A Fashionable Flea Market

A Fashionable Flea Market

Once only popular among wholesalers and traders, Chatuchak Weekend Market now graces the pages of every guidebook as a requisite stop for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse array of goods will bring any shopaholic to their knees – you can literally shop ‘till you drop’.  The 35-acre area, divided into 28 sections is home to more than 10,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to indulge their consumerism. Among the hundreds of thousands of shoppers that flood the market each weekend 70% of them are locals.

After visiting Chatuchak I can see why so many Thai people frequent the market, as it offers fashion forward clothes for everyone from vintage admirers and seekers of urban chic second-hand clothes to cutting edge fashion by young up and coming designers.  I am far from a trendsetter when it comes to fashion, in fact it is rare that the word fashion would ever appear in a sentence describing me unless it was to say that I am a “fashion victim”.  On  this trip in particular I am rarely seen sporting anything more fashionable than zip-off camping pants and gore tex as evidenced below.

Proof of my "fashion victim" status

I may be a fashion victim, but I can tell by the crowds ogling the designs on display that they will be on runways soon.  At the very least I can be sure, based on the number of happy buyers carrying full shopping bags that the young designers featured at Chatuchak Market will get their turn in the Bangkok sun.  Below is a photo journal highlighting some of the fashion forward design shops and talented artists I enjoyed throughout the market.

Mobs of Thai shoppers pack the market to purchase new threads

All of the design shops in the market are well laid out and attractive to the eye as to lure shoppers in to take a closer look.  The name of many of the clothiers are as original as their designs such as “Walking in the Moonlight” as featured below or my favorite “Walk with Grandma on a Well-Lit Street”.

Another shop, featuring designs for men, with a creative name is “Frog” as seen below.  The designs seem to be a cross between metrosexual and hipster.

Below is a design shop featuring what must be cutting edge fashion because I am not sure that it’s made its way off the runway onto the streets yet.  Silk shorts with a silk shirt seems more like something I would wear to bed, but remember I’m not the person to ask for fashion advice.

These modest black and white designs seem like a versatile option for any woman’s wardrobe and the store that featured these dresses offered a wide range of cute warm weather options.  It was clearly a popular place with the Thai women.

Beyond the fashion at Chatuchak Market we were both blown away by the art, not only were their stunning original paintings, sculptures and furniture for sale, but there was a busy artist community right in the middle of the market.  They had set up a temporary studio space in the middle of their mini-galleries. As you can see below one woman is working on sculpture while others draw and there is a guitar on hand that I was hoping was going to be put into use as I was strolling the galleries.

The paintings this artist community produced were gorgeous, we both wanted to buy something from every artist.  Below are a couple of examples of wonderful art on display and for sale at Chatuchak.


Expect to spend half a day, the market is a ways out of town at the end of the SkyTrain line (MoChit stop) so it takes some time to get there.  Once you’re there you could be lost for days among the seemingly millions of vendors, so expect to stay awhile and grab a meal while you’re shopping.

Bargain, many of the stalls look very professional and have marked prices, but don’t let that fool you this is a bargain hunters paradise, the best bid wins.

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» dad :
May 24, 2011

must be hard to not buy stuff…….would kill your mother…….lol…..the photo on left looks like your in the military……i am in your camp, as clothes are for function, not as a fashion statement……biking a lot and motorcycling with
Eric, so same old, same old…….did 30 plus miles with tim carlin Friday which was fun…..Kelly is working with NOLS, not sure that is right, but the outdoor leadership school thing, you talked about once…….look forward to hearing from you in person……be safe……peace…..love dad

LOCAVORista Reply:

Dad, it is tough not to buy stuff. We have been really good about not buying much, but I did get a couple of “fashion” t-shirts at the market so that I have a few non-backpacker clothes to wear

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About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.


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