Shopping enthusiasts the world over are cleaning out their carrier bags in anticipation of taking on the best markets in Bangkok.
Markets are a big part of Thai culture, especially in Bangkok. Local shopkeepers pride themselves on the goods that they have available on their market stand, and certainly can’t wait for you to come browse their wares (and maybe have a friendly haggle with them).
Within these markets, you will find everything from the latest DVD of films that haven’t even hit the cinema yet, to Slush Puppy t-shirts, to intricate and incredibly detailed Thai artefacts. It’s a bargain hunter’s playground. So if you’re looking for cheap shopping places in Bangkok, you’ve pulled up to the right place.
No scary price tags here…
We’ve got a little squadron of shoppers that have been trolleying their way around the Thai capital in search of the best Bangkok night markets, shopping experiences, and of course, the cheapest market in Bangkok. We can’t have you spending your beer money unnecessarily.
Best Markets In Bangkok: Essential Info On How To Shop Till You Drop
Right, so you’ve cleared your piggy bank and have got in your head what exactly it is you’re looking for (be it a little ceramic elephant for the grandparents, a live chicken to set free into the wild, or some mouthwateringly good street food).
All of the items above are available across the best markets in Bangkok, and we are going to take you right to the where the action is.
Image courtesy of thaisabai
How we’re going to split this up is into the biggest and best daytime markets, the naughtiest night markets, and finally the most buoyant floating markets in Bangkok. All here in one tidily packaged-up shopaholic’s notebook.
To be fair…
Even if you’re not a big shopper or on the hunt for the perfect souvenir, these are incredibly striking places to visit as they are certainly one of the hubs of Thai civilisation and it’s a great way to embed yourself into the local hustle and bustle.
Right then, let’s go shopping…
Biggest Market: Chatuchak Market Bangkok
Chatuchak Market Bangkok, Thailand – VIEW MAP
Chatuchak Market is as vibrant as it is vast. It stakes a claim for being one of the largest markets in the world and is a must when it comes to choosing from the best markets in Bangkok to visit.
To put this in perspective for you, Chatuchak Market is made up of a magnitude of 15,000 booths. With this number of vendors taking to the street, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll be able to find anything under the sun here for sale.
Gear yourself up for some ‘state of the art’ Rolex watches, hats which proudly emblazoned with ‘WORK BITCH’, and even cute little puppies.
As one of the best markets in Bangkok, it’s of course reasonably well organized. The sprawling set-up is logically divided into 27 sections. One of the most controversially popular sections of Chatuchak Market is the animal section, which is home to all species and breeds.
Our personal favourite section of the market is the art section. This part of Chatuchak Market is filled with expressions and impressions from many local artists and is a real wonder to behold.
Best Markets In Bangkok: Chatuchak Market Bangkok, Thailand
Now, A WORD OF WARNING…
The market is only open on weekends. We repeat, THIS MARKET IS ONLY OPEN ON WEEKENDS. If you turn on on a Tuesday afternoon, you’ll be welcomed by little more than corrugated iron shutters and tumble-weed.
Turning up to the biggest market in Bangkok on a weekend is an eye-popping experience. Over 200,000 visitors tend to flock to Chatuchak every Saturday and every Sunday. That’s the daily capacity of Glastonbury…
Wear some lightweight clothing and comfortable footwear, you’ve got one hell of a humid retail walkway to explore.
Chatuchak Market opening times: Saturdays & Sundays, 6 am – 6 pm
Best Floating Markets In Bangkok
Unless you’re Kevin and Perry swimming the shallow oceans with a brown turd next to you, you’ll love a little floater; and Bangkok’s here to cater for your floating needs. The Thai capital has a series of waterways which can be as mesmerizing as those of Venice.
We deem there to be 2 key floating markets in Bangkok that are worth visiting, and visit them you really should.
Best Markets In Bangkok: Damnoen Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak Market image courtesy of The Lost Passport’s Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Guide
Let us first say when it comes to best markets in Bangkok, we’ll have to use the word ‘Bangkok’ loosely. Damnoen Floating Market lies about 100km southwest of Bangkok.
Given this, it, of course, finds itself sitting pride of place in our piece on ‘6 Great Day-Trips From Bangkok‘.
Don’t let the distance put you off though, this market is by our standards, the most magical of the bunch. Hundreds of vendors take to the waterway packing all sorts of colours, flavours, and treasures.
Imagine a psychedelic boat grid-lock on your local canal, except extremely cheap and even better.
The best bit…
You can hop in a boat of your own and float down the shopping aisle. It truly is and hopefully always will be a glimpse through the looking glass into a uniquely traditional way of buying and selling locally sourced goods.
Damnoen Floating Market opening times: Daily, 7 am – 11 am
Best Markets In Bangkok: Aphawa Floating Market
Amphawa Floating Market image courtesy of The Lost Passport’s Amphawa Floating Market Guide
Now luckily, for those of you who are legally bound to remaining inside the 51km radius that surrounds Bangkok, this is the floating market for you!
Amphawa Floating Market is perfectly situated just under 50km from the centre of the Thai capital and is hosted on the calm waters of the Mae Khlong River.
Now with Amphawa Floating Market comes some good news and some bad news. Which do you want first?
As the lion’s share of people tends to opt for the bad news first in these occasions, we’re going to throw a rebellious cat among the status quo pigeons…
So, the good news about Amphawa Floating Market – it’s a much more intimate experience than other markets in Bangkok. The selfie stick-wielding tourists are replaced with a much calmer and more local vibe, which is why it has made it into the best markets in Bangkok hotlist.
Why is Amphawa Floating Market less of a tourist trap…?
Here comes the bad news – the floating element doesn’t entirely apply at Amphawa Floating Market. Yes, there are canals, and yes, there are boats. However, the boats are for the locals and the bridges and pathways are for the shoppers.
This is actually the case with most ‘floating’ markets in Bangkok; with the exception of Damnoen Floating Market of course.
Nonetheless, it is a much more intimate market experience and definitely is close to the top of the pile for cheap places to shop in Bangkok.
About time the walkman came back into fashion.
Amphawa Floating Market opening times: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, 12 pm – 8 pm
Best Bangkok Night Markets
Into the witching hour we go, a dark time for some daringly dark deals. The night market scene has erupted over the last few years after the roaring success of the daytime Chatuchak Market.
With loads of vendors trying the capitalize on the late hours of the day, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to night markets. However, we’ve broken it down to two, a David and a Goliath that stand side by side in the list of best night markets in Bangkok.
Best Markets In Bangkok: Train Night Market Ratchada
CRACKING video courtesy of thaisabai.
Train Night Market Ratchada, or Talad Rod Fad as it’s known by the locals, will get very little opposition when it comes to its feature in the best markets in Bangkok. It is, in our humble opinion, the most vibrant night market and the most beautiful shopping experience in the Thai capital.
This is certainly an example of when it would be flocking brilliant to be a bird, soaring over the canvas of illuminated stands and shoppers marauding along the always. B-E-A-utiful.
You can tell a good (and cheap) market by the number of locals that attend, and as Bangkok night markets go, this must be one of the cheapest. Loads of locals will huddle around the huge array of stalls in search of some jaw-droppingly good street food.
Not only that, but this market doubles up as a great drinking spot to start the evening. A full strip of hip bars and craft beer stands line the edge of the Train Night Market Ratchada, making it a magnet for the university students and alcohol enthusiasts.
After a couple of looseners here, be sure to check out our ‘A Backpackers Guide To Bangkok Nightlife‘.
Train Night Market Ratchada opening times: Tuesdays to Sundays, 5 pm – Midnight
Best Markets In Bangkok: Box Space Ratchayothin
20/126 Ratchadaphisek Road, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand – VIEW MAP
Image courtesy of shop jj
With the Train Night Market Ratchada being the biggest and thus the ‘Goliath’ of the Bangkok night market scene, that would make Box Space Ratchayothin the ‘David’. It may be small but certainly, don’t underestimate it…
What this market lacks in size, it certainly makes up in mesmerizing cosy-ness. Look at the photo above for goodness sake. Who wouldn’t want to be sipping on an ice cold Chang underneath those fairy lights?
In this gem of Bangkok night markets that has been open since early 2016, a walk amongst the stalls is like a stroll along a charming boulevard of quaint cafes, pop up bars, and crafty restaurants.
If you’re looking for quality of quantity (& the hoards of tourists that go hand in hand with quantity) as you trawl through this list of the Best Markets In Bangkok then this is a night market for you.
Box Space Ratchayothin opening times: Tuesdays to Sundays, 5 pm-Midnight
Bangkok Market To Watch Out For Bangkok Farmers Market
Image courtesy of Bangkok farmers market magazine
We thought we’d give you one more bit of food for thought when it comes to your market selection – that is if your hands aren’t already overflowing with souvenirs.
The Bangkok Farmers Market is a really special movement, as it moves beyond the realms of just being a market and has become more of a sustainable, community-led organization that is looking to give back to the local farmers, artists, and food & drink producers. All centred around a hearty philosophy of healthy living.
Bangkok Farmers Market takes place EVERY 1st & 3rd WEEKEND EACH MONTH and is an outstanding opportunity to not only try out the local produce but do your bit for the local community in doing so.
The BFM (Bangkok Farmers Market, in case that abbreviation went straight over your head) plows funds, time, and energy into looking after the community with sustainable education, charity work, and community programs all across Thailand.
Bangkok Farmers Market opening times: Every 1st & 3rd weekend of the month, 11 am – 7 pm
Best Markets In Bangkok: Where To Stay In Bangkok
Now, we’re hoping you’ve found yourself a bundle of goodies from these best markets in Bangkok that you’ll treasure forever. Not only that but fingers crossed you’ve eaten so much good food you’re about to enter a glorious food coma.
We can’t have you passing out on the street now, can we? Luckily we’ve also put together a brief piece on the best budget, mid-range, and luxury accommodation options in Bangkok.
You’re of course always more than welcome to come and check out our brand spanking new Bangkok hostel…
More Articles On The Best Markets In Bangkok
If this party piece has got your juices flowing, check out these other articles on the best markets in Bangkok and cheapest shopping places in Bangkok! We only recommend bloggers we read often and love:
- 10 Best Cheap Shopping Places In Bangkok by The Real Travelers
- 7 Coolest Bangkok Night Markets by bk.asia-city
- Best Bangkok Market For Clothes by Thailand Red Cat
- Thailand Travel Guide: Your One-Stop Resource by The Lost Passport
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