Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Bangkok
As Thailand's capital city as well as its chief port, Bangkok is one of its most important and popular places to visit. The city is a cultural and commercial center that is well known for its beautiful temples as well as its nightlife, making it the optimal travel destination for everyone from history buffs to party-goers. Bangkok is home to plenty of free things to do, some pretty cool landmarks, including the world's largest golden Buddha statue which can be found in the Temple of Wat Traimit, as well as the biggest Chinatown on the globe!
A vacation to Bangkok, Thailand will be filled with culture and tradition, although there are plenty of modern attractions available here as well. The city has its own collection of museums, theme parks, restaurants and gardens, and there is a great shopping scene as well! If you are hoping to do some shopping in Bangkok you should keep reading, since we will introduce you to some of the best shopping malls and retail areas around town.
You will find lots of nice things to buy in the stores; when your arms are full of shopping finds, stow your bags in a Bangkok suitcase locker. Keep shopping to your heart's content and pick up your purchases at the end of the day.
Popular Shopping Malls and Outlets in Bangkok
Icon Siam Mall
We weren't kidding when we said that Bangkok has a fantastic shopping scene, and the Icon Siam shopping center is proof of that! This massive mall has a total of 11 floors for you to explore and it has just about everything that you can think of ever needing to buy. The basement floors are complete with a pet food store, a watch repair shop, laundry service and post office, and then if you move up to the ground floor you will find a food court and several restaurants serving delicious Thai food.
The rest of the mall is well organized into different areas. For example, there is a floor dedicated to men's clothing and accessories, another that features camera and tech shops, and a whole other area where you can shop for kids' clothing and toys. There are many designer brands and specialty shops as well as plenty of places to get food, an observation deck, and art gallery! Keep an eye out for events and cultural performances happening in the mall, like Thai dancing shows.
Platinum Fashion Mall
Another one of the biggest and most popular Bangkok malls is the Platinum Fashion Mall. It has two wings with 5 air-conditioned levels of shopping galore where you can mostly find clothes and accessories. It is a wholesale mall, meaning that the more things that you buy the cheaper it will be. Take this opportunity to stock up on things, or completely reinvent your wardrobe.
One thing that is important to note about the Platinum Fashion Mall is that there are no changing rooms, so it is a good idea to know your measurements beforehand. Some stores will let you exchange or return items that don't fit, but check in with the specific shop first.
Be ready to spoil yourself since the MBK Center, which actually stands for Mah Boon Krong, is one of Bangkok's oldest shopping malls but still one of its favorites. It sells everything from mobile phone accessories to clothing and it is a fantastic spot for some retail therapy.
One bonus of the MBK Center is that a small part of it is actually open 24 hours a day! This means that you can stop by to grab something whenever you need it, or just anytime that you have a craving for shopping.
Another option for shopping in Bangkok is the Union Mall, which is smaller compared to the Platinum or other big shopping centres but still has lots to offer. It is a pretty popular place for the young adult community of Bangkok to hang out, and the styles offered in the stores are different than other spots around the city.
With nice wide corridors and fewer shops than the other malls, it definitely won't feel cramped and browsing the stores will be a pleasant experience. Prices tend to be a bit higher in this shopping mall compared to others, but the variety is well worth checking out!
For international brands and luxury shopping, head straight to the Siam Paragon. This mall is easy to get to using the Siam Station for the Sky Train and is connected to some other malls as well, so you can go on a terrific shopping spree. Keep an eye out for big brand names like Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Rolex.
On the ground floor, you will find a grocery store as well as the biggest aquarium in Southeast Asia in the basement. On the upper floors, there is a massive multiplex cinema with 15 screens, one of which is the largest in Asia. As if that wasn't enough to be excited about, you will also find a bowling alley inside the mall!
Central World first opened its doors to eager shoppers in 2006 and now stands as the eleventh largest shopping center in the entire world. There are 8 floors for you to explore so you should reserve an entire day (or more than one) if you want to see it all. There is a central department store and many fashion shops that hold a variety of items, making it a good spot to find budget shopping at a reasonable price as well as some more luxury brands.
One of the mall's highlights is the gourmet market on the top floor where you can taste classic Thai foods and drinks, as well as the ice skating rink. After you've finished shopping you can go outside to the Central World Square that often hosts events and festivals, including lots of festive celebrations at Christmas time.
The Siam Discovery, located in Siam Square alongside the Siam Paragon, Icon Siam and Siam Center, can offer you some fantastic shopping experiences with the major renovation the establishment went through recently that made it bigger, brighter, and better than ever.
The new layout is open and airy, giving you plenty of space to browse through shops. For sale, you will find lots of international brand names and trendy shops selling everything from clothes to shoes and accessories to toys. Stop by Madame Tussauds wax museum on the 5th floor while you are here!
Specialty Stores in Bangkok
Pantip Plaza is a specialty shopping mall dedicated entirely to mobile phones, electronics, and gadgets of every sort. This is a good place to go when you want to find camera lenses, accessories and computer items that are sometimes hard to find.
This plaza is made up of 5 floors, one of which is a dedicated food court in case you get hungry. The noise level can be high here since it is often busy, so you will probably need a break at some point during your visit.
Thai Home Industries
Thai Home Industries has been in business for over 60 years now and has made a name for itself among city locals and others who frequent the Thai craft scene. This is a fantastic place to go to find traditional Thai items, like bamboo fans and baskets.
Once you step foot inside you are bound to find something that you will want to bring home with you. Maybe buy yourself some comfortable cotton pajamas, a mother-of-pearl comb or a nice bamboo basket! Rest assured that you won't find anything like these items anywhere else around the world, since they are all handmade in the shop.
Boyy is a signature bag brand that you will probably spot being worn by locals and other fashionistas around Bangkok and the world. The brand was first created by a Canadian named Jesse Dorsey and a Bangkok local named Wannasiri Kongman, and it has really taken off.
You will see a few of the stores around the city but the best spot to go is in Gaysorn Village because they have the widest collection in store. You will have a huge variety of colors and designs of bags to choose from, as well as sandals, sunglasses and loafers.
Popular Shopping Areas in Bangkok
Chatuchak Weekend Market
The Chatuchak Weekend Market, also called the JJ Market, is actually the world's largest market held outdoors and it is a great place to go to shop till you drop, especially if you want to buy souvenirs or knick-knacks for affordable prices. For these reasons, it is common to see tourists frequenting the stalls searching for cool items to bring back home. As you might have guessed, you can only go to the market on Saturdays and Sundays and on most weekends you can see nearly 200,000 people shopping here each day!
You should be able to find everything that you need at this market, which spans over a kilometer and has several thousand booths! Some of the wares that you might find include ceramics, Buddhist amulets, jewelry, wooden furnishings, clothes, Thai silk, plants and handicrafts. It is a great spot to find Thai street food as well.
Asiatique is a riverside market set on the Chao Phraya River that is not only a good place to go shopping but is like a whole experience on its own. It is an open-air market and night bazaar all in one, complete with over 1,500 stalls as well as different restaurants serving foods from around Asia, Europe and America. It is a popular tourist attraction but lots of locals frequent the area, too!
The Asiatique market has more to offer than just Thai souvenirs and treats, but entertainment as well. On site, you will find a Ferris wheel, 4D cinema, an ice cream shop, plus live performances. Save some time to stay for a Thai puppet show or to watch one of the Thai boxing shows.
Klong Mat Mayom
While you are out shopping in Bangkok, the floating markets are a must-visit. For an authentic floating market experience, go to Klong Mat Mayom which is one of the city's most popular, and you can take a boat ride to paddle past hundreds of floating shops selling all kinds of wares.
As you make your way through the floating market you will see people selling clothing, accessories, Thai food and handicrafts. The items being sold are very affordable since mostly locals frequent the market.
Damnoen Saduak is another floating market where you will be brought on a traditional long-tail boat through a network of shops set up on the water. The wooden boats are filled with fruits and vegetables that the vendors have grown themselves, clothing, handcrafted items and yummy food.
Since most of the items are made locally they are quite affordable. You just can't visit Bangkok without visiting one of these places, since they are so different than the street markets located around town.
Patpong Night Market
Bangkok has some lovely night markets that are great shopping places as well. Patpong should have a spot on your list and is usually open from around 6pm until midnight. If you are into luxury brands but don't want to spend the money you can often find some good dupes here. This includes fake Rolex, Gucci, Lacoste and Louis Vuitton products.
You will also see all sorts of other items, from carved soaps and souvenirs to clothing, DVDs and jewelry. You should be aware of pickpockets here and keep in mind that some of the vendors might try to up the prices if they realize that you are a tourist. As with most other night markets, don't be afraid to bargain politely with the shopkeepers.
Khao San Road
When it comes to shopping, Khao San Road is one of the best places to go. The road is lined with many shops and stores selling cheap items as well as more luxury brands, and there are quite a few places to find Thai street food, too.
If you ever get all shopped out you can always rest up at a massage boutique, or grab a drink at one of the nearby bars! Make sure that you add it to your list of places to go shopping in Bangkok.
Where to Shop in Bangkok
Whether you are looking for high end brands, beauty products, tech, souvenirs or cheap buys, Bangkok has somewhere perfect for you to shop. There are lots of small shops as well as massive shopping malls to explore, and lots of the things being sold are unique to this city. Make sure that you take some time to explore the shopping centers, markets and designer stores before you leave Bangkok!