Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chatuchak Market, Saturday, January 21.

Today we visited Chatuchak Market, a huge market on the outskirts of Bangkok.  The market is an easy ride on the Sky Train, pretty much a straight shot from our hotel.  We wanted to get an early start, but we were a bit lazy this morning, so didn't get there until about 9:30.  Here's the BTS, or Bangkok Sky Train coming into the "Nana" station near our hotel:

 And here's David on the train:

Chatuchak (or "JJ Market" as the locals call it) is held only on the weekends, and it's a crazy, crowded jumble of over 9,000 stalls!  It's a huge maze of streets, alleys and small passages filled with every item you could imagine--and a few that you probably couldn't!

Do you need a few bleached skulls of  dead critters, complete with horns?  Well, Chatuchak Market's your place!

Are you shopping for a new denim purse?  You'll surely find it in this stall-- denim purses of every design!  I loved the one with buttons:

Yes, these are both purses:

Have you lost your remote for that old TV or CD player?  There's a whole stall of nothing but used remotes, all nicely re-wrapped in plastic:

In the market for a pet?  You could choose a dog, a cat, some fish, a lizard, a pair of exotic birds, or even a snake--they're all right here at Chatuchak Market.  Don't forget the pet chow--it's in the pet section.

Need some peacock feathers or a new feather duster?  This lovely lady carries her stall around with her!  We saw her a couple of times, and also a man carrying a huge load of brooms and dusters!

 How about an amulet to bring you good luck or ward off bad spirits?  You would have your pick of a new amulet, or a beautiful antique.

Speaking of antiques--there's a big area with very interesting Thai antique pieces.  Too bad most of it won't fit in my suitcase!

This enterprising young man had a small food cart carrying big soup pots, and was delivering lunch to the stall workers.  Mmmmm-special delivery tom yum gai:

Plenty of stalls selling flowers, plants, seeds and beautiful orchids and ferns:

Are you hungry?  Of course--there are many, many food stalls and food carts:
BIG shrimp:

Got a craving for squid on-a-stick? 

After that yummy lunch you might be in the mood for some musical entertainment.  You'll have lots of choices at Chatuchak.  There's the banjo playin' Thai cowboy:      (he yodels, too!)

Here's a sweet young pair, the young man is playing a traditional Thai instrument called a pong lang, and the cute little girl was doing traditional Thai dancing--very gracefully:

About now we're looking for the restrooms, of course.  Thankfully there are several restroom facilities throughout the market.  This sign was right by the restrooms. 

Seriously--it was right by the restroom! How did they know we waited a bit too long? We couldn't figure it out, but we sure got a kick out of it!

And that's just a very small sampling of what we saw at Chatuchak!  We walked and walked until our feet hurt, we were just plain hot and tired.  We'd spent about 6 hours enjoying the madness that is Chatuchak--and loved every minute of it.  But after awhile it all starts to look the same (well---maybe not the squid-on-a-stick--that's different!) so we decided to hop on the BTS and head back into Bangkok.
Back to our hotel and another relaxing afternoon cocktail at the terrace bar.  Gee, that's becoming a very nice  habit!  Here we are,  David with a cold beer and me with a delicious rum Mojito:

After our refreshing cocktails we relaxed in our room for a couple of hours--David even took a nap.  This tourist stuff is hard work!

We'd decided just to stroll around to look for something interesting for our dinner tonight.  We looked at Indian food, Thai Food and vegetarian food.  Then we found a Korean restaurant that looked really interesting, and it was very busy--usually a good sign.  We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table, but it was so worth it!  

We looked at the menu--mostly in Thai, but with several pictures to help us choose.  With a bit of help from our waitress, we managed to order--not really knowing what we were doing.  We ordered some kind of marinated meat, and the one Korean dish that I had heard of--BiBimBap.( BiBimBap is a mixture of a few vegies and sometimes a bit of meet that is served over rice in a VERY hot stone bowl.  They break an egg into the middle, then stir it all up and serve it in the hot bowl.) 

 Soon our waitress brought a big tray filled with may small dishes, and proceeded to put them ALL on our table!
Good grief, we had no idea what to do with all of this food!  What had we ordered, anyway?  

Pretty soon our nice young server returns with pot of red-hot coals, removes the silver lid in the middle of the table, and puts the coals into the well:

She then put a grate over the coals, and proceeded to grill the meat we ordered, right at our table:
Here she is, stirring our BiBimBap:

It was smelling pretty delicious about now!  I'm sure we looked like we didn't know what to do with all this food (duuuhhh!) , so she took a big lettuce leaf and put together a lettuce wrap--showing us just how it's done.  Mmmmmm, it was good!  We gobbled it down so fast I didn't even get a picture!  But here are some of the more interesting side dishes that came with our meal.  Kim-chee (pickled and fermented spicy cabbage--really good):

Some kind of crunchy fish product--only tried one teeny tiny taste--No Thanks!

Some kind of sea-critter in a shell.  We each tried just one--a bit "fishy" for us:

There were also many assorted vegetable/salad mixtures: pickles, a yummy bowl of broth with green onions and minced pork, a small bowl of some kind of delicious greens and some tiny sweet black beans.  Each had a distinctive flavor, and most of it we really liked.

The best part?  All this yummy food and a couple of beers was only $30! (and there were no flies on our meat---yaaay!)

We were adventurous and tried something new, and our meal turned into a fun and delicious surprise.  I think we'll be eating Korean food again.

After our entertaining dinner we strolled back to our hotel, enjoying the sights and sounds of big city Bangkok.  Another wonderful, adventure filled day for the Lunds!


  1. Looks like this market is a complete sensory overload---so many things to see. Really got a chuckle out of the toilet sign and glad these were better than those you found the first day. Your dinner looked very good and like it would have been a lot of fun---thank goodness for attentive waitress who could guide you through the process. As always your pictures and blog make us feel like we are there experiencing this along with you and Dave. I think we are glad that you can't send aromas along with your blog---that just maybe too much reality.

    Keep hydrated, even though the toilets may be something you would want to avoid----this maybe the test for how long you can wait. Hey, maybe that is why their bathroomsign had the picture it did---people try to wait as long as possible. lol.

    Love you guys.

  2. What a market...and you had my attention from the beginning with the word Nana! I bet I could find just the right duster to use at that market. Very interesting. Your Korean dinner was fun to see. Not sure what I would have eaten there. Maybe some veggies and soup...where was the bread? LOL Going back to your room and sitting on the terrace bar...I surely would be doing that. Your pictures are wonderful. We really feel the adventure. Kim chee...I heard that was good. The Air Force guys and gals liked that when they went to Korea. Keep on blogging...we love it and I LOVE it....

  3. Really enjoying your blog so far. I am planning a trip to Thailand for next Christmas so am really interested to read your experiences! Keep going - please

  4. Hey, again. I'm having so much fun reading all of your posts - I want to read them all before my computer freezes up again. What a shopping mecca! How could you choose? Personally, if I was the type to carry a purse around, I'd be tempted to buy the bra purse, just to see the reactions from my friends! And the size of those shrimp . . . . . a meal in one! On the other hand..... squid on a stick? NOT!! Your Korean dinner looked deliciously tempting. Plus I just love the word BiBimBap! It's one of those words that you want to annoy your friends with by reapeating over and over. BiBimBap! BiBimBap! BiBimBap! See what I mean? Miss you both! Hugs from Boise.