Every once in a while (or for some of us every day) we go on a shopping spree and as the country’s capital, there is no better place to do it than Bangkok. But the city is big, it’s busy, it’s hot, it can be intimidating at times and sometimes the very thought of searching desperately for the latest designer bag can tire you out before you’ve set foot out the front door.
But fear no more. We’re here to help. We want to provide you with a unique insight into some of the city’s top shopping haunts. From Gucci to wholesale knock-offs, Fendi to flower markets, Bangkok is a true shopper’s haven where you can get your hands on just about anything and everything! We’ll break it down for you in order to make your experience as stress-free as possible.
Let’s start from the top of the ‘shopping-chain’ – the designer goodies. If you feel like splashing the cash and treating yourself (or a lucky friend), these are our top 5 luxury malls dotted around Bangkok.
Central World Plaza
Escape the sticky humidity of the streets and browse the beautiful, shining stores within the comfort of air-con. These gleaming malls also contain an array of food courts should you need to refuel during your trip. The Gourmet Market at Siam Paragon is a particular favourite providing an abundance of delicious treats from all around the world. One particular thing to bear in mind with designer products though is that haggling is not possible and you will be paying a similar price for your goods as you would from the West. That being said, we all deserve to pamper ourselves every once in a while!
Bangkok is one of the best places in the world to get your hands on some of the top ‘knock-offs’ out there. And of course this is where you can barter the prices right down.
You can track down faux designer products all over the city on almost every street corner but Platinum Fashion Mall and MBK are two of the best-known places to browse shoe after shoe, bag after bag and scarf after scarf. The choices are endless. And if you’re umm-ing and ahh-ing over two particular goodies, buy them both because it’s likely the vendor will bring the price down once you’re taking the plunge to purchase multiple goods. Think of it as doing yourself a favour (kind of)!
A Taste of Thailand
Perhaps you’ve overdone the Western shopping sprees and want to experience something more cultural. Bangkok still has the answer and the prices will be even cheaper.
The Thai Craft Market on the third floor of Amarin Plaza contains a collection of stores, where you can buy all sorts of trinkets; souvenirs to send home, woven bags, sarongs, silverware, magnets, silks, the list is endless. Chatuchak Weekend Market (often referred to as ‘JJ Market’ by locals) is the largest outdoor market in South-East Asia (27 acres to be exact) and is full of traditional goodies along with pretty much everything else! The Floating Market is also a completely different experience for you and packed full of cheap Thai goods. When you’re shopping Thai-style, it’s easy to barter the prices down plus if you throw in a little Thai, “tao-rai-ka/kap” [“how much is this?”] they’ll warm to you immediately.
Bangkok is a huge city full of secrets and doesn’t limit itself to specialising in just the obvious bits and pieces.
Did you know that Chinatown, for example, is famous for its abundance of gold? It’s where vendors travel from all over the world to carefully select what they’ll take home with them to sell themselves.
Little India is known for its textiles, where you can purchase the most beautiful fabrics for next-to-no money.
Not far from here is the sensational flower market, where a bouquet of around 40 roses will cost you between 50-100B – an absolute bargain!
Auud Baan Krau Thai Silk transports you back in time, where you find yourself in the house of Uncle Auud surrounded by the most beautiful selection of hand looms, silks and scarves in a range of wonderful colours. It’s a tricky one to find though. The closest BTS station is National Stadium and it can be found on Soi Kasmsan 3 – walk toward the end of the soi, over the bridge, turn left and look out for the sign.
Kinokuniya Book Store on the third floor of Siam Paragon is a must-visit to track down all the latest bestsellers, fictions, art books, academic books, guidebooks, maps, magazines etc. There are two more branches within Emporium Mall and Isetan but Siam Paragon hosts the largest of the three.
The array of shops, stores and goods in Bangkok is endless and the list could go on and on. Perhaps you already have a particular shopping haunt that we haven’t mentioned… We’d love to hear your secrets. Share it with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and be sure to insert the hashtag #WhyILoveBangkok so we don’t miss it!
In the meantime though, grab your purse and get shopping!