Even if you don't consider yourself a shopaholic, you shouldn't miss the Bangkok shopping experience. Thailand's capital has plenty of shopping centres, open-air markets, boutique shops, and street stalls where you'll find stylish clothes, accessories, original handmade items, and plenty more.
Make sure you put Thai silk and products that are handmade by local artisans at the top of your souvenir list. Known for their beauty and high quality, these make the perfect gifts.
Many items are affordable and haggling is accepted in some markets, so you can try to get an even lower price.
Old Siam Plaza
If you're looking for a shopping centre with a bit of history, look no further than Old Siam Plaza. It's located on Rattanakosin Island, the same district as the Grand Palace. Old Siam is known as a destination for Thai silk and quality clothing. You can also pick up great Thai snacks (such as sweet rice cakes), which will help keep your shopping energy levels up.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Clear your Saturday schedule for a visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market, one of the biggest markets in the world. Throughout its 27 sections you’ll find everything from hats to home decor, from pet accessories to paintings. Prices here are already reasonable, but you may be able to use a friendly demeanour and your bargaining skills to get the best deal.
Not sure what to buy in Bangkok? How about makeup accessories, fancy costumes, and handmade clothing? You can find all these and more at Pratunam Market, a 24-hour wholesale shopping mecca. Visit between 11am and 8pm, when most of the retail stores are open. Prices here are low, so make sure you have plenty of small bills on hand.
Mahbookkrong (MBK) is a well-known Bangkok shopping centre where you can haggle down the prices. You’ll find plenty of electronics and clothes. If shopping for a new outfit, keep a lookout for export shops or ‘oversized’ clothes, as most sizes are for the more petite local bodies rather than Western physiques.
Platinum Mall Bangkok
While it may have a fancy name and posh exteriors, Platinum Mall has items at low prices. You can find affordably priced menswear, womenswear, and accessories. Most of the shops only accept cash and many offer discounts if you purchase three or more products at once. If you find yourself with a lot of new purchases, simply buy a new bag to put them in.
If you want the latest in Bangkok fashion in an international setting, definitely check out Terminal 21. There are nine floors in this shopping centre, each styled to look like a different city. You’ll be shopping in London one moment, then Tokyo or San Francisco the next. Terminal 21 has both international and local brands, plus an excellent food court at the top level for when you get peckish.