MNN Galleries

10 best street markets in the world

By: Josh Lew on April 19, 2012, 6:28 p.m.
Chatuchak Weekend Market

Photo: ZUMA Press

5 of 12

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok

Chatuchak Weekend Market is a legend among tourists and Bangkok residents alike. It is the largest market in Thailand, by far, and one of the largest weekend markets in the world. Sometimes simply referred to as JJ (an apt abbreviation, since the “ch” sound in Thai is sometimes romanized as a “j”), it is a sprawling market that welcomes at least 200,000 people per day on the weekend. This place is a souvenir-hunter’s dream, with all sorts of exotic crafts, antiques and collectables for sale, alongside live animals, socks and boxer shorts, and virtually anything else you could want or need. Novices (and many locals) have trouble finding their way around the 35 acres of market stalls, but a huge variety of food vendors mean that hopelessly lost shoppers will never go hungry or thirsty while wandering aimlessly. Also, JJ has a smoking ban, so while you will be confronted with all sorts of scents, cigarette smoke will not be one of them.