Nestled within the very popular Chatuchak Weekend Market is the biggest Thailand fish market in Bangkok – the Chatuchak Fish Market. This fish market is dedicated to the ornamental fish keeping hobby, and is definitely a place to be for all fish keeping enthusiasts!
I made it a point to visit this fish market during my very recent trip to Bangkok and I felt like a kid again… in a candy store.
Briefly about Chatuchak Fish Market
Chatuchak Fish Market is located in the northern section of the huge Chatuchak Weekend Market.
The weekend market only opens on Saturdays and Sundays from 7am to 6pm, but the Chatuchak Fish Market opens every day of the week.
Going there on a weekday
If you are someone like me who are not so fond of the crowd and are only interested in the fish market, going there on a weekday is definitely a brilliant idea.
I was there on a Friday at around 10.30am and all the fish shops were already operating. I breathed a sigh of relief to see that there were not many people there.
The crowd only started to build up around lunch time. Even so, the number of people on a weekday is nothing compared to what you will encounter on the weekends. Weekends are CRAZY!!!
The Fishes at Chatuchak Fish Market
Chatuchak Fish Market is after all the biggest Thailand fish market in Bangkok for the fish keeping hobby. They have shops that sell fish tanks, fish food, medications, fish tank decorations, fish keeping equipment, aquatic plants, aquatic animals and of course, fishes!
We will focus on the fishes in this blog post, and my oh my,… Chatuchak Fish Market has so many different species of those, and they are sold in a few ways.
Fishes are sold in readily packed bags…
I saw a lot of such bags laying at the side of the streets in front of the fish shops with fishes in them. The shop owners use this method to sell fishes by bulk. These are usually small fishes but I have seen Koi fish in them too!
I wondered whether the shop owners change the water in these bags, and I got my answer after walking through a few shops.
I saw these 2 men working together to re-bag the fishes.
The man who was sitting down had 2 big tubs and a plastic basket strainer next to him. One tub I presumed contained “fresh” water and the other tub was to collect the “old” water, and you should have guessed what the plastic basket strainer was for.
So he would take a bag of fish, emptied it to the plastic basket strainer which was in the tub with “old” water. He would then refill the plastic bag with water from the “fresh” tub, and put the fish collected in the plastic basket strainer back into the bag. Then he would hand it to the other man who would pump in oxygen and tie up the bag.
I am not sure how often they re-bag those bags of fishes though, but I could imagine how stressful it is for the fishes.
Fishes are sold in tubs and fish tanks too…
Well, there are shops selling fishes the conventional ways too.. i.e. you can select the fishes from tubs and tanks, and the shop owners will bag them up for you.
For me, I would prefer to buy fishes from tubs or fish tanks than the readily bagged ones.
The fishes that I found at Thailand fish market in Bangkok…
There are so many different types of fish there, some which I have no idea what they are. Anyway here are some of the fish species that I saw there, and let’s start with goldfish as they are my favorite!
I noticed that the goldfish being sold in most of the shops are Orandas and Ranchus. I see occasional Bubble Eyes and Pearl Scales goldfish in one or two shops, but not many. Oh, and of course there are those poor feeder goldfish being sold in bags.
Below is a video that I have recorded in one of the goldfish shops there. Initially, I was worried that I would get scolded for doing video recording or even taking pictures, but the shop lady just ignored me, phew… 🙂
Some of the goldfish I saw in these shops are HUGE! I think they could easily be more than 6″ in body length without counting in the tail. I wished I could bring some of them home, but immigration would give me hell!
Look at those Ranchu goldfish. Gosh! they are so pretty!!!
Koi are widely sold in this Thailand fish market in Bangkok. They are usually placed in huge blue tubs, although I have seen the smaller ones being sold in bags as well. If I recall correctly, there is one row of shops directly opposite JJ Mall that sells only Koi fish, and the fish there are really big, like more than 3 feet in length.
Small Tropical Fish
Lots and lots of tropical fish available here. Some of them which I have not seen before, such as these:
I am guessing that they are the long finned version of the Tiger Barb. Please correct me if I am wrong by leaving a comment below. Anyhow, they are really nice looking.
If you are a Cichlids fan, there are many of those too!
I am going to just group all those aggressive and huge fishes under this Monster Fish category. Although I am not a fan of these, there are many who are. That is why there are also a lot of shops dedicated to these types of fishes there.
Okay, I take that back. I do like Arowanas. They look mean and majestic, kinda reminds me of a Chinese Dragon.
I am not sure what this is but I am guessing it is a Grouper Fish. The marble-like coloration on the body is magnificent.
This is a juvenile Red-Tail Catfish. Apparently, they can grow very big when they get to adulthood. So this tank would definitely not be able to keep it when it grows up.
Okay, these are really monster fishes. It doesn’t show here in the picture, but that tank is actually the size of a small swimming pool. The Gar in the picture is the size of a full grown man.
In my aimless exploration of the biggest Thailand fish market in Bangkok, I may have missed a few sections of it. That is probably why I did not see many shops selling marine fishes.
This is one of the Marine fish shops that I have encountered. As I am partial to freshwater fishes, I did not go into the shop to explore.
A beautiful but deadly Lion Fish which picture I have captured from outside a Marine fish shop. Again, I did not go into this shop to check the fishes out.
How about a shark for your home fish tank?
Summary – Part 1 of my trip
This is Part 1 of my trip to the biggest Thailand fish market in Bangkok, i.e. Chatuchak Fish Market. It is indeed a very interesting place for fish keeping enthusiasts, even when you do not intend to buy anything. Trust me, you will be enticed to buy something.
I was actually so tempted to buy some nice goldfish there and wondered how I could smuggle them back to my own country. I did not put that into action though. 🙂
Anyway, I have only covered the fishes I saw at this fish market… and I have seen others as well. Please click here for Part 2 of my trip to this incredible Thailand fish market in Bangkok.
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14 Replies to “A Trip to Chatuchak Fish Market (Part 1) – The fishes at the biggest Thailand fish market in Bangkok”
Wow i have never been to Bangkok before, but if i ever went one day, i would definitely want to check out this Chatuchak Fish Market, because first off i am a huge lover of fish, and secondly because there seems to be so much to choose from here!
Your pictures are great as well and really give me a better feeling of just how varied the fish choices are!
Thanks for sharing!
I do hope that you will get yourself to Bangkok and to this fish market one day. The city itself is great and I love it so much. Also as a fish lover, I believe Chatuchak Fish Market will blow your mind away. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!
Alex thanks for this post – the visuals are a good treat and I liked the video which amuses a lot. From the market I could see that the prices also would be affordable, as there is a lot of varieties as well. I’m eagerly waiting for part 2 for your end. I too agree with you if there is a way to smuggle I would definitely. Keep writing and keep well, Manasir
Thanks for your comment. Glad that you have enjoyed my post along with the pictures and video.
Alex , that is not a scorpion fish , it’s a lion fish .
Thanks Dominic! That really showed how much I know about marine fishes, lol. Anyway I have corrected the post. Thanks again!
How to order fish?
Hi, I am not sure whether these fish shops in Chatuchak sell their fishes online. However you can try googling for fish farm in Thailand, and the bigger ones do have Facebook pages with pictures and info on how to contact them.
Hi, I would like to know if there are dragon fish or Arowana fish in this market? Is there any website or email that I can contact?
Yes, there are a few shops selling Arowanas at Chatuchak Fish Market. However sorry I can’t remember the shop names. Anyhow you can try googling “arowana farm bangkok”.
Hello Alex Chong,
I am Nazir Hossain from Bangladesh. I want to import Arowana and Arapaima fish from Bangkok to Dhaka by air. Could you please tell me that, in Chatuchak those who sell fish can export or arrange air shipment.
I am sorry I do not have that information. I would suggest that you try searching on google for that.
we are on a cruise in the new year and its going to bangcok what days are the markets open (fish)
The fish market in Chatuchak is open everyday of the week. Have fun!