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article imageBusiness as usual at Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok Special

By Igor I. Solar     May 27, 2010 in Travel
Bangkok - As with many other modern big cities, Bangkok has plenty of markets and Western-style shopping malls, but one can only get the true feel of an Asian market at Chatuchak.
The unrest that has taken place in Bangkok in recent weeks has certainly meant a significant reduction on the visitors travelling to this city, one of the largest and most attractive capitals of Southeast Asia. However, Bangkok is still the most frequent destination to those that do not care much for the chaotic feeling, the noise and the traffic congestion, but always want to make a stop here and enjoy a visit to the Chao Phraya River and the many temples, before continuing on to other destinations in Thailand such as Chiang Mai in the north, or Phuket in the Andaman Sea.
For the tourists that wish to stay away from the downtown shopping malls and the risks of coming across yet another red-shirt protest, possibly one of the best places to visit is the Chatuchak weekend market (Jatujak, or simply JJ to the locals). This market is the largest in Thailand and one of the largest in Asia. About 200,000 people visit the market each day and about two-thirds of them are local people that find at Chatuchak a wide range of household supplies at reasonable prices.
This is truly a huge market. It occupies an area of approximately 1.1 square kilometres around a central clock tower and there are about 10 thousand stalls selling from Thai handy-crafts, through furniture, antiques, lamps, plants and animals. Since one can get lost while walking around the many aisles and spend the whole day (and more) at the market, there are also many food stalls, coffee-shops and proper restaurants.
Although many foreigners visit here, the market mostly caters to the locals; therefore the prices are very reasonable. Still, bargaining is expected and one can often close a deal at 40 to 60 percent of the original asking price.
Since I was to continue my trip to Chon Buri, another city in the Gulf of Thailand, I did not have a lot of time to wander more extensively during my visit to Chatuchak. Therefore, because I am mostly interested on fish and other aquatic life forms, I restricted my tour of the market mostly to the fish and aquarium supplies section. These are some of the pictures I took there.
Tanks with gold fish at Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok
Tanks with gold fish at Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok
There are many garden fountains and garden supplies at the Chatuchak market.
There are many garden fountains and garden supplies at the Chatuchak market.
Each bag contains a single Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). They must be kept separate or th...
Each bag contains a single Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). They must be kept separate or they would fight each other to death
There is a great variety of ornamental fish for sale at the aquarium/pets section of Chatuchak marke...
There is a great variety of ornamental fish for sale at the aquarium/pets section of Chatuchak market.
Some of the most attractive ornamental fish are those capable of glowing in the dark. The tank on th...
Some of the most attractive ornamental fish are those capable of glowing in the dark. The tank on the left side, center row of the picture displays bright colored small fish.
Note: Chatuchak market is located in the northern sector of Bangkok and it may be reached by car or by metro to the Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park) station of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Bangkok Metro Blue Line, or a 5-minute walk from the Mo Chit station of the Bangkok Transit System (BTS) Skytrain Sukhumvit Line. The market is open on Friday eve for wholesale business, and on Saturday and Sunday, all day.
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