Most markets in Bangkok are open air markets where small vendors sell their goods and could, essentially, fit the description of a flea market. The prices are usually cheap, but that doesn’t mean the quality is low. On the contrary you can find many local designers and craftsmen who sell their goods at markets as it’s much easier than trying to get a deal with a store. Below is a list of the most important general markets in Bangkok.
Chatuchak covers over 35 acres of land and is visited by 200,000 visitors every weekend. It only opens on Saturdays and Sundays and has stalls selling everything from second hand clothing to local handicrafts and pets. There are many stalls selling goods at wholesale prices and many more selling raw materials – which are perfect if you are building. It is possible to spend the entire day just browsing one small section of the market without getting close to any of the others. Chatuchak is the best place to find locally produced items such as art, local designer fashion and much more. It’s also the place in Bangkok to look for rare items. Bargaining is not really common. You may get a small discount but don’t count on it. The easiest way to reach Chatuchak if you are not driving is to take the Skytrain to Mo Chit station, from where it is just a short walk. The market opens early in the morning and closes around 9pm.
This is one of the oldest markets in the city, located at the intersection of Ratchaprarop and Phetburi roads. It is famous for being the best place to pick up cheap clothing and fabric and is the textile heart of the city. It is visited by many international traders looking for wholesale orders, but there is also the chance to pick up some excellent goods as an individual buyer. Beware though, that you may be required to buy several pieces to even be allowed to buy at all. Many people come here to pick out material to take to their tailor. It is not on the Skytrain or metro so if you do not drive, it is a taxi ride away. The easiest way to get here is to take the Skytrain to Chitlom station and getting a taxi or motocyc from there. The market opens early morning and most shops close quite early in the afternoon.
Located close to Khao San Road, this is a local market extending across a number of roads. It is an excellent place to buy local food, fruit, vegetables and cheap household equipment. Kao San Road and Soi Rambuttri are also excellent places to look for used books and art. The used bookshops have tons of travel books and guides. Driving or taxi is the best way to get here. You can also get here by taking the river ferry to the Phra Athit pier. Near Thammasat University and the Grand Palace is the Amulet Market where you can pick up a lucky charm. Opening hours are early morning to late afternoon
Suan Lum Night Bazaar
This night market is designed mainly for tourists, but is a good place to pick up CDs and DVDs. Expats do not generally visit this market very often, but it is a good place to take children in the evening as there is a wide selection of restaurants and the atmosphere is very lively with Thai dancing on the stage and live bands playing in food halls. It is located very close to the CBD and can be reached by taking the metro to Lumpini station. The market is open until midnight.