The bustling, beautiful markets of Bangkok

When you first arrive in a city like Bangkok, it’s an all-out assault on the senses. The mouth-watering scent of street food is ubiquitous. There are souvenir stalls, buzzing street signs and roaring tuk-tuks which snag the eye. One of the most immersive experiences you can have on Thailand holidays is to plunge, flip-flop first, into one of its many markets for a snapshot of the flotsam and jetsam that characterises the day to day life in the city. Here are some of the best…

For serious shoppers: Chatuchak Market

Billeted as “one of the world’s largest weekend markets”, this commerce maelstrom kindles, every Saturday, on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, and is conveniently reached by Skytrain. One, large, circular route wends through over 15,000 stalls, branching off into sections that comprise everything from travel books and antiques to puppies and pythons. You can buy almost anything here, if you can find it. Due to Chatuchak’s popularity with tourists, it’s wise to guard your belongings and cash carefully from pickpockets; wear a money belt and leave the pricey DSLR in the hotel safe.

For photographers: Pak Klong Talat flower market

Reached in truly intrepid style by river boat, this fragrant conflagration of stalls is a must-see for those who are documenting their travels on film. Bright, exotic garlands, tiny, perfect rosebuds and heady jasmine are deftly strung by vendors with precision and speed. A riot of colour erupts around every corner. One tip: get here early. The market opens at2am, so arriving in the afternoon won’t be nearly as colourful as braving the 6am wake up call.

For street food: Wang Lang Market

If you’re feeling constitutionally robust, dig in to the many tasty treats on offer in Wang Lang, one of the city’s best marketplaces for sampling street food. There are crisp pancakes stuffed with a range of exotic fillings, bright Pandan Kueh (coconut cake), fresh sushi and fiery traditional curry dishes. Open every day from 10am until 4pm, it’s easily reached by taxi, which is good because you’ll need some energy to tackle the heat and the crowds.

For foodies: Klong Toey Fresh Market

Stacks of skinned frogs, neon-coloured fruits and fresh fish come together in a vibrant symphony of colours and smells in this vast produce-oriented market. Sample some of the fresh fruit on display, ogle the more curious offerings (fresh rat meat, anyone?) or dare your travel buddy to crunch on a deep-fried cockroach. There’s plenty here to overwhelm the senses, but those of a delicate disposition should direct their wandering elsewhere!


Image by Dennis Jarvis used under the Creative Commons license. 



  1. The Chatuchak Market is amazing. We spent an entire day there and came no where near to seeing all of it. It is huge!! The floating markets are a must as well!!

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