Although we had spent the previous day exploring the Warorot market in Chiang Mai, today we visited Bangkok’s largest market – Chatuchak market. It’s only open on weekends, so this was really our only chance to visit. I’m glad we did, because I’ve never been to a market so large! It sells everything from clothes to food, toys, souvenirs, furniture, second hand trash and treasure and pets, and we managed to spend the better part of a day there.
We started our visit at the food stalls lining the street where we had rice and pork for breakfast – my kind of breaky! Then we slipped out of the sun and into the shady maze of the market.
We weren’t particularly early, but the day still hadn’t fully warmed up. I’m glad we weren’t much later, because it didn’t take long for it to heat up under the tarps and tin roof. The market is grouped into sections, so we started at one end looking at souvenirs then worked our way through homewares, and crafts and toys before stopping for a chocolate and peanut coated coconut ice cream. There was a section in the crafts area selling miniature everything – furniture, flowers, cereal boxes, fruits, animals. I’m not really sure what people buy these for, but there were also stalls selling models such as food cards, complete with miniature food and utensils so perhaps they sell the individual pieces so people can create their own models.
I bought a few souvenirs, and also a couple of nice shirts. Given the number of stalls, there was generally more than one place selling an item which made it easier to compare prices and bargain. There was a section selling pets, where there were rabbits wearing coats, and tiny puppies for sale. The animals didn’t look very happy, and there was one man washing a hand sized puppy quite roughly, then drying it with a hair dryer. There were also snakes, spiders, hedgehogs, fish and turtles available – the sort of pets you’d need a license for back here in Australia.
After a couple of hours, we stopped for a coffee break then crossed over into the second half which mostly specialises in furniture. This part of the market was more like a small shopping centre, with some stalls having walls and air conditioning. We found a place that sold fancy fairy lights, where I got some Christmas lights and a chain of elephants. I need to get a power adaptor before I can plug them in, but I’m looking forward to decorating my bedroom with the elephants!
Shopped out, we made our way to the food court area for lunch where we had a delicious duck noodle soup. There was a promotion for a TV station, and Shrek was wandering around giving massages. He crept up behind me while Victoria was getting food and tickled me!
We’d just about seen all the market and were ready to head home. We made a quick toilet stop, and I was surprised to find there was a 3 Baht fee to use the toilet! A lady was sitting outside collecting money, and I assume periodically cleaning the toilets.
We walked through the fresh produce section on our way out, and found a machine which was shredding coconut, then pressing the flesh to make coconut cream and milk. The shredded flesh was then wrapped in a cloth bag, and the cream and milk in plastic. It was interesting to see this in action. There were plenty of other fresh fruit and vegies and we bought some pineapple. I was surprised by the overall cleanliness of this section of the market. It was well lit with a clean, white tile floor. Much more orderly than I was expecting!
Back at the apartment, we relaxed by the pool for a while and I tried out the little water slide. When Marwan came home from work, we met up with some of his friends and headed out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner.
The restaurant was having a Day of the Dead party and was very busy when we arrived. We waited more than an hour for a food, but it was very nice when it came. By then, a lot of people had left because it was mostly families with kids. The extent of their celebrations was halloween-like decorations, and a one man Mariachi band. Finished with dinner, we caught a cab back into the city and had drinks at the Octave rooftop bar. The bar is on the 45th floor, completely open to the sky. The view was amazing, and it was a really nice way to wrap up the day.