Bangkok Markets

One of the best ways to get a feel for Bangkok is to visit the city’s innumerable markets. Since there are so many to choose from, we’re giving you guys a list of our favorites.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Best For:

  • Shopping for clothes, shoes, hats, bags, sunglasses, household items, etc.
  • Bargain hunting and haggling

About The Market:

The market is extremely overwhelming when you first arrive (over 8000 vendors!), and going in with any sort of plan is not worth it, as it will quickly be abandoned when you realize there is very little rhyme or reason to how the market is set up. There are definitely some sections that are more organized by theme than others, but a lot of the market is mixed together. The only true way to figure out the categories of shopping in each numbered section is to plunge in and start wandering through! That being said, section two was definitely our favorite area of the market, as it had some local Thai brands selling clothes, shoes, accessories, and food that is popular in Bangkok. There are many food vendors at Chatuchak, but if you’re looking for a Bangkok foodie experience, there are other markets that are more centered around food – keep reading to hear about these!

Tip:

If you have a lot of time in Bangkok and love to shop, we would suggest doing the weekend market over two days (Saturday and Sunday) due to the sheer size of it.

Night Train Market

Best For:

  • Food
  • Bars

About The Market:

Located at an old train yard, this market definitely has a laidback Brooklyn hipster vibe to it (but without the Brooklyn prices!), making it our favorite market in Bangkok. It is only open on the weekends at night, so we would recommend it as a dinner + drinks excursion. It is a lot smaller than other markets in Bangkok, so it’s super manageable to walk around and see everything. It’s also pretty organized, with the food section clearly separate from the clothing, accessories, electronics, etc., and with all of the bars and some restaurants lining the outer perimeter of the stalls.

Tip:

Get there around 30 minutes to an hour after they open if you want to avoid the crowds.

Bangkok NIght Train Market
NIght Train Market Bangkok

Yaowarat

Best For:

  • Street Food

About The Market:

Yaowarat is Bangkok’s Chinatown, which turns into a street food mecca every night. The only thing you should come to Yaowarat for is the food, as there will be no vendors selling clothes or any other sort of market goods here.

Tip:

Take a turn down some of the side streets off the main road to try even more street food!

Floating Market

Best For:

  • Boat Ride Experience
  • Kitschy Souvenirs

About The Market:

There are multiple floating markets on the outskirts of Bangkok, but they’re all pretty much exactly the same and they are all completely geared to tourists. Go on a tour or hire a taxi to take you to one for the awesome experience of seeing the market by boat! This is not a food market, but if you do get hungry make sure to find the coconut pancakes – so delicious!

Tip:

Be warned, your boat will stop at some of the floating market stands and some of the vendors can be pretty pushy – which can make for an awkward encounter since you are stuck on a boat, leaving you with zero exit strategies! If you don’t want to buy anything, kindly decline (and decline again) until your boat moves on.

Floating Market Bangkok
Bangkok Floating Market

Train Market

Best For:

  • Seeing the train pass through!

About The Market:

This local market is also a popular tourist destination, but it’s all about the train! Local vendors set up food along the sides of an extremely narrow train track, and multiple times per day they cover their produce, and unstack their coconut pyramid displays to allow the train to pass through – right OVER all of the food! It’s pretty incredible to watch. This is an all food market, but nothing is prepared – it’s more for locals in the area to buy produce, fish, and meat, so don’t expect to come here for the shopping experience.

Tip:

Do a combo tour of the floating market and the train market, as they are both on the outskirts of Bangkok. Also, the drivers know the exact timing of the trains and will make sure to get you there right on time to catch all the action!

Bangkok Train Market
Train Street Bangkok
Train Tracks Market Bangkok

Khaosan Road

Best For:

  • Night out
  • Shopping for clothes
  • Bars

About The Market:

By night, Bangkok’s famous backpacker haven turns into a market, with vendors selling clothes, souvenirs, and food. Here you can find the classic Chang Beer tanks, fake Levi denim, cool printed tees, and those elephant printed pants that are pretty much a staple for Westerners in Thailand. If you’re not there to shop, the food is nothing special, so I’d recommend Khaosan Road as a fun night out where you can meet backpackers from all over the world at any of the bars lining the busy street (as well as the side streets).

Tip:

If you’re looking to bargain for some long pants to wear when visiting Bangkok’s famous temples, this is a great place to grab a pair.

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