Bangkok's Chatuchak Market is Going Cashless this June

Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market is Going Cashless this June

Bangkok never stops changing and this time, Chatuchak Market is joining in on the revamp.

Bangkok has been experiencing many changes of late.

In 2017, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) sought to eliminate street food vendors in Bangkok to maintain cleanliness, safety and order. This caused an uproar – why would the destination for the best street food in the world want to give up their bread and butter?

Barely a year later, the city is in the spotlight again. According to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), which manages Chatuchak, Bangkok’s world-renowned Chatuchak Market will go cashless by June.

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This weekends-only market is a shopping haven for both locals and tourists; with more than 8,000 stalls, it attracts more than 200,000 visitors every weekend. The alleys are constantly swarmed with people, either trying to haggle with the store owner or sieving through their wad of Thai baht for payment. All part of the market experience. However, with the upcoming implementation of the cashless system, shoppers may no longer get the same satisfaction at Chatuchak Market.

SRT’S director for land development, Siripong Preutthipan, explained that the cashless system would allow visitors to pay for their items with a single card or by Quick Response (QR) codes on their phone. This increase in reliance on technology would also encourage the use of the Chatuchak Guide mobile app, which lists the stalls according to category and stall ratings. Furthermore, Mr Siripong elaborated that the SRT had plans to build automated parking lots and possibly even air-conditioned toilets.

With all these improvements, Chatuchak Market would definitely become more modernized – but does it risk losing its authentic market flair? Many netizens have expressed their disdain at this impending change, and even declared that they would not go to Chatuchak Market if it operated on a cashless system.

As more details are disseminated over the next few months, we still have time to prepare ourselves for this big change. Before it does happen, perhaps we should head down to Chatuchak Market and enjoy the market experience while we still can.

About Author

Lydia Lee
Lydia Lee

A linguistics student, Lydia suffers from the occupational hazard of thinking too much about the quirks of language. She yearns to see more of the world and its people, and cannot wait for her next adventure to soak in more beautiful sights and sounds. Before she can do that again, her perfect day would include taking a slow walk, having a warm cup of coffee, and being immersed in a good book.


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