There’s a constant carnival of markets in Bangkok. Day, night, food, flower or floating, you could spend your entire trip shopping and eating your way through the myriad. Make sure to bring a big appetite and wear a comfortable pair of shoes!
Bangkok Day Markets
The biggest is Chatuchak Weekend Market and it is mental. Seemingly there are 15,000 stalls, but as far as I’m concerned it’s infinite; I thought I’d never find my way out. There is a map but it’s much more fun to go on intuition.
You can buy everything at Chatuchak, and it’s especially good for souvenirs and street food. Give yourself a whole day to wander around – if you forget to wear those comfortable shoes, you can always buy a pair there.
Chatuchak is open from 6am to 6pm, plenty of time to get lost and found again.
Pratunam Market / CC by 3.0 / Biyu Lau
For clothing, Pratunam Market is the place to go. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you’re not looking hard enough! There are imitation brands galore at wholesale prices. The market is open 24 hours and is in the centre near Chit Lom Skytrain station.
Bangkok Food Markets
CC by 3.0 / Rob Pongsajapan
When it comes to produce head to Or Tor Kor Market for a graze. Beside Chatuchak, it has the freshest fish, meat, fruit and vegetables on offer. It’s open every day and is a great place to devour a fish curry followed by a grilled coconut pancake.
Fresh food fans will also love the intense experience of the much larger and loved Khlong Toey Market. It’s a locals’ market and a lot more chaotic (and smelly) than Or Tor Kor. If you get abit queasy, avoid the raw meat section. Khlong Toey is open every day and is easy to get to on the subway.
Bangkok Night Markets
Rod Fai Market / CC by 3.0 / Jonathan Lin
My favourite night market is Rod Fai Market. Once located behind Chatuchak, but now beside Seacon Square, it is by far the best for browsing. If you are into vintage, it’s chock-a-block with collectibles, including classic cars!
There’s live music and heaps of makeshift bars for a beer and some street food. It’s open Thursday to Sunday evenings until midnight.
Top market shopping tip: Get a daily foot massage!
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the fabulous Asiatique The Riverfront night market cum mall. There are more than a thousand fancy boutiques to enjoy in this huge complex by the port. Find top fashion, beautiful souvenirs and exquisite jewellery. Get there by Skytrain to Saphan Taksin then jump in a boat and walk up the pier.
Bangkok Flower Market
Flower Markets / CC by 3.0 / Guillaume
Go to Pak Klong Talat Market early to experience a wall of sweet scents and vibrant colours. I’d never seen so many orchids, roses, carnations and lilies in one place. You’ll soon realise where the good luck garlands are made that you see in all the temples.
The market is in the Old City near the Reclining Buddha and is open 24 hours.
Bangkok Floating Markets
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market / CC by 3.0 / Dennis Jarvis
It’s so worth taking the time to drive an hour or so outside Bangkok to a floating market. There’s simply no better shopping adventure than bartering from a long-tail boat at Damnoen Saduak or Taling Chan floating markets.
If you want to get away from the tours and tourists for a more authentic Thai experience, head a little farther to Amphawa Floating Market. Stay over and do a night cruise to see the amazing fireflies, and don’t miss the temples!
You’ll travel a huge distance market hopping in Bangkok and that’s even before you’ve shopped in all the malls.