If you will be travelling to Bangkok, or even just passing through on your way to another destination as many people do, the one thing you may want to make sure, if your are in anyway into fashion, you have with you is an empty suitcase. Why? Because whatever your budget, or your style, you will find that Bangkok is shopping paradise and the chances are very good that you’ll need all the carrying room you can get for your purchases.
But saying that Bangkok is a fashion shopper’s paradise, while very true, is a little vague. Just where should you head, especially if your time in the city is limited? Here are just a few suggestions:
For the Bargain Hunter
You love beautiful clothes and accessories, and the more unusual the better, but you really don’t have a lot of money to spare. Or maybe bargain hunting is simply something that is in your blood. The very place you should head to shop then is Pratunaum Market. Just make sure you are wearing comfy clothing and sensible shoes, as when you head there you can truly shop until you drop.
Terchnically Pratunaum is not a market it all, it is three rather large indoor malls that interconnect via a series of elevators, escalators and walkways (see what we mean about shopping ’til you drop?) The attraction here is that everything is on offer at wholesale prices, so you can score some real deals.
You will have to buy more than one of each item to get the best price, but most retailers only make you buy two, or maybe three, pieces to qualify for the best wholesale deal and when you hear that you can buy four of a sweater that can be found in H&M for the cost of one there then you get an idea of just how much you can save and yet still get the fashion forward clothing you are looking for.
MBK Shopping Center
Not too far away from the Pratunaum market you will find its sister mall the MBK Shopping Center. Here though the focus is not just on fashion but on gadgetry of all kinds as well.
Spread over eight floors are a cornucopia of clothing, shoes, home decor and tech offerings. It’s a place where you can score a mega deal on a formal gown one minute and an unbelievable price on a ‘has all the bells and whistles’ smartphone the next.
The MBK Shopping Center is also a great place to enjoy a little downtime, as it boasts some of the best restaurants in the area, viewing stations with some pretty amazing vistas of the city to offer and even a friendly little cinema that is literally a great place to chill.
For The High End Shopper
For those with cash to burn (and maybe a valet to carry the shopping bags) then the Siam Paragon is a must visit destination. Smaller in size than the Pratunaum or the MBK this is a mall for the wealthy and famous.
On the first floor you will find a selection of the biggest European designer boutiques nestled nest to a full scale Lamborghini showroom. Venture up a level and you’ll be faced with all the Jimmy Choo shoes your heart (and feet) ever desired and the kind of furniture the likes of Donald Trump probably have in their living rooms.
The third floor is a paradise of spas and beauty salons and the fourth is the kind of tech playground that most of us only ever saw in our dreams. Oh yes, and a handful of five star restaurants and a 15 theater Cineplex on the fifth and final floor. Even if you don’t really have the cash to flash if you can spend at least a little bit of time at the Siam Paragon, because at the very least it will be the window shopping experience of a lifetime.
For the Adventurous
Khao San Road
The Khao San Road is what seasoned travelers might call a tourist trap market but it is a lot of fun, especially at night. And while its true that most of the goods on offer are cheap trinkets designed only to part tourists and the last of their money from one another you can still score some great deals and bargaining with the quirky traders is an experience in itself.
The Patpong Night-Bazaar is probably the closest thing to the expectations that movies have given Westerners about Bangkok that still exists in real life. Go go dancers mingle with the traders selling some admittedly pretty dodgy looking ‘designer’ merchandise and if you happen to be hungry there is food available almost everywhere you turn. A trip here is only really for the more adventurous but if you do make one then it’s one you won’t soon forget.