Today, Samson took us to Jatujak Market (sometimes
spelled "Chatuchak"). Unfortunately, we didn’t
have as much time there as we would have liked (we had to rush
and catch a plane to Vietnam afterwards), but it was long enough
to figure out that if you can buy it in Thailand, you can probably
buy it at Jatujak.
one of the
many main thoroughfares through the market
We took the train to Mo Chit station (but since
the market is so big, there are numerous stations that work).
As soon as we got off the train, we could feel the crowds. There
were tons of people there (Jatujak is only open on weekends).
After we pushed through the throngs for several minutes, we finally
made it to the edge of the market. We knew it was big, but we
weren't prepared for *how* big. There are aisles and aisles of
all sorts of stuff, from kitchen wares to pocket knives, from
wooden Buddhas to metal elephants, from real fruit to funny
to *really* funny
(we're not sure if these were purchased by weight or by quantity).
It’s crowded, it’s cheap, it’s loud, and it’s
mostly low-tech. We couldn’t figure out how all the vendors
at Jatujak could possibly stay in business. They had so much stuff
and there were so many of them, but there they all were, nonetheless.
Somehow, in one fell swoop, it manages to balance out the thousands
of air-conditioned malls that seem to be absolutely everywhere else
one of many
shops selling... um... gilded housewares?
There was way too much to explore in our allotted
time. We found some great placemats and chopsticks that we really
liked, and Samson volunteered to cart them back to the States
for us since it would be easier for him than for us (we aren’t
going back anytime soon). We gratefully accepted his offer, bargained
the goods down to a reasonable price (for Thailand, that is; it
would be considered incredibly cheap by US standards), and started
our journey back to Samson’s apartment to pick up our luggage
and head to the airport. If the chance ever presents itself, we’re
coming back here with an empty suitcase.