I remember visiting Chatuchak Singapore in 2020 (before it was cut short by the pandemic) and tbh, it felt like a Thai-themed pasar malam more than anything. However, I was intrigued when I heard about the famous Bangkok night market’s return to Singapore — with 180 vendors, 60 of them actually from Thailand and even 20 from Chatuchak Bangkok itself, I definitely had high hopes.
As I walked in, what really struck me was that I could actually hear the stall owners speaking Thai — that really gave the market an authentic feel right from the get-go! Expect to see traditional Thai costumes, hand-painted bags and clothes (some dresses took a whole month to paint!), super cute gift ideas and other Thai retailers selling trendy clothes. I even spotted a lovely pair of shorts going for just S$12!
Apart from shopping, you’ll find stalls offering a variety of affordable services like manicures, henna and even traditional massages. While you may not want to spend an hour on a massage given that the market is not air-conditioned, you can opt for a quick 10-minute shoulder rub that’ll only set you back S$15.
When you venture deeper into the market, you’ll probably smell the food before seeing it. Located at the heart of Chatuchak Singapore, these stalls sell an insane variety of delectable street eats from all over Thailand, including halal and Muslim-friendly options. Think grilled prawns, Mama Tom Yum noodles, crispy pork rinds, tender moo ping and more — you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice!
Burger & Lobster fans, you’ll be delighted to know that they have a pop-up stall named Crab & Burger with exclusive menu items like chilli crab fries, crab omelettes, and green curry mayo crab meat burgers. For those who can’t go to Bangkok to try the famed crab omelette from Michelin-starred eatery Jay Fai, this rendition is worth a try!
There’s no shortage of options for seafood lovers too. You’ll find a smorgasbord of prawns, scallops and more. Try the Thai version of “orh luak”, which contains not only oysters, but also prawn and squid.
Otherwise, there are also several stalls selling other varieties of grilled seafood, like Singaporean-run 2 NINJA 1 FAT PIG (jumbo river prawns and juicy scallops, anyone?).
As we explored the market, it was actually quite easy to suss out which stalls were run by Thai folks — their conversations pretty much gave it away! We headed to one of the highlighted authentic Thai stalls, Kway Teow Rod Fai, to try out their dry rice noodles. The dish was a refreshing combination of sweet and spicy with a sour tang — all things you’d associate with Thai cuisine.
You might also want to check out this dry rendition of Mama Tom Yum noodles (especially if you’re one of those who can handle samyang-level spice). Not for the faint-hearted, these mama noodles come with generous servings of fresh prawns and pork — and of course, lots of dried chilli.
If you’re on the hunt for something sweet to end off your meal, there are several dessert stalls around that offer just that. Whether you’re going for the quintessential mango sticky rice or lesser known Thai sweet treats, there’s defo something for you. Indulge in flower layer cakes, coconut waffles, and even banana roti — authentic chewy Thai “pratas” from the province of Satun, Thailand!
The stall next door features the famous dancing teh-tarik man, whose moves are bound to impress (who still somehow manages to never spill a single drop).
Before you leave, be sure to check out the Singapore-exclusive mini arcade complete with nostalgic games and claw machines — you won’t find this in Bangkok’s Chatuchak.
While the Singaporean edition is not as affordable as the real deal in Thailand, I’d say it’s still worth a visit overall given the authenticity — plus, the food itself is actually pretty good!
The organisers behind Chatuchak Singapore have also made getting to the market really convenient, with free shuttle bus services available daily from Sixth Avenue and Botanic Gardens MRT station. For those driving, don’t fret — you’ll be able to find all-day free parking at The Grandstand.
Want an in-depth look into our experience at Chatuchak? Check out our video here!
Don’t miss this little slice of Bangkok that’s only available for a limited time!
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📍200 Turf Club Rd The Grandstand, South Carpark, 287994
🕒 4pm–10pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon
🗓️ From now till 2 April 2023
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