Everyone tells me that Bangkok is unbeatable when it comes to shopping. I am planning a trip next month but need advice for a satisfying shopping experience. What do you recommend?
What are the best shopping hot spots in Bangkok?
Everyone tells me that Bangkok is unbeatable when it comes to shopping. I am planning a trip next month but need advice for a satisfying shopping experience. What do you recommend? Our feature last month on Bangkok's markets (More bang for your buck, February 6) covered eight of Bangkok's best markets, including Chatuchak, a shopper's paradise that you can easily spend a whole day in. Chatuchak sells everything from antiques to silks, rattan, clothes and plants. It's open Saturday and Sunday from 6am to 6pm (www.chatuchak.org). There is, however, more to shopping in Bangkok than markets. There are excellent shopping malls too. Mah Boon Krong (MBK) in Pathumwan promotes itself as "the most visited mall in Bangkok" and not without reason - here you'll find inexpensive knock-offs; clothes, bags and shoes that cost anywhere between US$5 (Dh20) and $50 (Dh200), mobile phone accessories and electronic gadgets (www.mbk-center.co.th; 0066 2620 9000).
Sukhumvit is the main artery of the city and is best explored by BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System). Nearly all the malls on Sukhumvit have a walkway that connects to a BTS station. Emporium in Phrom Phong (www.emporiumthailand.com) is one of the best. At street level, explore the sois to find shops selling everything from T-shirts with cheeky slogans to souvenirs. Siam Paragon in Siam (www.siamparagon.co.th; 0066 2690 1000) is one of the city's trendiest shopping centres and an international fashion hub. It's packed with flagship designer stores for the discerning buyer.
Suan Lum Night Bazaar, opposite Lumpini Park in Sathorn, is open from 5pm until midnight and is where you go for jewellery and the usual souvenir-style gifts. China Town in Yaowarat is one of Bangkok's oldest districts and a treasure trove of hand-painted porcelain, earthenware, cheongsam (Chinese-style dresses) and parasols. Before you start your shopping odyssey, plan your day. Try to shop in the morning or late evening to avoid the cloying humidity and save on travel time by using the BTS. Ask for discount cards in the malls and always compare prices before making a purchase.
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