From a maze-like weekend market to what might be the coolest night market in Southeast Asia, don’t miss these four distinctly Thai shopping experiences in Bangkok.
Chatuchak Weekend Market: Easily Bangkok’s most famous and visited market, weekends-only Chatuchak is essentially a small city that visitors literally need a map to navigate with clarity. That said, directionless wandering among Chatuchak’s winding walkways is part of the fun, snacking at the numerous food stalls, uncovering fantastic finds, and bargaining with traders.
Get there in the morning to avoid the crowds (and afternoon heat), and set aside at least a few hours to enjoy the experience—this is one of Bangkok’s very best attractions.
Platinum Fashion Mall: Though not technically a market per se, this gigantic six-floor complex located in increasingly trendy Pratunam is certainly a market in spirit. Here there are more than 2,500 shops—and a fantastic top-floor food court—selling women’s fashion and accessories, trendy men’s streetwear, leather goods, luggage and handbags, jewellery, and Thai products.
Sampeng Market: Cutting through the heart of Chinatown on narrow Soi Wanit 1 (or Sampeng Lane), Sampeng Market offers a delightful, though decidedly claustrophobic, shopping experience. Open daily until 6pm, Sampeng largely deals in wholesale goods that include arts and crafts supplies, shoes, fashion accessories, and plenty of stuff you’d never think you need but want. Go during the weekdays, if possible—the market can become practically impenetrable on weekends.
Talad Rot Fai: Originally located off disused railway tracks near Chatuchak Market—Talad Rot Fai translates to “Train Market”—Bangkok’s hippest night market has branched out to new locations in Ratchada and Srinakarin. The hipster version of Chatuchak, Talad Rot Fai is a sprawling vintage market with bars, clubs, street food, and live bands. There are few better ways to spend an evening.