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Bangkok’s Chatuchak weekend market opening weekdays



Chatuchak weekend market, known locally as JJ, is scheduled to open 6 days a week from next month in an effort to make up for losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns and restrictions. The iconic market in Bangkok saw a sharp decline in even local Thai customers after the economic slump caused by borders closing during the pandemic.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says that over the past year Chatuchak lost almost half of its Thai customers. Bangkok’s governor has assigned the BMA’s committee that manages markets the project of supporting and promoting the more than 10,000 businesses that sell in the popular market.

The committee decided that the sellers can now run 6 days a week, daily except Mondays.

“Operating with only one day off will allow a necessary weekly cleaning and gutters dredging. The market will run Tuesday to Thursday until 6 pm and Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 10 pm.”

Along with the extended operating hours, Chatuchak market is getting a make-over. All illegally built stalls in the areas along the gutters have already been demolished, with plans to clear out more stalls along the perimeter fences. Each of the 31 zones in the market will nominate a representative for the vendors in that zone to share their suggestions and opinions to the BMA on important issues. Also, after vendors far in the market’s interior complained, events will be held around the Clock Tower, allowing and encouraging customers to walk deeper and see more stalls.

The area is becoming a new hub for transportation in just to the north of the centre of the city, with the soon-to-open BTS link to Don Mueang International Airport about to open, and the MRT and BTS lines intersecting near the market.

Started in 1942, Chatuchak market has grown to be the largest and most diverse weekend market in the world. But the border closures and restrictions hit the market hard, suffering its worst situation in 50 years, and at one point was even accused of being the source of the Coronavirus. In January the BMA cut rents at all 10 markets it operates, including Chatuchak, in hopes of keeping the vendors afloat during the pandemic.

The BMA hopes this renovation and expanded operation hours will revitalise the market and calls for cooperation from all vendors.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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