If ever there was a time for shopping in Bangkok it is now.
With amazing discounts at most stores in Thailand, you can find
everything that you are looking for at exceptional prices.
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.
On this page you will find a variety of information about shopping in Bangkok, whether it is for
computer products, clothes or fake merchandise, where to buy and
where, as well as what to watch out for. Do also check our guide about
VAT Refunds for Tourists in Thailand, as it can help you save
a little from the purchases you make while in Thailand.
Another way to save money, is to apply for a tourist card, such
as the M Card at The Mall Group which includes The Mall, Siam
Paragon, Emporium and an expat or tourist card for all the Central
Shopping Centres. These cards normally give you an extra 5%
discount. Be sure to check what the terms and conditions are for
each item purchased as the discount is not always available.
Signing up for these cards is simple and normally just requires
some form of id.
Discounts are common place in Bangkok. Whether it is in a major
shopping centre, or small local shop always ask to see what is
available. It should also be noted that discounts are not
necessarily the same from one mall to another. A suit at Siam
Paragon could well have a discount of 40% or more, while the exact
same suit at another place like Central Chidlom may well have a
totally different price.
Diving Shops in Bangkok: Scuba
Please see our full page review of
Diving Shops in Bangkok.
Computer Software: The main place to buy computer software,
as well as computer hardware etc is at Panthip Plaza on Petchburi road,
almost opposite the Amari Watergate Hotel.
Everything under the sun and computer related can be found there.
With seven floors of shopping heaven for computer buffs, copy is
very much the thing, so if you are looking for original be careful. The shop on the top floor,
IT City, is very
reliable, and offers mainly original soft and hardware. Due to a
lot of police restrictions, which seem to change month by month,
the shops sometimes will refuse to sell you copy software directly
instead they have to send it to you by EMS (registered post). There
is not normally any problems with this, however it does mean
that you should visit this computer heaven early in your trip, if
you plan to buy some software, so that the sellers have enough
time to send it to your hotel if required. Three days should normally
suffice at the most. Having said that please note that these
restrictions change all the time, and you will even see vendors
removing all the latest DVD's, CD's, VCD's and software very
quickly only for it to reappear minutes later once we presume an
inspection has finished. There are some other computer shops in
Bangkok which are also well worth a visit and a little easier to
get to than Petchburi road. One, is Fortune Plaza which is on
Ratchada Road next to Param 9 subway station. There is also
another Panthip Plaza on Rattanathibet Road close to The Mall Ngam
Wong Wan and a massive computer mall in Rangsit.
DVD's: VCD's and DVD's are also
available at Panthip but they can also now be found all over
Bangkok. Do watch out when buying DVD's as quality can vary
enormously. Always ask whether the DVD is a "master copy", which
basically means is the picture and sound quality the best
available. This should help to avoid any misunderstanding although
very much depends on the honesty of the vendor and also the
vendors understanding of quality. Quality would normally be
described in percentage terms. So for example if you wanted to buy
the latest blockbuster movie which is not even out in the cinemas
yet then the quality will normally be less than 100%. Some shops
may even let you see the quality if you ask nicely. VCD's are now
roughly 50 Baht or so but can be had a cheaper if you shop around.
DVD's are also readily available and cost anywhere from 100 Baht.
You should note that original DVD's can cost as little as 240 Baht
and there are quite a few shops around Bangkok where you can buy
original movies in DVD, video and VCD format. Most vendors will
give you a box for free if you ask, while some may charge 5 Baht
per box. If you have a DVD player at your hotel do check each DVD
for quality and if you are unhappy then you should have little
problem changing the DVD. See also our guide to:
Rolex: Please see our full page article on
Bike Shops in Bangkok: Please see our
full page article on
Bike Shops in Bangkok.
Shopping Centres / Malls in Bangkok
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.
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 sleazy Patpong, then we would
recommend the Night Bazaar mentioned below.
Suan Lum Night
Bazaar is an absolute must and a viable, even preferred, 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 (underground station Lumpini). 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, as well as two food courts,
one with mainly Thai food and another more designer attempt at
competing with the best food court in Bangkok, namely the Food
Loft at Central Chidlom. The Emporium, as do all malls in Bangkok, regularly
has 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.
(skytrain station Phrom Phong).
Siam Paragon - For years the
Emporium 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. But
Siam Paragon, Central World and also Central Chidlom have all now, in our view
at least, taken
over this prestigious accolade and they offer everything, if not
even more, than the Emporium. Siam Paragon opened its doors in
December 2005 and is quite literally enormous. It is an absolute
must for travellers to Bangkok in search of high quality
merchandise. It should also be
noted that the Siam Paragon is home to many of the world's leading
designers 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, including Aoi which offers some of the best Japanese
in Bangkok, Crystal Jade which has some of the best Dim Sum for
lunch in Bangkok 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
Robinsons Sukhumvit When there
was not many shopping centres in Bangkok, then this place was one
of the leaders. Not so anymore. There are a few Robinsons in
Bangkok still, and they do tend to be a little cheaper than some
of the other major malls but it is not somewhere we would suggest
going out of your way for.
Central Chidlom: Despite all the
newcomers to the shopping mall scene in Bangkok, Central Chidlom
is still 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 its ease of
navigation, it is a store and was 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).
Amarin Plaza: How this shopping
mall is still open is beyond us. A lot of tailors and other shops.
This place is crying out for a refurbishment or a complete
makeover - perhaps another hotel?!
Central World Plaza was
previously called the
World Trade Centre. This
shopping mall is absolutely massive, it offers
everything but unfortunately it is not the easiest of malls to get
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 local market style shops to be found. The Hard
Rock Cafe and CM2 disco is also in this vicinity.
MBK 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 then 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. Take a look at the picture of the shop by clicking here.
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.
Take a look
at the picture ? Click here. 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 LV 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
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, or any one of the other
supermarkets in Bangkok, as price differences can be
quite substantial depending on what promotions are running and
what products you want.
Silver: Silver products such as
jewellery can be found all over Bangkok but perhaps the best place
to purchase silver is in Chinatown where there are many shops
Bed Sheets: Bed sheets in Bangkok are not as
cheap as some other countries around the world, but the major malls
often have some special discounts which can make such items very
affordable. If you want the ultimate and one of the finest bed
sheets in the world then we suggest you visit Pasaya. Read a full
Pasaya - Ultimate Bed Sheets in Bangkok.
As the subject of shopping for tailor made clothes is quite
extensive we have devoted a separate page to
Summary: If it sounds to good to
be true it probably is. There are plenty of scams around, so don't
be scared to say no, or walk away, just keep your wits about you
and everything should be fine. The best quality malls in Bangkok
are Central Chidlom, Siam Paragon and Emporium if you miss the
others then don't worry. You can walk between Siam Paragon,
Central World and Central Chidlom using the walkway that runs
beneath the skytrain, it is free and for once you do not need to
constantly look at the ground for fear of falling down a pothole!
Want the markets? Then Suan Luam night bazaar will suffice and if
you are around at the weekend then Chatuchak in the morning. If
you skip the Patpong night bazaar then all you will really miss is
sleaze and being harassed. For cheaper more localised shops, then
MBK, Discovery Centre, and all the shops in Siam Square.
After all that shopping you will probably need a drink!! Read
our reviews of the
Bars in Bangkok.
Currency Converter and Money Tips. Were you looking for a
specific shop or product? Let us know and if we can we will help.
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