What with assorted forays down Sukhomvit road for visas and IT goods, we decided to keep the temple and gallery visits to when we return to Bangkok and visit the two largest open air markets of the city instead: the Suan Lum night market on Friday night followed by the Chatuchak weekend market on Saturday.
Even though we spent hours at the markets, it’s doubtful that we saw more than a quarter of the thousands of stalls there. The refreshing thing about them was that as well as the standard clothing, accessories and bag shops that cram almost every outdoor market in SE Asia, there were also aisles of stalls that sold everything from gardening equipment to pets to silk to antiquities. And it’s not all goods crammed into small spaces either, some of the stalls are very nicely designed.
Most interesting and heartening to me however were the depth and diversity of local artists and artisans especially at the Chatuchak market. There were small stalls run by painters, fashion designers, t-shirt print artists, sculptors, all trying to make a couple of baht or more. For a collector, there’s certainly some great contemporary work going for next to nothing.
For myself, if I ever have the space and inclination, i’d certainly be returning to buy fabrics, sculpture, furniture and paintings.