Bangkok is a huge city full of multiple markets and shopping malls. During our stay, we we decided to check out 3 tourist-oriented markets.. and 1 mall 😂.
To visit the Railway and Floating markets, we booked a Tripadvisor tour ($30usd/pp), as they are located outside Bangkok.
Maeklong Railway Market
Located approximately 1 hour's drive from Bangkok, at the end of a 65km train track, Maeklong Railway Market's history dates back to the early 1900s when the railway was originally built. What makes this market very unique, is its location directly on the train track.
Whenever a train approaches the market, merchants swiftly dismantle their kiosks to allow the train to pass, and then they set everything back up again as soon as the train has passed. The vendors have become absolute experts at positioning their merchandise incredibly close to the tracks, just out of the way of the passing train, thus eliminating the need for frequent relocation of their wares.
Although the market has become overrun by tourists, it still continues to serve prepared foods and produce to locals.
During our tour, we boarded the train a few stations before the final stop. This gave us the perspective of the market from inside the train. We then disembarked to visit the market and observe the vendor's take-down and setup routine as another train passed through the market on its way back to Bangkok.
Prior to taking the train, we also had a quick visit at a local salt farm.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
After visiting the train market, we continued on our journey to the floating market. It was originally created after King Rama IV built a 32km canal to join 2 nearby rivers. Although it has lost its primary vocation serving locals, the tourist industry has certainly kept it alive. Tourists flock here to experience shopping for various touristy goods, from their designated long boat.
Our tour stopped here to first enjoy green curry and mango sticky rice for lunch, then we hopped on a boat to be navigated through the canal.
One of the land merchants at the boat dock, had a Loris. Although the experience was questionable, seeing a live Loris in real life has been on Jen's bucket list forever. After a little hesitation, we did pay to hold it and take some pictures. They also had a baby one that they let us hold. Jen was really 😍😍😍.
Every time we've been to Bangkok, we've gone here to find cheap t-shirts for Dom and cheap electronics for Jen. This time was no exception, as it just happened to be the drop-off location of our Markets tour 😂.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
On one of the days, we visited the Bangkok Weekend Market (Chatuchak) to buy some souvenirs. Dating from the mid-20th century, this market first started as a small local market and now boasts around 15,000 stalls and up to 200k visitors every weekend. You can find a lot of things here, but we personally found that the Chiang Mai weekend markets had a better selection of more-original, artistic souvenirs.