Bangkok’s Best Markets

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Bangkok is an incredible, vibrant city. However, for a true shopping experience, forget air-conditioned shopping centres and visit some of the many markets. There are night-time markets and some are floating – all are fascinating, selling everything you can imagine from clothing, accessories, jewellery and watches to agricultural produce and a stunning array of fresh flowers.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

A great market, where it is possible to find many bargains. With more than 200,000 people shopping there over a typical weekend and set on a 35 acre site, the atmosphere is electric. There are over 28 different sections divided into 15,000 different booths. When visiting with friends, be sure to stay close together and arrange a meeting point should one of you go astray, as the sheer vastness will make it impossible to find each other. You will be able to buy just about anything here – but be prepared to haggle hard and enjoy being a part of the local life.

Wang Lang Market

The market can be found across the Chao Phraya River opposite the Grand Palace and adjacent to Siriraj Hospital. This is where the locals go to eat and the variety of food on offer will astound you. The vendors are cooking delicious takeaway snacks and there are also several cheap sit down restaurants where you can sample the tasty deep fried pork and perhaps for dessert, Khanom Tungtag, a wonderful coconut pancake, made in a waffle-style. You will also be able to haggle for trendy clothes and locally-made, useful gadgets. Take the boat from Wang Lang Pier around midday and enjoy.

Bo Be Clothing Market

This market is quite unique, in that it is where most of the wholesale garments are made and have been for the past 30 years or so. There are more than 1300 shops, all under the one roof, making just about every type of garment for men, women and children. If you want to buy in bulk (which is well worth it), the traders will ship worldwide. Usually this market is not overly busy, so you can take your time to browse and buy wisely. You can try to haggle if you are buying in bulk, but the prices are so good, you may not want to. You will also be able to buy bags and shoes here.

Pratunam Market

This wonderful market is situated in one of Bangkok’s most thriving districts, the shops here are positively buzzing. The market sells mainly clothing and souvenirs, although there is a general mixture of all sorts. This is also a wholesale market and as such, it is well worth buying clothes, etc. in bulk and asking them to ship to your home address. Many foreign business people also buy here for stock to sell on when they get home. The market is open from 9am until 8pm, so plenty of time to enjoy wandering around.

Patpong Night Market

Do not miss this market. It is in Silom, the centre for Bangkok’s wildest and most notorious nightlife and the atmosphere is unbelievable. The most avid of shoppers will thoroughly enjoy the experience, but there are many fake items on offer, so if you follow the rule, you get what you pay for, you will not be disappointed. The area is always bustling and the market and the Go-Go bar’s co-habit happily together. Most of the items are cheap, but if they are not, then haggle hard – you will be surprised how quickly the price comes down!

Bargaining Tips

Many nationalities feel awkward about bargaining for goods as they seem so cheap anyway. However in Bangkok, it is a way of life, as the first price is rarely what the trader ultimately hopes to achieve. Ignore any hard luck stories and look as though you will walk away if they do not agree to your price – this works almost every time. Happy shopping!

What are you waiting for? Grab some Bangkok flights and get haggling in the city’s amazing markets.

About the author:Sharon Thorn is a freelance writer who covers travel, fashion and shopping.

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One Response to Bangkok’s Best Markets

  1. I enjoyed the article, as I did Bangkok, but as in any strange city with a language barrier it is so easy not to find markets, and eating places.

    Two things helped me enormously recently, and that was the ‘Luxe Bangkok Guide’ and also the wonderful Nancy Chandler map which I bought in a hotel bookshop, but I’m sure can be bought at the airport.

    The map will make navigating Bangkok easy as well as a fun thing to look at.
    Check them both out on Google

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