My sister-in-law and I were eagerly looking forward to visiting the Chatuchak market as we had read loads about it being this massive weekend market with over 8000 stalls. We had decided to spend pretty much the whole day there and hoped to shop till we drop.
We started off with our buffet spread at our hotel which was a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Salad, bread, egg, bacon, sausage, muffin, juice, porridge, cornflakes, coffee, tea. Lots more. I enjoyed the baked potato the most. I had my share of starch there.
The four of us took a taxi to Chatuchak. Be warned though. Our taxi driver, the same man who took me to the croc farm on Day One, insisted that he take us to a gems dealer. He apparently gets a commission and some fuel money if he takes people there. We knew there would be a catch. So after repeatedly telling him that we wanted to only go to Chatuchak, he finally got the point and shushed up. This is a common problem in Bangkok. Stick to your ground and be firm.
We reached Chatuchak and seriously did not know where to start. One particular shop caught our attention right at the start where they were selling some ethnic-looking clothes. This was probably my best buy, not the best price maybe. 400BHT for a top. But it was different, so good. And also my five-year-old nephew had to use the loo there, so we had to buy something!
And then we walked. And walked some more. And some more. The place is never-ending. My sister-in-law and I were only looking out for clothes stores. Each shop and section is numbered. But the place still confuses the hell out of you. You will get to see a lot of interesting things on offer. There is pretty much everything under the sun available here. But the problem with Chatuchak is that it is too big and tires you out. You need to wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Carry water. You can buy there as well. We did not buy too much here as we didn’t find anything that struck us. There are a few shops here and there that are really nice. I picked up some nice chappals from a store as well. My nephew got himself a t-shirt and a toy. He was also excited about the animals section of the market where there are many dogs, cats and and other animals.
But overall, we didn’t find too much to buy at Chatuchak. My brother liked the art section where he picked up a couple of t-shirts for himself. I also bought my nephew a small painting for his room.
We stopped by for some tender coconut water, mango juice and iced lemon tea. I wouldn’t recommend the last two.
My sister-in-law and I literally wanted to run out of the market because we were so tired and hadn’t even shopped.
Would I recommend the market? Yes, but be prepared to walk a lot and not find anything that you may particularly like. You need to search and search. A lot.
We left by 12.30 PM and decided to head to the MBK mall since my brother and his wife wanted to check out the place. We had a quick byte at Burger King (avoiding the numerous pork places) and headed out to explore the mall. My sister-in-law got some good bargains at the section on the third floor. I also picked up a pair of fisherman pants which looked very complicated to wear on but also seemed comfortable. They had beautiful dresses and souvenirs as well.
We also took a look at the numerous bag stores which had the 199BHT sale on.
After a quick cup of coffee and a donut for my nephew, we headed back to the hotel. A tiring long day really. We didn’t shop too much either.
We ordered room service to taste some authentic Thai Food. I almost choked on the Coconut Curry. But it was good. If you have a terrible flu or fever, this is the kind of food you need. Hot and spicy.
After eating, my brother and I decided to head out to the Patpong night market. Patpong is more popularly known for its red light area. It is lined with clubs that offer you ‘services’. Bro and I took the skytrain and got there in no time. There are two streets to Patpong market. The first street starts off with some shops including those that sell authentic-looking but fakes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Prada and so on. Otherwise the entire street only has these notorious bars. Many stand out with a charge sheet in their hand, detailing the services and charges for each. Ignore them and you will be fine.
The second street is where most of the shops are, interspersed with the clubs. I managed to find some good cotton shirts for my father. Though I did a pay bit much for it after bargaining with the shop lady through her calculator. I also bought a Louis Vuitton phone cover (fake, of course, and the cover has already started peeling off, so not the best buy I guess) and earphones. We got a good price after some decent bargaining. Again, this street also has fake bag stores. If you bargain well and don’t mind owning a fake, you could get something good here. You can also find clothes and souvenirs here. The clothes aren’t all that great though.
Patpong night market again is more about experience. Best not to take children with you. You could find yourself a good bag here if not anything else.
Watch this space for more on my Bangkok escapade