Bangkok is not only famous for their to-die-for markets, but also for the number of malls that grew like mushroom over the years that stretched from the infamous MBK center in the West to Central Chidlom area in the East. The number of malls may matched Singapore’s Orchard area, but from aesthetic point of view it pale in comparison. The elevated walkway and BTS platform combine with the traffic along the road are really depressing! But if you can just take away those factors and enjoy the shops that’s waiting ahead, you’ll enjoy the journey.
There are so many places to shop in Bangkok, but these are few that I’ve visited.
MBK – Where the common people shop
MBK Center or still famously known as it’s original name, Mah Boon Khrong, has been standing for quite sometime and it’s probably one of the landmark of Bangkok that your parent or relatives tell you where to go in Bangkok. With wide choices of store from furniture, fashion items, souvenirs, household items to electronic this is surely the place to go.
I would not be enthusiastic about the fashion items here, but you can find kids and women shoes at an affordable price. This place is very good to find souvenirs for your relatives and bedding or household items made from Thai Silk. My mom bought a really beautiful pillow case with velvet pattern at not more than Rp 30,000 each.
If you see stall with cosmetics, bath and body products please do not get tempted with it’s cheap price since they’re most likely fake.
Siam Square – Where the Chic and Hip shops are …
This got to be my favourite spot in Bangkok! It’s connected with MBK through the elevated walkway and placed in close proximity with Chulalongkorn University. What started only to provide rental income for the university has become one of the coolest place to find the latest fashion items and to be seen. Most of the shops are placed in small alleys and it’s like the youngster haven nestled in between the up market shopping centre. In here, you can see many Thai young designer screation and locally produced items. The items that you see here are very different from one shop to the other; it reminds me of my favourite alley at the Chatuchak Market. You can also see many small restaurants, coffee shops and record stores here. It is sometimes referred to as the Shinjuku of Thailand.
Siam Paragon – The upmarket shopping center! (…and where you see most Asian tourist hang out!)
A typical up market shopping center – grand, huge and with too many boutiques and flagship stores. This is the place to go where you want to find world’s top-notch designer names like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci and Hermes.
My thought on this shopping centre, you just need to go if you think you’re curious enough about what Plaza Indonesia will be like in Bangkok.Other than that, the Food Court is nice with vast variety of food and free wi-fi. They also have Siam Ocean World on the basement floor to entertain your kids!
Siam Paragon is located adjacent to Siam Square.
Central World – Bigger and bolder than ever before!
Renovated quite sometime ago, this shopping mall is labeled as the largest lifestyle shopping complex in Southeast Asia. It is within 10 minutes walking distance from Siam Paragon. This mega mall housed two department stores, namely Isetan and Zen (and how we can not be Zen with all the goodies inside!). This is the place if you want to have wide variety of choices and brands.
The two department stores have all kind of cosmetics brand that you can think of, RMK, Suqqu, Cle De Peau (Japanese Beauty Brand), Covermark (German Beauty Brand), and those brand which are famous among FDers such as Stila, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Smashbox to name a few. They also have wide variety of shoe brands that are not available in Indonesia, for instance Jeffrey Campbell and Ash. Sadly, most of the stuff sold in Bangkok are at a steeper price compared to it’s origin. But do look out for sale items, because they can be mark down quite heavily.
Central Chidlom – the local favourite Central
I always see this place as one of the must visit on shopping destination list in Bangkok, despite of it being too normal. Central Chidlom is the flagship store of the biggest department store chain in Thailand, Central. I wouldn’t say this is a must visit place, but do stop by if you happened to be within the neighbourhood.
This place kind of grow on me because it has a nice Food Loft (up market Food Court similar to Urban Kitchen) on the 7th Floor . The Food Loft has nice setting and view overlooking the BTS railways that gives you a nice glimpse of the city of Bangkok. I also LOVE their supermarket! I can just go wild there looking at all the food, fruits and the beauty product aisle.
Since this is the flagship store, sometimes they have clearance sale event which slash prices up to 90%.
Platinum Fashion Mall
There’s no better way to describe this place other than to say that this is the Bangkok version of ITC Mangga Dua. It’s a great place if you want to buy fashion items in bulk/wholesale. Since this is a wholesale place, everything at this mall is cheaper if you purchase it in 3 pieces or more. Usually the cost of 3 items will most likely be the same as 1.5 items, if it’s purchased individually. Don’t forget to haggle on the price, because after all it is one of the thing that we Asian are born best at!
One place that I haven’t got the chance to visit is the Suan Lum Night Bazaar which gain popularity from tourists who love the lively environment of the night market. I heard that many of the products sold there are pretty much the same with Chatuchak Market but at much pricier tag. Of course since many of the visitor are the youngster, you get more products catered for them. I hope I’ll get the chance soon enough to visit the night market.
As for those who have visited Bangkok, any other places to shop there that I should take note of?
*photos are the courtesy of www.bangkok.com and www.wikipedia.com