The atmosphere is buzzing, people push and shove past you, manoeuvering through the narrow sois en route to find their next great bargain in the jumble of items piled up in one of about 8000 sellers' shops. This is the Chatuchak Weekend Market, also known as the Jatujak Market, located on 35 acres northeast of Bangkok, attracting 200 000 visitors every weekend to tackle the maze of stalls.
Thailand is renowned for its silk and various forms of textiles.
Throughout Chatuchak Market you'll encounter stall after stall of vibrant fabrics. Many of the vendors have shelves piled high with neutral to brightly dyed silks in all shades and styles, in dress lengths as well as full bolts of cloth to be sold by the metre. Here you can also purchase pre-made goods, such as clothing, scarfs, pillowcases, wall hangings, and so on - just like the stacks of silks, the possibilities are endless. Many of the textiles are embroidered or woven with traditional designs and patterns, and also decorated with beading.
Textiles are of great importance to the economy of Thailand and amount for fifty percent of all handicrafts. Thai silk is known around the world as some of the best for being light, strong, hard wearing and long lasting. Since the silkworms of ancient Asia produced enough to rob the royals of Siam the tradition of silk weaving has continued through the centuries. One can find both handcrafted and dyed silk around all of Thailand, but it has also merged into the manufacturing sector becoming one of the largest productions in the country. As well as silk, the added use of cotton textiles and weaves to produce clothing, scarves, blankets, pillows, bags and a great deal more have become extremely popular.
Textiles are one of the most important features of Thai heritage and culture. Centuries ago, the use of cloth for clothing and various aspects was developed in villages from Northern Thailand particularly in Chiang Mai. The development of various designs of cloth came about through the traditional use of patterns and weave to represent specific tribes and villages, including the status of those within the communities up North. Later these traditions moved down through the country reaching its Southern borders. Cotton growing and silk production were the most common factors attributing to the growth of textiles in Thailand and continue to do so today contributing greatly to the economic expansion within the country.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Located about 11km Northeast of downtown Bangkok, Thailand
Easily accessed by MRT Subway and the BTS Skytrain
MRT Subway: Get off at Kamphaeng Phet, and you will pop up inside the market
BTS Skytrain: Get off at Mo Chit Station, follow the crowds down onto Phahonythin Rd., follow it southwest about 1 Kilometre and turn right onto Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd. until you reach one of the entrances on the left hand side of the street
Location of Textiles
Section 22 - Soi 4 & 5
The administration of Chatuchak Market
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 9am-6pm
Maps are available at each entrance
Toilets are located throughout the market
-Section 7, Soi 66 and 67
-Section 4, Soi 52, 49
-Section 2, Soi 38
-Section 27, Soi 67 and 64
The main streets inside the market are wheelchair and stroller accessible