If you’re going to Thailand, I’m sure your research has shown you that you should check out some of the markets they have to offer. The main staples are food and souvenirs – the bread and butter of all tourists. Here are some of the markets we got to visit in Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai:
Taling Chan Floating Market – Damnoen Saduak is probably the more popular floating market, but it’s also a lot further and (supposedly) more crowded. So if you’re strapped for time, Taling Chan seems like a good option. I say seems because we actually traveled there (via Uber) and it wasn’t open, most likely because it was close to Songkran. So if anyone gets to visit, let me know how it is!
Pak Khlong Flower Market – so you’re probably not buying any flowers during your trip, but it’s still worth checking out. Most of the flowers are probably for wholesale, but it’s nice to see all of the colors and varieties they have to offer.
Patpong Night Market – they sell souvenirs (probably over-priced), but their main draw is probably the adult-only Go-Go bars, so let’s just say this place is not for kids.
Pratunam Market – this is an inexpensive wholesale clothing market. When my friends found out I was going to Thailand, they all requested the ever-so-comfortable elephant pants. This is the perfect place to buy them if you’re planning on buying multiple items of something. It’s a lot cheaper than other markets. Unfortunately, we went on the weekend of Songkran so most of the stalls were closed, but I was able to find a stall that was still open – and got a great deal on those pants!
Royal Paradise Night Market – another great market for clothing finds. When we went, barely anyone was there so all of the vendors are practically fighting for your business. That being said, make sure you bargain! Even if they give you a price you might buy it at, just start walking away and they will lower the price.
Bangla Night Market – filled with bars, loud music, and scantily-clad women – all inviting you in for a drink, or more (if you catch my drift). Again, not a place you want to bring children but definitely a popular spot for bachelor parties. If you can push past the rowdiness, there is a section where they sell food.
Beyond Night Market – if you’re not sick of the typical touristy $3 pad thais and pineapple fried rice, this is a good option. They’ve also got seafood, cheap beer, and grilled meat on a stick – you know, the essentials.
Chang Puak Market – this is one of the markets that Anthony Bourdain went to on his show. And if you’ve seen this episode, you’ll know about the Cowboy Hat Lady. She makes stewed pork leg (all while stylin’ in the Cowboy hat, so you can’t miss her). This was was probably my favorite market for food out of all the ones I visited in Thailand because it seemed the most authentic. I didn’t see as many tourists as I did in other markets, so you already know that’s a good sign for good food.
Sunday Night Market – enter at your own risk. Unlike Chang Puak, this place is teeming with tourists. So much so that you will barely be able to move. But if you don’t mind the crowds, there are some pretty good food stalls, and there are lots of vendors selling hand-crafted products – you can even watch them hand-blow some glass.
I guess you’re wondering by now where Chatuchak Market (Bangkok) is on my list. This market has over 15,000 stalls (THAT’S RIGHT – 15,000!) selling food, clothes, art, and probably everything else under the sun. It’s probably Bangkok’s most well-known market. Unfortunately, I did not get to go. They’re only open on weekends and we didn’t get to spend any weekends in Bangkok. I guess this just means I’ll have to make a return trip!