If are hunting for the best places to shop in Bangkok, you will get never ending suggestions to make your decision even more tricky! Our friends told us about several places to shop all of which we almost forgot as we reached Bangkok. This was no wonder because the city has everything available everywhere! Shopping in Bangkok can never be a challenge!
Okay so here are my few picks for you and I will make it slightly easier for you by breaking the focus into what you might want to shop where!
1) MBK (Mahboonkrong) – For every other tourist who wishes to take back a piece of Bangkok!
I love this mall and if I were to go back and change my days in Bangkok, I will erase all the time spent in the street markets.
MBK is a massive eight storey shopping mall and you will find almost everything under one roof. As a tourist, half day in this mall and you will find everything you ever wanted! Your entire bucket list of things to take back will be ticked by seeing less than half the shops inside!
In Bangkok, if your idea of shopping mainly is to pick diverse souvenirs, then MBK is the place to be! Of course, you can buy these ‘souvenir’ sorts of things almost in any street market but trust me that stores in MBK will offer you the same stuff for almost the same price or even cheaper sometimes. You will also find a few stores which readily bargain on their existing rates.
You name it and you will find it here – from bags to jewellery to clothing to shoes to luggage shops to men’s fantasy kiosks to massage parlours to electronics to nail parlours MBK has everything.
And why should you come here and not the street markets? Well, because MBK is well connected via the metro. You can also swipe your cards for prices that are at par with the street vendors with no haggling. Most importantly, you won’t find air conditioning in the street markets!
2) Siam Paragon – For those luxury shoppers looking for variety and opulence in their experience!
If you think (or have heard from friends) that Thailand offers luxury brands (LV, Marc Jacobs, Burberry, etc) at a cheaper price than your own country then you should try Siam Paragon. It will help you execute that shopping project of yours! That being said, Siam also is the place for all book lovers to have a look at one of the biggest book store inside.
While you are at Siam Paragon and if you have enough time at your disposal after all that shopping, you might also consider trying out some fancy dining or watch a movie at IMAX or maybe just walk past the pretty aquarium in the basement.
Sky train to Siam station will connect the mall more perfectly and conveniently than you would have imagined!
3) Pantip Plaza – For shoppers wanting to check out the electronic products
Pantip is a good place to glance through the Electronics while in Bangkok. You will find almost everything in this category under one roof. Although there are several malls and shops selling electronics all over the city, Pantip is the place to choose for all practical reasons and the best bargains!
Here is my personal take on buying electronics – I don’t really think, in the current times, Bangkok will offer you any cheaper electronics than the deals you would find on Amazon or EBay. The prices are relatively high and if you are from the US or India, I would suggest you do your homework well before impulsively picking up what you glimpse.
4) Asiatique Riverfront – For casual shopping accompanied with entertainment and fine dining!
Asiatique is a beautiful location by the river which has more things to put forward than simply a shopping experience. This is one nice place for a tranquil shopping experience just after sunset. Asiatique is interesting especially for families with little kids who might want some children amusement and shopping in one go! It is an appealing place even if one wants to simply window shop by the river.
As couples, this wasn’t our choice for a shopping scene. We were here mainly to dine in one of the many restaurants and that was gorgeous!
5) Chatuchak Weekend Market – For street shopping with some elegance!
This is one of the biggest (I really mean it BIG) markets I have seen – and it really is! If you happen to be in Bangkok during the weekend, you must come and see the place. It will take you a whole day and you will still not be able to completely see all the booths.
This place has everything and everything is divided into categories (like clothing, shoes, bags, decor, second hand products etc) and all categories are segregated in the given areas. As you enter the market don’t forget to pick a map so that you know where you want to hit first to spend most of your time.
There is a lot of walking to do so ensure you come light with free hands. Do carry a backpack to stuff things you buy. There are several vendors selling fruits and fruit juices. Most of these fruits are exotic and heavily priced in other countries. Don’t forget to try the Thai special coconut ice-cream. Pick them while you shop as they are available in most lanes. We loved most of what we ate and drank!
Tip – All that you see in Chatuchak can be purchased in MBK at the same price and in air conditioned state with elevators and escalators taking care of your convenience. So just in case you can’t make it here, there is nothing you have missed in terms of shopping
6) Terminal 21 – For some theme shopping experience in Bangkok!
Terminal 21 is more of an attraction to see alongside shopping. This mall has 9 stories each themed with shopping streets of the world. For instance, in the Rome theme there are all luxury brands gathered together. Similarly, London theme has the floor decorated with red telephone booths, double-decker buses and the like!
If you have enough time, you can spend an entire afternoon surfing through the shops of Terminal 21!
Street markets, China markets and Night markets!
There are several of these in the city. My take would be not to waste time in these places as the experience will be lousy in the heat. Most stalls sell stuff at overpriced initial rate tags for haggling customers! If you are looking of souvenirs at reasonable prices, then MBK or Chatuchak will take care of your requirements at the same or lower price.