Which Bangkok Night Market should you visit in 2024

If you are planning on visiting Thailand, you will probably have a visit to a Bangkok night market on top of your list of things to do. They are well known as places to buy souvenirs and a popular nighttime activity for locals and visitors. Today Bangkok local, Stephen, shares his experiences visiting some of the popular night markets and a few of his personal favourites.

Bangkok is one of those cities with so many places to see and things to do that it’s not always possible to fit everything into one visit. However, if shopping and local food are on your must-do list, visiting one of the many night markets in Bangkok must be a priority.

First, you’ll find out what makes night markets a must-see. We’ll then tell you about three of the most popular, followed by three of our favourites. Lastly, we’ll give you some tips on how to make the most of your experience.

Are you ready? Let’s go.

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Why Bangkok Night Markets are a Must-Visit

Markets are famous all over Southeast Asia; they’re an excellent way to find treasures, experience local food, and get amazing bargains. If people-watching is your thing, there’s plenty of that to be had, too.

Most markets in Bangkok are open during the day and sell everything from tacky souvenirs to fresh food and vegetables, picked or procured early that same day.

Bangkok night market Jodds Fair Rama 9
I suggest arriving at the market early if you are not one for crowds.

But for a more unique experience, night markets are the way to go. Apart from shopping and eating, many have bars and entertainment, making them a complete night out in Bangkok.

Let’s delve deeper.

Diverse Shopping Opportunities

So the number one reason to go to a night market is shopping. They all have clothes, footwear, souvenirs, phone cases, accessories, and home decor at affordable prices. Some have more specialised items; local artists sell their paintings at Chatuchak Weekend Market for one — but more on that later.

Many of Bangkok’s night markets can arrange to have your purchases packaged and sent to your hotel or, for those even more oversized items, can ship them back home for you.

Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it at the night bazaars in Bangkok; it just may take a bit of searching. The best thing is that the price is usually negotiable, with bargaining all part of the experience; we have some tips to share on that a little later, too.

Gastronomic Adventures Await

Thailand has some of the most delicious street food in Asia, and you can find it all at any of the night markets in Bangkok.

Most markets have street food stalls where you can grab a snack on the run, while other night markets have seating areas where you can relax and eat; either way, whatever you want to try, it’ll be on the menu.

Bangkok night market bug stall
Deep fried bugs for the brave!

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try to sample deep-fried insects like scorpions and caterpillars. If not, famous local delicacies like Moo Ping (pork skewers), fish cakes and Pad Thai can be found everywhere.

Crispy fried treats at SWU Night market
These tasty fried savoury cakes are a popular market snack.

With the abundance of fresh fruit available in Bangkok, be sure to try one of the multitude of flavoured sodas or shakes.

Cultural Immersion

While culture is on display at most markets in Bangkok, it’s even more pronounced at the night markets. Quite often, live musicians will play local folk songs, and some will be accompanied by Thai dancing.

For people watching, grab a seat in one of the dining areas and observe how tourists and locals interact. You can spot the novices from the experts a mile away, and this activity adds to the overall enjoyment of the night market visit.

There are around 20 official night markets in Bangkok, and plenty of pop-ups too. With such a range, it’s hard to know which ones to add to your list. Don’t worry; we’ve done the research for you and narrowed it down to six.

First, let’s look at the three most popular night markets tourists visit.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Probably the most well-known market in Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s been operating for over 40 years in its current location; with over 200,000 visitors every weekend and more than 15,000 market stalls, it’s now the largest weekend market in the world!

Chatuchak Weekend Market crowds
Arrive at Chatuchak early or you will face crowds like this

Whatever you’re looking to buy can be found at Chatuchak Night Market; we especially love that local designers selling trendy clothes set up shop there.

The entire market is open Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm, but the Friday night market operates from 6 pm to midnight and is the one to visit.

While many of the inside shops are closed, the entire outdoor area thrives, and there are even some little bars tucked away, reminding you of the days of prohibition. They’re allowed to open, don’t get us wrong, but for novelty’s sake, you need to hunt them down.

Chatuchak Weekend Market on Friday night
Arriving early on a Friday night will see you shopping in peace!

One of the many reasons Chatuchak Friday Night Market is so popular is that it’s conveniently located, so it’s super easy to get to. The Mo Chit station on the BTS line and the MRT station Chatuchak are both on its doorstep. There’s a major bus hub, and every northbound bus stops there.

Asiatique – The Riverfront

Asiatique is the best night market with a view. It’s located right on the Chao Praya River, and day or night, for the scenery alone, it’s worth a visit. The best way to experience the beauty of the river is to jump on the Asiatique Sky Ferris wheel; at 60m high, the view of Bangkok is spectacular.

The market is like a giant outdoor shopping mall with brand names and local stores mixed together.

Asiatique is one of the most popular night markets because of the vast range of dining experiences. From waterfront restaurants with outdoor seating to street food stalls, there’s something here for everyone on any budget. The carnival like atmosphere is also appealing for families.

Asiatique Bangkok wheel
Asiatique Bangkok wheel

Unlike the Chatuchak market, which is only open on weekends, Asiatique is open every day from 11 am until midnight. While you can get there by taxi or tuk-tuk, the most fun way is to take the free river shuttle from the dock next to Saphan Taksin BTS Station.

Jodds Fair Night Market

A popular night market in central Bangkok is the Jodds Fair night market in Hwai Kwang. As it’s so conveniently located, it features on the itinerary of many package tours sold abroad, so consider that when you plan to visit. It gets crowded, especially at dinnertime.

Jodds Fair Night Market
Clothes, fashion items and technology feature at Jodds Fair

Open daily from 4 pm to midnight, it has one of the widest ranges of food options of any night market in Bangkok, so it is worth visiting for that reason alone, but we suggest making it a late meal to give you a chance to get a seat. Alcohol is widely available, so if you’re looking for an ice cold beer, you’re spoilt for choice.

Jodds Fair night market seating
Arrive here after dark and there won’t be a seat to be found!

As for shopping, it’s more on the generic side of the shopping range, with clothes, phone cases, gadgets and souvenirs as the primary draws.

As mentioned, it’s so easy to get here. The MRT Rama IX station is a few minutes’ walk from the market zone, and the last train is around 11.45 pm.

Jodd’s Fair opened a second branch at the old Dan Merit theme park in Lat Phrao in 2023. Known as JODD FAIRS DanNeramit it’s as easy to get to as the original one, with the Ha Yaek Lat Phrao Statio BTS station just a short walk away.

3 Bangkok Night Markets We Love

The three above are by far the most popular night markets in Bangkok, and as such, they can get very, very busy, especially during the high tourist season, from November to February.

We think the next three are the best night markets in Bangkok, as they’re slightly newer and have unique offerings.

The One Ratchada

The Ratchada Train Market was one of the best night markets in Bangkok, but sadly, it closed down during Covid, never to reopen again. The good news is that many of the market stalls moved to the newly opened The One Ratchada just down the road.

The new, mixed with the old, is a winning combination!

We like this market because, unlike the others, it’s small, with around 100 vendors, and the focus is on street food and drink, but there are still some excellent shopping opportunities.

It’s open from 4 pm until midnight, and to the left of the market, like the former train market, are bars and clubs set up in containers for those who want to party into the night.

This is another market located in central Bangkok. It’s a few minutes’ walk from the Thailand Cultural Centre MRT station.

SWU Night Market

Here’s a night market in Bangkok with a difference. The SWU night market is situated on the grounds of the Srinakharinwirot University. The daytime flea market has been open every Tuesday and Thursday for years, but in 2023, the Friday night market was opened.

SWU night market
The SWU night market offers a mix of food and affordable fashion

Thai food of every conceivable nature is sold here, and the giant lawns make it a picnicking paradise. Live entertainment is provided on the stages, most often by the local university students. So go along and support the upcoming talent; you may witness the first performance of the next Bodyslam.

SWU night market
Buy your dinner and head to the lawns to listen to university bands

It’s so easy to get here; it’s right next to the Phetchaburi MRT Station. It’s only open from 4 pm to 9 pm, so it’s a quick and easy Friday night out in Bangkok.

Indy Market

Most night markets in Bangkok cater to tourists, so if you’re looking for one with more of a local vibe, Indy Market at Thonburi is perfect for you.

Described as a ‘Hipster Market’, there are over 500 stalls selling Thai food, fashion, and locally produced arts and crafts.

Tucked away in a Bangkok suburb, this isn’t as easy to get to as the others we’ve covered. A taxi or a ride-share vehicle are your best bets. The nearest BTS station is Wong Wian Yai, but it’s still quite a hike from there.

Bargaining Tactics and Etiquette

One highlight of any Bangkok market is the opportunity to haggle and see if you can find some great bargains. There is an art to this process and even some etiquette to abide by.

Firstly, remember that for many stall owners, this is their livelihood, so asking them to discount too low may mean a loss of income for them, so be considerate.

The number one rule is to do the entire exchange with a big smile on your face; this will encourage the seller to be more in your corner.

The usual approach is to offer half the label or quoted price and then haggle back and forth until you get somewhere around the 3/4 mark. That way, everyone has compromised, and the sale is successful for all.

If the stall owner is being too tight, and you really want the item, consider walking away. If they want the sale, they’ll come closer to the final price you quoted to avoid missing out completely.

FAQs About Bangkok Night Markets

What are the operating hours of most night markets in Bangkok?

Most night markets open at 4pm and close around midnight, but it’s safest to check their websites or the Google Maps’ location for any changes before heading out.

Are the prices at night markets fixed, or can they be negotiated?

Most of the products available at a night market in Bangkok are flexible and can be negotiated. However, some shop owners don’t do this and have a fixed price sign requesting that you don’t haggle. Please respect this every time.

What are the best ways to get to the main night markets in Bangkok?

All the night markets are located on the BTS Skytrain or the MRT Subway lines, and some are connected by both. For an authentic Thailand experience, why not consider jumping in a Tuk-Tuk? If there are only two of you, there’s also plenty of room to load it up with all your purchases!

Are night markets in Bangkok suitable for children?

Night markets in Bangkok can get very crowded, and as they’re focused heavily on entertainment and alcohol is served, they can get a little rowdy, especially later into the night. A day market would be a more suitable choice for younger kids to get the best market experience.

How do I ensure that I’m buying authentic handmade products?

Unfortunately, this is a risk that you’ll need to take. Unlike Australia, where local products get the ‘Australian Made’ label, Thailand doesn’t have those laws. The good news is that some markets, like Chatuchak and Indy Market, have local artisans there selling their handmade products, and they’re often mid-creation as you stop by.

The Magic of Bangkok’s Night Market Experience

Every trip to Bangkok must include a visit to one of its night markets. While there are so many to choose from, if you want a significant tourist experience, Chatuchak, Jodds Fair, and Asiatique are your best bets. Choose The One Ratchada, SWU or Indy Market for something more unique and less crowded.

About the author: Stephen left Australia in 2016 with a one-way ticket to Thailand
and hasn’t been back since. Seven years later, he’s “living the ex-pat dream”, married and settled down; he and his partner travel across Thailand competing in half-marathon running events and sampling coffee at cafes.