A shopper's guide to Bangkok
If shopping’s your thing, Bangkok certainly won’t disappoint. From bustling local markets that will stimulate the senses, modern department stores filled with bargains, and impressive high-end fashion, Bangkok’s a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for an authentic Thai experience, or you’re out to grab a bargain, our guide of where to shop has you covered. And if you need a top hotel to stash your shopping spoils, check out our Staff Picks hotels in Bangkok.
For the market lovers:
You can literally shop ‘til you drop at the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market. One of the world’s biggest markets, Chatuchak has over 8,000 market stalls sprawled across 12 hectares, selling just about everything sellable. Open Wednesday to Sunday, find yourself a bargain at local prices with everything from crafts and clothing to food and antiques from all over Thailand up for grabs.
Next hit up the day-and-night market stalls at the centre of Bangkok’s backpacking scene, Khao San Road. Get ready to part with your baht for secondhand books, imitation designer bags, tacky souvenirs, or even a tailor-made suit. Here you’ll also find ubiquitous travel essentials such as Thai fisherman pants, silver and shell jewellery, and ‘Same Same But Different’ singlets amid internet cafes and travel shops galore.
After you’re done with the backpacker scene, head to the Old Town for a visual treat at the incredible Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talad). Open 24 hours a day and best visited at night, the huge wholesale flower markets have become a top tourist attraction with mountains of precious orchids, rows of beautiful roses and piles of lilies, forget-me-nots and more, many destined for the city’s temples.
For the fashionistas:
Siam Square in Central Bangkok is the place to head for up-and-coming fashion labels as well as those regularly flaunted on the glossy pages of Thai mags. Whatever your style, you’ll find it here. If you’re really up for a splurge, the impeccable Pony Stone is a true rock chick’s dream where you can give the credit card a good workout on high-end leather, platform heels, tiaras and gold hot pants. Sister Margarita is the place to head for quality, quirky retro-style dresses and accessories, while the dreamy vintage chic Rotsaniyom is a boho goddess’ dream.
Just around the corner, the wholesale Platinum Fashion Mall caters to just about every type of fashion under the sun, and you’ll snap up a bargain with extra discounts when you buy three or more items from one store.
For the mall junkies:
Bangkok’s huge air-conditioned malls are legendary. Score yourself anything from bargain Western designer brand clothing to hugely discounted electronics and everything in between. The mega complex of CentralWorld is the sixth largest shopping centre in the world where you can get your shopping fix of fashion, electronics, souvenirs and more. There’s even an ice-skating rink here!
For a smaller, more exclusive mall experience, Siam Paragon is the place for discerning shoppers and designer-curious window shoppers to head. High-end designer labels abound with everything from high fashion to luxury cars and homewares.
The eight-storey MBK Shopping Center just off Siam Square is probably the most popular mall for tourists with bargain basement electronics up for grabs, as well as floors of fashion and accessories. As with the markets, prices are negotiable, so get your bartering hat on and you could score yourself a great deal here.
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