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.
Chatuchak Market sparks creativity for the buyer. Vendors buried deep within the jewelry stalls sell thousands of kinds of beads, inspiring visitors to design their own jewelry or crafts. You will find a dazzling array of glass, wood, clay, metal, and stone beads in all forms and colours. Beads can be found either grouped together in small bags, purchased individually, or bought by the strand.
Also in this section of the market are many stalls that cater to visitors searching for handmade jewelry. Silver, cloth, woven, and beaded bracelets, necklaces, rings etc. showcase the amazing diversity of jewelry designs. Although similarities of style are not uncommon, you will rarely find exact duplicate designs between vendors, since individual artists personalize each piece of work in their own way.
Thailand offers an astounding array of beads and jewellery in all shapes and sizes, using many mixed materials. Ceramic and wood beads are commonly incorporated into the artistry of jewellers at Chatuchak Market, mixed with vibrantly coloured threads and cloth. The most significant aspect of Thailand's jewellery world is the use of sterling silver and gold, media that have been used traditionally in Thailand since the dawn of Thai culture. It is still possible to find hand painted beads integrated into the designs as well. Beads and jewelry have become passports out of poverty for poor hill tribes and villagers. Today, many regions within Thailand have programs that produce handmade jewelry, and the profits help maintain village life and sustain traditional culture. The artists at Chatuchak market each have a unique style, incorporating both traditional and modern takes on one of Thailand's most revered arts.
Silver, gems, gold jewelry and handcrafted beads have existed for over 2,000 years in the regions surrounding Thailand and the country itself. Hindu influences brought about the ancient art of goldsmithing. Later, the Mon people took up the tradition within the borders of ancient Siam (now Thailand). Silver is highly sought after in the country, and it too has become part of an increasing market as the demand by visitors grows every year. Not only are beads meant to be worn for personal adornment and for traditional dance, they also have great religious value and significance, such as mala beads traditionally used by Buddhist monks to count mantras or keep track of the number of breaths they take during meditation. These have escalated into a hot commodity for tourists in the form of bracelets and necklaces, yet continue to be worn and used traditionally by Thai people.
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 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 Jewelry & Beads
Section 20 - Soi 6
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
The pin on the map above is centrally located in the area where you will find the greatest concentration of jewelry and bead vendors in Chatuchak Market.