Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world due to the abundance of tourist spots that can be found within the city. It’s also considered as one of the major transport hubs in Southeast Asia where one can easily catch a connecting flight to the islands and beaches of Thailand and neighboring countries. You can easily take flights to Bangkok via Emirates from Europe and then upon arrival to Bangkok spend a day or two and catch a bus or train up north to Chiang Mai or down south to Phuket. It’s also fairly easy to go to Cambodia overland as the border is just a few hours away.
Most of the people that make Bangkok as their main destination are spoiled with a variety of things to do within the city. Some of the basic itineraries include visiting the temples and the Grand Palace, learning how to cook Thai food, watching Muay Thai fights and of course shopping. Bangkok is definitely one of the best places in Southeast Asia to shop. The city has so many day markets, night markets, flea markets and shopping malls. There are just so many varieties of products being sold that will definitely leave you breathless.
If you are wondering where the best places to shop in Bangkok are, here’s a mini guide that I created for you:
This area would probably be the most popular district for shopping as the choices caters to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a tight budget or if you’re looking for luxury goods. You’ll definitely find something that you’ll end up buying. For the budget conscious buyers you’ll be happy to find in Siam area the famous MBK (Mahboonkrong) Plaza, Bonanza Mall and Siam Square where you’ll find loads of bargains. Some of the great deals that can be found in this area are clothing items, second hand and brand new gadgets, shoes, bags and lots of souvenir items.
MBK Plaza or Mahboonkrong
For those who are planning to splurge on luxury items you can check out Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon and Siam Center. You’ll find international and local brands in these malls. The biggest among the three and the ones that have more options is Siam Paragon.
Siam Paragon – If you’re looking for Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands, you’ll find them here.
Siam Center – Great place to see the works of local Thai designers and there’s so many interesting artworksinside the mall too.
If you walk further down the road from Siam then you’ll reach Ratchaprasong District where you can find Central World, Gaysorn, Amarin Plaza and Erawan. Most of the shops that can be found here are from branded and designer labels. At the ground floor of Amarin you’ll find a variety of brands that are holding their seasonal discount sale.
Pratunam is the budget shopper’s paradise as you’ll find most goods being sold in this area very affordable. This is also the area frequented by resellers and small retailers. A lot of the stores in Pratunam are offering wholesale prices even if you just buy for as few as six pieces. Make sure to bargain hard but politely to get the best deals on your desired items. Some of the malls that can be found here include Palladium Square, Platinum Fashion Mall, Pratunam Market, Shibuya 19 Shopping Mall, Baiyoke, City Complex and Indra Square. If you’re on the nut for gadgets and other electronics, don’t forget to visit Pantip Mall as well. It’s probably the largest electronics shopping center in Bangkok.
Pantip Plaza – Gadget Heaven
Chinatown is another place you should check out if you’re looking for affordable shoes, bags and accessories. Just like Pratunam, there are so many shops here offering wholesale prices especially at Sam Paeng Lane. Be wary though as it can get very hot and crowded especially at noon time. If you’re still looking for more clothing items then drop a visit to Bobae Market where they sell clothes at retail and wholesale prices.
Silom is probably the most popular district for awesome nightlife in Bangkok. Aside from beer gardens, you’ll also find some pockets of shopping areas in Silom. You can visit Central Plaza, Bangkok Fashion Outlet, Baan Silom and the infamous Patpong Night Market. Prices at Patpong are not as cheap though as the ones you’ll find in Pratunam and Chinatown.
Looking for some locally made artworks? Check out the Art Market at Baan Silom (near Sala Daeng MRT Station)
One of the best reasons to visit Sukhumvit is Terminal 21. Terminal 21 is a shopping mall like no other. Each floor is designed based on the landmarks of various cities in the world. It looks like a short trip to major markets in different cities. It’s one of the places that you shouldn’t miss on your next visit to Bangkok. If you’re looking for luxury goods then head straight to Emporium, which is just a couple of kilometers away from Terminal 21 and just one station away if you take the BTS.
Terminal 21- One of the most interesting mall I’ve ever seen
There are places to shop in Victory Monument but most of the goods being sold are geared toward women and there’s only a handful of shops selling menswear. So if you’re looking for women’s bags, shoes and clothing then you should check out Victory Monument. Just follow the crowd from the BTS and you’ll see Fashion Mall, Center One and Victory Point.
The streets are also filled with vendors selling everything from toys, accessories, clothes, shoes, bags and more.
Center One -Victory Monument
If you don’t want to shop at very touristy and very crowded areas then head up north to Union Mall and Central Lad Prao which are both accessible via MRT (Pahonyothin Station). You’ll be amazed to know that these are not frequented that much by tourists and it’s practically off the tourists’ radar due to its location. Most of the shoppers are locals and you’ll also notice that prices tend to be a bit cheaper than in other areas.
Vintage Shops at Union Mall
One of the reasons for you to visit Ramkhamhaeng area is The Mall Bangkapi. It’s another huge mall which is off the tourists’ radar. Getting here is a bit tricky though, the most adventurous way is to take one of the canal boats at Pratunam and alight at The Mall. If you’re coming from Silom you can also take bus #514. In front of The Mall is NMark and Happy Land Center and beside The Mall is Tawanna Plaza. You’ll find a lot of used clothing and second hand shoes in those places. If you’re fond of vintage clothing then these places are for you.
The Mall Bangkapi – Did I mention that there’s a water park at the top floor.
Vintage Sneakers at Tawanna Square – So many limited edition Converse shoes!!!
Second hand boots at Happyland
And of course, who will make a list of shopping places in Bangkok without including Chatuchak. Chatuchak Weekend Market is said to be the biggest outdoor market in the whole world with thousands of shops and stalls selling almost everything imaginable. It’s definitely crowded and it can get very hot and humid inside so be sure to wear comfortable clothes and keep yourself hydrated. The most interesting part of Chatuchak is the area where you’ll find so many second hand leather bags and second hand clothing items including shoes. There are of course many sellers of brand new items as well. The area is divided into different zones, there’s one area allocated for home decors, clothes shoes etc.
Vintage cowboy boots at Chatuchak Weekend Market
These are just some of the main shopping areas in Bangkok. There’s still more to discover if you visit the other areas. Bangkok is indeed a shopping haven for almost every budget.
Khlong Lot Market – Just one of the many night markets in Bangkok City
Editor’s Note: This post is in collaboration with Emirates.