At the Sampeng Market shoppers can find clothing and fabric, jewelry, household items, electronics, food, kids’ toys, and more. The prices are low here, but of course it’s always a good idea to bargain. It’s one of Bangkok’s most popular markets so tends to be crowded, but that makes it all the more interesting. While some travelers visit the Sampeng Market independently, it’s also a popular addition to a guided market tour or a tour of Chinatown. Tours can be done with a private guide, or in a group with other travelers.
Things to know before you go
- Bargaining is expected, but keep things lighthearted and respectful.
- Many goods sold at the Sampeng Market are made in China, but for the best bargains, look for products made in Thailand.
- While photography isn’t prohibited, many stallholders aren’t happy having their goods photographed.
- Stay well hydrated, as it can get very hot in the crowded market. Cold drinks, ice cream, and fruit snacks are available throughout the market.
How to get there
The Sampeng Market is centered around Soi Wanit 1, an alleyway in Chinatown. The easiest way to get there is to take a river boat to Ratchawong Pier, and then up Ratchawong Road until you reach the market, which is easy to recognize.
When to get there
Most stalls are open from around 6am to 6pm. It’s best to get there as early in the day as you can, to avoid the heat–plus, it’s important to note this is not a night market. Most stalls are open seven days, although some are closed on Sundays. The lunar new year period tends to be a quiet time at the market, with many stalls closed.
Visit the Maeklong Railway Market
If you’re looking for a more offbeat market experience, check out the Maeklong Railway Market, 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Bangkok. It’s one of Thailand’s most unusual markets: although it sells the usual things and looks like any other Thai market, several times a day a siren sounds and the vendors hurriedly pack up their wares to let a passenger train trundle through. This is definitely a fun photo opportunity.
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- Pak Klong Talad Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)
- Wat Suthat Thepwararam
- Giant Swing (Sao Ching Cha)
- Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat)
- Princess Mother Memorial Park (Suan Somdet Ya)
- Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)
- Golden Mount (Wat Saket)
- Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
- Wat Ratchanatdaram Woravihara (Loha Prasat)
- Tiger God Shrine (San Chao Pho Suea)
- Bangkok NANTA Theatre
- Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
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