Chatuchak weekend market, the mother of all markets, is a sight to behold. With more stalls than one could possibly see in one day, there is no way to not get lost. Nancy Chandlers map is your best bet for trying to figure out where you are, but even with that good luck! The market consists of 60 large sections, each with a specialty. There are silks, silver, animals, kitchenware, hippie clothes (yes my Boot Chicks, I bought two hippie outfits!), craft supplies, wedding gifts, toys, used clothing, beads, leather goods, books, home decor, aquarium, beachwear, ceramics, shoes, and much much more. Basically, if you can think of it, someone here probably sells it!
If you go, here are a few pointers: go early as it gets very hot and crowded (opens at 9am), take lots of water or buy it and drink often, bring an empty shopping bag or two, wear loose and breathable clothing (not pants). Also, do take a break and stop at one of the massage stands. I got a 45 minute foot and back massage that was divine (so nice to take a break, relax, and people watch) for about $8.
My favorite spots were sections 25 and 26 for lots of goods from Chiang Mai like silver and silks. I got 100% pashmina scarfs for 250 baht or less than $10. I also recommend stopping at Viva’s which is like an oasis in the midst of chaos. They serve beer, coffees, smoothies, and at times have live music in a funky setting. For lunch you should stop at one of the many food stalls. I had the most amazing fried chicken. Mind you, since I’m Southern I consider myself an authority on fried chicken!
Chatuchak is right off the Kampaengphet Station on the Sukhumvit train line so it is a breeze to both get to and find. I didn’t last much more than 4 hours, the crowds and heat were just too much, but go and enjoy!
After a much needed shower, I headed out to the Healthland Spa for a two hour traditional Thai massage. It is a busy place and not as relaxing as the spas I’m used to, but for $15, who’s complaining?
On the way back to the Hyatt I stopped at Bua, a great restaurant located at Saladaeng and Colony (between the Swiss Lodge and Molly Malone’s Irish Pub). I had the Thai beef salad that was tangy and fresh with bright herbs, tomato, onion, and something akin to cucumber. The beef was perfectly mid rare and I asked for a little spicy which was just enough to make my lips pleasantly burn. Paired with a large Singha beer, it was the perfect end to a long day.