After the full day of palaces and sight seeing, Karen was palaced out…this called for retail therapy. There was only one place to go on a Sunday in Bangkok, Chatuchak weekend market. Chatuchak is the largest market in Thailand and the world’s largest weekend market. Frequently called J.J it covers over 35 acres and contains upwards of 15,000 stalls. Pity we only have 15 kg rucksacks!
In true backpacker fashion we decided to walk in the blazing heat to the sky train station. The walk looked simple enough on the map but unfortunately the map didn’t highlight all the cornered off streets due to the protests. Nothing stops a journey like barbed wire barricades and burnt out buses. No photos are available as Karen vetoed John’s plan to become a war photographer for the day 😦 After 2 detours we were still far from the station, defeated we flagged a taxi. The taxi drivers in Bangkok have become greedy and many now refuse to use the meters, this driver was no different and demanded 200 Bhat. Although we were hot and tired we told him to drive on, this continued for a few more until we managed to find a driver with a meter, 87 Bhat to the market- result!
We arrived at the market and were greeted by Boutique shops.. Was this Spittalfields? Had we travelled too far? No. These shops were merely at the entrance and the bustling street market stalls were just behind them, stalls that were groaning with products, both fake and even faker.
We enjoyed window shopping but buying is more fun so we allowed our selves one treat each. John needed new shorts, this travelling malarkey has had a positive impact on his waist line. Resulting in his current shorts falling down, time for a smaller size. Karen had lost her watch to John- his had got water damage and was setting off random alarms. So it was time for a highly expensive blue ice watch-less than £2. That took some bargaining.
Shopping was hungry work, time for local cuisine on plastic seats. Karen got some noodle soup with about three chickens worth of meat while John opted for some fried rice and barely any chicken all for the princely sum of £3.
Hunger sated, we headed for the MTS line to get a train to Victory Monument, so that we could check out the minivans for the trip to the border in a few days. The vans when we found them did not give us too much confidence so we had some more thinking to do on that score and we headed back to the guesthouse for more Pad Thai.