Bangkok has a number of modern and very large shopping malls that are frequented by locals and visitors alike. The malls sell a wide selection of goods with stores owned by the largest international brand names,to boutique stores selling locally produced goods and arts and crafts. The malls also have places to eat and entertainment facilities, with a few even having waterparks on their roof.
Some of the malls have their own store cards which will allow you to get discounts on your purchases; the store cards are readily advertised and easily available. Some of the malls specialise in one particular type of product so you may visit one for fashions, for example, and another for electronics.
The shopping malls are usually open every day, opening at around 10:00 AM and closing at around 10:00PM.
Central Embassy is the new retail and style face of Thailand. They offer a variety of luxury clothings and high end restaurants. The closest BTS station to visit Central Embassy is Ploen Chit station – only one stop from Nana BTS.
The Emporium / The Emquartier
The Emporium / The Emquartier is a high end shopping mall with stores selling brand name clothing and cosmetics, including names such as Armani, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. The Emporium / The Emquartier also has a selection of independent restaurants from Japanese to Mexican and an excellent food court selling great, local, food at great prices. On the top floor can be found a state of the art cinema and the complex connects directly to Phrom Pong BTS station for convenient access.
Another mall selling high end goods is Siam Paragon. Siam Paragon is a very large mall and also very stylish. As with the Emporium, it is also home to a great food court, but also boasts many independent restaurants and a cinema. You can get to Siam Paragon by getting off at Siam BTS on the Sukhumvit Line.
The MBK centre is where you can find just about anything you need including electronics, jewellery, clothing and music. MBK appears less organised than some of the newer malls but it still makes a great shopping opportunity for anybody that loves to see what is on offer. Located at the National Stadium BTS on the Silom Line.
Pantip Plaza is a shopping mall dedicated almost entirely to electronics. The mall has all you could imagine from second hand telephones to brand new top of the range computer and entertainment systems. If you are a big fan of tech, you will love Pantip Plaza.
Known to Bangkokians as JJ Market, Chatuchak Market is a dream come true to shopping lovers and bargain hunters. JJ Market is enormous and sells just about anything you can imagine and often at unbelievably low prices. The sheer size of JJ market, plus the hot and humid climate, means that even the most ardent of shopping fans will be exhausted after a day of filling their bags with inexpensive goodies. You can access Chatuchak Market, by either getting on the BTS to Mo Chit or Chatuchak Station on the MRT.
Pratunam is Bangkok’s largest clothing market. It is located at the intersection of Ratchaprarop and Phetburi Roads in the district Ratchathewi. It is one of the cheapest markets to buy clothing, fabrics, textiles and other trinkets in Bangkok and is not only used by tourists but locals aswell.
This market is located right next to one of Bangkok’s infamous night districts, so you should be prepared for a very colourful shopping experience. The stalls of this market are selling many trinkets from jewellery and T-shirts and you should expect to find that many of the goods here are counterfeit, which would explain the too good to be true prices.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The minute you arrive in Bangkok you will be immersed in a rich and unique culture that has many new sights for first time visitors. Buddhism plays a very important part of the lives of many Thai people and with just a quick tour of the city you will see just how important it is, with temples seemingly around every corner you turn.
One must not miss attraction is the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, which is located close by to the tourist hot spot of Khao San Rd. The palace itself is a very ornate building and is used for royal ceremonies. Wat Phra Kaew is a temple that is home to the much revered Emerald Buddha which is believed to be over 2,000 years old. Visitors are free to see the statuette, although cameras are not permitted. Visitors to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are expected to dress respectfully and long trousers and long sleeve shirts are supplied at reception if needed.
Just as the name suggests, floating markets are markets where traders and shoppers do business from boats. You can hire a boat that will take you gently through the market and traders will approach you in their boats laden with their wares to see if you have an interest.
Bangkok’s nightlife is legendary and is in itself something that attracts visitors to the city in their droves. The types of nightspots you will find vary wildly, from street stalls selling beers and spirits to high class nightclubs where you can expect to find yourself shoulder to shoulder with the stars.
Another popular night spot, and a little more conservative, is RCA which is a collection of trendy pubs and clubs that are popular among many of Bangkok’s younger crowd. The clubs play music by some of the finest DJs in the region and are often frequented by stars and celebrities looking for a good night out.
Sukhumvit and Silom Pubs
Bangkok has a large expatriate community and the city has a large selection of British and Irish style pubs to cater to them. The pubs often have great happy hour offers, serving a selection of ales and fantastic western food. The pubs also have some evenings of entertainment such as live music and the occasional quiz night in which anybody is free to enter. Sports bars showing events in English can also be found throughout Bangkok so you don’t have to miss out on the big occasion.
If you want to venture a little further out, Thong Lor and Ekkamai are two hotspots where you will find a young crowd and numerous bars and clubs to unwind in. Both roads are on the Sukhumvit Line BTS and very easy to access by either train or taxi. Many of the clubs provide live bands playing Thai and western hits and you are sure to have a good time in this area of Bangkok.