby but they don’t provide the best exchange rate. So remember to get enough THB before you go. Visit our guide for getting the best THB rate here for more information.

Be patient

Remember there are over 15,000 shops there. So whatever you are looking for, it is very likely to be available at more than one shop. In that, the best strategy for you is to resist impulse-buying and check around a bit more. Otherwise, you will be prone to buyer remorse.

Always bargain

Bargaining is very common in Bangkok. It is also applicable in the weekend market. Try to bargain for at least 20% for each item. One tactic is to first compare the displayed price for similar products to set a reference for yourself before committing to a bargain. Another one is to “walk away” if the price is not good enough, usually the owners would then further lower the price.

Be mindful of the weight

All the shopping temptations aside, you need to be mindful of the weight/baggage limit for your flight back to your home country or next destination. The usual carry-on luggage limit is 7 kg and 23 kg for one big drop. If you buy too much, you may need to consider using an international shipping service i.e. DHL at the weekend market. However, you need to be mindful of the associated cost.

Finally, I hope you are going to enjoy your visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market. Please leave me a comment for an inquiry or share your experience!

Regulus K

A budget travel blogger passionate about exploring different destinations worldwide, while balancing a regular 9-to-5 job.

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