Chatuchak Market has been running for over 70 years and has gone through huge changes from being a small market in Bangkok to welcoming hundreds of thousands of tourists each weekend.
Field Marshal Plaek Pibunsongkhram was the third Prime Minister of Thailand who first came into office in December 1938. During his tenure, he decided that every town must have a flea market of their own to make it easier for locals to trade and boost the local economy. Bangkok was high on his agenda, so it was declared that a flea market would open up in Sanam Luang, which would become the city’s first market in 1942.
In the coming months, the government changed the venue, as the site was needed for other special functions. They decided to move to Saranrom Palace, in the centre of Bangkok. It stayed there for eight years until it was moved again to Sanam Chai and then back to the original venue Sanam Luang.
The return was brief as Bangkok had its 200-year anniversary of the city; meaning that the market’s location had to be switched once more. In 1982, the market was moved as a permanent feature to Chatuchak. Five years later, the iconic Clock tower was built to celebrate King Bhulmibol Adulyadej’s 60thbirthday and the market was finally renamed Chatuchak Market.
The popularity of the market has grown substantially since its relocation from Sanam Luang. The market regularly accommodates 200,000 tourists each weekend and has over 15,000 stalls making it the world’s biggest weekend market in the world.
One way of getting to Chatuchak is by Skytrain (BTS). The Skytrain runs throughout Bangkok and you are able to get on and off, but make sure to jump back off at (N8) Mo Chit Station (Sukhumvit Line). From here, if you take exit no. 1 when leaving the station, you will eventually come across rows and rows of canvas stalls. Keep following the crowds until you come across a small entrance this is the clothing section of Chatuchak market. From here, you can start making your way through the market using our interactive map.
How to get there
Travelling to Chatuchak market by Skytrain is by far the best and easiest method of transport, but there are certain parts of Bangkok that the BTS does not run through. One area many tourists choose to stay is in Khao San Road. If you choose to stay there and want to visit Chatuchak, you need to catch either bus number 524, or 3. Unfortunately, there are no available bus timetables, so we would advise asking locals where the best place to wait for the bus.
Bus fares cost as little as 20 Baht, and certain buses are free, so you be lucky. The journey from the Khao San area can take anywhere between 30-60 minutes dependent upon the chaotic Bangkok trafﬁc.