Alright, alright. There is no scientific basis for this post. I did not try all the markets in Bangkok, not even a majority. I didn’t even go to any of the recommended ones outside of the city. So you have no reason to believe me except that I ate, shopped, and haggled my way through as many markets as I could manage in ten days, and I deem these three the best, if only because they give you an experience one can only have in Bangkok.
1. JJ/ Chatuchak Market: There is no use mentioning markets in Bangkok without mentioning this massive weekend market. It is the biggest and the best and has stalls selling absolutely anything you could imagine and desire, from shoes to hardware to exotic pets. Haggling is a must as prices are not as cheap as they used to be. While a lot of the goods might not be very authentic or original, with some patience you can still find some creative souvenirs. It is worth it to experience the scale and the madness of it all (pictured above).
2. Amulet Market: This is neither the biggest nor the best market, but it is a very Thai experience. Vendor after vendor sell amulets and religious paraphrenalia to discerning customers – many locals carry around a small looking glass to examine the talismans for signs of good fortune. Up your good karma by picking up a golden buddha or elephant for your friends back home. If you’re extra lucky you might even spot a monk or two.
3. Sukhumvit Soi 38 Night Market: Everybody and their mother told me that the best street food in the city is to be had at the Soi 38 night market. As a matter of principle, I thought it best to try it all. After the grilled duck, pad thai, and fried pork belly, we still managed to find room for mango sticky rice. It’s safe to say that everybody wasn’t wrong.