Banglamphu market & Bo Bae Market
The large Banglamphu market extends over Phra Sumen road, Chakrapong road and others nearby. Despite it's proximity to touristy Khao San road, this is still mainly a market frequented by locals to buy clothes, household accessories etc...There's a separate market on Khao San road itself, which sells anything the foreign backpacker could need including backpacks, stereos, pirate CD's, books, clothes, traveling accessories etc...Ordinary buses 2, 15, 39, 44, 47, 59, 68, 79 and air-con 3, 9, 11, 39 and 44 all stop on Ratchadamnoen Klang road, just a few minutes walk from either of these markets. Alternatively, get a taxi to dta-laht bahng-lam-phu (Banglamphu Market) or tanon kao sahn (Khao San road). Not far away is Bo Bae market , located where Khlong Saen Saep meets Krung Kasem road, a wholesale clothes and textiles market with cheap prices. There are a couple of amulet markets nearby also at Wat Ratchanada (in Banglamphu) and Wat Mahathat (in Ko Rattanakosin).
Across the river from Banglamphu is the Pin Klao - Nakhon Chaisi road area, which has a general market in the area close to the Southern bus terminal ('Sai Tai'). South of here in Thonburi, close to the King Taksin statue roundabout, is another large general market. Tourists are pretty rare in either of these areas.
Ban Mo Market This small market further on Pahurat Road in the direction of Wat Po has many silversmiths and jewelry supply shops as well as places selling all kinds of electronic accessories and disco equipment.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Though there are many markets throughout Bangkok, Chatuchak Weekend Market is still pretty much the undisputed king of them all. The scale of it is pretty unbelievable - it covers an area of 70 rai (35 acres), contains more than 15 000 shops and stalls, has over 200 000 visitors each day, and they spend an estimated total of 30 million baht (approx US$750 000). The range of products on sale is extensive, and includes household accessories, handicrafts, religious artefacts, art, antiques, live animals (which unfortunately are frequently caged in cruel conditions), books, music, clothes, food, plants and flowers etc...
Chatuchak is a particularly good place to buy all sorts of Thai handicrafts, as there's a huge range, the quality is high and the intense competition keeps the prices low. Be careful when buying antiques, the large majority are offered fake and telling the difference between the genuine and the copies can be extremely difficult. Genuine antiques require a permit to be taken out of the country, but you will also need a permit if a fake is good enough to fool the inspecting customs officer.
Bargaining is expected, if not mandatory, at Chatuchak and the prices are generally substantially cheaper than the shopping centres and street stalls on Silom and Sukhumvit. Many shops in the more central areas of the city also have a branch here, selling the same goods for much lower prices.
The published opening hours for the market are from 9.00am to 6.00pm on Saturday and Sunday, though many of the stalls actually open sometime between 9.00am and 10.00am and close around sunset. Chatchak is also open on Friday as a market for wholesalers, but there is no problem doing normal shopping on this day either (same opening times). The Garden Plants section is also open on Wednesdays and Thursday from 7.00am to 6.00pm. Watch out for pickpockets, as even though they're not a particularly big problem the crowded conditions make it easy for them to operate successfully.
Chatuchak has in theory been segregated into areas depending on the types of goods sold, and there are maps available for the market which details the various sections. You're as well to just forget them and just wander wherever takes your fancy, as it is an extremely disorientating place of many narrow alleys and trying to follow a map around can prove very frustrating.
Chatuchak always gets very hot and humid during the day, and it's far from the most comfortable shopping experience but for most people the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Going early in the day when it is a bit cooler is recommended.
The best way to get here is on the Skytrain, Mo Chit station is only about five minutes walk away from the market. Finding your way from the station is easy - just follow the large crowd of people that will also be heading to/from there (right). Alternatively, many buses go past here: Ordinary buses 3, 8, 26, 27, 28, 34, 38, 39, 44, 52, 59, 74, 77, 96, 97, 104, 108, 112, 134, 136, 138, 145 and air-con buses 2, 3, 9, 10, 12, 13, 29, 38, 39, 44, 136 and 138. To get a taxi ask for suan jatujak (Chatuchak park, where the market is held), or print out the instructions below and give them to the driver.
Khlong Toey market
Khlong Toey market is north of Penang Market, at the intersection of Rama IV road and Narong road. The market is very large, but only a small bit of it can be seen by driving past it - it's size becomes apparent once you get out and look around. It's mainly a food market, though a few other things can be bought there as well. It's probably the cheapest place to shop for food in all of Bangkok, but the raw nature of the market means it's not for the squeamish. Ask a taxi to go to klong toey dta-laht or take ordinary buses 45, 46, 72, 102 or 107 which all go to this area.
Muang Min Market
Muang Min Market is a suburban offshoot of Bangkok's famous Chatuchak Market. Located on Suwintawong Road in Minburi district, Muang Min offers goods similar to Chatuchak but without the overcrowding and the traffic congestion.
Merchandise on sale at Muang Min includes clothing, interior decor items, pets such as birds, ornamental fish and accessories, fresh and dried foods and organically grown fruit and vegetables. Muang Min also has an impressive range of plants for both home and garden.
On Saturdays you can get a free haircut at the market. Representatives of the Community Development Center teach members of the public cookery or new crafts which can be used to earn additional income. Muang Min also has an auction of items from the BMA's pawnshops, held on the last Saturday of every month.
Nakhon Kasem, known in English as the Thieves Market , is a second hand market for Thai and Chinese antiques (though most, if not all, are fake) and pawn shop goods, porcelain, brass, furniture, musical instruments and similar items. It's really past it's best now, and is not a particularly inspiring place to shop as many of the better deals have left for more profitable locations. The name comes from the fact that once upon a time this was where stolen goods would turn up, but it's you're unlikely to find anything illegitimate today. Bargain hard. Selling similar types of goods is the Lang Krasuang market, on Atsadang road in Banglamphu. Not all that far from here is Pahurat cloth market , in'Little India' next to Chinatown. It's basically yet another wholesale market for textiles, and there's a wide selection of all sorts of fabrics, sarongs, textiles and clothes available. The market has mainly clothes, among them a wide selection of from all over Asia.
Old Siam Plaza is north of Pahurat and has many gun shops in the area, as well as a market of mainly handicrafts.
Penang Market, in the Khlong Toey port district, sells clothes, food etc but is most notable for the TVs, stereos and other electrical goods on sale here. Prices are very cheap, much cheaper than in department stores and shopping centres. This is due to the fact that most of the products have "fallen" off ships coming into the port, and so haven't been taxed. Check anything you plan to buy very carefully and buy'as is' - any receipts or guarantees you may be offered are just about worthless.
Ratchayothin Temporary Market
The brand new Ratchayothin Temporary Market, located on Phahonyothin Road just to the north of Chatuchak Market, houses as many as 360 stalls selling mainly plants and garden produce at unbeatable prices. This market, which is much less crowded than Chatuchak, also has an area devoted to chemical-free produce such as organically grown fruit and vegetables.
The new Ratchayothin Market opens from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm. Parking for up to 500 vehicles is available. The market is located opposite the Ratchayothin Major Cineplex. Air-conditioned
Pak Khlong market
This is a very large and busy wholesale market for fresh flowers and vegetables. Many flower vendors throughout the city buy their stock here at night and sell it on the following morning. It's best to go between 2.00am and 4.00am when boats on the Chao Phraya River and trucks from nearby provinces arrive with large quantities of flowers, vegetables, spices, and fruits. These all are piled high inside the market and along nearby streets, making the market very photogenic, though the smell given off by some off the produce can be quite overpowering.
The market takes place where Khlong Lawt meets the Chao Phraya river, next to the Memorial Bridge on the northeastern edge of Chinatown. To get here, either walk south on Maharat road from Wat Pho, take a river taxi to Tha Saphan Phut or ask a taxi to go to bpahk klong dta-laht (Pak Khlong Market) or sa-pahn put (Memorial Bridge). The wholesale market is mainly near the river, the cheap normal market in small streets nearby. The market is over by about 10.00am. Very close to here is the Memorial Bridge night market , a large all-purpose market night market with very cheap prices if you bargain.