Shopping is an essential element for any trip to Thailand. With such a huge variety of things to buy and Thailand deals to be had, you’re going to want to come to this amazing country with some room left in your suitcase. On top of the awesome purchases you can make, the experience of interacting and bargaining at local markets with the vendors is not only a lot of fun but will also give you more cultural insight than a lot of other activities you could find around the world.
That being said, you can’t turn up to Thailand’s doorstep and expect to shop for anything, anywhere and in any way that you please. So we’ve developed our own helpful little guide on where you can get the best shopping done, what you’ll find in those places and how to make the most of your Thailand shopping.
Where to Shop
Without a doubt, the best city for any shopping in Thailand is Bangkok. Whether it be in the large air-conditioned shopping malls, loaded with everything from electrical goods, to DVDs and clothing, or in the smaller but more exciting local markets, there’s some fun to be had by everyone and anyone.
One of the first places you should try out for a shock start into a fantastic Bangkok shopping experience is the Mah Boon Krong (MBK) complex. This multi-level building is filled with various shops, stores, outlets and restaurants, with each level and area specialising in different types of goods. You could easily spend an entire day (if not more) just exploring the myriad of different stores. But we’d recommend taking the escalators in the centre of the building all the way up to the top floor and gradually making your way down to the bottom. This way you’ll get an even exploration of everything that’s on offer, and hopefully, pick up some bargains. You should also note that if you’re staying at one of the hotels close-by, MBK centre has a couple of decent supermarkets in which you can find both local and international goods.
If you’re looking for that same shopping mall feel in Bangkok, but are wary of copied items or non-branded clothing, then you’ll probably want to spend your time shopping at either Central World Plaza, Siam Paragon or Terminal 21 in Sukhumvit. The prices in these places won’t be as cheap as what you’d get at the MBK centre, but you’ll find some designer labels you may not be able to at home, and if you’re lucky, there might just be a sale on while you’re there!
When it comes to shopping at markets, we can’t recommend enough the night markets at Patpong Road or Suan Lum Night Bazaar. All of the excitement smells and sounds of unique foods and products in the one place is an explosion for the senses. You’ll find all sorts of different oddities in these places at prices much lower than what you’d expect to find anywhere else. And on top of that, bargaining with the shop owners is a whole new Thailand holiday experience that’s guaranteed to get your blood pumping.