Bangkok is a big bustling city and most of us just flit through on our way to Thailand’s famous white sandy beaches or the jungles in the north. So here are the best places to do your whirlwind shopping before you head out of the city for relaxation.
Mah Boon Krong (MBK) is probably Bangkok’s most famous shopping mall, popular with both tourists and locals. Eight floors packed with 2000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs.
Where: Pathumwan Intersection, opposite Siam Discovery Centre Hours: 10am – 10pm BTS: National Stadium
CentralWorld is the biggest shopping centre in Bangkok. 500 stores, 100 restaurants and cafes, 15 cinemas, Kids’ Zone and Learning Centre (Genius Planet Zone), 2 department stores, a trendy food court, supermarket and an outdoor square for events. It has everything from brand name clothing boutiques, funky fashion, high-tech gadgets, bookshops and designer furniture to imported groceries, beauty salons, gourmet eateries and even an ice-skating rink.
Where: Ratchaprasong Intersection Hours: 10am – 10pm BTS: Chidlom, Siam
Zen is part of the CentralWorld shopping complex. It’s trendy with famous cutting-edge fashion, designer labels and top-notch creativity. Brands include All Dressed Up, Anna Sui, BCB Generation, Galliano, Just Cavalli, Manoush, M Missoni, Love Moschino, Cotton Brush, Dr.Denim, Rhino Ceros, Gaspard Yurkievich, Vivienne Westwood Man and Stud. Remember, overseas visitors can claim a 7% VAT refund.
Where: Ratchaprasong Intersection, opposite Gaysorn and Erawan BTS: Chidlom, Siam Open: 10am – 10pm
Narai Phand Thai Handicraft Centre is where you come for authentic Thai handicrafts. It is opposite CentralWorld Plaza is a joint venture between the government and the private sector, so local products are sold at reasonable, fixed prices. You’ll find clothing, silks, cotton, batik, lacquerware, pewter, carvings, ceramics, silver, gold, furniture, handicrafts, hill tribe articles, jewellery and Gemstones, to mention a few.
Megabangha is near the airport. It opened in May 2012 and is the first low-rise mall in Southeast Asia on 2 floors You’ll find everything under one roof. It also has Ikea as an anchor store. There are 8 Mega Zones with 200 leading fashion boutiques, 100 cafes and eateries plus 8 duplex restaurants, 30 children’s stores, 10 home decor shops, 30 IT, gadgets and electronic appliance outlets, 20 sports and equipment brands, 30 beauty and wellness providers, supplying the widest selection of merchandises with ample breathing space.
Where: 15 minutes drive from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Open every day 10am – 10pm. Take the free IKEA bus.
Terminal 21 is like travelling the world. It has 9 floors with 600 shops in a themed building withl world-famous cities under one roof. Find yourself wandering around the shops of Tokyo City, sauntering down London’s Carnaby Street, bagging a bargain in an Istanbul souk, or shopping for something to fill your tummy at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The diversity is good and price tag even better. When compared to other luxury shopping malls along downtown Sukhumvit Road, Terminal 21 definitely has its own edge and is worth visiting.
Where: Sukhumvit Road (between Soi 19 and 21) MRT: Sukhumvit BTS: Asok (direct access via Skywalk) Open: 10am – 10pm
Asiatique on the waterfront
This huge waterfront venue on the banks of the Chao Phraya River is a night time event that consists of 4 uniquely themed districts:
Charoenkrung District features over 1,500 shops selling souvenirs, homewares, fashion and accessories, 2 theatres each seating 400 that will be the new home-bases for the Joe Louis Theatre puppet show and trans gender Calypso Cabaret.
Town Square district covers 2000 sq m of outdoor area providing an international food circus zone that offers a varied selection to tempt your taste buds.
Factory District is home to over 500 stores catering for all tastes and lifestyles that bring sweet nostalgic remembrance of the easy way of life of the yesteryears.
Waterfront District features dining on their boardwalk with options such as Italian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and seafood with a floating historic museum
Siam Paragon is where you come for luxury goods. How about a yellow Ferrari or a pair of Jimmy Choos? This up-market shopping and entertainment complex was envisioned by a team of 100 renowned international and local architects and designers. Siam Paragon has become a landmark that blends consumer culture and remarkable design with state-of-the-art technology.
Where: Next to Siam Centre, Pathumwan Hours: 10am – 10pm BTS: Siam
The Emporium is 7 floors of shopper’s paradise. The first 3 floors are dedicated solely to fashion; world-class brand names dominate the ground floor, international designer items, leather and jewellery the 1st floor, and glamorous garb for the young and trendy, the 2nd. Those into gadgetry should head to ‘Pleasure & Leisure’ on the 3rd floor with everything you could dream of in audio, visual and digital. This is also where you’ll find golf and sporting goods. Trendy lifestyle wares are on the 4th.
Where: Sukhumvit Soi 24/26 Hours: 9am – 11pm BTS: Phrom Phong