Shopping Extravaganza Bangkok Reviews
Bangkok Shopping Places. Oct 23, 2008
CentralWorld - The largest mixed-use complex in the heart of Bangkok. The project comprises an area of more than 830,000 sqm, whith over 550,000 sqm contributing to CentralWorld Shopping Complex, the largest lifestyle shopping complex in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. that you’ll find brands that are trendy and generally wallet- friendly. Inside its mammoth-size structure, there is everything you need to enjoy your day: delicious restaurants, 500+ shops, a world class cinema as well as occasional exciting events.
Chatuchak Market- Overflowing with souvenirs, food, clothes, art... It’s a great experience even for non-shoppers, and really easy to get to on the Skytrain. Open on weekends only. Next to BTS Mochit station. Very interesting, but it can be very hot and crowded.
Suan-Lum Night Bazaar or Patpong Market- Similar to Chatuchak Market with souvenirs, local food and beer. Open daily from late afternoon until midnight. Next to MRT Lumphini station for suan lum and Patpong is next to Saladaeng, Great place to eat and hang out in at night.Patpong got more of red light than shopping.
Siam Paragon- A new, upmarket mega mall with a department store and many high end boutiques and shops. This is a family destination with something for everyone - Siam Ocean World at the basement should keep the kids busy while the serious shopper is at work. Exit at BTS Siam Station which leads to level 2 of this mall. Connected with other shopping mall : Discovery, Siam Centre and MBK. So if you want to have some serious shopping, this is the perfect place.
Siam Square- Just opposite Siam Centre, start with Soi 5 end with Soi 2. Endless little shops of local designers. Goodies sold from great dresses to vintage bags. Shopping heaven for a budget!
Mah Boon Krong - MBK- A popular mall with hundreds of small shops offering low to mid priced casualwear, shoes, bags, mobile phones etc. Linked to BTS National Stadium Station, or a short walk from BTS Siam Station. This is one of the most famous shopping spot in Thailand.
Platinum Fashion Mall - A New mall, similar to MBK, but without the need to bargain hard, and with lots of good choices. The Food court in top floor really good. There are 'retail price' (if you buy only 1 pc or 2) or 'wholesale price' (if you buy 3 pcs or more), which is a lot cheaper. Near Pratunam Area. Some highlights include a baby & kids clothing store, "O'Fin," near the escalator, and a unique store selling only "white clothes" near the 'Black Canyon Coffee'
Panthip Plaza - The place to go shopping for computer software and hardware in Bangkok. Hundreds of small stands and shops on four levels are in this multistory complex. Everything from outdated computer parts to new Macs.
Tailors - Army of tailors in Bangkok. Famous ones being Excelsior tailor in Bangkok.
Baan Baat Community between Chinatown and Golden Mount - a small family community still making monks begging bowls by hand. Probably one of the last places that do, a practice nearly wiped out by cheap Chinese machine bowls. A bit hard to find tucked down an alleyway off Boriphat Road. The bowls are made from eight separate pieces of steel representing the eight spokes of the wheel of dharma, and the eightfold path of Buddhism. Can be deafening but you can buy a bowl for about 700 Baht and be complacent in knowing that you own a genuine piece of real Bangkok history. When you hit the side of the bowl it resonates, as each bowl is hand made they all have a different resonance.
Personal Shopping Assistant
Bangkok has Personal Shopping Assistants, too. Could be very useful, if you are looking for something off the beaten track or stuff a bit more difficult to find like Thai furniture. Also, there are two prices for almost everything in Thailand: one for Thai people; one for Farang.
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May 31, 2006
Bangkok has to be one of the most interesting places to shop. It can be as easy as visiting an extravagant mall to something as intense as the JJ Weekend Market or even shopping off the streets. If you love to shop then you've found your paradise - kind of. Don't let all the sale signs and screaming vendors deter you though. Things aren't always as great as one would think.
We'll start by exploring some of the malls first. One thing you need to know is that there are different types of malls. They range from places like Emporium and Siam Paragon where Dior, Gucci, Hermes, and boutiques of this nature are expected to be seen to places like MBK which is like a 7 story market with a roof and air conditioning. If you are looking for high end stores and a lavish shopping experience then look no further than Siam Paragon. This luxe mall just opened up at the end of 2005 and offers a great department store, a wonderful book shop, and many high end boutiques as mentioned above. It is easily accessible off of the BTS at the Siam stop. They also have the only IMAX theatre in Bangkok along with a regular style movie theatre and a first class movie theatre. If you are interestedin this topic please see my other review of movie theatres. Siam Paragon is located right next to two other malls - Siam Square and Siam Discovery. They both offer mid-level boutiques and Siam Discovery has a regular as well as first class movie theatre. If you are looking for MAC Cosmetics, Siam Discovery is the only mall around that has an actual MAC shop in it which offers more than the MAC counters in the local department stores. All three of these malls offer some great food options for whatever you may have a taste for but Siam Paragon's Food Court area is by far the largest and is well worth a look.
There is also another shopping mall that is worth a visit - Emporium right off of the Phrom Phong BTS stop. This 5 story mall has a newly refurbished food court as well as some high end stores like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Hermes, Cartier, etc. On the top floor there is a regular movie theatre, coffee shop, and an area that has special features like Japanese Cultural influences on fashion, etc. It's a very nice, western style mall that is more laid back than Paragon mentioned above. At all of these malls mentioned the stores are very much like western stores - you don't haggle about the price which brings me to a rather interesting mall next.
MBK.....ah, the wonders of MBK. Well, here is an interesting mall. There is a department store there - Tokyu. There are also some great shoe stores, a food court, and a movie theatre. What is interesting about this mall is that you can haggle at some of the places. The brand name stores, etc. you wouldn't bargain for the price but there are many places here where you do bargain for the merchandise. If you're in the market for fake handbags, fake watches, fake DVD's, fake CD's, etc. you are in the right place. There are a few standards though. There is a floor, the top floor before the movie theatre, that offers numerous Thai products. This is where you'll find copied DVD's, computer software, etc. The running price on DVD's, at any of the shops is 100 Baht (about $2.50 USD) and computer software rund 120 to 150 Baht ($3 to $3.75 USD). You usually can't get below these prices. Also, you'll know just by looking around and assessing the shop if it is a place you can haggle or not.
Now we come to lunch markets. These are local and run Monday through Friday from around 1100 - 1400. Most of these are local around town and you are either told about them by friends and colleagues or you just find them. There are usually a set of vendors assigned for each day and you would see that the same vendors are there on a Monday and a different set is there every Tuesday, etc. You get the picture. This is where know a bit of Thai comes in handy. Usually, if you can speak Thai or atleast know your numbers and how to ask "How Much?" you'll be good to go. A few things to keep in mind: Most clothes are Thai sized meaning that they are nothing like western sizes so make sure you know your measurements. Another thing to keep in mind is that most clothes out here shrink when they are washed. Very few fabrics are prewashed. Lunch markets are also a great place to pick up food, faux jewellry, pens, pencils, etc. They are truly an experience that a shopaholic should not miss even if you don't buy anything.
This leads us to shopping on the streets. There are constantly vendors that walk the streets selling anything from Buddha offerings, to food, to toys, etc. You name it, you'll probably see it. Same rules apply for shopping on the street as they do for lunch markets (mentioned above).
Now on to the mother of all mother shopping experiences. JJ Market. It is a legend in itself and is only fully opened on Saturdays and Sundays from early morning until around 6 P.M. It is also opened on Friday but not all of the shops are fully operational Fridays - only about 1/2 of them. You can get everything from paintings, to clothes, to DVD's, to CD's, to home decor items, etc. Here again, it is almost essential to speak Thai. Bargaining is almost a necessity. Whatever price they first offer cut it in half and then go from there.
Cheers to all of you shopping fanatics!!
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