I’ve just returned from an awesome 4- day shopping trip in Bangkok, where most of my time was spent eating, shopping and getting massages done.
For more extensive information on Bangkok, be sure to check out our Go! Girl Guides: Thailand; A Woman’s Guide to Traveling in Thailand guidebook.
But, if you’re just passing through Bangkok and want some quick tips on the best and newest places to get the authentic Bangkok shopping experience, here are 3 suggestions on places you should head to:
1. Chaktuchak/JJ Market
Chatuchak is the ultimate shopper’s paradise–the huge outdoor market has everything you could ever want, and much much more.
Those looking for trendy fashion and local designers, head over to Section 3, listed in maps as the ‘plants and gardening section’ [near toilet 6 and on the right side when you exit Kamphaeng Phet MRT station), this is a little area that has grown into a mini fashion district in itself and the stuff here in general is more unique and of better quality than the rest of the market. I barely left this section in the time I was at JJ!
If you’ve never been here, spend some time exploring the middle and other sections – just dive into an alleyway you find interesting, There’s a food section filled with local street food, a pets section swarming with animals, more wholesale clothing, furniture and interior decor and more. If you get lost in the market, just find your way out to the main roads within Chaktuchak and navigate from there.
Some tips: Dress light – JJ gets HOT. My ideal wear is a tanktop, shorts/skirt and flip-flops which not only keeps you cool, makes trying clothes a breeze. There’s no space in Chatuchak for changing rooms, and sometimes stores will let you throw on the clothes in front of the mirror, so it helps to be prepared. Bring a fan and cool down by getting a drink from the many stalls lining the main roads. Also because it gets crowded, keep an eye on your wallet, and try your hand at bargaining here!
Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
For those who prefer to stay cool, the wholesale Platinum Mall in Pratunam is a good alternative, though it’s mostly limited to women’s fashion.
222 (Pratunam) Petchaburi Road, Ratchatheevee, Bangkok
2. Terminal 21
One of Bangkok’s newest malls in the Sukhumvit area and connected to both the BTS (Asoke station) and MRT (Sukhumvit station), Terminal 21 is designed to make you feel like you’ve walked into an airport – you walk through a security scanner at the entrances and are greeted by concierge staff dressed like stewardesses or pilots, arrival/departure boards display the latest promotions…).
There is also an international theme running through the mall, with each level named after a different city around the world. I kid you not when I say they really went all out with the whole city theme for each level; from the shops layout and facades all the way to the toilets and even the toilet attendants uniforms, each level took on the persona and feel of the city it represented.
For those who can’t take the tropical heat or want a more sanitized type of shopping environment, this is an ideal place since it’s fully air-conditioned. Great for families or groups with diverse interests as each level has different appeal (London for the men, Rome for International Brands, Tokyo for the little local shops, and even a cinema for non-shoppers up in Hollywood…) they can each do their own thing and meet on the upper levels of San Francisco for a meal.
Bring your camera because even if you’re not a shopper, the decor should entertain you sufficiently! Other higher-end options include Central World and Siam Discovery Centre, which do have a mix of upmarket international brands and. local Thai designers
2,88 Sukhumvit Soi 19(Wattana) Sukhumvit Rd. North Klongtoei, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
3. Asiatique, The Riverfront
Asiatique only opened in 2012 and covers a huge area (almost 30 acres!) of land along the Chao Phraya river. A refurbished old factory/port area (For Singaporeans, it’s almost reminiscent of our Clarke Quay area), it’s since been converted into a nightlife bazaar district with shops, food and entertainment from 5 p.m. to midnight, and touted as the new Suan Lum Night Bazaar.
It does retain some of Suan Lum’s flavour, with the live acts and large beer garden, and also housing the old Joe Louis Puppet Theatre as well Calypso cabaret! According to the website, there are over 1,500 shops there. I wish I had more time to explore the place… We were there on a Saturday night and traffic in and out (along single lane roads) was quite congested and you had to double park. It was 10pm+ by the time I reached so I didn’t have much time to walk around; I’d suggest heading there in the evenings once it opens to enjoy the view along the river, having an early dinner and then spend the rest of the evening walking around and shopping till stuff starts to close around 11pm-ish
2194 Charoenkrung Rd., WatPrayakai, Bangkoleam, Bangkok 10120
Where are your top places to shop when you go to Bangkok? What are your favorite things to buy?
For some of my favourite Thai designers, check out this post here!