The beating heart and capital of Thailand, Bangkok is a buzzing metropolis filled with magnificent temples and ancient palaces. While many tour the Land of Smiles for its friendly culture, delicious cuisine or pristine beaches, Bangkok is also a sought after shopping destination. From the rustic outdoor markets thriving under the warm Thai sun to the air conditioned ultra modern shopping malls featuring the latest fashions - this city has retail therapy well and truly covered.
Here are our top five shopping experiences to enjoy in Bangkok.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Bargain hunters will relish a morning at the popular Chatuchak Markets in Bangkok. Believed to be the largest markets in South-east Asia, you’ll find a collection of over 15,000 stalls spread out over 27 acres. Selling everything from clothing, handbags and jewellery to furniture, plants and antiques, these markets have become one of Bangkok’s top tourist attractions. Be sure to haggle for the best prices and sample authentic Thai food as you go. Before you begin, grab a map from the information counter at the main gate to help navigate your shopping adventure.
The bright lights of Siam Square illuminate Bangkok’s premier shopping destination. Home to numerous shopping malls, this is where you go to shop ‘til you drop. For an upmarket shopping experience, head to Siam Paragon to enjoy ten floors of luxury brands including Jimmy Choo, Versace, Burberry and Louis Vuitton. There’s also a bowling alley, karaoke rooms, two food courts and a variety of quality restaurants. When your feet can take no more, relax with the latest flick at the movies and try the VIP cinema experience, which will have you reclining on a leather sofa with motorised footrests and enjoying complimentary snacks and drinks.
One of the newest additions to Bangkok’s collection of mega shopping malls is the unique Terminal 21, specifically designed to take guests on a journey around the globe. Comprising nine floors and over 600 stores, each level is themed as a different destination. The basement level is the Caribbean and as you ascend you will discover Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London and Istanbul. Perhaps the most exciting level is San Francisco which houses more than 50 restaurants and cafes. As you tour the world, you will find a wide variety of stores selling clothing, jewellery, beauty products, toys and more.
For those with a little less coin to spend, try the MBK Center, also known as the Mahboonkrong Mall. Renowned for its excellent discounted clothes shopping, you’ll find eight floors of stores selling an array of popular items such as traditional Thai clothing, jewellery, handbags, shoes and electronics. There’s also a four storey Tokyu department store to explore and an impressive international food hall. The top floor is known as the entertainment level and has a cinema, tenpin bowling alley, internet cafe and plenty more food options.
Taling Chan Floating Market
A unique shopping experience for tourists in Thailand is a visit to a traditional floating market. There are a number to choose from in Bangkok including the Amphawa Floating Market and the Damnoen Floating Market. One of the closest to the city but perhaps also the smallest is the Taling Chan Floating Market. While this market sells few souvenirs or goods, it is famed for its excellent and authentic Thai food. Many gather to sample the seafood prepared by the locals and devour freshly cooked crab, prawns and fish. Enjoy a boat ride through the canals before feasting on traditional Thai desserts such as homemade ice cream and pancakes.