Thailand Country Guide




Thailand is a shopper's paradise and many visitors to Bangkok end up spending much of their time in the countless markets and shopping malls. Particularly good buys in Thailand are clothing (including locally produced streetwear and fancy Thai silk) and all sorts of handicrafts. Electronics including computers are widely available but prices are slightly higher than in Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines and Malaysia.

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A Thai specialty are the night markets found in nearly every city and town, the largest and best-known of which are in Bangkok and the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai. Here vendors ranging from from designers to handicraft sellers operate stalls selling goods which cannot normally be found in the shopping malls and day markets. Most night markets also have large open air food courts.

Market in Chiang Mai by Deror Avi

You can also find marvelously tacky modern clothing accessories at the night markets. Night markets along Bangkok's main roads and Mahboonkrong Mall (near the Siam skytrain stop) are particularly good destinations. Not to be left out is what is often touted as the world's biggest weekend bazaar - The Chatuchak Weekend Market or known by the locals simply as "JJ" Market. Chatuchak (covering over 35 acres or 1.1 km square) sells a myriad of products ranging from clothes to antiques.

Market in Ubon Ratchathani by Maciej Radoszewski

Haggling is the norm and often market and road-side vendors will take efforts to charge you as much as they think you can pay. Therefore, it is not uncommon to buy something, walk out and find somebody who bought the same item for less. As an advice, try to figure the item's rough value first (nearby stalls, government-run fixed price shops and even hotel gift shops are a good starting point) and you will find prices drop sharply when the seller realizes you have some idea on the price.

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