Vibrant, chaotic, and packed with surprises, Thailand’s largest market—with more than 15,000 stalls tucked into narrow sois, or alleyways, on the city’s north side—peddles everything from rare orchids to block-printed textiles.
At Ajai Silk Art & Décor (No. 137, Soi 1/6, Section 26), a well-curated collection of handwoven textiles from Thailand’s northeast are mixed with Burmese lacquerware and small silk ikat cushions.
Head to R.S.T. Spices (No. 192, Soi 4, Section 25) for just about every spice under the sun, plus vacuum-packed, ready-to-go curry pastes—essential in Thai cooking.
Lowndoad Me (No. 274, Soi 46/1, and No. 284, Soi 46/2, Section 3) stocks colorful, lightweight linen shirts for men and women—perfect for the tropical climate.
An air-conditioned oasis, Anyadharu (Nos. 123–124, Soi 3, Section 3) has candles and sachets scented with lemongrass and ginger. Need a caffeine fix? There’s also a tiny tearoom in the back.
Weathered white cabinets set the stage for the circa-1950 hats, clothing, costume jewelry, and old cameras on display at His & Her Vintage (No. 132, Soi 55/1, Section 5).
The 29-year-old graphic designer and owner of namesake gallery Pariwat A-nantachina (No. 118, Soi 3, Section 7) creates panoramic photo collages of Bangkok street life.
By noon Chatuchak Weekend Market gets stiflingly hot. Go toward the end of the day, before the market closes at 6 p.m.
Take a break at Luksom (No. 089, Soi 38/2, Section 2), which serves freshly squeezed OJ from Thailand’s native green-skinned oranges.
Invest in a good map. Nancy Chandler’s illustrated Map of Bangkok ($12.95) has detailed directions and advice on navigating the stalls.
Get off the subway at the Kamphaeng Phet station. It’s less crowded than the Mo Chit BTS SkyTrain station, and deposits you directly in Section 2.