It’s impossible to leave Bangkok without buying anything. There are malls all over and night markets are sprawling everywhere. Whether you are looking to buy something high-end or something that’s Bangkok-made, you can find it here.
Here are some of the well-known shopping areas in Bangkok:
1. Chatuchak Weekend Market
Perhaps the most famous market in Bangkok, Chatuchak is any shopaholic’s dream. Whether you’re buying for yourself or your friends, and whatever item you want to buy, Chatuchak will have it. It’s a vast area that’s shop after shop after shop. While the market is open (and probably more alive) during the day, we only got to visit the Chatuchak night market.
The night market was really big and maze-like. We decided not to separate ourselves because there is obviously no way of us easily finding each other. There is just a lot to see! If I brought bigger baggage, I probably would have gone crazy shopping. But this was our first night too, so I was careful with spending.
In the end, I managed to buy the following: make-up brushes, a cardigan, chokers, a watch, and cute pouches.
It rained when we went so that also cut our shopping short. It’s definitely on my to-do list to go to the day market and see more of it.
How to go to Chatuchak Market (via BTS)
1.) Ride the BTS up to the last station in Mo Chit.
2.) When you get off, follow the herd of people walking. Chatuchak is a bit of a far walk from the station, and we passed by through a park, crossed a street. A balloon arch and plenty of lights and stalls shall serve as signal that you’ve reached Chatuchak.
Price level: Goods range from THB 30 – THB 500, depending on what you intend to buy. THB 200 should be a good base price for most goods (shirts, accessories, etc).
2. Central World
If you’re looking to shop for something more high-end, Central World is the place to be. It’s a huge shopping mall filled with various international and local brands.
The mall is definitely big,and there’s a possibility to get lost but there are location maps all over the place to help you.
How to go to CentralWorld:
1.) Take the BTS to Chit Lom station.
2.) Follow the path, as Central World is directly connected to the BTS. Average walking time should be around 5 minutes from the station to the mall.
Price range: This is a mall carrying internal brands, so expect to spend about THB 500+ here.
This mall is a little similar to CentralWorld, just with a different layout, and include three different sections. In terms of stores located inside, both CentralWorld and Siam Paragon mostly carry the same brands. However, Siam Paragon seems to have more people coming in.
I didn’t get to take much pictures of Siam Paragon, because when we get there, my friends and I were incredibly tired and it was supposed to be a quick stop-over.
My favorite thing about Siam Paragon is the Gourmet Market, which is a typical grocery but pretty much where I bought all my pasalubongs for people. They hold all imaginable Thai snacks (dried fruit, coconut rolls, rice cakes, milk tea(!!!)) and are sold at affordable and reasonable prices (souvenir food cost around THB 45 – 100).
We all bought our food to take home here and we bought so much stuff, but the total is THB 2,650 only. Such a bargain! Another good thing about Siam Paragon is that they do a VAT Refund for all purchases starting fromm THB 2,000.
How to go to Siam Paragon:
1.) Take the BTS to Siam. This station is directly connected to Siam Paragon.
4. Platinum Fashion Mall
Another personal favorite of mine is Platinum Fashion Mall. It is a six-storey building that contains stall after stall of various goods you can imagine. It’s kinda like Chatuchak, but the price of items should be a little more expensive (but not over the top) and you are somewhere that’s airconditioned.
I never got to take a picture inside here as well, since we only dropped by quickly.
How to go to Platinum Fashion Mall:
1.) From CentralWorld, you can take the overpass (the one that you go to when going to BigC) and keep on walking. It will lead you directly to the second floor of the mall.
Price range: Items would range from THB 100 and above.
5. CentralWorld Bazaar
I’m not quite sure if this is permanent or was only set-up when we went, but this bazaar is located in CentralWorld (outside), the area which faces Big C beside Isetan.
How to go to CentralWorld Bazaar:
1.) Take the BTS and get off the Chit Lom station, and walk towards Central World.
2.) Go towards the exit near Isetan (facing Big C), and you will arrive.
Price range: Items go from THB 100 and above.
6. Pratunam/Palladium Night Market
I wrote that because I’m not sure which night market we ended up to, but this is the one in front of Palladium (then we also walked towards the night market in front of Platinum). There are lots of clothes and bags being sold here,which you can also find in Platinum and Chatuchak, but I think they are sold at a cheaper price.
How to go to Palladium Night Market:
1.) We took an uber which dropped us off Palladium right away. The stalls are right in front of the mall.
2.) Walk on to the overpass going to Platinum Fashion Mall, and in there you can see the Platinum night market.
Must buy in Bangkok:
1.) Leather passport holders – Pretty much all the bazaars that we went to sell passport holders! They are usually priced around THB 100 – 120, and comes with a free charm and name tag. Apart from passport holders, there are also iPad cases, keychains, and purses made in leather sold at a very affordable price.
2.) Clothes – Bangkok clothes come by cheap but really durable. The most famous elephant pants are found everywhere with price ranging from THB 90 – THB 200. I bought cute shorts from Bangkok that cost me THB 90, and they are very comfortable.
1.) If you can, buy in sets of three. Buying in sets of three will get you the wholesale price of the items which can be as much as THB 30 off per item. However, in Chatuchak and Palladium night market, there were some stores that didn’t offer a wholesale discount anymore. So better ask first before buying.
2.) Bring a bag to put your purchases in. Whether you’re a shopaholic or not, the cheapness of Bangkok markets will surprise you and you will end up buying stuff that you probably might not even use in the future. I only brought with me a small sling bag that contained my wallet, phone, and charger, so carrying all the things I shopped for became problematic (but I did buy a bag later on so it helped). If you can, bring those big tote bags so you can easily just shoot inside all your purchases leaving your hands free for more shopping.
When it comes to haggling most sellers would tell you it’s the final price already. You can still try if you want, but personally, I’m not someone who haggles a lot. I usually try once and if they say no, then I give in. The price of items are quite cheap anyway so there’s really no need to haggle that much at all.
We mostly went to night markets because it’s colder and our itinerary is squeezed during the mornings. Since Bangkok does get really hot, going at night might be better because it’s more comfortable and breezy. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking that there’s going to be much less people because even the night markets are full of both tourists and natives!
Shopping in Bangkok is truly a one of a kind experience. If you are really good with bargains, your THB 1,000 will bring you really far. In all the items I have brought home including the Thai delicacies, I would say that I spent a total of THB 2,000 only. And I managed to buy a lot of things (my luggage was really full) including a brand new backpack. Bangkok will definitely be the biggest blessing to any shopaholic out there.