Places to shop in Bangkok

8 Dec

Apart from all other attractions that Bangkok is famous for, there is one particular thing that a lot of Indians swear by. And that’s shopping in this city. It is said that shopping in this city is very cheap and you get loads of amazing stuff. Well, my views differ slightly.

Shopping in Bangkok is relatively cheap (not “very” and the current exchange rate is not helping) for certain stuff such as T-shirts, bags, casual clothes, accessories, TVs etc but if you want to buy the branded stuff, then it is pretty much the same as in India. Though there are benefits – like shopping for brands that are not available in India or their local designers, etc. We shopped quite a bit here and I have listed below my recommendations on this topic –

Malls – 

  • Platinum Mall – This is one of the best places to shop for bargain stuff in Bangkok. This is one huge mall with 3 zones and a couple of floors filled with clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, etc etc. This is more of a wholesale market and  the way to shop is – there is a certain price for buying 1 item and there is a discount if you buy 3 items of the same kind.
    • Good Things – Good stuff at good bargains. We bought shoes, accessories, clothes etc which were good quality and at a good bargain.
    • Not So Good Things – This is a huge place and very crowded and chaotic. You have to hunt through a lot of stuff to get what you like.
    • How to reach here – Take a BTS Skytrain to Chidlom station and then it is a 15 – 20 minute walk.
Platinum Mall. Photo courtesy

Platinum Mall. Photo courtesy

  • Central World Mall – This is the largest mall in Bangkok and the third largest mall in the world. It has all the possible brands under one roof and a must visit if you are looking for branded stuff. This is quite a big mall hence be sure to check out all the brands that you want to check out first and then start roaming around in this mall. Also, be sure to check out the Jim Thompson Silk store and the Naraya store here.
    • Good Things – all branded stuff under one roof.
    • Not so Good Things – I found it to be expensive.
    • How to reach here – Take a BTS Skytrain to Chidlom station and then it is a 15 – 20 minute walk.
Central World Mall. Pic courtesy

Central World Mall. Pic courtesy

  • Siam Malls – In the Siam Center there are a couple of malls together called Siam Paragon and Siam Discovery that are worth a visit. Siam Paragon has all kinds of brands and a famous underwater world. While Siam Discovery has the high-end shopping, Madam Tussauds and the ice skating rink.
    • Good Things – Good shopping and all brands under one roof in addition to other options such as – the underwater world, ice skating and Madam Tussauds.
    • Not so Good Things – I found it to be expensive.
    • How to reach here – Take a BTS Skytrain to Siam station.
Siam Center, pic courtsey

Siam Center, pic courtsey

  • Robinsons – I really like this chain of department stores and shop in it wherever I find it. This store is somehow in line with what I like and has everything under one roof. There are a couple of these stores in Bangkok and you can visit one closest to you.
    • Good Things – Good variety in clothes, shoes, bags, accessories etc and has everything under one roof including home decor stuff and a super market. Also processes your VAT refunds and prices are very reasonable.
    • How to reach – Take a BTS skytrain to Asoke station.
Robinsons. Pic courtesy

Robinsons. Pic courtesy

  • Terminal 21 – This is a new theme mall in Bangkok with each floor representing some famous cities like Rome, London, Istanbul, Tokyo etc. This mall has all kinds of brands but what I liked about here was the stuff from the local designers in small outlets all over the mall. Even of you don’t end up buying anything here, it’s still fun to see the layout and the interiors of this mall. Also, there is a small Japanese store in this mall which has some real pretty knick knack for gifting purposes.
    • Good Things – Very good layout and theme of the mall. Some good local designer stuff.
    • How to reach – Take a BTS skytrain to Asoke station
Terminal 21, pic courtesy -

Terminal 21, pic courtesy –

Street Shopping – 

  • Khao San Road – This is a must visit place and a budget shoppers paradise. This is a street market along a lane full of all kinds of T-shirts, accessories, bags, flip flops, key chains, quirky souvenirs etc. You can shop like crazy all day and if you get tired then you can always take a break in one of restaurants and pubs along the road or sit by the road for a good foot massage. However, please do remember, that bargaining here is a must.
    • Good Things – Good stuff at really good bargains.
    • Not so good things – You need to bargain a lot here and be careful of your belongings.
    • How to reach – Take a BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin. Walk out of the station and you will see the Chao Phraya Boat station – Central Pier (Sathorn). From here take a ferry toPhra Athit (N13) Pier and walk for 10 – 15 minutes.
Shopping at Khao San Road

Shopping at Khao San Road

  • Chatuchak Market – This is a weekend market that starts from Friday night and goes on till Sunday night. It is a shoppers paradise with everything under the sun – from clothes to shoes to antiques to pets to cooking stuff basically everything. A must visit for everyone who visits Bangkok over the weekend. After shopping if you get tired then there are numerous street food options here to sit and eat from coffee to cut fresh fruits to coconut water to ice candies etc etc. Also, if you are shopping then if possible visit this place from Sunday afternoon onwards as you can strike better bargains then.
    • Good Things – A lot of beautiful local stuff under one roof and you can spend one entire day shopping here at attractive bargains.
    • Not so good things – You really need to bargain for everything, the place is a maze and you can get lost easily so always carry a map and be careful of your belongings.
    • How to reach – Take an underground metro, Metro Blue Line to the Kamphaengphet station and the market is right outside the station.
Chatuchak Market, photo courtesy

Chatuchak Market, photo courtesy

  • Street Markets & Tailors – All over Bangkok you see numerous tailors with small shops in all markets. These tailors keep materials and designs and you can select the combinations and get custom tailored clothes made in  2-3 days time. They also deliver at your hotel.
  • Local Street Markets in each locality – Each locality in Bangkok has its own local street market with loads of shops selling all kinds of everyday stuff and street food. Each of these markets has its own distinct identity, feel and culture. So if you have the time then be sure to check out a couple of local street markets around your hotel.

Other Malls that a lot of people recommend but we didn’t go to are –

  • MBK Mall
  • Pantip Plaza – Famous for electronic stuff and the best bargains.
  • The Emporium all

That’s all from me on this topic, however if you have come across some other interesting shopping destinations here then do drop me a line 🙂

4 Responses to “Places to shop in Bangkok”

  1. completelydisappear December 8, 2012 at 22:37 #

    From Thai living in Bangkok, I think your information is very good coverage all of interesting areas. Usually, I like to go shopping in a branch of Central Department Store in my home area. Central group is a big company for this chained store with the name starting ‘Central ….’ All of their stores have everything that we possibly need. Central World also belongs to this chained company which its image is quite luxury. However, other branches around Bangkok adapt to the local area. There is one branch that is quite popular. This one is located not far from Chatuchak market. It’s called Central Ladprao and it can be reached by MRT, drop at Pahonyothin station or take BTS to Morchit station and take bus to go there.


    • getsetandgo December 9, 2012 at 14:27 #

      Thanks for this feedback. I didnt know about this chain but will try and check the Central Ladprao whenever I am next in Bangkok. Is there a discount etc in this store vis-a-vis the Central world?


      • completelydisappear December 9, 2012 at 18:19 #

        Central chained department stores often set their discount weeks. The famous discount that I’ve known is Midnight Sales, I think it’s usually held at Central Ladprao. I’ve never been in that event but I heard from my friends that there are a lot of people there and the stuffs will be in good prices.


      • getsetandgo December 10, 2012 at 17:54 #

        Thanks a ton for this info. Will check on this more online and visit it the next time I am in Bangkok 🙂


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