Bangkok Market Shopping
When in Thailand many people like to visit the markets and go Bangkok shopping. There seems to be something special about exploring street markets decked out with oriental gifts and trinkets and searching for treasures hidden amongst the network of stalls. Stumbling across items that you would never see back home is part of the enticement of visiting Bangkok.
Here are four markets that should be on any Bangkok visitor’s itinerary.
Amphawa Floating Market
There are many famous floating markets located near to Bangkok, but if you want one that is authentic and not overly touristy then head out to the Amphawa Floating Markets.
Located about 90 minutes out of Bangkok on the way to Hua Hin, the local area of Samut Songkram also has many temples and sights to see, that make it worthwhile to stay overnight. Dotted along the banks of the Mae Klong River are small homestay accommodation places that have fabulous views of the river and are quite inexpensive. As well as being lulled to sleep by the sound of the river noises, early risers may even get to see a 2 metre Water Monitor lizard climbing out of the river.
The Amphawa Floating Market is held each Friday, Saturday and Sunday and vendors start setting up at around noon, but a good time to go is between 3:00pm – 4:00pm when the heat of the day is beginning to lessen.
Spend your time wandering along the banks of the klong and look down on the small boats selling different types of cooked seafood. Try the barbequed prawns with spicy dipping sauce, they are just delicious.
As the sun goes down, sit at one of the small bars located right on the banks of the klong. Here you can listen to a Thai band sing traditional songs and just watch the people going about their daily business.
Once darkness comes, take a tour of the nearby klongs on a long-tailed boat and see Thai country life from a different aspect. If you keep your eyes open you will spot the fireflies glowing and dancing up the trees putting on a magical display.
Pratunam Cloth Market
If you like the idea of exploring a clothing market consisting of a maze of narrow alleyways and jostling along with many other people, then you will just love the Pratunam Cloth Market. Wander from stall to stall checking out the different clothing designs and find yourself a bargain. Many of the shops sell wholesale and you will get the best price if you buy more than one item.
This market supplies most of the garments that are sold throughout Bangkok; clothes, shoes, nightwear and even school uniforms can be found in the area between the Baiyoke Tower and Pantip Plaza. Take your family, take your friends and load up. Don’t worry if your suitcase is already full, you can buy another suitcase at this market, they are just so cheap.
Open daily until late in the evening, but starts to liven up after 11:00am.
A trip to Bangkok would not be complete without visiting the largest market in Asia. Chatuchak Market is in every guide book and is without doubt somewhere to put on your to-do list. This is primarily a weekend market, so plan to go either Saturday or Sunday, to experience it at its busiest.
You should have no doubts that this is a hectic market, it is hot, and crowded with people pushing and jostling along the small alleyways. If you wish to avoid the heat and crowds then aim to arrive before 11:00am.
The market is split into zones covering such things as home dcor, antiques and handicrafts, clothes and pets etc. Have a look at the map when you arrive and plan your shopping expedition before you venture into the maze of alleyways.
Spread over 35 acres it easy to get lost, so if you are with others, then arrange to meet at an appointed time under the clock tower, or share your mobile phone numbers before entering.
Chatuchak Market can be reached easily from central Bangkok by using the MRT Chatuchak Park station or by taking the Skytrain to Mo Chit station.
If you are in the Khaosan Road area of Bangkok, then take some time to explore the nearby Banglamphu Markets located on Phra Sumen Road. Here you will find a mix of outdoor street vendors selling all sorts of cooked foods and indoor stalls displaying silver jewellery, bags, ornaments, clothing and leather goods; just the sort of stuff to enhance your personal travel style.
Cheap clothes, cheap food, it is all here, so put your bargaining cap on and make the vendor an offer.