Chatuchak Market owes its beginnings to Field Marshal Plaek Phibulsongkram, the late
prime minister of Thailand who came up with the idea of setting up a flea market
in every town. As a result, the first flea market in Bangkok was held at Sanam Luang
and was called Sanam Luang flea Market. In the same year, the government issued
a policy to turn Sanam Luang into a public park for citizens of Bangkok and to be
the venue to celebrate 200 year anniversary of Bangkok, which would be held in 1982.
Thus, it was decided that the flea market would be held at the Phahonyothin area
from then on and it is later called Chatuchak Market after the nearby park under
the same name.
In recent years the market has gained considerable notice between conservationists
and the World Wildlife Fund; Chatuchak has become a notorious hub for trafficking
illegal and endangered species. Despite publicity, Thai law is rarely able to pursue
a course of action in preventing the illegal trade.
Chatuchak market is adjacent to the Kamphaengphet station of the MRT Bangkok Metro
Blue Line, or about a 5-minute walk from the Mo Chit station of the BTS Skytrain
Sukhumvit Line and MRT station of Kamphaeng Phet or Chatuchak.
In June 2008 the Chatuchak Market authorities introduced a complete ban on smoking
for the whole market the ban however, like many smoking bans in Thailand, it is barely
Chatuchak market is one of the largest markets in the world. Located opposite the
old northern bus terminal along Phahonyothin it is a must for any traveller coming
to Bangkok who has shopping on his / her mind.
The market is only open at the weekends, Saturday and Sunday from 7 am until late.
Some of the stalls do open during the week but not sufficient to warrant a visit.
Getting to Chatuchak has become a lot easier since the Skytrain system opened and
now you can simply take the Skytrain to the end terminal called Mo Chit which is
exactly where the market is located.
The market officially opens at 7 am and we recommend you get there by around 9 am
if not a little earlier! . Do note that during the hotter months of April and May
the market can be unbearably hot, so getting there early is even more important.
The Market does get really busy later in the day .