11 categories of goods, 8000 stalls, 34 acres of land, 400k visitors every weekend.
Those are the staggering numbers for the Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, which is one of the largest markets in the world. If you are visiting Bangkok, make sure you squeeze in a weekend in your itinerary because shopping at Chatuchak is one exciting experience and the best place for buying souvenirs. The title of the post is quite misleading. To be frank, Chatuchak Market is not really a maze. You will find that out by the time you read till the end.
As a first-timer, the Chatuchak Market seemed overwhelming and impossible to decode. I was there with my roommates for a souvenir hunt. The Metro from Silom was the best way for us to get to the Market which saved us from the annoying traffic. Once there, we followed the crowd towards the entrance. Needless to say, the place was brimming with people. With a coconut ice-cream in hand, we explored the streets. Music and the delicious street food aroma filled in the gaps with no people. We stuck to the main streets exploring the stalls before getting sucked into the maze.
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We decided to delve into the deep abyss of the market through the alleyways. The stalls got more colorful and lit up as we went in further. We had no idea where to start and what to look for. While my roommates were fascinated by the colored Elephant figures and Key-chains, I was looking for something that I would NOT get in India. Something that is unique to Thailand. We got enough Elephant figures and colorful artifacts back home.
So I broke away from the group and went deeper into the maze to find that one thing that would fascinate me. That is when I found my souvenir. The Sepak Takraw Ball. I had seen a bunch of guys playing the game in a park I came across the previous day. It is basically a volleyball game but you use legs in place of hands. Now picture that or else watch this video.
This is how flexible you need to be to play that game. So that ball now rests in a peaceful spot in my room back home.
#souvenirs from #Thailand ……..got the sepaktakraw ball, you need to see how they play this with their feet, #amazing #chatuchak #bangkok #Thailand #souvenirhunt #shopping ********************************** #travel #traveling #TFLers #vacation #visiting #instatravel #instago #instagood #trip #holiday #photooftheday #fun #travelling #tourism #tourist #instapassport #instatraveling #mytravelgram #travelgram #travelingram #igtravels #bangkokspirit #thailandinsider
At that moment I had no idea that the game was called Sepak Takraw. I had to Google in many weird keywords to find it. After ‘volleyball with legs’, ‘tennis with legs’, ‘thailand leg volleyball’ took me to the darker side of the internet, I finally got the perfect keyword – ‘kickball thailand’. It gave me some links which mentioned the Sepak Takraw game. But this was not the first time I was seeing the ball. Being a fan of Thai action movies I remember seeing this ball way back during my school days in one of the Tony Ja movies ‘Born to Fight’. Glad I finally got the souvenir I was looking for.
Exploring the #chatuchak weekend market #bangkok #thailand #market #weekend #solotraveler #shopping #travel #traveling #TFLers #vacation #visiting #instatravel #instago #instagood #trip #holiday #photooftheday #fun #travelling #tourism #tourist #instapassport #instatraveling #mytravelgram #travelgram #travelingram #igtravels
There was an instance where one of my roommates had seen a tank top stall where he had got a good deal. But decided to go deep inside the alleyway to see if he gets a better deal in some other stall. None of the stalls were giving any deal as good as the first one so we decided to get back to the first stall and that is when we found that we had lost the way back. We split up and scrounged the whole place for that one shop. We even retraced our way back to the market from the entrance but all in vain. That shop was gone and so was the deal which we ignored. It was impossible to find the same shop again in the maze.
But if you have been to Chatuchak, you can see that the place is not really a maze. It was organized in some way that was invisible to a newcomer. The place was also clean and looked OK as per SE Asian standards. I finally came across the key that decoded the maze. If you have the map then you can make sure you will not miss any deal or stall as we did.
- Clothing & Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26)
- Handicrafts (sections 8-11)
- Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
- Furniture and Home Decoration (sections 1,3,4,7,8)
- Food and Beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27)
- Plants and Gardening tools (sections 3, 4)
- Art and Gallery (section 7)
- Pets and Pet Accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13)
- Books (sections 1, 27)
- Antiques and Collectibles (sections 1, 26)
- Miscellaneous and Used Clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)
Unlucky me, I was not having this info when I went and had to depend on my natural shopping instincts which failed me every single time. The only section I was familiar with was the food section. I could reach that section no matter which corner of the market you put me in. Check out this interesting Food Trail which will leave you drooling.
That was my first encounter with the Chatuchak Market. Have you been to the Chatuchak for the Souvenir Hunt?