Whether it’s Flowers or Fabric, Sarongs or Stamps, Bangkok has it all and more
Bangkok Markets play an enormous part in city life. In Thailand, there are a great many general markets, but there are also some fabulous specialty ones too. They invite a real sense of amazement and unimaginable magnetism, particularly for tourists.
In order to help you to plan your trip we have organized the page with details on each market starting for those inside Bangkok and ending with those furthest away from Bangkok, but still close enough for a day trip! Click through on the market name to see a full-page review of each market.
Markets are ideal opportunities for you to experience all the wonderful sites, sounds, and smells of Thailand, perhaps take a few snaps and create some wonderful memories!
Asiatique (see full review) is a late-night shopping venue situated opposite the Chao Phraya River (map). For your enjoyment, there are loads of wonderful attractions at Asiatique as well as some high-class restaurants and lots of local-style eateries.
Be entertained at the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre where a new evolutionary form of highly artistic human puppetry and epic performances of the Ramakien is staged. There’s a huge entertainment arena, beer garden, and a food court where you can have had something to eat and enjoy your favorite beer while watching fantastic live music concerts performed by young local talent.
You can also take a ride on the Ferris Wheel to view the spectacular city lights or simply do the usual market thing and see the many specialty stores where there is a mixture of budget and higher-end products.
Khao San Road Market (Bangkok City) ~4.4 Stars
Khao San Road Market (see full review) is set on one small street but it has become a legend among backpackers. It’s a budget travelers paradise. Khaosan is a source for almost anything imaginable. You can even have the dead skin removed from your toes by hungry fish. I kid you not.
The market is a hive of activity both day and night. In addition to all the usual suspects, it’s a great place to meet people you may not necessarily come into contact with at home. Go and take a walk on the wild side. Rucksacks, hiking boots, and other travel equipment can be bought as well as second-hand books, cheap jewelry, clothes, bags, shoes, and other souvenir-type knick-knacks.
Klong Toey Traditional Market (Bangkok City) ~4.1 Stars
Klong Toey Market (see full review) is essentially a traditional Thai open-air shopping and trading place. It is located off the busy Rama IV Road in Bangkok and close to an area around the Chao Phraya River(map). It’s a bit like a slightly soiled city block set deep within a concrete jungle or perhaps an old-world village depending on your point of view.
It’s also where many of the city’s poorest live and work. This particular market is known as a wet market because most of what you see here is fresh produce whether it came from a farm or the sea. It’s not frequented much by tourists as it’s not for everyone. It’s also not on any tourist map and it’s never mentioned in guidebooks, nevertheless fascinating to visit.
Thewet Vegetable and Fish Market (see full review) is an absolutely wonderful local shopping and trading district situated in the very heart of Bangkok where not only will you be able to view a variety of fresh vegetables and fish but also a selection of plants and flowers. You can reach this market either by express water taxi along the Chao Phraya River or by road transport from just about anywhere in the city (Map).
Bangkok is not without its dazzling display of flower markets so next time you are in the city, do yourself a big favor and go and see at least one of them. You won’t be disappointed. Pat Khlong Talad Flower Market (map) is one big, bright market where you’ll be amazed at the huge variety of flowers on display. From the freshest roses to the most spectacular orchids, many species here are not seen anywhere else in the world. It’s heaven-sent for flower lovers.
The Taling Chan Floating Market is one of a number of floating markets in the Taling Chan District of Bangkok. It is located on the canal Khlong Chak Phra at the intersection of Chimphli and Chak Phra roads in front of the district office (map). To see these and other similar markets in Bangkok, go to the floating markets in Bangkok.
Jatujak Weekend Markets (Bangkok City) ~4.4 Stars
Chatuchak Weekend Market – see full review (map)is a huge marketplace held in the northern suburb of Bangkok. It’s also the biggest in Thailand. The market is a chaotic collection of over 6,000 stalls. Collectively, they occupy a space of some five football fields.
Loads of locals and tourists alike throng here every weekend eager to spend the whole day shopping or browsing among the merchandise on display.
There is an incredible variety of goods for sale ranging from anchors to antiques. You’ll find almost anything here. Want to purchase a Siamese Fighter Fish or a second-hand pair of jeans!
You’ll find it all here. There is a hill tribe section selling a good selection of woven textiles as well as antiques and artifacts both genuine and fake from all over Thailand as well as from neighboring countries.
The plant and flower section offers an excellent insight into Thai flora while the food stalls display every conceivable kind of Thai fare fresh from the farm and sea. The market is often referred to as the wildlife supermarket of the world due to endangered species being illegally sold here. Thankfully, this trade is in decline.
Pratunam Clothing Market (Bangkok City) ~4.2 Stars
Pratunam Clothing Market – see full review (map) occupies substantial space in central Bangkok and consists of a maze of covered small shops and stalls. It is particularly good for bargaining for inexpensive fashion garments, textiles, (including Indian fabrics) sewing accessories, and some general domestic items.
Vendors sell a variety of inexpensive merchandise on their stalls such as T-Shirts, Jeans, Shirts, Skirts, Shoes, Costume Jewellery, Handicrafts, and various other assorted paraphernalia.
Chinatown – see full review (map) is a chaotic combination of pungent smells and the hustle and bustle of diversified streets and stalls. 19th-century houses and commercial buildings stretch the length of Songwat Road as are wholesale spice shops, bestowing an old-worldly flavor.
Fresh and preserved food line the crowded sidewalks past the fabric market on Sampeng Lane. Countless gold shops, Chinese herbal medicine stalls, cafe’s and restaurants throng the main traffic artery around Yaowarat Road. Religious paraphernalia can be found at traffic-choked Charoen Krung Road.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market (see full review) is, without a doubt, the most popular floating market around Bangkok. It is situated in the Ratchaburi province 100 kilometers or 60 miles southwest of the city (map).
The market is a labyrinth of narrow canals crammed with small flat wooden boats paddled mainly by females, some of whom dress in traditional blue farmers’ shirts and conical straw hats. Fresh produce sold here comes straight from the farm and they include fruit, vegetables, and spices. Vendors also sell refreshments and souvenir straw hats.
Together there are three floating markets that make up Damnoen Saduak. The largest being Tom Khem on Klong Damnoen Saduak. Another is Hai Kui where superstructures are anchored to the banks of the canal. They act as warehouses selling souvenirs, mainly to large, unsuspecting tour groups. The least crowded market is called Khun Phitak which is situated on a smaller canal in the southern part of Damnoen Saduak.
Amphawa Floating Market (80km from Bangkok) ~4.3 Stars
While the Amphawa Floating Market – see full review (map) might be one of the most popular markets of its kind for local Thais, it’s also one of the most spectacular sites of its kind for tourists to see too. Its vast formation of canals is the perfect setting for a great escape.
And the best thing of all is that you’ll get an eyewitness account of how the locals here go about their daily business selling all sorts of goodies (mostly fresh produce) from their small wooden boats. You’ll also be able to browse the many shops and stalls after which you can enjoy some fantastic views from any one of the restaurants along the canals.
Markets are some of the most exciting attractions you could ever wish to encounter when touring Thailand. Bangkok and its surrounding areas are home to floating markets, flower markets, clothing markets, handicraft markets, street markets, and great night markets. There’s something for everyone!