on September 14, 2010
If you’re planning on spending a weekend in Bangkok then you'll definitely have to plan on visiting the Chatuchak Weekend Market.The idea of MARKET that i had in my mind was nowhere close to the real dimensions of this place. In my home town one of the biggest markets we have, opens on Saturdays from 9am until 3pm. I would say that its approximately 12 blocks long and 1 sidewalk wide surrounding a park. The Chatuchak Weekend Market covers 27 acres!!!I took the BTS and got off at the Moh Chit Station. As soon as you get out of the roofed part of the station you will clearly be able to visualize a beautiful park and the roof tops of the market. We arrived there at around 9am and the place was already crowded! The heat will bring you down a little but nice, colorful stands offering fresh fruits, juices and drinks are available all around. Restaurants and food stands are easy to find as well.Having been there, I would recommend wearing light and comfortable clothing. It will get hot and sticky after a couple of hours walking around the crowded alleys.Also consider wearing comfortable shoes and taking a backpack for storing what you purchase (wear it to the front to avoid pick pocketing).Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water are highly recommended. Cash is the form of payment you must consider as most vendors do not accept credit cards and ATM's are not close by.Over 15000 stands, offering an endless variety of items, cover the grounds of this market. You cannot imagine the immensity of this place until you are actually there. There is one main walkway that encircles the entire market. I found it the most efficient way to walk around. This open air walkway will give you access to many, many alleys of stands that can become a little claustrophobic once inside. So I chose to only enter the alleys if I found visible items of my interest.Thai handcrafts can be a nice souvenir to take back home.Household accessories, art, antiques, live animals, books, music, clothes, accessories, food, plants and flowers, shoes, bags can be found all over the place.When it comes to clothes, i find that sizes in Bangkok are much smaller than the regular sizes i am used to buying. The heat doesn’t get you in the mood of wanting to try things on and off. I decided on going for a couple of sizes higher than my regular size just to be sure that it wouldn’t be small on me afterwards and it turned out ok.Be ready for the experience! Crowds of people everywhere you look, at lot of pushing and pulling, long hot narrow alleys, a loss in the sense of direction. But most of all, be ready to bargain as bargaining is expected. Be friendly and don’t forget to smile! This will definitely help you in accomplishing good deals.I found that prices were a little cheaper than the MBK shopping center.FYI - Take a good look at what you are buying before you buy it and once the item has been handed over to you.My personal experience was during my search for imitation of fancy handbags.I had a hard time in finding copies of Louis Vouitton, Gucci, Channel and Jimmy Choo handbags but finally did. I bought 2 Louis Vouitton purses for 450 BHT each! To my surprise, when I unpacked my goods at the hotel i realized they were cute but were Louis VNITTON instead of Louis Vuitton! I had a good laugh at it after staring at them for a while.My experience was nothing close to being a comfortable shopping experience but the benefits outweighed any existing disadvantages.
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