If I could say only one word about shopping in Bangkok it would have to be JJ (Chattachuk) market. The Volunteer has waxed lyrical about Monday markets, floating markets and night markets. But the one that comes up time and time again is JJ Market. It is the largest market in Thailand and covers over 27 acres. Believe me that is one heck of a market.
It sells everything, and I do mean everything. It has its dark side and on the advice of the volunteer we did not go into the pet section. Even walking past the apparently mild outside my heart and stomach were sick to see huge fish in tiny bags and turtles and mice piled high in boxes.
There were also some seriously scary mannequins.
However, the rest of the market was fascinating. It is divided into sections so in theory you can find what you want. But over 27 acres of “sections” still makes it extremely easy to get lost, several times! With the help of the volunteer and a couple of online language apps I have learned some basic Thai and “mai ao kaa” is a polite and handy way to ensure you don’t get hassled (literally “I don’t take”)
The Boss and I had foot and shoulder massage. Now I like a hard and brutal massage, I can’t be doing with namby pamby gentle wafting of the hands. I have had some deep and hard massages in my time, but boy did this little Thai lady get deep and strong on my poor western muscles. Great but not for the fainthearted or those with low pain thresholds.
My favourite section, was the food one! We had some sumptuous spring rolls from the stall that the Volunteer recommended.
But every stall was piled high.
There is little you cannot buy and the Volunteer arrived with a shopping list, memory bank, charging cable, t-shirts and flip flops. But whether you wanted a new teak sofa, a beach dress, more craft items than Hobbycraft has even dreamed of, or a working antique telephone I found them all at JJ.
It’s easy to get to by BTS (Mo Chit and follow the crowds) or metro (Chattachuk Park). I don’t recommend taxi or tuk tuk. The traffic makes rush hour in Naples look like a country lane. Go early whilst it is relatively (and I use the term carefully!) quiet but more importantly not so hot. Midday at JJ is crowded and very hot. There are plenty of places to sit and eat snacks and lots of “refreshment stations” but precious few where you can sit down and just have a drink. There is one lovely exception. Head to section 7 (the 7 sign at the end of the long street closest to the stations) facing the 7 sign turn left and you will see a little rest area just at the entrance to the home decor and art section. We left my husband there whilst we went for a wander and came back an hour or so later to find him deep in conversations with his new friend Saul from Singapore whose wife was also shopping. This was his third visit during this trip!
Love Gillie x