Update: The end date of Chatuchak Market has been brought forward to 29th March, from the original 3rd May 2020. Stay tuned for Chatuchak 2, planned for July and August.
Previously a 2-hour plane ride away, Bangkok’s Chatuchak market has now arrived on our shores and is blessing the lot of us too busy trying to hit Q1 targets to jet off on a weekend holiday.
Those familiar with the mega weekend market will know that most stores close once the clock strikes 6PM, but this mini Singapore version opens from 4.30PM-10PM and will be around for all your shopping and feasting needs from now till 3rd May 2020!
With more than 200 stalls housed under iconic colourful tents and many vendors flown in from Thailand, Chatuchak Night Market will very well give you a taste of the real deal. Here are some key highlights to bookmark:
You can’t really say you’ve been to Thailand until you’ve had a decent dose of their delectable street food, and you can trust that the grub here is authentic as many of these store owners own stalls back in Chatuchak Thailand itself or one of the other night market or malls in Thailand.
Pro-tip: Bring along extra cash as most of these stores, especially the Thai-owned ones only take cash.
The snaking queue extending from this stall only reinstates Phad Thai Vanna’s street cred. Like the kiasu beings we were, we hopped in line and were glad we did as the dish turned out to be one of our favourites of the evening.
The Pad Thai ($8) was sweeter and chewier than the ones commonly found in Thai restaurants here, and was topped with 3 medium-sized prawns, a slice of lime, bean sprouts, banana blossom and a handful of peanuts.
Phad Thai Vanna
Unique Thai street snacks are aplenty here and this includes the Sweet Potato Cake ($5) – the very same one as the one sold in Thailand’s Siam Paragon!
Thai snacks tend to be a bit chewy and this one is possibly the best representation of it, with a crisp exterior and sticky sweet potato paste on the inside. There are a total of 7 flavours to indulge in, including durian and sesame.
Those who consider BKK their hood will be familiar with khanom khrok, a chewy mini pancake shaped like a kueh bahulu. From coconut to more quirky ones like strawberry and durian, pick from one of their 7 flavours go get a taste of them all with the 10 for $5 mix-and-match deal.
Thai desserts by Baan Morakot
The food stretch in Chatuchak Thailand is famed for serving up everything from fried quail eggs and roasted pork to tangy roasted seafood served atop a bed of shredded lettuce.
If you’re missing the latter, head over to King Octopus for your fill of spicy Baby Octopus ($15) that’s doused with chilli and lime and cut into easy bite-sized pieces to share as you wander around the market.
Don’t leave without cooling down with a cup of Thai iced tea ($4). There are plenty of vendors that sell it but there’s a red-tented store that rewards each customer with a fancy teh tarik-pulling show. Some might deem it gimmicky, but we were sold. This store doesn’t have a name but you can spot it sharing a tent with a prata kiosk in between the 2 seating areas!
Sip on your drink on one of these glowing seats
Alternatively, go for the Deep Coco ($5) from Bobo Cup, a chocolate drink that tastes similar to Milo and comes in an adorable reindeer-capped cup which you can reuse during your BBT runs in the future.
Seating area with large tables that can fit about 8 people each
Other than Thai food and beverages, there are also a handful of other stores selling Korean and Taiwanese dishes like gyeranbbang (sweet egg bread) and fried chicken cutlets if you’d like to switch things up.
Hand-painted craft store Akemprovisart
It ain’t Chatuchak if there isn’t any shopping. Grab your shopping bags and head to the entrance area of the night market, where there are a bunch of exciting retail stores offering a good variety of items.
Bag a customisable tribal-patterned bag from $22 at Tony Strap, where there are more than a hundred straps of varying colours and patterns to choose from. Photography enthusiasts can also pizzazz up their DSLRs with similarly-patterned camera straps ($10).
If you’d like to go green instead, check out the wallets, bags and laptop sleeves at Sackitem, a popular Thai brand that has expanded into Korea and Japan, and cannot be found elsewhere in Singapore, at least for now.
Upcycled Pixel backpack from $95
Although on the pricier end with coin pouches from $10, and backpacks from $95 the sturdy items are all one-of-a-kind in design. They are also made from waste plastic materials that would otherwise be sitting in a landfill so you’ll be doing the planet some good with your purchase.
Chatuchak Thailand has plenty of tasteful items and so does the SG version. Other than tropical-print shirts and linen wear, you can also expect to find other gems such as dupes of classic items from reputable fashion brands like Uniqlo and Muji at Konboran.
The owner mentioned the pieces were authentic but we still had our doubts.
Whether or not these are authentic are also hard to say, but they were of good quality and reasonable prices – with jeans going at $18 and tops at $12. This shop’s name isn’t displayed, but you can spot it by looking out for a stall with Japanese-style fashion.
Make sure to check out every nook and cranny of the market for hidden gems that sell popular Thai beauty items like Agarwood Body Lotion ($12), Deodorant ($4) and Moisturisers for cracked heels ($6) and at Meesook Farm as well.
Chatuchak Night Market in Singapore
If you’ve been crying for fuss-free, authentic markets, your call has been answered – Chatuchak is a chip off the old block that’ll satiate any craving for Thai food and products.
Make sure to pop by more than once as the stalls will change throughout the course of the event, totalling the number of vendors to about 1,000 – so each revisit is bound to offer something new!
What we loved most about it was its refreshingly vibrant atmosphere and friendly Thai vendors, some of whom will speak to you in Thai, which overall adds to the pseudo-holiday experience.
And if you’re wondering, plenty of the stores here have fixed prices, so bargaining isn’t a thing, although one could still try.
Address: The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287994
Date: Until 29th March 2020, every Tue to Sun (Updated)
Opening hours: 4.30PM-10PM
Getting there: All day free parking is available at The Grandstand Main Carpak. Alternatively, there are also free shuttle buses from Botanic Gardens, Clementi and Toa Payoh – bus timings are available here.
Check out our articles for more new things to do in Singapore below:
Photography by Kurtis Ma and Olivia Tan.
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