Bangkok is more than a concrete jungle. This beautiful sprawling city is the epicenter of spirituality with over 40 Buddhist Temples. The City of Angels also offers some of the best shopping in the world. Making it a shopping mecca for Label Lovers and Budget Fashionistas alike. I was able to visit three of the best markets in Bangkok; Chatuchak, JJ, and the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Keep reading for my tips and tricks for each.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
The first lesson I learned is only tourists go to Chatuchak during the day. The number one reason, the heat is obnoxious! This maze of a market is divided into 27 sections and has over 8,000 vendor stalls.
The Shopping: From produce and plants to clothing and home goods, there is almost nothing you can’t find here. As the world’s biggest weekend market it’s definitely a must-see if you’re visiting Bangkok, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Your senses will go into overdrive not only from the sights and smells, the crowds are overwhelming. The alleyways are narrow and filled with street food merchants and a unique mixture merchandise (don’t try to take any photos of it). Most things are pretty reasonably priced, but don’t be afraid to use your haggling skills. Asia is not known for its body positivity and most of the apparel would tear under the stress of stretching to fit my curves. However, I did find some great (men’s) tees, accessories and shot glasses for my collection.
Colorful Curtain of Buttons
The Food: I ate Pad Thai daily and luckily it was very easy to find. I’m fully aware of the Thai street food horror stories. So my decision-making process on where to eat was fairly simple. Eat where the Locals eat. There was very few food stands with sitting areas, but after walking the market for a few hours, the first thing I wanted to do was take a seat and eat! I found a great little place right next to a Coconut stand and the rest is history.
My daily meal plan: Pad Thai and a Coconut
JJ Night Market
After getting lost in a taxi, I quickly learned that Chatuchak is a district, not just the name of the market. The JJ Night Market is in the Chatuchak district in the same area as the Chatuchak Market. However, this hipster haven has more of an antique/garage sale vibe.
The Shopping: While the assortment was most gently worn goods, there were stalls offering newer items and SO many sticker booths! I had to take a quick pic and keep it movin’ otherwise the scrapbooker in me would’ve bought up the whole lot!
The Food: Unlike Chatuchak, there were more than a few nicer dining options. I splurged a bit and treated myself to a Korean BBQ style dinner. I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I needed the staff to help me after I made the mistake of ordering the shrimp. While it was delicious, the head was still attached, and I had no idea how to decapitate it with chopsticks.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
The Floating Market was the number one market on my list. This historical landmark is much more than I can even explain (get a full breakdown here). I felt like I time traveled. Floating through history on a paddle boat filled with tourists.
The Shopping: A Ph.D. in haggling is required when shopping at Damnoen. If you’re on a boat artisans will approach and try to sell you things you saw for half the price at Chatuchak. Your boat paddler may also have some deals with certain vendors, so they will stop at specific stalls and “encourage” you to buy. There are options to shop by land and by boat. So if you’re uncomfortable floating on a small boat, never fear! You can find most of the same stuff within walking distance.
The Food: Now that right there, is the most delicious piece of meat on a stick that I’ve ever eaten. For some reason, the pork in Thailand is super yummy in my tummy. More so than any piece of pig I’ve had in the states. I would also recommend trying the Coconut Ice Cream, it’s as good as it looks! I was able to find a small sitting area but was approached by many street vendors selling different lotions and potions.
Where I Stayed
Thanks to Tim and his wonderful family for hosting me at V 38. Bangkok’s newest family run high-rise located in the center of the Chatuchak district offers both long and short term stays. Modern meets contemporary the rooms were a mix of clean and classic decor and the edginess of exposed brick and concrete.
One truly unique aspect is the Fitness Center. V 38 offers cycling classes, kickboxing, yoga and so much more. I loved walking around and seeing the motivational quotes throughout. My favorites were; “Don’t Stop until You’re Proud” and “My Aim is Accurate because I trained it. My Mind is Sharp because I have honed it. My Body is Strong because I have pushed it. I have Earned my Skills with Sweat and Blood. I am not an Athlete I am a weapon”.
Clean and Classic meets Metal and Wood.
A Quick Video Tour of my Room.
And you already KNOW you’re girl had to look for the best location for a photo opp. It was the roof! The shot below doesn’t even begin to capture how beautiful this sunset was.
Have you visited any of Bangkok’s Weekend or Night Markets? What did you think? Which was your favorite?