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The 13 Best Places To Go Shopping In Bangkok

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Bangkok is one of my favorite shopping cities! Bangkok has a fantastic selection of huge modern shopping centers with hip international and Asian fashion design brands. And once you step out on the streets, you can continue to shop all kinds of cool and cheap stuff at markets and night markets.

I haven’t found any other city in the world with this kind of fantastic combination of markets and malls. One minute you can shop cheap local designs at one of the many markets in Bangkok, and the next minute luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel in a shopping mall nearby. The fascinating contrasts and variety are what I like the most about shopping in Bangkok. You can find everything here!

It can, however, be a bit difficult and overwhelming to find the best shopping in Bangkok since the city has so many shopping malls and markets.

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Where should I go shopping in Bangkok
Bangkok has an impressive shopping scene

Bangkok’s biggest and best shopping malls are clustered together within a reasonably small area called Siam. You can easily walk or take the Sky train between them. In addition, all Bangkok malls have great food courts, restaurants, and cafes, ideal when you need a shopping break and something to eat and drink.

Siam is the most convenient area to stay in Bangkok if you plan on going shopping, as five of Bangkok’s biggest and best shopping malls are located in this area. So if you wonder where to go shopping in Bangkok, I would say head to the Siam area.

Although you can get to most of these shopping places by public transport (metro/MRT and Skytrain), a convenient way is to hire a private driver that takes you around Bangkok to the shopping malls and markets you want to visit. Nothing beats relaxing in an air-conditioned car while being transported around the city. You can also leave your shopping bags in the car while you go shopping. The driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you back after the shopping tour.


The Best Places To Go Shopping In Bangkok

There is no shortage of shopping places in Bangkok as the city has many shopping malls and markets to choose from. You really can shop till you drop (or your money runs out and your credit cards catch fire) in this metropolitan city. 🙂

Your following questions probably are: Where are the best places for shopping in Bangkok? What is famous for shopping in Bangkok? Here I give you the ultimate Bangkok shopping guide with a list of the best shopping experiences in Bangkok and where to shop in Bangkok.

If you like shopping in Bangkok, check out our guide to 10 Bangkok markets you must visit and our favorite places to eat incredible Thai food in Bangkok.

The 13 Best Bangkok Shopping Places

The Thais love malls and markets, and you will find an impressive number of shopping malls and markets in Bangkok.

The best shopping area in Bangkok is Siam. You will find five of Bangkok’s best shopping centers in the Siam area. Thus you can easily walk between the Central World, Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, and MBK. There is even an outdoor pedestrian skywalk between these shopping centers.

So heading to Siam is an excellent place to start your shopping in Bangkok (take the Skytrain to Siam BTS Station or Chit Lom BTS Station).

The 13 best places for shopping in Bangkok are (in our opinion):

  1. Icon Siam (Riverside area)
  2. Central World (Siam area)
  3. Siam Paragon (Siam area)
  4. Siam Center (Siam area)
  5. Siam Discovery (Siam area)
  6. MBK (Siam area)
  7. EmQuartier (Sukhumvit area)
  8. Emporium (Sukhumvit area)
  9. Pantip Plaza (Pratunam area)
  10. Central Chitlom (Sukhumvit area)
  11. Terminal 21 (Sukhumvit area)
  12. Asiatique (Riverside area)
  13. Chatuchak Weekend Market

This list also includes Bangkok’s biggest outdoor Market – Chatuchak Weekend Market, my favorite Bangkok market, which you read more about here.


The map above: The 13 best shopping places in Bangkok


1. Icon Siam – Riverside Area

The newest and the “Mother of all malls” in Bangkok is the grand Icon Siam which opened in November 2018. The mall is beautifully located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River that runs through the city.

The Icon Siam mall is a fun place to visit, not only to shop but to indulge in a wide variety of delicious Thai food from all over Thailand.

We love Icon Siam for its ground floor, designed like a Thai food market, where you can indulge in a wide variety of delicious Thai food. There is even a canal running through the Market, making it look a bit like a floating market. Here you can also watch great shows like Thai dancing shows and Thai boxing shows (for free).

Icon Siam has a great open-air rooftop garden with a fantastic panoramic view of the Chao Phraya River and the Bangkok skyline. Also, make sure not to miss the spectacular water and multimedia show at the giant water fountain in front of the mall.

What To Shop At Icon Siam

Icon Siam shopping mall has a total of 11 floors:

  • B1 & B2 (Basement)
    Not that interesting. Has deposit locks where you can store your luggage, as well as a post office, Icon Wash (laundry service), watch repair, and Pet Safari (pet stuff and food).
  • Ground Floor (GF)
    This is our favorite Floor of Icon Siam. A big part of the ground floor, called SookSiam, is one big Thai food market packed with stalls and small restaurants selling all sorts of Thai food, drinks, desserts, and snacks.
    There is even a river on the ground floor where there is a small floating market with boats selling food and snacks. So cool!
The basement of IconSiam mall is a floating market
The basement of IconSiam mall is a fantastic floating market
A durian seller at IconSiam mall in Bangkok
A durian seller at the ground floor of IconSiam

On the ground floor SookSiam, you can experience Thai arts, culture, tradition, food, and way of life from 77 provinces from all over Thailand.

We enjoyed a fantastic Thai boxing show and a Thai dancing show.

There are several shows at IconSiam, like this Thai boxing show
There are several shows at IconSiam, like this Thai boxing show that we saw.

The ground floor is the perfect place to buy Thai souvenirs and gifts to bring back home.

A noodle stall at IconSiam Bangkok
Lots of delicious Thai food at Icon Siam.

You also find luxury fashion brands on the ground floor, like Alexander McQueen, Bally, Salvatore Ferragamo, Patek Philippe, Hermes, and NaRaYa.

  • Mezzanine Floor (MF)
    The Mezzanine floor is all about fashion and beauty/makeup. It is a mix of cheap brands like H&M and Zara, and luxury brands like Michael Kors, Chanel, Hugo Boss, Versace, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Coach, Fendi, Prada, and Gucci. In addition, you can shop beauty and makeup at Sephora, MAC, and Victoria’s Secret.
  • 1st Floor (1F)
    Head to the 1st Floor for more fashion shops, like Fred Perry and Calvin Klein, and sports shops like Adidas and Champion. The Thai silk shop Jim Thompson is also on the 1st Floor and cafes like Starbucks if you need to fuel up your energy.
    A part of the 1st Floor is dedicated to cars, and you can admire luxury cars like Porsche, Maserati, and Rolls-Royce.
  • 2nd Floor (2F)
    Here you find Thailand’s first official Apple Store. It is fantastic and leads out to a vast open-air terrace with a lovely park and view of the Chao Phraya river. On the 2nd Floor, you also find Lush, who sells my favorite shampoo soap bars, and some fashion shops like H&M, Nike, Havianas (if you need new sandals), and Uniqlo.

    IconSiam has a rooftop park with awesome views of the Bangkok skyline
    IconSiam has a fantastic rooftop park (entrance through the Apple Store on the 2nd Floor) with excellent views of the Bangkok skyline.
  • 3rd Floor (3F)
    The 3rd Floor is the men’s area with menswear, sportswear (like Asics, Reebok, Ne Balance, Fila, Rip Curl, Roxy, The North Face), men’s accessories, watches, and cars like Porche, Lamborghini, BMW, and Mercedes. Here is also an excellent shop selling travel stuff and suitcases – Smart Travel, and an electronics gadget shop called .life.
  • 4th Floor (4F)
    This is where you find cameras, gadgets, and electronics with shops like AIS, Huawei, BIG Camera, Wonder Photo Shop/ Fujifilm, and Zeiss. Here you also find two of Thailand’s best luxury beauty and living brands, Thann and Harnn, perfect for buying gifts to bring back home. You also find some banks on this floor, like KBank and SCB.
  • 5th Floor (5F)
    If you have kids or are looking for clothes and stuff for kids, then the 5th Floor is where you should be heading. Here are shops like Toys R Us, Babies Genius, quality Kids, and Mothercare. You also find several banks, the Watson pharmacy, beauty clinics, and a dental clinic. I bought sunglasses at the Sunglass Hut located on this floor; they have a good selection of brands.
  • 6th Floor (6F)
    The top floor is all about dining, filled with restaurants and cafes. The decor and design are simply beautiful and atmospheric, with a huge water fountain in the middle designed as a water wall.

    The restaurant area of IconSiam has a cool and edgy design
    The top Floor (6th Floor) of Icon Siam is the restaurant area and has a relaxed and edgy design.

    On the 6th Floor, you will also find the top modern and high-tech cinema Icon Cineconic. We often head here when we want to go to the cinema as this is Bangkok’s newest cinema with the best screen and seats. And if you want a workout, head to Fitness First Club Icon, also located on the top floor.
    We had Pad Thai at the famous Thipsamai, which is on this Floor. Thipsamai is also located in the old town of Bangkok and is on the list of our favorite Thai food in Bangkok.

    While you are on the top floor, make sure to try the Original Thai Tea at ChaTraMue, it is Thailand’s best Thai tea and our favorite! ♥

Icon Siam Multimedia Water Show

One of the highlights of visiting Icon Siam is the Iconic Multimedia Water Show. It is spectacular!

The fountain is big, 400 meters, the longest in Southeast Asia, and it turns into a spectacular sound and light show. The water show is an absolute must if you are visiting IconSiam.

The multimedia water show is happening at the enormous fountain between the shopping mall and the Chao Phraya River. The show is on every evening at 18:30 (6:30 pm), 20:00 (8 pm), and 21:00 (9 pm), so make sure you don’t miss it. It is free.

Every night there is a spectacular sound-and-light show at the IconSiam fountain
Don’t miss the spectacular sound-and-light fountain show every night at the IconSiam.
  • How to get to Icon Siam: Take the Skytrain to Saphan Taksin BTS Station and take the free Icon Siam ferry that takes you right to the mall. Or take a taxi or Grab.
  • Opening hours Icon Siam: Every day 10:00 (10 am) – 22:00 (10 pm)
  • Icon Siam’s Web page

2. Central World – Siam Area

Central World opened in 2006 and is the eleventh biggest shopping center globally with eight floors.

Central World is the ultimate Bangkok shopping mall, and it is one of my favorite due to its great mix of many brands. You can find anything here. Thailand’s second Apple Store opened here recently.

However, the fantastic supermarket/ grocery store Central Food Hall on the top floor is a highlight for me. Here you can indulge in all sorts of Thai and international food, drinks, snacks, and Thai souvenirs. It is Bangkok’s best grocery store if you ask me.

In front of Central World, you find a vast outdoor open square – CentralWorld Square. This area is often used for happenings which is a great and fun addition to the shopping mall. The entire court is a huge beer festival/ area with lots of tables and beer brands at Christmas. There are often markets here too.

Central World is the place to be for the New Year’s Eve Countdown Party as this is one of the places in Bangkok where they have firework displays. We have been here on several New Year’s Eve, and the firework is spectacular!

Central World is the best place to go shopping in Bangkok
Central World is one of the best places to go shopping in Bangkok
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Central World is huge and has eight floors. Restaurants, a fantastic supermarket, and a cinema are located on the top floors.

Central World is so big that it even has cars and motorbikes on display and for sale!

What To Shop At Central World

Central World is divided into four “wings” full of shops, cafes, and restaurants. You will also find beauty salons, banks, mobile stores, a cinema, an excellent supermarket on the top floor, and even an ice-skating rink!

One of the four wings consists of the Central Department Store (previously known as Zen). The department store has a vast open area over several floors, containing many different brands. Each brand has its area, and there are no walls between them. Very airy.

You will find Thailand’s second official Apple store on CentralWorld Square (right outside the Central Department Store). This is the biggest Apple Store in Southeast Asia. There are two Apple stores in Bangkok; the other is at Icon Siam.

Each of the eight floors of Central World is dedicated to a specific type of item/ selection of goods:

  1. 1st Floor – Luxury Designer Brands
    The first floor contains international designer brands like Marimekko, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Massimo Dutti, Jim Thompson (Thai silk), + some cafes like Twinings (tea).
  2. 2nd Floor – Women’s clothes
    Here you find brands like Sephora (makeup), Zara, MNG, Miss Selfridge, Max Mara, Lacoste, Coach, Aldo shoes, Rip Curl, Charles & Keith, Toms + some cafes (Godiva chocolate shop) + a few shops selling baby clothes. H&M is located over two floors (2nd and 3rd) and is the biggest H&M store in South East Asia and the third-largest in the world.
  3. 3rd Floor – Men’s clothes
    Here you find brands like Levi’s, Adidas, Ecco, Asics, Nike, Wrangler, Timberland, Uniqlo, The North Face + cafes like Starbucks, Make Me Mango, and Pancake Cafe + Fitness First fitness center.
  4. 4th Floor – Technology, Electronics & banking
    All the leading banks of Thailand have a branch here + tech shops like mobile stores (like AIS, dtac, True), camera stores like World Camera, Big Camera, Sony Camera, Nikon, Olympus, and .life. Here you also find shops like Alien Ware (gaming HW), DJI (drones), and Hero Gadgets + a few coffee cafes like Cafe Amazon, and a couple of beauty salons like Above The Nail.
  5. 5th Floor – Watches & Thai gifts/ souvenirs
    Here you also find some spa and beauty salons.
  6. 6th Floor – Kids & Cafes/ Restaurants
    Here you also find the book store Asia books, kids clothes, toys (Toys R Us), and gadgets.
  7. 7th Floor – Cinema, Restaurants, cafes
    Here you also find Foodworld (food court) + Central Foodhall (a great supermarket with Thai food and international groceries).
  8. 8th Floor – Beauty saloons
_DSC0342
The Central Department Store at Central World

Central World has Bangkok’s biggest sports shop, SuperSport. Here you can find almost all you need for sports equipment and clothing.

Restaurants, Cinema, Ice Skating Rink, and Fitness Center

The top Floor (7th Floor) is full of great restaurants, with a wide variety of cuisines to choose from, both Asian and Western. So head here when you get hungry and thirsty and need to fill up your energy level.

This floor also has a fantastic supermarket – the Central Food Hall and Gourmet Market. Here you find all sorts of delicious food, fruits, vegetables, drinks, a bakery, and imported food from worldwide. We even found some Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese here! You can also shop for wine at the perfect temperature inside a dedicated wine room.

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Central World’s Central Food Hall and Gourmet Market are plentiful and huge!

Central World also has a cinema on the 7th Floor – SF World Cinema. It even has a 3D and 4D cinema screen. They show Hollywood movies (English) the whole day until around midnight.

You can even go ice skating at Central World! The Rink Iceskate is located on the 2nd Floor. Great fun to either try yourself for your kids or watch others have a go.

IMG_1284
There is even an ice skating rink at Central World, on the 2nd Floor.

Groove Restaurant Area

One part of the ground floor of Central World is called Groove.

Here you find a collection of excellent atmospheric restaurants and pubs serving international food like Italian, Japanese sushi, and European. Well worth checking out if you want to chill out and rest after your shopping, grab a beer or drink and have something to eat.

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Hobs is a lovely laid-back restaurant and pub in the Groove area of Central World, serving international food.
IMG_1121
Maria with Karl Lagerfeld and his kitty at the Groove, Central World.
  • How to get to Central World: Take the Skytrain to Siam BTS Station or Chit Lom BTS Station.
  • Opening hours Central World: Every day 10:00 (10 am) – 22:00 (10 pm)


3. Siam Paragon – Siam Area

Siam Paragon is located west of Central World, connected by a walkway (bridge). It takes about 10 min to walk from Central World to Siam Paragon.

Siam Paragon is easily accessible from the Skytrain station Siam, right outside Paragon Shopping Center. A good and easy start for your shopping bonanza!

We love Siam Paragon for its excellent combination of different shops and brands, both luxury and cheap, as well as its fantastic supermarket/ grocery store at the ground level. The Exotic Thai shop on the 4th Floor is a great place to shop for souvenirs and gifts to bring back home. And if you want a break from the shopping, visit the aquarium Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World on the basement floor.

Kinokuniya book store on the Third Floor is Bangkok’s biggest and best book store of books in English, and we head here often. We also love the cinema complex on the top floor of Siam Paragon, which also has IMAX, 3D, and 4D.

What To Shop At Paragon

Paragon has a Department Store, where lots of different brands are located in a big open area over several floors.

_DSC0574
Paragon Department Store

In the Department Store wing of Paragon, you will find the great Exotic Thai store on the 4th Floor. They have all kinds of Thai design products, from clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, and beauty products, all made in Thailand. I love this Exotic Thai. It is a great place to shop for gifts and souvenirs to bring back home if you don’t have time to hit the street markets in search of bargains.

_DSC0447
Lots of great Thai designs at Exotic Thai located on the 4th Floor of Paragon, like silk, beauty products, and jewelry.

Siam Paragon consists of eight floors:

  • Basement Floor – Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World
    Has Thailand’s biggest aquarium, Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World (open every day 10:00 – 22:00). Visiting the aquarium is a lovely break from shopping and is especially fun for kids.
  • Ground Floor – Gourmet Paradise
    Restaurants, cafes, and a huge international supermarket/ grocery store – Gourmet market. Here you find a great mix of Thai and western restaurants.
  • Main Floor – The Luxury
    Posh and expensive international luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Celine, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, Cartier, and Armani. Even car brands as Lamborghini and Ferrari have shops here.
_DSC0450
Louis Vuitton is represented at The Luxury on the ground floor at Paragon.
    • 1st Floor – Woman’s Fashion
      Here you find brands like Coach, H&M, Zara, Zara Home, Massimo Dutti, Bally, Aldo, + Starbucks cafe.
    • 2nd Floor – Men’s Fashion + Lifestyle + Beauty
      Here you find men’s clothes from brands like H&M Men, Bentley, Oakley, electronics like Bose, Big Camera, Zoom Camera, and Sony. Also, Lego and car/ motorcycle shops like Harley Davidson, Rolls-Royce, and Maserati are located on the second floor.
    • 3rd Floor – Technology & Books
      You find Bangkok’s biggest and best bookstore (at least of books in English) – Kinokuniya. Here you also find everything technology and electronics like .Life, iStudio (Apple reseller), Samsung, but also furniture and things to your home
IMG_1308
Kinokuniya, Bangkok’s biggest bookstore, on the 3rd Floor at Paragon, with a great selection of English books.
  • 4th Floor – IT & Fitness
    On the 4th Floor, you find more electronics and technology, including mobile phone companies like Ais, a couple of antique shops, and the big IT City selling computers and gadgets.
    If you are up for a bit of sweat and want to burn some calories, then one of Bangkok’s biggest and best fitness centers is located on the 4th Floor, Fitness First Platinum.
    Thai Exotic is a great place to shop for Thai gifts and souvenirs (in the Department Store section of Paragon on the 4th Floor).
  • 4th (A) Floor – Education Zone
    Daycare for children, different schools, and courses.
  • 5th Floor – Entertainment Zone
    Paragon has one of the best cinema complexes in Bangkok, located on the 5th Floor, with both 4D, 3D, and IMAX. Altogether they have 15 large theaters that show Hollywood movies with Thai subtitles. You can see what movies are showing on the monitors at the entrances of Paragon. You will also find Kidzania kids playground on this Floor, as well as a bowling alley, the Blu-O Rythm & Bowl.

The Gourmet Paradise 

On the ground floor of Paragon, you find a huge food court with many restaurants and cafes. Many of the biggest international restaurant chains are represented here so that you can indulge in a wide variety of food.

The only thing with Paragon’s food court is that there are no walls between the restaurants and cafes; they are all in one huge area. This makes the noise level a bit too high, in my opinion. Sometimes it gets so noisy it’s hard to hold a conversation with others at the same table.

A vast supermarket/ grocery shop is also located on the ground floor, with food from worldwide. We love this supermarket!

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The food court on the Ground Floor of Paragon
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The crowded and noisy food court on the Ground Floor of Paragon
  • How to get to Paragon: Skytrain to Siam BTS Station.
  • Opening hours Paragon: 10:00 (10 am) – 22:00 (10 pm)
  • Siam Paragon’s webpage

4. Siam Center – Siam Area

Siam Center is located just next to Siam Paragon, connected with a walking area/ wide pavement.

Siam Center is not nearly as big as Paragon and Central World, with only four floors. It is not among my favorite malls in Bangkok. I usually just go through it on my way between Paragon and the newly renovated and hip Siam Discovery mall. However, I come here to shop for makeup and beauty products at Sephora. Other than that, they don’t have many brands or shops that I like. Maybe I am too old for it. 🙂

Siam Center has a hip, dark and dim feel to it and is very popular among teenagers and is always packed with young Thai girls and boys looking for the latest and hippest.

However, what we do love about Siam Center is its fantastic food court on the top floor. It has a great Thai and western food selection and is less noisy and crowded than the neighboring Paragon mall. It is one of our favorite Bangkok food courts, well worth a visit if you get hungry and need a shopping break.

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The entrance to Siam Center, just a minute’s walk from Paragon Mall.

What To Shop At Siam Center

Siam Center has a lot of small shops, mainly Asian brands, although some sell international brands.

The four floors of Siam Center consists of:

  • Ground Floor – Fashion Avenue
    International and well-known shops and brands like Adidas, Lush (has some great shampoo bars), MAC, Sephora, Shiseido, Nike, and Victoria’s Secret.
  • Main Floor – Fashion Galleria
    Many shoe shops like Aldo, Havaianas, Fitflop, Dr. Martens, and smaller and unknown fashion brands.
  • 1st Floor – Fashion Visionary
    Cosmetics and beauty product brands like Panpuri and Thann (Thai brands, fantastic products, great as gifts and souvenirs). Greyhound Cafe is also located on the 1st Floor.
  • 2nd Floor – Food Factory
    A great and more relaxed food court with both Thai and western food. Here you also find Watson pharmacy.
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At Sephora, Siam Center, you can find all sorts of cosmetics and beauty products.

There are also some small cafes at Siam Center.

It is, however, nice to walk around at Siam Center, as it is much more peaceful and less noisy than Central World and Paragon.

  • How to get to Siam Center: Sky train to Siam station.
  • Opening hours Siam Center: Every day 10:00 (10 am) – 22:00 (10 pm)
  • Siam Center’s webpage

5. Siam Discovery – Siam Area

Siam Discovery, located just next to Siam Center (just a few seconds walk between the two), has just been through a significant renovation and is brighter, shinier, and cooler than ever!

It has an entirely new layout with an open and airy market-like feel. It consists of many hip international brands, and you can find an impressive variety of stuff here, everything from housewares to toys, shoes, and clothes.

I love the layout and atmosphere of the Siam Discovery shopping center. It is easy to find your way around; feels airy, fresh, and bright. It is one of my favorite malls in Bangkok!

Siam Discovery shopping mall in Bangkok is one of the hippest malls in Bangkok
Me entering the Siam Discovery shopping mall – one of Bangkok’s hippest malls.

Siam Discovery houses Bangkok’s Madame Tussauds on the 5th Floor.

Madame Tussauds in Bangkok is located in Siam Discovery shopping mall
Madame Tussauds is located in Siam Discovery shopping mall (on the 5th Floor). Do you recognize who is on display at the entrance?

What To Shop At Siam Discovery

Siam Discovery has seven floors:

  1. Ground Floor – Her Lab
    Women’s fashion, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. Here you will find brands like Geox, Emmy Yang, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenneth Cole, Alexander Wang, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Victoria Victoria Beckham, Alexa Chung. This Floor also houses Jamie’s Italian restaurant.
  2. Main Floor – His Lab
    Men’s fashion, shoes, bags, accessories, skincare and shaving stuff for men, watches, and fragrance. You find brands like Geox, Kenzo, Kenneth Cole, Hush Puppies, Samsonite, Barbour, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, Balenciaga.
  3. 1st Floor – Street Lab
    Jeans and streetwear, sports clothes, bags, shoes, watches, accessories. Brands like Lee, Levi´s, Salomon, Birkenstock, Crumpler, Osprey, and Fjellreven.
  4. 2nd Floor – Digital Lab
    Electronic and Technology gadgets, mobile phone accessories, cameras, audio. Brands like GoPro, Garmin, Dyson, Sony, Shure, Marshall, Polaroid, Bose, Fender, and B&O Play.
  5. 3rd Floor – Creative Lab
    Arts & Crafts, decoration, furniture, and hip designer housewares.
  6. 4th Floor – Play Lab
    Food and groceries, health and beauty, gardening stuff, bikes, and bike accessories, souvenirs
  7. 5th Floor – Retail Innovation Lab
    Madame Tussauds, the fitness center Virgin Active.
  • How to get to Siam Discovery: Sky train to Siam BTS Station (exit 1)
  • Opening hours Siam Discovery: 10:00 (10 am) – 22:00 (10 pm)
  • Siam Discovery’s Webpage

6. MBK – Siam Area

MBK, or Mahbookkrong as is its full name, was built in 1985 and is one of Asia’s oldest shopping centers. You can easily walk from Paragon shopping mall to MBK (a 15 min walk).

MBK is a huge shopping center trendy among Thai teen girls, especially on weekends. It is almost a tourist attraction in itself. At MBK, you can shop Thai souvenirs at a low price, but don’t expect them to be high quality. I would instead shop for souvenirs at Thai Exotic at Paragon shopping mall (4th floor).

MBK Shopping mall in Bangkok
The MBK shopping mall is mostly selling cheap Asian and Thai brands.

What To Shop At MBK

The MBK shopping center is packed with small shops and stalls, Thai brands and designs, and a few international shops. Needless to say that many of their sizes don’t fit a regular western body, unfortunately.

If you are tech and camera nerds like us, head to the 4th and 5th floors, full of electronics. Here you will find everything from Apple shops as iStudio to big professional camera shops as Nikon and Canon.

One part of the 4th Floor (Mobile Mania) is packed with tiny stalls selling all sorts of electronic stuff and spare parts. They have everything you can think of! Especially mobiles phones and mobile accessorize is in the majority. Here you can also have your mobile phone fixed if you have any problems with it, as they can fix almost everything at a low price while you wait! For example, Espen had a button on his iPhone replaced for 500 THB.

If you get hungry or need a rest, there is a food court, the MBK Food Island, on the 6th Floor (Thai and international food). And if you get fed up with shopping and want to do something else, you can go bowling, sing karaoke, or watch a movie on the 7th Floor.

MBK consists of seven floors:

  1. Ground Floor – Fashion
    Small fashion shops, gold and jewelry, souvenirs, a few beauty shops, restaurants, and cafes like Mc Donalds, Starbucks, KFC, Taco Bell, and Burger King. Here you also find the grocery store, Tops Market.
  2. 2nd Floor – Fashion
    Fashion and accessorize. Lots of gold and jewelry shops. Boots and Watson pharmacy. You find two cafes here; Dairy Queen cafe and Dunkin Donuts. Some beauty and nails saloons.
  3. 3rd Floor – Fashion
    Fashion and accessories, and more gold and jewelry. Lots of smaller brands. Some beauty shops and a few cafes.
  4. 4th Floor – IT and Mobile phones
    All sorts of mobile stuff in the Mobile Mania area and electronics heaven. You will also find several banks here.
  5. 5th Floor – Camera
    Cameras and camera gadgets (Big Camera, Huawei), electronics, furniture, and home decor
  6. 6th Floor – Food Court & Thai Souvenirs
    The food court Food Legends, and some other small restaurants and cafes. Here is also an education area, called Learning Hub.
  7. 7th Floor – Entertainment
    Cinema SF Cinema City, bowling, escape room, karaoke, game center. Here you find restaurants like Cafe Amazon, Starbucks, MK Restaurant, Pizza Hut, Subway, and Fuji Restaurant.

MBK shopping center is great fun but pretty exhausting as it is packed with Thai teenagers shopping like crazy, especially on weekends! I must admit, MBK is not my favorite shopping mall in Bangkok, and I seldom shop here.

  • How to get to MBK: Skytrain to National Stadium BTS Station (exit 4)
  • Opening hours MBK: 10:00 (10 am) – 22:00 (10 pm)
  • MBK’s webpage

7. EmQuartier – Sukhumvit Area

EmQuartier is located just next to Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain Station, making it very easy to reach. It is a relatively new (opened in 2015) and very hip and fantastic shopping mall.

Emquartier mall in Bangkok is a fantastic place to go shopping in Bangkok
Emquartier mall in Bangkok is a fantastic place to go shopping in Bangkok

The mall is divided into three different zones:

  • The Glass Quartier
  • The Helix Quartier – The top four floors contain over 50 restaurants and cafes
  • The Waterfall Quartier – with an actual waterfall which has become a popular selfie-spot

The mall has an impressively cool and earthy design with a gigantic rainforest chandelier (yep, made of natural plants!) in the middle, surrounded by the staircases. In addition, the facade of the building houses a vertical garden with the highest waterfall in Bangkok called Waterfall Quartier. I love how green and earthy the mall is. So cool!

I particularly love the stunning rooftop open-air park Panorama (located on the 5th Floor of EmQuartier mall).

Here you can wander around the green and lush garden, called Quartier Water Garden, with panoramic city views over Bangkok.

Emquartier mall in Bangkok has a fantastic rooftop garden
Here I am entering the fantastic rooftop garden at Emquartier mall.

What To Shop At EmQuartier

EmQuartier has a department-kind-of shop called Quarator on the 2nd floor. Here you find clothes, shoes, and accessories from different Thai designers.

EmQuartier has 11 floors in total:

  1. Basement Floor – Food Court
    The Basement Floor contains the Quartier Food Court serving both Asian and Western food. Here are also several cafes, like Starbucks and Au Bon Pain. You also find Bu4rger King, KF, Jamie’s Burger, McDonald’s, and Subway here.
  2. Ground Floor – Supermarket
    At Ground Floor, you will find a vast and fantastic supermarket called Gourmet Market, selling everything you can think of when it comes to groceries. Ground Floor also houses beauty shops like Sephora (Thailands biggest flagship Sephora store), MAC, and fashion brands like Emporio Armani and Michael Kors. The cafes Dean & Deluca and Harrods Cafe are also found on the ground floor.
  3. Mezzanine Floor – Luxury Fashion
    This Floor is all about fashion, and you can shop for luxury brands like Celine, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang, Armani Exchange, and Calvin Klein.
  4. 1st Floor – Women’s Fashion
    1st Floor contains a bit cheaper brands like H&M, Massimo Dutti, Superdry, Ted Baker, and Zara (including Zara Home).
  5. 2nd Floor – Men’s Fashion & Lifestyle
    This is the men’s fashion and lifestyle floor. Here you can find men’s fashion brands like Charles & Keith, Fred Perry, and Uniqlo.
  6. 3rd Floor – Tech & Gadgets
    3rd Floor is all about IT, tech, and gadgets. Here you find electronic and mobile shops like Big Camera, dtac, Samsung, Sony, Studio 7, and True. This Floor is also where you should head for if you like books, as you find the fantastic bookstore Kinokuniya here. You also find two nice shops selling glasses and sunglasses; Better Vision and Eye Lab. Some banks are also located here.
  7. 4th Floor – Cinema
    4th Floor is the entertainment floor with the cinema and art center Quartier Cineart & Imax and Virgin Active Fitness Club. If you are not feeling too good, you can also find several dentists, clinics, and doctors on the 4th Floor.
  8. 5th Floor – Rooftop Garden
    The 5th Floor is a must-visit with its fantastic open-air tropical garden Helix Garden and The Escape’s rooftop area. Here you can sit down and relax at bars and wine lounges with a spectacular view of the Bangkok skyline.
  9. 6th – 9th Floor – Restaurants & Cafes
    When you get hungry and thirsty, you should head to the 6th – 9th Floor. Here you find the Helix Dining with over 50 great restaurants and cafes, both Asian and Western. An impressive spiral walkway connects these top four floors.
    This is a dining paradise with all food you can imagine from worldwide. We found it challenging to choose between the restaurants as they all look fantastic. You will for sure not go hungry from EmQuartier!
Emquartier mall has a great food court called Quartier Food Court
Emquartier mall has a great food court called Quartier Food Court located on basement floor B

Just across the road (Sukhumvit Road), you find another shopping mall called Emporium (see below). There is a walking patch connecting EmQuartier and Emporium shopping mall.

  • How to get to EmQuartier: Skytrain to Phrom Phong BTS Station (exit 4)
  • Opening hours EmQuartier: 10:00 (10 am) – 22:00 (10 pm)
  • EmQuartier’s webpage

8. Emporium – Sukhumvit Area

The Emporium is close to Phrom Phong sky train station. It opened in 1997 and has recently been renovated.

The Emporium is a glamorous and glossy center with a pleasant atmosphere. The bright white walls and shiny marble floor make the design of Emporium classy and sophisticated.

From the moment you enter the mall, you get a luxurious feeling. The doormen in crisp white uniforms hold the doors for you and greet you welcomely, and soft jazz music plays in the background at the whole mall. It feels a bit like Harrods in London, which I love.

What To Shop At Emporium Mall

You will mostly find luxury fashion brands at Emporium and some cheaper brands like Zara. The Exotique Thai on the fourth floor is a great place to shop for gifts and souvenirs, as is Jim Thompson Thai silk on the third floor.

The Emporium mall consists of eight floors:

  1. Basement
    On the basement floor, you find parking and a customer and Tourist Service Center if you need any assistance.
  2. Ground Floor
    On the ground floor, you find the giant Emporium Department Store’s food store, with delicious food from all over the world. Here you also find Starbucks Cafe, TWG tea salon, and luxury watches, jewelry, and fashion brands like Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Dior, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, and Roger Vivier.
  3. Mezzanine Floor (M)
    Watches, jewelry, and clothes from brands like Dior Homme, Gucci, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
  4. First Floor
    The first floor consists of perfumes and cosmetics, handbags, and jewelry. Here you also find Thai designer clothes and accessories. Fashion brands like Dapper and Lacoste are located on this floor and beauty salons like Shiseido Salon & Spa and Moga International Tokyo. Sun Glass Hut is also on this Floor and two cafes: Another Hound Cafe and Paul. We had lunch at Paul, and it was great.
  5. Second Floor
    The second floor is all about fashion, clothes, and shoes with less pricey stores like Zara, Armani Exchange, Diesel, Guess, and Calvin Klein. On this Floor, you also find Asia Books (mainly books in Thai, but also some in English) and Boots pharmacy.
  6. Third Floor
    The third Floor is electronics and sports. You can also shop Thai silk at Jim Thompson and Thai beauty products at Harnn (perfect for gifts and souvenirs). Finally, this is the Floor to hit to have some fun on rollerblades and go skating! Here you find the Roller Dome with a skating rink and Imaginia playground that combines arts, music, literature, and creativity.
  7. Fourth Floor
    The fourth floor is all about eating and dining. You will find lots of delicious Thai food at the Emporium Foodhall. As well as Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, and Western food like Burger King, Mos Burger, and Starbucks. At Gourmet Market, you can shop for all kinds of groceries and food; they also have a wine cellar. Exotique Thai is also on this floor, the perfect place to shop for gifts and souvenirs to bring back home. On this Floor, you also find interior decor, furniture, and household stuff.
  8. Fifth Floor
    You will find a cinema on the top floor, as well as a spa.

One section of each Floor contains Emporium Department Store.

  • How to get to Emporium Shopping Mall: Skytrain to Phrom Phong BTS station.
  • Opening hours Emporium: Every day, 11 am – 21:00/9 pm
  • Emporium’s webpage 

9. Pantip Plaza – Pratunam Area

Pantip is a geek’s heaven! This five-floor shopping center is packed with electronics of all kinds.

At first glance, this chaos of shops and noise feels like madness, but there are some logic and system to it all.

_DSC6499
Pantip Plaza shipping mall is full of electronics of all sorts and a bit chaotic.

What To Shop At Pantip Plaza

At Pantip, you can find everything from serious well-known shops as iStudio and iShop (3rd Floor), Nikon, Sony, and Canon, to not-so-legal small stalls selling pirate movies, TV series, games, and software. In addition, this center has an entire floor just for mobile phones, phone accessories, and mobile repair. Pantip Plaza has a total of five floors.

Pantip has an official Apple service center on the 4th Floor.

We love to walk around here looking and trying out all sorts of gadgets! But, unfortunately, the noise level is relatively high, which, together with the crowds, makes it quite exhausting after a while.

Pantip also has a food court on the 2nd Floor with typical Thai dishes, great for filling up your energy level and sitting down and resting for a while.

  • How to get to Pantip Plaza: Sky train to Chit Lom BTS station, and walk (a 15-min walk). Or take a tuk-tuk.
  • Opening hours Pantip Plaza: 10 am – 20:00/8 pm, but the best time to go is mid-day as many of the smaller shops open later and close earlier.
  • Pantip Plaza’s Webpage

10. Central Chitlom – Sukhumvit Area

Central Chitlom is located just next to the Chit Lom Skytrain BTS Station. It has seven floors and a straightforward design and layout of each Floor.

Each floor is a big open space with the different brands having their own area with no walls between them.

You find perfumes, cosmetics, jewelry, and handbags on the first floor, as well as luxury brands like Mulberry, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Dior, and Louis Vuitton.

On the 4th Floor, you can find a good selection of high-quality Thai souvenirs like silk and beauty products made in Thailand. So this is a great place to buy souvenirs and gifts to bring back home.

Central Chitlom is among my favorite shopping centers in Bangkok, as it has some of my favorite brands. In addition, the shoe floor is excellent, with a large selection of international shoe brands.

Chitlom has a friendly and relaxed vibe, and all floors are airy and open-spaced with the different brands spread out with no walls between them. It is easy to orientate and find your way around. Peaceful, chilled, and not so crowded and noisy as Paragon and Central World.

It also has some excellent and cozy restaurants and cafes. One of them is Greyhound, which has delicious cakes! Its food court on the 7th Floor is great and popular among Thais.

Chitlom does not have a cinema or other entertainment, so pure shopping is what you get here.

  • How to get to Central Chitlom: Skytrain to Chit Lom BTS station.
  • Opening hours Central Chitlom: 11 a.m. – 20:00/ 8 p.m.
  • Central Chidlom’s webpage

11. Terminal 21 – Sukhumvit Area

Terminal 21 is located next to the Asok BTS Station and is a relatively new shopping center that opened in 2011.

IMG_1180
Terminal 21 shopping center.

Terminal 21 is a cool and edgy shopping center, one of the most spectacular I have ever been to! Each Floor is designed as a city, one is London, another is Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Istanbul, San Fransisco, and Hollywood.

The center is huge, consisting of nine floors with more than 600 shops!

IMG_1184
The Hollywood floor at Terminal 21 shopping center
IMG_1187
The Tokyo floor at Terminal 21 shopping center

Although you can find big international brands here, such as Esprit, Camper, Adidas, H&M, Guess, Levi’s, Nike, and Quiksilver, it is also full of small, trendy Asian design brands.

This combo is great and why I love Terminal 21. It is the perfect place to head for gifts and souvenirs to bring home.

terminal21
Terminal 21’s San Fransisco floor (4th and 5th floor) to the left and the London floor (2nd floor) to the right.

Terminal 21 has a wide range of excellent restaurants and cafes on the 4th and 5th floor/ San Fransisco Floor. In addition, you will find a modern cinema on the top floor/ Hollywood Floor.

What To Shop At Terminal 21

Terminal 21 consists of nine floors:

  1. Lower Ground Floor – Caribbean
    Supermarket Gourmet Marget (which is fantastic), Boots pharmacy, some cafes
  2. Ground Floor – Rome
    Fashion, international brands like American Eagle, Lacoste, Levi’s, Camel Active, Quiksilver, and Mango
  3. Main Floor – Paris
    Fashion, international brands like H&M, Camper, Charles & Keith, The Body Shop, Victoria’s Secret, Oakley + Starbucks cafe
  4. 1st Floor – Tokyo
    Women’s fashion – Lots of small stalls and shops of small unknown Asian brands
  5. 2nd Floor – London
    Men’s fashion – Small stores and stalls selling everything from t-shirts to jeans for men + the sports shop Sports World
  6. 3rd Floor – Istanbul
    Shoes, bags, accessories, souvenirs, gifts, decor, jewelry from small Thai brands and designers.
  7. 4th Floor – San Fransisco
    Food & Drinks, restaurants like Tony Romas steaks and ribs, MK Restaurant, Fuji Japanese restaurant, and lots of other Asian food
  8. 5th Floor – San Fransisco
    Food & Drinks, restaurants like KFC and lots of Asian food
  9. 6th Floor – Hollywood
    SF Cinema, Fitness First, Spa center, some IT shops like AIS, dTac, True, Samsung, and PlayStation

Even if you are not a big shopper, you should visit Terminal 21 just to look at the design of each Floor! Super cool and very unique!

  • How to get to Terminal 21: Skytrain to Asok BTS station or the underground to Sukhumvit MRT Station.
  • Opening hours Terminal 21: 10:00 (10 am) – 22:00 (10 pm)
  • Terminal 21’s webpage

12. Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak (or Jatujak) weekend marked is one of the biggest markets in the world, covering more than one km, consisting of more than 15 000 booths! Unfortunately, the Chatuchak Market is only open on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Chatuchak is a tourist attraction in itself, with over 200 000 people visiting each day! It is popular among local Thais, foreigners living in Bangkok, and tourists. You should come here and look even if you are not a big shopper. It is a great place to eat Thai street food.

_DSC0194
Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Market is huge, divided into 27 sections. And you can find everything here.

Here you can shop things as wood carving, handicrafts, local souvenirs from every part of Thailand, Buddhist amulets, wooden furniture, handmade decorated flowers, ceramic wares, Chinese wares, garden plants, stones, trendy fashions, silk, hill-tribe outfits, paintings of local painters, fluffy dogs, handbags, shoes, jewelry and fashionable Thai design of all sort – All at a low price! It is spectacular!

You can also eat and drink at nice small cafes and restaurants. And if you shop too much or very large things, TNT and DHL are present and are more than happy to pack and ship your stuff to your home.

Read more about Chatuchak Market and all my other favorite markets in Bangkok here.

chatuchak
Lots of fabulous Thai fashion at a low price at Chatuchak Weekend Market.
  • How to get to Chatuchak Weekend Market: Sky train to Mo Chit station, or the underground to Chatuchak station.
  • Opening hours Chatuchak Market: Saturdays and Sundays, 6 am – 6 pm/ 18:00.
  • Chatuchak Market’s Webpage

13. Asiatique – Riverside Area

Just beside the Chao Phraya River is the new and posh riverfront market Asiatique. It is a mix of Asian, American, and European food and shopping (indoor and outdoor), as well as entertainment.

shopping at Asiatique the riverside market Bangkok
Asiatique is an excellent market/ mall right by the river with many nice restaurants, cafes, and shops.

This area at the riverbank of the Chao Phraya River used to belong to the Danish Ostindiske Kompani in the old days. Their old storage buildings have now been converted into cafes, restaurants, pubs, and shops.

The shops mainly have a tourist focus, where you can find Thai products and designs, some of which you also find at Chatuchak Weekend Market. But it is an excellent touristy market, which is also very popular among Thais.

Who doesn’t love Paris wheel, Italian gelato ice cream, and 4D cinema? Asiatique is great fun! You can also enjoy different shows at Asiatique, like a traditional Thai puppet show, calypso shows, and Thai boxing.

You can take the free shuttle boat to Asiatique from Sathorn/ Central Pier (sky train station Saphan Taksin). The free shuttle boat departs every 15 minutes, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

_DSC6451
Me taking the Ferris wheel at Asiatique, with great views over Bangkok.
  • How to get to Asiatique: Take the free shuttle boat from Central Pier/ Sathorn (sky train to Saphan Taksin). The boat departs every 15 minutes, from 4 pm to 8 pm.
  • Opening hours Asiatique: Every day, 11 a – midnight
  • Asiatique’s Webpage

Bangkok shopping
After a full day of shopping, one can feel quite exhausted and might feel like the picture above! 🙂

Bangkok is a great shopping city, maybe the best, and the quote “Shop till you drop” is suitable for describing the shopping mania going on here! Love it! ♥

Bangkok also has some of the biggest and best markets in the world. Read the list of our favorite markets in Bangkok that you should not miss.

Are you wondering what else you should see and do in Bangkok? Check out our ultimate best-of-Bangkok itinerary. And here is an overview of the different hotel areas of Bangkok, which will help you decide where to stay. As for food, these are our favorite restaurants to eat real delicious and authentic Thai food in Bangkok.

BONUS: We have made a free printable PDF and ePUB version of this guide to Bangkok’s best shopping available to our newsletter subscribers. Perfect for printing or carrying on your iPad!

⇒ CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE NEWSLETTER AND DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE BANGKOK PDF SHOPPING GUIDE ⇐


Where To Stay In Bangkok

Bangkok offers a wide selection of accommodation for all budgets, and you will have plenty of choices when it comes to finding the right place to stay.

Bangkok is pretty affordable when it comes to accommodation, so you can get some really good deals and even find five stars hotels very cheap compared to other places in the world. However, accommodation prices do vary greatly with the season.

Below are some of our favorite hotels in Bangkok.  We have stayed at all of the hotels below.

Avani Riverside

The awesome rooftop infinity pool at Avani Riverside Hotel

If you’d like to stay along the river without breaking the bank, the Avani Riverside hotel is a great alternative to the usual riverside luxury hotels. Rooms are super comfortable with fantastic views overlooking the Chao Phraya River and the fantastic rooftop infinity pool is probably our favorite in Bangkok.
Click here for latest prices

Hotel Muse Bangkok

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Hotel Muse has a beautiful and classic decor

Hotel Muse is a cool and unique boutique hotel, perfectly located in the center of Bangkok within easy walking distance of Chit Lom Skytrain station. The rooms are elegant with a classic Thai inspired decor, comfortable beds and gorgeous bathrooms with a deep bathtub.. There is a rooftop bar, a pool and a fitness center. We spent Christmas here a few years ago, and was very happy with our choice of hotel.
Click here for latest prices
Casa Nithra
If you’re looking for a mid-range option close to Bangkok’s famous Khao San area, then the Casa Nithra comes highly recommended. The rooftop swimming pool is lovely, the rooms comfortable and the breakfast has plenty of options. It’s located in a quiet area, yet Khao San is just an easy walk away.
Click here for latest prices

Hotel Icon
Hotel Icon is a small hotel centrally located on Sukhumvit road. The rooms are fresh and modern, big and comfortable with all the usual comforts such as flat-screen tv, aircon, and free Wi-Fi. The rooftop swimming pool is great!
Click here for latest prices

⇒ For more accommodation options and tips on which areas of Bangkok that suit you best, read our complete guide to where to stay in Bangkok.

Travel Guides

We used the Lonely Planet`s Thailand travel guide on our trip. You can get that and other great books by clicking on the pictures below which will take you to Amazon.com (affiliate links):




What is your favorite shopping city? Do you have other shopping tips in Bangkok than the ones I have mentioned here? Please leave a comment in the comment area below! If you like this blog post or find it useful, please share and like it on social media! Thanks! 🙂

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About The Writer Maria Wulff Hauglann

Maria is a Norwegian travel nerd who has explored more than thirty countries on four continents. She holds a master's degree in Computer Science, as well as an MBA. In 2014 while on a year-long trip across South East- Asia, Maria co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads to help others get out and explore the world. In 2018 she left her day job permanently for a life of full-time travel. See our about page for more about Maria.

65 Comments

  1. Wow, this post is super informative! If anyone was looking to be an expat, or was interested in shopping while in BKK, this would answer every question they’d have!

    We love the weekend market as well, but to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever stepped into a mall in Thailand!

    Cheers and happy travels 🙂

    Reply
  2. Thanks Dariece! As I love shopping, and Bangkok is my favourite shopping city, I really enjoyed writing this blog post.

    Happy travels to you too!! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Maria, It always amazes me how many places have huge malls now. You can always find one with food in a food court or restaurants that are darn good, and it lets you get in from the cold or heat for a breather. I still prefer the outdoor markets, though…usually a little bit more colorful and local. Great list!

    Reply
    • Thanks Corinne! 🙂

      Yeah, I also prefer the local markets wherever we travel. But having lived in Bangkok for months at a time, the malls do come in very handy. It’s difficult to shop for clothes on the markets, since they rarely have my size.

      Reply
      • Hi Maria,

        Your comment on the sizes struck home! I wear a EU size 41 for shoes and usually a UK 14 – 18 depending on the brand for clothes.

        Which mall would you suggest I go to shop? From your listing it seems like Central Chitlom is the only one that would make sense? (I’m not looking to buy the expensive brands)

        Thanks a ton!
        Ayesha

        Reply
  4. I love markets, and Thailand has a TON of them. I never made it to any of the malls – I usually have a strict budget, so markets are a little better for that. We went to Asiatique as well – it was so polished that it makes you forget that you’re in chaotic Bangkok for a bit! The malls looks the same (only air conditioned, so maybe even more so). 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Katie, and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      I think the coolest thing about Bangkok is that it really has everything, and like you said there is no shortage of great markets here! 🙂

      I read that you guys went to Chatuchak. Love that place, but yeah it can definitely be a bit overwhelming :). My favourite saturday activity is browsing through the arts & handicrafts area there. There are so many incredibly talented artists and craftsmen creating and displaying their work.

      Asiatique is a fun night out, but definitely not a must see Bangkok sight 🙂

      Reply
      • I agree about Asiatique – we didn’t really like it much. Chatuchak was a place I expected to love, but we were so naive in thinking we could just show up and browse. I tried to find the handicrafts area with no luck. I will definitely try again next time (if I can talk my better half into a next time) – he’s not one for markets like I am!

        Reply
  5. We’ve been back to Thailand about 5 times now and spent time in BKK each time. MBK was always a ritual hot spot for us, but the last visit we finally got to Chatuchak markets. Given that we were a little bit sick (food poisoning – again…) it probably wasn’t such a good experience but after wondering around countless street markets everything begins to look ‘same same’… lol.

    Getting out of BKK is definitely the go. Chang Mai and especially Chang Rai up north are fantastic. They also allow you the opportunity to skip into the golden triangle. we crossed a bridge into Burma. Wowee! you think the thai’s are poor? they’ve got nothing on the Burmese!

    Hua Hin is also a nice little destination away from the crowds. Phuket is too commercial and Patong Beach smells like a toilet!

    The people can be very nice and my wife likes the lady boys – in a nice way.

    Reply
    • Hi John,

      Ah, Chatuchak market is probably not the best place to be with food poisoning. Sounds awful, poor you! I haven`t been up north in Thailand yet, but Espen has been to Chang Mai once. It is def on my list! Crossing into Burma sounds awesome! We have just done a quick visa run to Burma once, hope to get the chance to explore it some more one day.

      Totally agree about Phuket, too many tourists, especially our fellow Scandinavians :). We also liked Hua Hin a lot.

      If you ever want to get off the beaten track in Thailand, check out the islands off the coast of Ranong (west coast, towards Burma), like the island Koh Phayam. It`s like stepping back 20 years, no roads, no electricity. Really beautiful!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  6. What a great write-up. I prefer outdoor markets myself but after spending a few days in Bangkok and two weeks in Chiang Mai, we will have just a night in Bangkok before flying very early to Bali so a shopping mall where we could browse around, go to the cinema, and Madame Tussauds (we have a 12 year old boy!), might just be the ticket as we would have done all the “normal” stuff already and this will be my 3rd time to Bangkok. Nothing strenuous as we have to get up at 04:00 to catch our flight LOL!

    I’m torn between staying in town and taking a very early taxi or booking a hotel near the domestic airport and then taking the train into “the city” for a few hours. Any suggestions? Thanks for sharing by the way. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Victoria!

      Thanks for commenting! So happy to hear that you found this blog post useful! 🙂

      I can totally relate to your time “problem”. With only one evening in Bangkok, then I agree, the shopping area around Siam Square (with the shopping malls Central World, Paragon, Discovery and Siam Center close to each other) will be perfect for you!

      Hmm, perhaps you can skip Central World then, and head directly to Paragon, as Central World is further away from Madame Tussauds, and has much of the same shops as Paragon. In Paragon you can see a movie in 4D, 3D or Imax. The 4D is supercool by the way! I bet your 12 year old boy would love it! 🙂 Then you can easily walk over to Discovery for the Madame Tussauds, which is only a couple of minutes walk from Paragon.

      As for your question about whether to stay in town or out by the airport, that is a difficult one to answer. We have struggled with the same thing many times :). I mostly prefer to stay in town wherever I am, because then it is possible to take “breaks” at the hotel room. If you stay in town you can enjoy the full evening in Bangkok city, go to a restaurant and to the movies. That early in the morning there is no queue on the highway, so the driving time will be around 30-45 minutes to Suvarnabhumi Airport. So it`s not that far away.

      If you stay out by the airport, you have to consider the transport time into the city and back in the evening, and that depends how far away your hotel is to a sky train station/ Airport Rail Link. Otherwise taxi is your only option, and the traffic is crazy in Bangkok in the afternoon (you can end up in a queue for hours!). So if you stay out at the airport, you can probably sleep a little bit longer in the morning, but you will have less time in the city in the evening. It is a difficult one! 🙂 I`m sure whatever you choose, it will work out fine!

      Enjoy your evening in Bangkok, and have a great trip to Bali!! Where in Bali will you go? Ah, I just love Bali! We are thinking of going there within a few weeks too, can`t wait!

      Reply
  7. Thanks so much Maria. I really appreciate your response. That’s enormously kind of you. 🙂

    I’m still undecided and in principle I would like to stay in town but I wonder. We’ll be flying with Air Asia to Bali (we’re going to Ubud. It’s my 2nd visit.), and the flight leaves the Don Muang Airport at 06:00. I imagine that because it’s an international flight, we’d have to be at the airport by 04:00. Would that be right? That’s my dilemma. Not only that, but we’re actually flying in from Chiang Mai (NokAir. The price was crazy. Something like $34.00 each way so I booked it rather than take the train LOL!) and landing at Don Muang Airport on a Monday morning in August, and then leaving the next day on a Tuesday.

    Thinking about it, I probably should have added another extra day but I figured that since we would have spent 3 nights in Bangkok earlier, we wouldn’t need to do the same again but just do some last minute shopping (not too much LOL), and then fly onto Bali. We’ll be there for another two weeks!

    Reply
  8. Wow, can`t believe you got an airplane ticket from Chiang Mai to Bangkok for only 34$! That`s super cheap! Hmm, maybe we should take a trip to Chiang Mai, have never been there :). I bet the flight time is short too.

    Ah, so you fly in and out of Don Muang Airport, not Suvarnabhumi. There is no Sky train to that airport, so then taxi is your only option. The taxi drive from Bangkok centre to Don Muang Airport is about 30-45 minutes (24 km). I bet more like 30 minutes this early in the morning.

    If you do web check-in at Air Asia before your flight (opens 14 days before your flight), then the baggage drop closes 45 minutes before departure. So to be sure you have to be at the airport at least 1 hour before your flight. I think it is enough to be there before 5:00, which means you should probably take a taxi from Bangkok centre at 4:00. But if you like to have some time at the airport, and to be absolutely sure that everything goes smooth, then you should take a taxi 03:30. I`m afraid you will not get much sleep that night. 🙁

    I`m sure there are plenty of nice hotels out by the Don Muang Airport too, we have never stayed in that area, only by Suvarnabhumi Airport.

    Two weeks in Ubud, lucky you! It`s such a nice town! Have a fantastic trip Victoria! 🙂

    Reply
  9. Thanks s much Maria, I’ll have to put these options forward to my hubby and then take it from there. Any which way, you’ll be right, not a lot of sleeping is going to take place. Sigh!
    Have a great trip too. I’ll be following you officially LOL!

    Reply
  10. John Anderson/Maria,

    Was browsing this page to get some tips on my BKK trip and found some comments on my country (Burma). Burma (Myanmar) could probably be one of the richest countries in SEA with a wide variety of natural resources in the history. Sadly, this prosperous country was ruled by the Military Government for decades and ended up in being one of the poorest countries in SEA. People are suffering and struggling to survive. Especially the place you have been, the border, is far from the mainland and being neglected for development. That is very sad.

    But that poor country is rich of handicrafts, ancient arts, Buddhism arts, nice scenery, unique and lovely cultures and amazing beauties. Let me put it bluntly; Thailand could not beat Myanmar in those. But if you are going for shopping, it probably might not be the right choice for you because all we have as the uniqueness is the handicrafts and gem stones; but they are lovely and amazing. I would encourage you to try out street foods as there are a lot of varieties you could even do so; we have different ethnic groups. But make sure you prepare your own medication for food poisoning or perhaps, look out for the nearest hospital near your Hotel. But, hey, it is worth trying.

    Hope you guys would enjoy visiting Burma.

    Reply
    • Hi Nandar,

      Thank you so much for commenting! We would love to visit Burma, it is high up on our bucket list, and I can`t wait to see your unique culture and amazing temples and pagodas in Bagan. They look so beautiful!

      Norway gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991, so we learned about the conflict in Burma at school and through media here in Norway. It is so sad everything the country and it`s people have been through.

      We actually planned to visit Burma in January and had bought plane tickets and everything, but sadly we got sick just before our departure date so we had to cancel our trip 🙁 . The next time we go to SEA Burma will for sure be on our itinerary! Thanks for all your tips! Now I want to visit Burma even more! 🙂

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply
  11. Hi ,

    Im planning to come on to bangkok some next week. I would like to go these places Pratunam ,Klongsan Market and Chatuchak Market. I would like to know some hotels that are near by these places. As Are there any floating markets that i could go to ?

    Reply
    • Hi Hazwani,

      The markets that you would like to visit (Pratunam, Klongsan Market and Chatuchak Market) are not close to each other, so you will have to take sky train or the underground to get to these places. I would recommend that you book a hotel that is close to a sky train station or a underground station. That way it is easy for you to get around and visit these markets. Check out the four hotels that we have listed in this article; Dusit Thani Hotel, Hotel Muse, Lohas Suites and Hotel Icon. We have stayed at all of these, and highly recommend them. They are all in the center of Bangkok, and close to a sky train station and underground station.

      There are five Floating Markets around Bangkok, but we have not been to any of them. Here is a great article that gives you an overview of the five Floating Markets and which one is best: http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/5-floating-markets.htm

      Have a great trip to Bangkok!

      Reply
  12. Hi there,

    I’m visiting bangkok in a few weeks for about 3 days and am trying to book a hotel to be in 5-10 mins walking distance from the malls. (siam center and central world in particular). Can someone help me with what area/soi I should be looking out for as a location to stay. Also, how easy is it to use the sky train if you dont understand the local language? Any help will be highly appreciated..Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Shilpa,

      We stayed at Muse Hotel which is a very nice boutique hotel only a 10-minute walk from Central World and Siam Center. Loved it! There is also a hotel at Central World called Centara Grand at CentralWorld.

      It is very easy to use the sky train. There are maps written in English at each sky train station where you can easily find which direction you should go to get to where you want. Just remember to bring a lot of coins, as most ticket machines at the sky train stations only accept coins and not credit cards or bills.

      Have a great trip to Bangkok! I`m sure you will love it! 🙂

      Reply
  13. Hi …amazing info on shopping!!! I am visiting Bangkok next week I just wanted to no where do we get really cheap hand bags n fake or 1st makes Of banded stuffs like guess ,dicor ?

    Reply
    • Hi Neetha,

      The shopping mall MBK has a lot of cheap clothes and handbags and is very popular among young Thai girls. Have a great shopping trip to Bangkok!

      Reply
  14. Hi Maria,

    i find your blog helpful,i recently opened a shop and i want to stock it with very fashionable kids wear , shoes and clothes for both boys and girls, from age 2 to 12yrs.
    Am planning a trip to BKK next month, any tips on where i would find such on wholesale would be helpful.

    Reply
  15. Oh, that sure would be an amazing experience to go visit one of those shopping centers in Bangkok. By the looks of the pictures it definitely looks beautiful, especially the lights at dark. I’m guessing the author had a great time shopping there in the city.

    Reply
    • Hi Andre,

      Thanks for commenting! I sure had a great time shopping in Bangkok! Bangkok has some of the best shopping in Asia since you can easily combine shopping at big malls like these with international brands, and huge street markets like Chatuchak where you can find more local Asian designs. Street food is also everywhere in Bangkok, so you can easily grab a delicious, cheap and healthy meal on the streets.

      You should definitely head to Bangkok for some shopping! It is both fun and cheap.

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply
  16. Hi Maria,

    Your article is really very helpful!

    We have a two night weekend stay at Bangkok on our way back home and would like to cover the key historical sites as well as some entertainment and shopping 🙂

    Our hotel is next to the Swarnabhumi Airport – any suggestions about the best way to go downtown and back?

    Reply
    • Hi Partho,

      The Suvarnabhumi Airport is about a 45-60 minutes drive (taxi) from the main center of Bangkok, depending on the traffic.

      You can take the Skytrain – the “City Line”, which takes 26 minutes to/from the “Phaya Thai Skytrain station” in the middle of Bangkok centre. It stops at six stations along the way.

      You can also take the Skytrain Express Line which only takes 15 minutes to/from “Makassan Skytrain station”. The Skytrain operates from 6 a.m. to midnight. For more info check the airport website: http://suvarnabhumiairport.com/en/121-airport-rail-link

      Many of the hotels in this area offer free shuttle service to the Skytrain station at the airport. You should check with your hotel, they might have this service.

      Here are our tips on what to do and see in Bangkok: https://nerdnomads.com/what-to-do-in-bangkok

      Have a great time in Bangkok!

      Best regards,
      Maria

      Reply
  17. Hi Maria,
    I’m planning to visit either Bangkok or China (Gaungzou). I’m looking for cheap quality ladies stuff like hand bags, shoes, watches. What would you recommend between these 2 places considering my tight budget?

    Reply
  18. wow! fantastic write up ! i am visiting Thailand next week, the info you have given is going to be quite handy. keep up the good work!

    Reply
  19. I cant believe you didnt mention platinum fashion mall….thats a womens shopping mecca..next to pantip and mbk…its got the best food in the eatery top floor…and its packed BECAUSE THE PRICES ARE ROCK BOTTOM…central plaza and siam are a RIP OFF PERIOD…been coming to thailand for the last 10 years…send me girl into platinum mall and buy what you can carry..well does she look like santa on xmas day….dont be misled ladies…you could spend all day and then some at the platinum fashion mall…you got to ask yourself why a plaza like platinum is jam packed like the Chatuchak Market…theres bargains to be negotiated :)…ohh and its airconditioned all levels sawadekaa!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the tip on Platinum Fashion Mall. I love the food court at Platinum, it is cheap with delicious food! I had a hard time finding clothes in my size. I agree, the prices are very low, but the quality on the clothes is not the best. Platinum is perfect for finding cheap, special street style clothes.

      Happy shopping! 🙂

      Reply
  20. Hi,

    I am making a trip to BKK in Sept and would like to know the prices for shops like Victoria Secret, Mango, H &M, Adidas and those kind, is it relatively cheaper in BKK? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Nitha,

      No, prices of western brands like Victoria Secrets, Mango, Zara, Massimo Dutti and so on are not that much cheaper in Bangkok than in Europe or USA. But it may depend on how strong your currency is. Some electronics (cameras, laptops and so on) are cheaper.

      Have a great shopping trip to Bangkok!

      Reply
  21. Hi Maria, is it cheaper to buy original brands in Bangkok like, adidas/nike/sketchers compare to the middle east (GCC countries)?

    and have you seen any plus size apparel?

    Please advise! Thanks in advance! 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Victoria,

      I have unfortunately never been to the middle east, so I don`t know what the prices are like over there. But in general, western brands are not that much cheaper in Bangkok compared to Europe or USA, so I doubt they are cheaper than in the middle east either.

      I find it difficult to get sizes that fits me when it comes to Thai brands and clothes that they sell at markets, they are usually made for small skinny Thai girls. So western brands are the ones to aim for. Central World, Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, Central Chitlom and Emporium are the best ones for finding clothes in bigger sizes.

      Have an awesome time in Bangkok!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  22. Hi there,
    Thanks so much for this post! I will be moving to Bangkok in a few months, so this is a great post! Very helpful. Do the American and European branded stores carry western sizes? Basically, if I went to a Banana Republic, H&M, Mango, Victoria Secret or other common type American /European shop, I’m wondering whether they would stock the full ranges of sizes. I am a US size 8 and very tall so I know already that local market shopping for clothes is not an option LOL but am wondering if the major brands from back home will carry my sizes at their Bangkok posts.

    Thanks!

    Michelle

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle,

      Hehe, I have the same “problem”, being 1.80 m tall and using US size 6/8. So local markets are not the place for you and me to shop for clothes and shoes in Bangkok. 😉 But markets are great for finding other stuff, like things for the house, handbags and jewelry.

      Yes, the western brands do carry western sizes in Bangkok, so you don`t have to worry. You will find plenty of European/ American brands to shop. You should head for the shopping malls Central World, Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, Central Chitlom and Emporium, they have all the popular western brands with all sizes in stock.

      Lucky you who are moving to Bangkok! It is such an awesome city, you will love it there! Have a great time and good luck!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  23. Thanks for posting such a classified information. I was exploring on web about markets in Bangkok, I found tons but this is the best and unbiased. I do not shop but love to see crowd and explore randomly. I am overwhelmed the way you have explained about each and mentioned how to reach by public transport.

    Reply
  24. hello maria, i have a few question:
    1. is bangkok a clean country?
    2. is it safe for women traveller?
    3. have u been to vietnam? if yes, which one would u highly recommended between vietnam and bangkok to visit?

    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi EL,

      1. Bangkok is not a country, it is the capital of the country Thailand. Well, it depends on what you mean by the word “clean”. Parts of Bangkok is just as clean and modern as the big cities in Europe, Australia, and USA.

      2. Yes, it is safe for women to travel alone in Thailand. The main religion in Thailand is Buddhism, they have nothing against women and women have the same rights as men in Thailand.

      3. Yes, we have been to Vietnam, two times. Well, Vietnam is a country and Bangkok is a city, but if you mean what I recommend between Vietnam and Thailand I would say Thailand. I am a huge fan of Thailand. Thailand is an easier country to travel in compared to Vietnam if this is your first time to South-East Asia.

      -Maria-

      Reply
  25. Hello maria,I will be visiting bangkok for the first time on next month.I am confused between central world and mbk. I wanna also known which has good brands. I wanna kno the difference between both of them and some pricing low high and barging
    And some good night markets . Nights markets r safe to buy??
    Nights markets too have pickpocketers n thief.
    My friend is teenage so if he travel alone their locals will harass him or tease or irritating is possible???your reply will be helpful

    Reply
    • Hi Hetal,

      Lucky you who are going to Bangkok next month! You will love this great city!

      There is a big difference between Central World and MBK. Central World is a very big and modern shopping center with western brands like H&M, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Gucci, Armani and every brand you can imagine, and the prices are expensive. MBK, on the other hand, is smaller, older, and has more local Asian brands. MBK is very popular among teenagers and young people as the prices are low.

      Here are the Bangkok markets I recommend: https://nerdnomads.com/6-markets-in-bangkok-you-should-not-miss

      Here is a new night market that looks pretty good: http://www.expique.com/blog/2017/04/10/talad-neon-bangkoks-new-downtown-night-market/

      Yes, it is safe to buy things at night markets, you can also haggle the price and sometimes get half price.

      I`m pretty sure that your teenage friend will not be harassed or teased. Thai people are very friendly and welcoming, so you will have no problem at all.

      Have a great trip to Bangkok!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  26. Thanks for your post! I have to say that shopping in Thailand is great with so many brands , especially in sale season. My favourite is Siam Paragon.

    Reply
    • Hi Tonkin,

      Thank you so much! I totally agree, Bangkok is an amazing shopping city! Siam Paragon is my favourite too 🙂

      Happy travels and shopping!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  27. This place seems magical! I am heading to Bangkok soon. I was looking for things to do and now for sure I am going to squeeze in some shopping. Thank you for sharing!

    xxx
    Lotje

    Reply
  28. I love Chatuchak! I don’t think one day is enough for you to explore all the booths. The main reason why I really like to shop here is that you find lots of good items for a very affordable price. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Gao,

      I really love Chatuchak weekend market too! I agree it can be a bit overwhelming as it is sooooooo huge. I love to just walk around among the many booths and not necessarily buy anything, and have delicious and cheap Thai street food of course. 🙂

      Happy traveling! Thanks for commenting!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  29. now that is called a blog and review… thumbs up Maria.
    Highly appreciate your efforts in penning it down so beautifully.

    So here is the deal..my husband has been sent for some official visit to Bangkok, I am planning to join him on the weekend along with my 18 months old daughter. So will be there by Friday evening and will start back on Monday morning.

    Now I am quite sure of visiting Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. ( Do you think we can cover all in one day)

    I also want to shop a bit ( more of décor and clothes ofcourse 😛 ) . I dont want to spend on brands and much as I end up doing it being at Singapore 😛 ( too expensive)
    Can you suggest me places ( malls / streets) where I can do that hassle free. thanks

    Have a good one. Cheers

    P.S. – I will be accompanied by my 18 mo baby 😛 :p

    Reply
    • Hi Devika!

      Thank you sooooo much!! Awesome that you get to tag along on your husbands business trip to Bangkok! Great deal! 🙂

      Yeah, you will manage to do all three (Wat Pra Kaew, Grand Palace, and Wat Pho) in one day. But start early as they close in the afternoon at 15:30 (Grand Palace and Wat Pra Kaew) and 17:00 (Wat Pho). You might want to take some breaks in the shade now and then at a cafe or restaurant nearby with your baby, so better to have enough time than to rush things.

      Since you will be visiting Bangkok during a weekend, the Chatuchak Weekend Market (every Saturday and Sunday) is brilliant for shopping cool, hip, and trendy décor and clothes at a cheap price. There you will find everything you need (and did not know that you needed) in one place, they really have everything! There are also restaurants and cozy cafes in and around the market, perfect for taking a break with your baby.

      MBK mall is also a great place to find cheap and cool stuff. Asiatique by the river is also a nice market with lots of great shops and restaurants. It is popular for families to visit as the streets are wide so it is easy to go around the market with a stroller.

      We were just in Singapore, and yep, I totally agree it is very expensive! It is a huge contrast to Bali where we are now.

      Have an amazing weekend in Bangkok with your baby! Enjoy the sightseeing and shopping!

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  30. Hi Maria,

    We will not be staying until weekend, so no chatuchak market visit for me and my mother. We are interested in finding local market where we can buy high quality but not so pricey stuff. Where could you suggest us to visit.market list is overwhelming to digest. thanks

    We wll visit on oct 17 to oct 20 this year.

    Reply
    • Hi Aireen,

      Pratunam Market is great and centrally located. It is kind of an indoor market, but there are also booths out in the alleys and streets around Pratunam. At this Market, you will find clothes, shoes, and accessories like jewelry, handbags and sunglasses, everything at wholesale prices. It is open every day from 07:0 to around 19:00, although my impression is that they start to close they booths at around 17/18. But then the next door Baiyoke Night Market opens (from 17:00 to Midnight) so you can continue to shop there. Platinum mall is located close by and has lots of cheap clothes and stuff.

      MBK shopping mall is also a great place to find cheap Thai and Asian brands of clothes, handbags, and many different things.

      Dalat Roi Fai is also a great market where you can get hip and trendy clothes, both new and second-hand, handbags and all sorts of cool stuff. Also, a nice place to hang around at cafes. One area of Dalat Rot Fai has permanent shops, which are open Tuesday – Sunday (closed on Mondays). The rest of the market (with booths and stalls on the street) is open Wednesday and Friday – Saturday. Opening hours: 17:00 till midnight.

      Have a great trip to Bangkok and enjoy the markets and shopping!

      -Maria-

      Reply
    • Thank you so much for commenting! Great to hear that you found my shopping guide to Bangkok useful when you visited BKK! I love shopping in Bangkok.

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply

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