Thailand is renowned for its markets, both aimed at tourists and locals and while Pattaya does not boast the abundance of markets as found in other places such as Bangkok or Chiang Mai, there are still plenty of options to choose from.

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If you decide to go market shopping however, remember that bargaining is part of the course. If you want the very best price, you’ll need to put on your bartering hat and try to remember that if you’re happy and they’re happy then you’ve got yourself a good deal. For many people, bartering adds excitement and novelty to the shopping experience, but for others it simply adds an uncomfortable dimension which detracts from the overall experience.

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Regardless of the quality of your bartering prowess, you should try the markets at least once. They are a part of Thai culture which will certainly provide a lasting memory and you will no doubt come away with a couple of great finds.

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If you choose just to go to one market while in Pattaya, Thepprasit Outdoor Night Market offers the most extensive range of products. It is located in Thepprasit Road in South Pattaya close to the Sukhumvit Road intersection and only opens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

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You will be surrounded by stalls and tents selling everything you could possibly imagine from food, bugs, pets, plants and antiques to clothes, souvenirs, swords, massages and jewellery. It is popular with both local Thais and foreigners and a great place to people watch from one of the numerous beer bars. If you are on holiday and happen to be in Pattaya over the weekend, you really shouldn’t miss out on the experience. If you live here or are staying for an extended period of time, you’ll no doubt have made one or two trips in your time. It’s a similar concept to Chatuchak market in Bangkok, but held at night and therefore offers a popular alternative to weekend entertainment for all.

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Other markets include the one running along Beach Road and Soi Buakhao Market, which is often called the Tuesday/Friday Market. The Beach Road Market focuses on tourists and therefore isn’t really ideal for anyone who is in Pattaya for any length of time. It’s generally avoided by the expats, but perfect if you want to pick up some beachwear or any souvenirs.  Soi Buakhao Market is much more of a local affair, located toward South Pattaya and is therefore popular with the expat community. You’ll find local food and delicacies alongside household objects, cheap clothing, flowers, fresh fruit and veg and a number of bars and restaurants.

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Finally, the Floating Market is completely for the benefits of tourists. Many years ago, locals actually traded on the waterways, but this has become a thing of the past. Today the floating market is a photo opportunity and the chance for tourists to not only sample food but also find an abundance of local handicraft items from all over Thailand. The market claims to be the largest floating market in the eastern region as it boasts 111 shops and is divided into 4 parts (each representing parts of Thailand – North, Central, North-East and South).  It blends local traditions and customs and is one of the area’s most popular tourist sites

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