Markets are a great way to soak up some local culture and immerse yourself in the rough and ready everyday life of a cities inhabitants. Furthermore, for expats, local markets are also a fantastic way to test out your language skills, get to know people and find some bargains.
Bangkok is a fascinating city that is lucky enough to have a myriad of world-class markets you can wander through. Knowing which markets to venture into however can be a minefield – there are so many different ones to choose from, and not every market is worthwhile. To help eliminate potential disappointment, we have selected 5 markets that have gained a positive reputation in the centre of Bangkok – any of these markets will provide a memorable experience and a true slice of Thai life!
1. Chatuchak Market
This is possibly the most famous market in the whole of Bangkok and that is a bold claim to make! Held at the weekends in Chatuchak Park, this is one of the largest and most varied markets you will find. You can wander through a myriad of different stalls selling practically anything – be careful however as the stalls stretch for miles and it is quite easy to get lost! Be sure to write down stall numbers if you see a bargain so you can return there without taking a hundred detours.
2. Amphawa Floating Market
Some of Thailand’s floating markets have merely become tourist attractions but the Amphawa floating market has retained its traditions throughout the years. Stretching for over 50km this floating market can be found in the Amphawa district on the Mae Klong River. You can find a huge array of small longtail boats and other seacraft packed full with fresh fruit and food and an array of goods. The sight is truly awe-inspiring and there is no better way to see Amphawa than to enjoy a boat ride down its expanse. Don’t forget to try some freshly caught seafood and some traditional Thai desserts!
3. Sampeng Market
Bangkok’s Chinatown is one of the most enthralling and exciting parts of the city, therefore it stands to reason that the Sampeng Market is also a joyous place to visit. Although located in Chinatown, this market is actually one of the best places to visit to sample authentic Thai street food. The narrow alleys or Sampeng are truly magnificent to explore – the place is heaving with activity and you will have to sometimes fight your way through the traders, transport dollies and stalls.
4. Pratunam Market
Located in the trendy Pratunam district, the Pratunam Market is one of the largest wholesale fashion markets in Bangkok. If you want to indulge and treat yourself to a new outfit or three then this is the place to come! As the market is predominantly wholesale, you will see a large number of foreign business types looking for an investment, but don’t let that put you off. Surrounding the market also is some world-class accommodation and a fantastic array of restaurants and bars.
5. Wang Lang Market
If you head across the Chao Phraya River opposite the Grand Palace you will find the Wang Lang Market. This market is a student’s paradise and has some wonderfully cheap bargains available for those who enjoy the hunt. Wang Lang is also a great place to pick up some tasty treats and try some delicious street food – you can find a range of authentic stalls selling some mouth-watering cooked snacks. Aside from food, you can also find some superb gadgets, trinkets and souvenirs too.
There you have it – 5 excellent markets in the heart of Bangkok. We hope you can explore these locals markets for yourself – the sights, sounds and smells will leave you astounded. There is no better way to see how a city works and how its citizens live and breathe on a daily basis.
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