When talking about shopping places in Bangkok, both Chatuchak Weekend Market and MBK Center (Ma Boon Krong Center) are usually on the top list of many tourists. For me, these two places give customers big difference shopping experiences. No one is better than another. If you do not have time to visit both places and you have to choose one, here is my comparison of these two shopping places. Hope it helps.
These two shopping places are different. Chatuchak is an outdoor market, while MBK Center is an indoor market. So, if you want to go to Chatuchak, I recommend you to wear light clothes and prepare drinking water.
Chatuchak is big. It is the biggest outdoor market in Thailand. There are about 15,000 stalls in the market. MBK Center is also big, but not as big as Chatuchak. There are about 2,000 shops within a high building.
Chatuchak offers a wide range of products. You can expect to buy clothing, accessories, books, plants, pets, ceramics, arts, foods, home decoration items, and so on. The market is divided into several sections and sois (alleys). Believe me, this is the market that you will need a map.
MBK Center also offers several kinds of products such as fashion clothing, gold&jewelry, electronics, furniture, souvenir, foods.
Most of the shops in Chatuchak accept bargaining. For MBK Center, some shops accept bargaining, while some shops do not. Usually the shop that put a price label on a product item does not accept bargaining. So, if you do not see a price label, you can have fun with bargaining.
Chatuchak is fully open on weekends. Well, some parts of the market are also open on weekdays. For a unique shopping experience, I recommend you to go on weekends only.
Like other shopping malls in Bangkok, MBK Center is open daily from 10.00-20.00.
Chatuchak can be reached by both BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway, while MBK Center can be reached by BTS Skytrain only. Well, MBK Center is located in a shopping district; from there, you can walk to many upscale shopping malls such as Siam Discovery, Siam Center, and Siam Paragon.
You can read my review of Chatuchak Weekend Market here and MBK Center here.