Bangkok, Thailand

Buy

 
 

Take a few steps out of your hotel and Bangkok feels like a huge street market. Sukhumvit has the usual souvenirs, t-shirts and other tacky tourist junk. The road stalls at Khao San Road are particularly good for clothing and accessories, many of them for a bargain. The nearby Banglamphu Market sells cheap knock-offs of everything, just like the night markets in Silom and Rattanakosin.

 
 
 
 
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Dump a teenager in Siam Square with a few thousand baht and she'll stay occupied for the rest of the week! Siam Square is the place to shop in Bangkok and the small sois (side streets) here have dozens of small designer boutiques. MBK Center and Siam Center in Siam Square are among the most popular shopping malls in Bangkok. Others include Siam Paragon and the shopping plazas at Ratchaprasong, they feel even larger but quieter as most Thais cannot afford the pricey Guccis and Louis Vuittons on sale there.

Siam Paragon shopping mall by Lerdsuwa

During the weekends, the Chatuchak Weekend Market in Phahonyothin is a must with around 8,000 stalls there. Shoppers can buy just about everything from clothing to potted plants and everything in between - paradise for browsers and bargain-hunters alike. A weekday alternative is Pratunam, one of the city's renowned garment markets. Clothes shopping here goes on wholesale and even cheaper if you buy in bulk. Phahurat is the best destination for fabrics, available in all colours and sizes. Thonburi is one of the least developed areas of Bangkok and the best place to experience what the city used to be like. A must here is the weekend Taling Chan Floating Market, a blend of a rural market and way of life along the canal.

 Taling Floating Market by Globetrotter

For antiques, Silom is the place to go, as most potential buyers stay there in expensive hotels. River City in Yaowarat is the largest antique mall in Bangkok. Gold and gems are popular buys here but be wary as many tourists buy worthless pieces of cut glass believing it to be valuable gems. Browsing second-hand English books can best be done along Khao San Road. For new releases, there are plenty of chain stores (such as Asia Books, B2S, Bookazine and Kinokuniya) found in the shopping malls across Bangkok. There's a particularly wide array of English books (including Asian culture and history) and some have a good selection of foreign newspapers and magazines.

 
Guide to
Bangkok
 
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