As locals, let us tell you about one of Thailand’s best markets with a Thai idiom: what to buy at Chatuchak Weekend Market (JJ Market) ranges “from toothpicks to battleships”. Well, not literally, but there’s almost everything, even stuff you wouldn’t expect to find.
With over 15,000 stalls, Chatuchak Weekend Market is the world’s largest weekend market and Thailand’s best place to buy souvenirs. From 6am to 6pm, you can spend the whole day getting lost in this shoppers’ wonderland. What’s more, JJ Market is one of the best places for cheap shopping in Bangkok since most vendors let you bargain. However, check the sign first whether they let you do it.
Even if you don’t love shopping, we still suggest you go there! We’ll never be able to list all the pretty and unique things you can find there, so if you are on a tight budget, you can at least have fun window shopping. Plus there are lots of things to eat. When hunting souvenirs at Chatuchak Weekend Market, you don’t have to worry about getting hungry or thirsty at all.
Since JJ Market is one of our go-to weekend hangout spots, we’ve listed our favorite finds and eats down below. For starters, get your Chatuchak Weekend Market map at information booths or the official website. But if you’re looking for a local friend to help you find the items on you wishlist, recommend their favorite places, and even do the bargaining, we’ll be happy to connect you guys.
Chatuchak Shopping Guide: What to Buy at Chatuchak Weekend Market
1. Home decorations
JJ Market is a great place to buy handicrafts from artisans themselves. From traditional Thai to vintage to indie, there’s something for everyone at this weekend market. Some home decorations are factory-made, but they are still pretty. With these at your home, you’ll owl-ways be reminded of your wonderful vacation in Thailand.
2. Buddhist art
This deserves its own category.
Turkey isn’t the only country with Instagram-worthy lamps. Some of the world’s cutest and most colorful lamps are at Chatuchak Weekend Market.
So beautiful that you might not want to stain them, right? Use the Benjarong porcelain ware (lit. five-colored porcelain ware) for an opulent dining experience or decorate your home with them.
Definitely put fruit-shaped and flower-shapped soap on your Chatuchak shopping list. It costs only about $1 each and makes a great souvenir.
6. Clothing items and accessories
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re pleased to tell you that JJ Market caters for a wide range of tastes, including pop culture lovers.
7. Bags, pouches and purses
Probably the most popular items as they are on almost every Chatuchak shopping list. Feel the northern spirit with these hill tribe-style bags.
8. Dolls, keychains and magnets
Also one of the staples of everyone’s Chatuchak shopping list. Take these elephant dolls home to cuddle with.
9. Phone cases
Make your phone fashionable at JJ Market.
Chatuchak Food Guide: What to Eat at Chatuchak Weekend Market
1. Grilled meat and seafood
Chatuchak Weekend Market is a street foodie paradise. Pork balls, chicken balls, beef balls, fish balls, sausages, grilled squids, you name it.
2. Fried quail eggs
Yummy bites cooked in a unique kind of pan.
Bananas, nutella, condensed milk, chocolate and many more… So many toppings to choose.
4. Ice cream
Coconut ice cream is served in coconut shells! There are lots of topping options, too, like corn, sticky rice, red beans, nuts, etc. Now you know how to fight the heat at JJ Market.
5. Soft drink-flavored popsicles
From Fanta to Cola to many more, you can see these popsicles being made before your very own eyes.
6. Fruit smoothie and fruit juice
It just goes to show you really get 100% fruits.
Yeah, mango sticky rice is available at JJ Market. But if you prefer things sour, try sliced green mangos.
It’s authentic Spanish. Chef Fernando puts on a show with those giant pans and he’ll be happy to let you take photos… or even have your photo taken with him!
9. “Mysterious mixes”
So… there are many kinds of soups, curries, pastes, stir-fry, etc. Thai locals eat them with rice. Compared to weirder food like fried insects, the ingredients are actually ordinary, so everyone can try them.
TakeMeTour hopes our Chatuchak shopping guide by locals inspire you to explore JJ Market. Come with not only your camera and wallet, but also an empty stomach!