A visit to Bangkok is not complete without a trip to the famous flea market in Chatuchak. So, when we had the day off on last Sunday, our immediate plan was to go to Chatuchak. We took the taxi to Silom Road, made a short trip to Bangkok Bank’s Foreign Currency counter (opened 7 days a week) to exchange for some Thai Bahts and walked to the nearest BTS station at Sala Daeng.
Our ride to the flea market – the super efficient Bangkok Transit System (BTS). It only cost us 35 Baht for a single 10 minutes ride from the Sala Daeng station to Mo Chit station. Announcements and signboards were all made in both Thai and English, so communication was not a problem.
The trip to Chatuchak requires us to change train at the Siam station. We reached the last BTS station at Mo Chit and as we are reaching the station, we could see the flea market next to the station. We need not to look far or walk far to reach the market.
Chatuchak flea market is huge! At quick look at the map would ease our search and also lessen our walks too. So use it well. In case you missed the map the first time, you need not worry, the maps are placed at various strategic places and there are plenty of Tourist Police & the market staff to direct you to the right way.
An advice from a local when shopping at Chatuchak – “When you like something and want to buy it, you negotiated and buy it immediately. Don’t make the mistake of going to other shops to check out the prices because you will not be find the first shop so easily”. It is a sound advice indeed. We ignored the advice and guess what? It took us almost 40 minutes to find back the first shop and that too because we remembered that it was located somewhere near the main entrance.
The inside of the market is crowded but clean and easy to walk about. The traders are friendly and easy to talk to (most talk simple English). All prices are negotiable – some up to 50% or more if you know how.
Sometimes, it is tough to buy things for home especially when so many “buyable” things surround you. After some time, I ended buying…ok, I better not mention what I bought but it is something that I can tuck away in my luggage (need to keep it a secret from my wife until I get back home).
There is plenty of Thai Silk on sale with reasonable prices. I did not buy one because it is not something that we can wear back home (besides if it does not fit, it will not be near to exchange).
Some things are large like wood-carvings or pictures. Others are delicate like ceramic or glass items. Need not worry about how you are going to bring it back home. Among the shops, you will find DHL, UPS and other courier services to address the issue. You buy it; bring to the DHL counter, pay for the cost and you are done. When you get back home, the courier would have arrived.
Fancy yourself as “John Rambo” and like to be seen, all day, in army fatigues? The flea market has it all – from shops selling army fatigues, army bags and commando headgears to even making specialized army “dog tags”. Cool!
The flea market has everything and we did not check out all the shops – we were too tired. The sky was dark but luckily it did not rain.
All the walk and negotiating for the goods is only going to make you hungry and thirsty. No fear on that in Chatuchak. There are plenty of shops selling food and drinks – catering for both local and western dishes. A can of Pepsi cost 15 Baht though. By the way, the above are not fried insects (sorry to disappoint you, Yvy)
The day was tiring – we returned to our hotel rooms by 3.00 pm – tired, weary but felt fulfilled. Chatuchak is the place to be if you are looking for great bargain.
(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Other Trips)