[post_thumbnail]The Chatuchak or (Jatujak) weekend market in Bangkok is the largest market in Thailand. Often called J.J., the market covers more than 35 acres and contains over 5,000 stalls. With an estimated 200,000 visitors per day this market is a bustling epicentre of incredible bargains on household items, clothing, Thai handicrafts, religious artifacts, collectibles, and of course…live animals.
Thailand is known for its warm, friendly people and the Chatuchak market was a great place to be for that. Every market vendor just wants to be your friend. Sure they’re happy to make a sale but they would rather part with nothing but a friendly acknowledgement or handshake. It’s best not to start bargaining unless you plan to buy something and you plan to have fun doing so. The market vendors will often chase after you if you decide to leave in the middle of a heated bargaining match. It’s all part of the fun but again its bad form to start something you’re not willing to finish.
Make your way through the narrow pathways in the market to the many food stands and enjoy the crowded atmosphere and incredible aromas of Thai cuisine. Explore the incredible selection of Thai artifacts and collectibles, this market is truly a tourists dream come true when it comes to buying souvenirs.
On the downside, Chatuchak has become notorious for trafficking illegal and endangered species. This attracted the attention of conservationists and the World Wildlife Fund. This trafficking activity was covered on CNN’s “Planet in Peril” series. Although these actions have attracted a lot of publicity, there is not much that Thai law can do to prevent it as it will take place underground somewhere else.
The Chatuchak market is open every day but the majority of stalls are open only on Saturdays and Sundays. Getting there is really easy and taking public transportation is by far the cheapest method.