When planning a trip to Bangkok, you have to remember to leave plenty of room in your suitcase. Why? You’ll know when you get there. Bangkok is one of the best cities to shop! The expression ‘shop ’til you drop’ is quite fitting in this city. From high-end brands to night markets, there are something for everyone. Even if you’re not a huge shopper, it’s a worthwhile to check out Bangkok’s shopping scene. No matter which Bangkok hotel you’re staying, there will be places for shopping nearby. Here are some of the most interesting areas for shopping among countless more spots.
Bangkok has some of the finest malls in Southeast Asia. Seriously, there’s no shortage of great shopping malls in this city. It’s also a great relief to step into buildings with air-conditioning in the hot Bangkok’s afternoon.
The most famous of all is MBK Center. This eight-floor mall is always packed with both tourists and locals. What do they have? Pretty much everything. Almost 2,000 shops here sell everything from clothing, accessories, electronics, mobile phones, food, and more. Established in 1986, this is a center of activities in Bangkok. MBK Center is easy to find through a direct walkway linking to National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station.
The most famous electronics mall in Bangkok, Pantip Plaza is where you can be as geeky as you want. It has gained legendary status as the place to find new and used computers and various accessories at the cheapest prices. Find Pantip Plaza at BTS Statio Chidlom and walk ten minutes down Ratchadamri Road, over the Saen Saeb canal, and then left on Phetbury Road.
CentralWorld mega-shopping complex is one of the most exciting shopping malls in Bangkok. If you are looking for name brand stores, high-tech gadgets, designer furniture, or imported food, look no further. This largest mall in Thailand and among the largest in the world, CentralWorld has more than 500 stories, 100 restaurants, 15 movie theaters, as well as food courts, supermarket, and an outdoor square. It’s connected directly from Chidlom and Siam BTS Stations.
Don’t know what to buy but want to experience the market culture of Bangkok? Head to Chatuchak Weekend Market. It was once a trading place among wholesalers, but it has become the landmark place for visitors. This shopping wonderland has more than 8,000 stalls of clothes, accessories, souvenirs, foods, and much more. You’d have to take a day to complete your shopping task. Bring enough cash (ATM is far away), empty bag (to store your new stuff), and leave your valuables at a hotel. One important thing to remember; don’t forget to bargain. It’s a touristy place and the vendors know it the best. Prepare to walk away when the bargain deal fails. Wait for them to offer the price you want or you will have to find another vendor. Check out a few other stalls before committing to anything. Big smiles and a friendly attitude go far! To get to Chatuchak, head to Mo Chit station on Skytrain (BTS), or take the subway to Chatuchak Park Station.
In Bangkok’s famous nightlife district, Patpong, there is a night market that’s full of fake brands and cheap souvenirs. This is one of the best places for people watching more than shopping. This place is always full of commotions with nearby bars, hagglers, and tourists. This is usually one of the first stops for visitors because of the cheap hotels in the Silom area. The market is near BTS Siam Station.
In any city, Chinatown is always almost as interesting as traveling in China. Okay, that’s an exaggeration but you know what I mean. Bangkok is no exception. Chinese medicine sellers among the beautiful Chinese temples, the unique smell of the street, stalls with random items, tea sets, and fabrics, there are just everything you can imagine. It’s like a big and somewhat random flea market. Chinatown runs along Yaowarat Road from Odean Circle, up to the Ong Ang Canal.
To reach Chinatown, hop on a boat to the Ratchawong Pier and walk up Ratchawong Road to Sampaeng Lane or Yaowarat Road.
If you are in the mood for a calm and relaxing shopping rather than in the crowds of the night market, Siam Square is the place to go. It’s a great place to get good bargains on good quality products, also to discover new Thai and Asian brands. There are many stores to choose from, so do a little research before you go and prepare to wander around. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to break your shopping. Siam Square can be reachable by BTS Siam Station.
●Runaway Juno Media is running #cityAdventures campaign with Marriott International! We’re going to explore 12 iconic cities around the world with 12 different themed articles. This is the fifth post of the campaign: Bangkok.