This article explores the markets of Thailand, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, where from morning to night you can find everything from flowers and fruit, to antiques and handicrafts, not to mention delicious food stalls and a taste of everyday Thai life.
The markets of Thailand are legendary – not just for their affordable gifts, but because they allow visitors to get a taste of the real Thailand life experience. With cheap flights to Bangkok readily available, a visit to Thailand’s marketplaces provides an affordable way to experience Thai culture. Here are some of the markets you should look out for when you visit Bangkok and Chiang Mai;
Bangkok’s Jatujak Market offers everything from live animals to antiques. This is a large market and to cover all of its offerings in one article would take a considerable effort. Jatujak is open weekends from 7 AM to 7 PM. Entrance is free.
Pat Klong Talat Flower Market
Located near Wat Pho temple, the incredible array of flowers, fruit and vegetables makes Pat Klong Talat one of Bangkok’s finest fresh markets – this one is sure to tantalise the senses.
Nong Khai –Tha Sadet Market
The Sadet Market is located on the main pier for the Mekhong River crossing from Nong Khai to Tha Dua in Laos, and serves as a focal point for trade between Northeast Thailand and Laos. In addition to regional items and local produce, many of the goods sold at Tha Sadet Market come from areas outside of the region. Tha Sadet Market is open daily, but visitors must produce proper visa/paperwork for entry.
Bobae Market/Bobae Tower
Bobae Market offers inexpensive clothing at cost price, but can only be purchased by the dozen. Nearby Bobae Tower offers the same items in smaller quantities. Both the market and tower are open daily between 6 AM and 7 PM.
One of the biggest clothing markets in Thailand is Bangkok’s Pratunam Market. Note that clothing here varies in quality, as do the prices. Haggling is a must if you intend to buy more than one of any item. Pratunam Market is open from 8 AM to 9 PM.
Patpong Night Market
Patpong Night Market is brimming with street stalls offering pretty much anything the discerning traveller might be looking for. Prices are reasonable and the central Bangkok location makes it easily accessible.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Talaat Naam – the floating markets – are boats filled with wares, vying for the attentions of passers-by. Damnoen Saduak is one of four major floating markets in Bangkok.
Mae Hong Son –The Morning Market
A visit to The Morning Market is not for buying gifts, but rather gathering insight into how the locals live. The market opens early and is usually bustling by 9 AM. Located in Mae Hong Son, this market provides a wealth of photographic opportunities.
Chatachuk and Suan Lum
Chatachak Weekend Market and Suan Lum Night Market are two popular attractions for Bangkok’s visitors. Suan Luam is located in the heart of Bangkok while Chatachak is a 35-acre market featuring over 8,000 market stalls.
Ratchadaphisek Vintage Night Market
Located in Bangkok, Ratchadapisk, the night market, opens from 8 PM to 11 PM every Saturday and features a plethora of second-hand and vintage goods – from knick-knacks to vintage motorbikes.
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Known locally as Kad Luang, the Night Bazaar is one of Chaing Mai’s most popular attractions. Located in the city centre, the Night Bazaar offers inexpensive trinkets and gifts, as well as some of the best street food in Thailand.
Chaing Mai Handicraft Markets
Chaing Mai also offers several popular and easily accessible day markets, including Warorot, Ton Lamyai Flower Market, Somphet Food Market, and Tapae Square and the Walking Street.