It’s a given that Singaporeans love a good BKK vacay. Jetting off to the +66 means access to glorious street food, endless shopping havens, and massages that’ll have you ooh-ing and ahh-ing all that stress away. Best part? These usually come at incredibly pocket-friendly prices, and that’s exactly the vibe that Chatuchak Night Market Singapore 2023 hopes to bring.
With a total of 180 stalls – of which 60 are vendors flown in from Thailand and 20 are from the OG Chatuchak Market in Bangkok – you can expect plenty of F&B and retail to peruse. Most importantly, we headed down to see if we could – in proper Chatuchak fashion – score a hefty haul while still keeping our wallets intact.
Here’s what you can expect from the free admission, open-air market happening 7th February to 2nd April 2023 at The Grandstand:
From tom yum and green curry to pad Thai and boat noodles, Thai food can be found sprinkled throughout our Little Red Dot. The event organisers know full well that Thai cuisine is a hit among Singaporeans, and you’ll be able to find your all favourites here with prices starting from $4 for light bites to $8 for more filling mains.
Besides just bringing in actual Thai vendors, they’ve made sure that the ingredients used are also sourced from Thailand. Even details like kitchen equipment and cooking methods are preserved to culminate in the ultimate Thai flavour, the kind you’d otherwise only get by travelling over 2,000km to the land of moo ping and mango smoothies.
Sample some Thai-style crepes by an eatery from Golden Mile Complex, and marvel at the showmanship of Thai milk tea pulled in front of your eyes.
Muslim visitors, fret not. The food market has an entire stretch of Halal-certified stalls so you can browse with ease. One of the Halal offerings is the deceptively simple but downright addictive Thai Roti (from $3 for plain).
You can’t go wrong with the Banana and Egg Roti ($7) combo. But for a truly traditional experience, we recommend the Foi Thong Roti ($7) which sandwiches strands of egg yolk that are steeped in syrup for a deep and sweet creaminess.
Besides Thai food stalls, there are also several Singaporean vendors if you’re looking for some familiar flavours to add to the mix. These include regulars at pasar malams and food bazaar events like Loco Loco – which serves churros and takoyaki, and the Halal-certified Sofnade – which we spotted offering Thai milk tea at affordable rates of $5 for 1L.
Stay cool and hydrated with the many drink stalls available, especially if you’re attending before sundown. There are elaborate concoctions like the Come Huat With Me ($5.80 for hot, $6.80 for iced), comprising of glutinous rice tea, osmanthus flowers, a juicy pineapple slice, and a syringe of golden syrup for you to metaphorically inject some prosperity into your life.
For a more simple thirst quencher, you can get a selection of Thai iced teas or sodas ($5 each) served in a bag so you can enjoy it like how locals do in Thailand. Similar to our own kopi and teh, you simply have to insert a straw and start sipping away.
If you’re hankering for some tipple instead, there are a bunch of alcohol stalls serving up soju and beer of different varieties.
Besides getting your grub on, the other staple on every Chatuchak itinerary is to shop till you drop. And at Chatuchak Night Market Singapore, you’ll have a wide array of products – from both Singaporean and Thai businesses – to sift through.
You’ll be greeted by a series of fashion stalls right at the entrance, including a factory outlet stall peddling clothes at markdowns of up to 80%. The owner of Europe Factory Outlet assures that all pieces are originals, but they’re able to sell it at such high discounts as they’re sourced straight from the factories.
If you’re a sucker for vintage apparel, make sure to stop by Cappo’s Garage early to get the best finds before they’re snatched up. We went through their racks and found plenty of treasure finds ranging from T-shirts to vests and bomber jackets, some priced as low as $20 or as part of a 3 for $50 bundle.
Thai fashion brands are known to offer high quality pieces in minimalist styles that make it ideal for everyday wear, and Loma.Whale offers just that. Take your pick of blouses, dresses, skirts, and pants in various cuttings and silhouettes, conveniently sorted according to colour so you can zone in on your fave shades. And guess what? Prices start from just $10 apiece.
While fashion booths make up a bulk of the retail zone, here are some other notable finds you can look forward to:
These handcrafted crochet wearables and knick-knacks are sure to make memorable gifts.
There’s an antique stall run by a friendly uncle; have a chat with him to learn the story of these rare pieces and maybe pick up some one-of-a-kind decor for your home.
Local business Kueh Clouds sells aesthetic phone accessories like straps and cases so your phone can be all jazzed up.
Your furkid won’t be left out of the fun, as there are pet stalls selling food and accessories too.
These pet snacks are specially formulated to be equal parts tasty and nutritious for your four-legged friends.
Don’t forget to pick up some authentic Thai tidbits before you go.
So you’ve eaten your weight’s worth of street food, torched some of the calories off with a hearty shopping spree, and now what?
There are few things as quintessentially Thai as getting an affordable yet super legit massage. Y’know, the kind where the masseuse is really getting their elbow deep into your knots and aches. And you won’t be deprived of that experience thanks to Chatuchak Night Market Singapore.
Thai massages are available at $15 for 10 minutes or $35 for 30 minutes for each area, such as shoulders or feet.
It can get quite ticklish at times – teehee.
In case you had any reservations about the skills of the masseuse team, you’d be pleased to know that they’re all jolly Thai aunties who are well-trained in the art. If anything, you might be squirming a little as they dig into your muscles, but tahan a while to achieve deep-tissue bliss and rejuvenation.
In between shopping and pigging out, you and your night market kakis can swing by the arcade zone. There are plenty of claw machines for those who fancy themselves either skilled or lucky, with plushies ranging from bubble tea and shiba inus to Minions and One Piece.
If you’d like to have a gaming session instead, there are also arcade racers as well as classics such as the Hammer Smash and Bishi Bashi. All in all, good ways to let loose and soak in the night market atmosphere.
Image credit: Cogent Holdings
Besides being a free admission event, Chatuchak Night Market Singapore also has free all-day parking allocated for visitors – 3,800 lots, in fact.
It’s held at The Grandstand over in Bukit Timah, so the nearest MRT station would be Sixth Avenue on the Downtown Line, which is about an 8-minute walk away.
Image credit: @chatuchak.sg
The great news is, there are free shuttle bus services ferrying people from Sixth Avenue and Botanic Gardens MRT stations to The Grandstand’s doorstep. Check out the schedule to plan your trip, and find out more about getting to The Grandstand.
The return of such events means another win for us in terms of stepping back into pre-pandemic times, and what makes this even more special is that we get to support Thailand’s humble businesses to help them spring back from financial strain brought on by Covid.
Dedgapao basil omelette rice, winner of the Thailand Food Awards 2022 for Top 100 Dishes.
Besides getting to enjoy authentic Thai fare and solid retail therapy without having to hop on a plane, we’re helping to boost the entrepreneurial spirit of these vendors. And, if all works out, the event organisers tease that this could be the vendors’ sign to set up shop in Singapore.
So if you find a particular stall owner whose offerings are right up your alley, make sure to show your support and they may very well become a local mainstay.
Address: 200 Turf Club Road, The Grandstand South Carpark, Singapore 287994
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 4pm-10pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: Chatuchak Night Market Singapore Facebook
Photography by Poh Jin Ron.
Cover image adapted from: Eatbook
Closed on Mondays
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