The Chatuchak Weekend Market (or Jatujak in Thai) in Bangkok is not only one of the biggest markets in the world; it’s also one of the best. Set out over 35 acres and home to over 15,000 stalls, the market sells everything from baby turtles to musical instruments. But the real draw card is the section devoted entirely to vintage fashion.
Rumour has it that this is where the majority of the vintage clothing stores in Australia get their stock. They head over on regular buying trips and snap up some of the coolest vintage clothes and accessories around. Chambray shirts in every shade imaginable, vintage Levi’s 501s, snakeskin lighter holders, old school Ray-Bans and more leather than your suitcase can carry. If you’re in the market for a perfectly beaten up leather jacket, boots or satchel bag, this is where you need to be.
Between the heat, the bargaining and the 200,000 or so people that pass through the market every day, Chatuchak is the kind of place that separates the strong from the weak. You’re going to need a full day to explore, so if your travel buddy can’t handle more than a few hours shopping, leave them at the hotel. Vintage shopping takes time and Chatuchak is a gold mine of treasures that should not be rushed.
There are a few cool bars on the outside aisles where you can rest your feet and rehydrate with a Singha or two. It’ll also give you a chance to assess your purchases and the pieces you’ve seen. If you need to think about a purchase, mark the stall on your map. While Chatuchak is divided out in sections, it’s almost impossible to navigate your way through the market without one. Grab yourself a map at the Information Center (or online here) and happy hunting.
We flew to Bangkok as guests of Thai Airways aboard one of their new A380s. If you’ve been inspired to visit the Chatuchak Weekend Markets, visit Thai Airways.
What we bought: Plaited leather keychains, snakeskin and cow hide lighter holders with leather tassels, a bamboo fan (for my 92 year-old nanna) and clutch, woven leather necklace, printed tee by a local designer and a heap of friendship bracelets.
Saturday and Sunday: 6am – 6pm.
[tb_google_map address=”Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok, Thailand”]
How to get there:
We took the BTS Skytrain to Mo Chit station (it’s right across the road), but you can also get the MRT Subway to Chatuchak Park station.