Shopping in Thailand
Thailand offers a wonderful experience for the ardent shopper, with a tremendous variety of goods on offer. You can shop for designer goods in the Malls, or browse for handicrafts and knick-knacks in the many markets. There is something for everyone, no matter how deep or shallow your pocket may be.
Department stores open around 10:00 am and do not close until 9:00 pm. Markets vary in their timing with produce markets opening before dawn, more general markets open during daylight hours, but in many areas there are Night Markets where you can sit in the open and eat before browsing the stalls.
In general we have listed the shopping locations along with the other details of each of the areas, but you can gain direct access by clicking on the headings below.
Shopping in Bangkok
Shopping is one of Bangkok’s major attractions. Favorite purchases include Thai silk and cottons, modern and traditional jewellery featuring precious gemstones, semi-precious gemstones, silverware, nielloware, pewterware, ceramics, celadon, woodcarvings, paintings, and clothing. Bangkok is one of the most competitively priced cities in Asia. Friendly bargaining in most stores and markets ensure favourable prices and service.
The following areas are the major shopping areas:
Numerous shops, and department stores sell jewellery, gemstones, antiques, ceramics, leather goods, men’s and women’s clothing, handicrafts, Thai silk and cottons, electrical and photographic goods. The area comprises Bangkok’s major commercial and nightlife centre.
Mahesak/Silom/New Road Area
The area is a major gemstone dealing and jewellery manufacturing area. Boutiques, art galleries, department stores and shopping arcades, including the River City Complex, sell a wide range of items, with particular emphasis on antiques, tailored clothing, and contemporary Thai and Asian paintings.
The area encompasses several department stores and shopping centers, such as the World Trade Center, Siam Square, Siam Center and Mahboonkrong. Almost everything the shopper needs may be found within this area. Thailand’s principal duty-free shopping outlet is located on the 7th floor of the World Trade Center.
Sukhumvit Road Area
Concentrated largely between Soi Nana (Soi 3) and Soi Asoke (Soi 21), several shops, shopping centers and department stores offer a broad range of Thai and imported items. The luxurious Emporium Shopping Center is located between Sukhumvit Soi 24 and the Benjasiri park.
Pratunam/Phetchaburi Road Area
The area is best known for its inexpensive readymade clothing, which is sold partly in a street market, where determined bargaining is required for best prices.
The riverine section of Bangkok is favoured by back-packers for its budget accommodation. The area offers inexpensive items, especially readymade clothing, leather foods, footwear, cosmetics and curios. Bargaining is recommended.
Bangkok's Principal Markets
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Located on New Road, between Silom and Sathon roads, this market offers a particularly large selection of cut blooms and orchids. Lovely garlands made principally of jasmine are a specialty.
Lining the bank of Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem off Samsen Road, this market is best known for potted plants.
Lang Krasuang Market
Facing Klong Lot, on Atsadang Road, between the Royal Hotel and Ministry of Interior, a row of shop houses sell moderately priced second-hand goods, including antique cameras and typewriters, musical instruments, radios and all manner of electrical goods. Bargaining is essential. Woeng Na
Woeng Nakhon Kasem
Better known as Thieves Market, located between Yaowarat Road and New Road, near Phahurat, this area sells antiques, including Thai and Chinese objects d’art, porcelain, brassware, copperware and furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Bargaining is essential.
Bangkok’s China Town is an old business centre covering a large area around Yaowarat Road and Charoen Krung Road. There are many small streets and alleys full of shops selling all types of goods. The area is always lively and market stalls abound. It has been the main centre for trading by the Chinese since they were moved from their old site some 200 years ago. Nearby is Phahurat Market, one of the city’s renowned cloth centres.
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