It’s a legend. One of the world’s largest weekend markets, at Chatuchak (or Jatujak or JJ) market you can find almost anything you can think of. I’m not kidding – this place has absolutely everything – from rare animals to beautiful antiques, Asian handicrafts to a huge selection of dog (and human) clothing, electronics, vintage and second-hand goods and an art section. And with some of the lowest prices in Thailand (and Asia), it’s a bargain hunter’s paradise.
A favorite of Thais and tourists alike, it’s estimated that over 200,000 people visit the market each Saturday and Sunday. Fortunately it also attracts a healthy level of hot men, making people watching almost as interesting as the shopping. The crowds, coupled with the high temperatures, means you’re likely to either love it or hate it. My one word of advice, don’t go with a hangover!
I took myself to JJ market yesterday. Hoping to beat the heat and crowds, I caught the MRT (underground railway) around 9:30am. This turned out to be a good move as things were getting steamy and pushy by midday. Conveniently both the BTS (sky train) and MRT drop you right at the entrance to the market.
Armed with my shopping list – new shirt (many local designers sell their unique designs here), some trinkets for presents, a granite water feature for my garden and baby clothes for a friend – I was also looking forward to playing with puppies, eating good food and checking out talented local artists (and local talent).
Before I’d even entered the market I made my first purchase – a pair of hand-made leather sandels for 100bt ($3) purchased from the stalls lining the road as you approach the market. Yippee!
I quickly became lost in the maze of stalls, reminding myself of the need to buy things I liked when I see them as it’s difficult to find the same stall again. So when I found a cute new t-shirt by a local designer I swooped into bargaining mode. The price started at 250 baht (~$8) but we finally agreed on 220 baht (~$7). Most places in the market are fixed price while some offer a little room for bargaining. JJ is not like the markets in town – the prices here are already low so don’t expect to get large discounts. Just ask yourself whether you think it’s a good deal – if so, agree on the price.
Another hour of shopping and I already had everything I needed so checked out the puppies and art. There are some really beautiful works of original art here. And many adorable puppies. Ah, the pulling power of the puppy. They almost had me – especially after I saw the magnetic effect they had on the other guys passing by.
It was almost midday and I was getting quite parched so grabbed myself a fresh mango shake ($1) and did a little people watching. Yum!
All in all a great morning. But I forgot to buy Xmas presents for the family! Oh well, I guess I’ll have to go back next week. Enjoy the shopping, eating and general experience of JJ Market while in Thailand, yet another unique Thai experience.
NOTE: JJ Market is only open on Saturday and Sunday (although some shops are open on Friday (preparing for the weekend) if this is the only day you have available)
ICED TEA MAN : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZImJKPl6spw