Chatuchak or Jatujak (JJ) is one of its kind hip weekend markets, where you can find anything and everything under the sun. The market sets-in late Friday evening and goes in full bloom till Sunday evening, vanishing post that until the next weekend. The format has been aped in smaller versions across the globe but nothing comes even close to the real one.
On my trip, I was initially unaware of the existence of such a market but luckily I got to know 2 days prior to flying back home. So I extended my tickets by 3 days just to observe the craziness and utter chaos. There is no real figure of the scale on the market but it has something between 15000 to 20000 shops spread across 27 sections and 8 rows, which covers a total area of 27 Acre. It is practically impossible to explore the whole market, so I spent a day and crafted some points, that might help my readers to get across the market, without getting lost here.
Tips & Tricks–
- The Friday timings are 1800 to 2400 Hrs, this is when the market is setting. Unless you have been here before or know about the shop you want to visit, skip Friday and be here the next day.
- Unlike other parts of the market where you get best deals around closing, here you get the best deals when the shop opens. Thai people are a finicky lot and do not let their first customer go, try and be that guy for the best possible offers.
- Remember the gate number you entered from, you can always ask your way back to the same exit. Clock-tower is a big landmark here, being the bang centre of whole market spread in cornrows.
- The market basically has ample of everything but nothing in real sense is worthy of buying, except the little designer stuff, which would not be available elsewhere.
- The food here is not extraordinary but considering it as a place with so many options and the price is not really a rip-off, it is ok to try. My best picks would be grilled squid, quail eggs, teas, orange juice and coconut ice-cream from the carts.
How to get there–
MTR or BTS Skytrain, you will have to get down at Mo Chit station. Numerous busses and Cabs will take you here too. If you are 4-5 people a better option is to get a cab for 150-200 THB.
- You can find a lot of local restaurants which are halal and it’s clearly written there.
- With things like Ice-cream, juices and teas there is really no worry.