Shopping in Bangkok
If ever there was a time for shopping in Bangkok it is now. With the excellent exchange rates, and amazing discounts, you can find everything that you are looking for at exceptional prices. Bangkok is famous for pirated goods, but have a look around first, sometimes you can buy the original at cheaper or for just slightly higher prices than on the street. Some things though can never beat the original prices, especially where computer software is related. Below you will find a whole world of information about shopping in Bangkok whether it is for computer products, clothes or fake merchandise, where to buy and where and what to watch out for.
Chatuchak Weekend Market the famous weekend market is a MUST when in Bangkok, however for us to be able to explain this amazing market to you fully we have devoted a whole page to it. Read our Review of Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok and browse Pictures of Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok
Patpong Night Market offers a wide range of fake goods such as watches, clothes, bags etc. Located in the heart of Patpong (skytrain station Saladaeng), with Bangkok's famous bars on either side this night market offers many distractions, and perhaps an excuse for many to visit this famous night spot. Haggling is expected, and to be honest unless you really want to go to Patpong we would recommend the Night Bazaar mentioned below.
Suan Lum Night Bazaar is an absolute must and a viable alternative to visiting the Patpong Night Market and even Chatuchak as it is not as cramped, has good quality entertainment and food stalls, and sells almost everything you could want from your trip to Thailand. The Night Bazaar is a quick taxi ride away from Silom road, next to Lumpini park. The Bazaar opens around 6 and closes around midnight, it normally has live entertainment such as a live band and a wide variety of food stalls so you can enjoy an evening of fun and shopping at the same time. A definite must for anyone with a shopping list.
Emporium Sukhumvit Soi 26, is an excellent shopping centre and was for many years the best in Bangkok, it has a cinema, and a lot of quality designer wear. They also have an excellent food court at ridiculously cheap prices, which offers diners a lovely view over the adjacent small park. They regularly have very good sales, which are always worth checking out with discounts anywhere from 15 - 80% off at times. While this should still be a must visit on your shopping spree in Bangkok, we do recommend Central Chidlom and Siam Paragon over the Emporium. As with most major malls a tourist card which is available for free, will allow you 5% or 10% discount off regular priced items. (skytrain station Phrom Phong).
Siam Paragon - For years the Emporium has enjoyed the position of the leading Shopping Mall in not just Bangkok but Thailand, followed very closely by some of the Central Department Stores such as the Central Chidlom. The Siam Paragon and also Central Chidlom have now in our view taken over this prestigious accolade and they offer everything, if not even more, than the Emporium. The Siam Paragon opened its doors in December 2005 and is quite literally enormous. This is an absolute must for travellers to Bangkok in search of high quality merchandise. As with most other Malls and Department Stores do remember to take your passport so you can enjoy the 5% Tourist Discount, and also make sure you claim VAT. It should also be noted that the Siam Paragon is home to many of the world's leading designers in Bangkok and while the actual mall may close at around 10:30 many of the designer shops close much earlier, so if you are looking for Gucci, Zegna, LV etc then an afternoon or morning visit is advised. There are also some excellent restaurants at the Siam Paragon. Do try the Blue Elephant on the 4th floor where you can choose from an assortment of different food types - Lebanese, Indian, Italian, Chinese, Thai, French etc.
Bobae is a wholesale market which offers mainly clothes and textiles. Items can be bought at very cheap prices in bulk.
Central Bagna If you like enormous this is your place. Pretty much everything under the sun here and all in a clean new shopping mall. Just do not get lost !
Robinsons Sukhumvit This seems to have gone down hill recently or it could just be that with so much new competition, it just seems that way.
Central Chidlom Despite all the newcomers to the shopping mall scene in Bangkok, Central Chidlom is easily one of the best. It is another beautiful shopping mall with everything available and some great sales. One of the biggest advantages of this shopping mall is the ease of navigation, it is a store and built as such without the hundreds of shops you will find in other places. If you do go to this shopping mall make sure you try the quite amazing food court - Food Loft - on the sixth floor. (skytrain station Chidlom).
World Trade Centre is now called the Central World Plaza This shopping mall is absolutely massive and is only just finishing the renovations from when it was the World Trade Centre. It offers everything, unfortunately it is not the easiest of malls to get around.
Gaysorn Plaza Reopened after a lengthy close and renovation in July 2002. It is a relatively upscale shopping centre with many of the world's top designers. It is opposite the World Trade Centre and the Grand Hyatt Hotel, with a variety of shops. To be honest it is a little too white bright for our liking, so be sure to take your sunglasses!
SOGO next to the Grand Hyatt Hotel - has closed down.
Siam Square This is a small area with lots of excellent shops can be found. The Hard Rock Cafe and CM2 disco is also in this vicinity.
MBK (Mahanakorn) is 6 floors of little shops that sell assorted goods. Everything can be bought here at very good prices. It is hectic and busy especially at the weekend, but if you are looking for a bargain this is a great, if not a tiring place to start. They have two shops that we can strongly recommend, and deserve a mention simply because a lot of people look for this and don't find them. The first is on the sixth floor and is called Seven Sis, here you can have words printed on to pretty much anything, hats, t-shirts, shirts, you name it. The beauty is that not only is it great value, but it is also stitched and not screen, this means that your t-shirt or whatever will not fade out in the wash or even start peeling. You can either buy the t-shirt there, or take your own. The other shop too mention will do any form of printing for you, name cards (although they are cheaper on the sixth floor near SevenSis, stickers and posters. The stickers really are very well done, and can be designed any way that you want. The shop is called Number One DESIGN, and is on the third floor. You should also not miss the food court on the sixth floor, it must be one of the biggest in Bangkok, the food is great, and everything is amazing value. Yes ALL the pics of Bangkok the food court included are here take a look ! MBK basically has everything you could ever need, from unique items mentioned above to Mobile Telephones (be sure to ask whether the phone is 'second hand' or not) to excellent fake Louis Vuitton bags, to originally made local shoes and such. If the fake Louis bags interest you then all we can say is that you will need to ask and look around as they are not on display and we prefer not to mention the shops that carry them. MBK is a shopping must on any visit to Bangkok.
Tesco Lotus Located on Rama IV Road, close to Sukhumvit 26 (although there are many all around Bangkok), is an enormous supermarket which has other shops adjoining. It is definitely worth a visit when you are in Bangkok, if only for the food court which is encircled with a multitude of things for children to enjoy. Including miniature roller coaster rides, a children's theatre with song and dance, one of those ball things (sorry don't know what they are called !! ), miniature cars. A wonderful place for children.
Boots always a favourite with travellers as many things are much cheaper than back home. Boots are located around Bangkok so finding one is not a problem. Do compare prices with Tesco Lotus as price differences can be quite substantial depending on what promotions are running and what products you want.