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Bangkok’s Chatuchak weekend market is reopening

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Places of Juma

Chatuchak, Jatujak, JJ, whatever you choose to call it, Bangkok’s legendary weekend market is reopening tomorrow. The massive indoor/outdoor market, popular with both Thai and foreign tourists, will reopen this weekend after weeks of being shuttered, but visitors will be required to observe physical distancing and wear face masks…. you know the drill.

Walaya Wattanarat, deputy permanent secretary of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says that this weekend the market will be open from 5am to 6pm, for shops selling everything from garments, souvenirs, shoes and decourative items, to food, snacks, secondhand items, ceramics and more.

She says City Hall is providing standard preventive measures, including temperature screening at all entrances, sanitiser gel for all visitors and physical distance markings, adding that the public toilets will be cleansed every two hours.

Chatuchak is famous for its crowded, tight corridors and extensive shopping selections, including wet markets which are now under considerable scrutiny following the likely outbreak of the pandemic in a Wuhan wet market. Apart from being a live ‘petrie dish’ of potential viral transmission, the wet market section of Chatuchak has a notorious reputation as hub for illegal businesses selling protected wild animals smuggled from across the world. The wet market has not been specifically addressed in the BMA’s announcements.

As for food stalls, Walaya says the BMA is emphasising takeaway services, but stalls with seating will be required to separate diners by at least 1.5 metres.

Stalls selling garments, shoes, bags and other similar items must limit the number of customers to 5 at a time, or 10 for larger stalls.

In addition to Chatuchak’s main weekend market…
• The Mix Night Market will open daily from 12pm-7pm (beginning today)
• The Plant Market will open on Monday and Tuesday, 9am-6pm
• The Fish Market on Wed from 9am-7pm

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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