Markets of Thailand

Vendors at a Thai floating market

I have always loved large outdoor markets. There is something about the hustle and bustle of the crowds, mixed with the many different things to eat, see and buy that makes it an extremely fun way to spend a day. Thailand has some amazing and unique markets that I was super excited to visit. Although most have them have gotten a bit touristy, they are still such an unusual experience that they are totally worth a visit (or two).


1. JJ Market

The entrance to Jatuchak Market

 Our first day in Bangkok we went to the Jatuchak Market – nick named JJ market.  The market is at its best on weekends and since we were only there for one weekend day, we had to make sure to go right away. As the sign says, the market sells “Whatever you want,” many things you never knew you wanted, and several things you don’t want.

Pottery for sale

Popsicle maker

The market is huge. So big that there are actually maps showing you where different items are sold. The most famous on is Nancy Chandler’s, which is available for sale online. Also, most everything is super cheap already – and you are expect to bargain. I could have spent an entire day wandering around, trying food and shopping.

Puppies for sale

A monk peruses the items for sale

Cafe in the middle of the market

Outdoor Thai foot massage in the market

Food Stand
Religious amulets

 2. Train Market

The next day we went to the “Train Market” – named because of its location on the train tracks.  The area between the rails acts as a walkway, and the stalls each extend out the the outer rails. Trains still come through, blowing a horn to alert of their arrival. The vendors quickly pull in their tents and merchandise and the customers hurry off into the space created when the food is moved. Then everyone waits for the train to come through, the stalls come back out, and commerce continues.

People shopping amongst the train tracks

More food for sale

Walking along the train tracks

Turtles for sale …awww baby turtles

At the train market, a man was selling tiny turtles. I got very sad thinking these were food of some kind. But he assured me that they were for sale so that people could buy them and release them into the wild for good luck. Sort of like releasing a dove. I’m pretty sure that is still going to end up in either their death or some kind of teenage mutant ninja turtle situation…but it made me feel somewhat better.

Moving stalls out of the way for the train

 The bins closest to the tracks were all on wheels so that they could quickly be moved out of the way when the train arrived. The entire process was very fast and very impressive. One lady was even selling eggs and managed to get them all moved out of the way without any breakage.

Train coming through – man selling those fish better hurry!

3. Floating Market
The next market we went to was one of the famous floating markets. Really, one of the most amazing things I have seen, the floating markets are comprised of canals filled with vendors selling things out of their boats. You can either walk along the side and they will row up to you, or you can hire a boat to take you around for an hour.

It was pretty crowded

 We rented out a boat for an hour and did a loop around the market. Once again everything was for sale: produce, hot food, trinkets, medicine, animals – you name it. The lighting was a little weird – sorry for the picture quality.

Man selling plates of food for people in boats

Front of our boat

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