There is no shortage of shopping in Bangkok, from simple roadside stalls to elaborate, world-class shopping malls and department stores. One of the most famous areas for shopping is Siam Square. Most shops, including department stores, are open every day and usually stay open late, especially in the city centre.
Bargaining: In supermarkets and department stores, fixed prices are the norm, but at most other places bargaining is to be expected. In general, you can obtain a final figure between 10% and 40% lower than the original asking price. It depends largely on your negotiating skills and the seller's mood. But remember, Thai people appreciate good manners and a sense of humour. Be patience and wear a broad smile: you will not only get a better price but also enjoy shopping as an art.
There are plenty of large, well-stocked supermarkets all over Bangkok. Many of the larger or more expensive ones carry an extensive range of Western foods. Here's a selection:
- Rama 4 Road behind Sukhumwit Soi 26
- Rama 2 Road at Sukhaphiban Road
- Suwintsawong Road
- in giant Seacon Square Shopping Mall on Srinakarin Road
- near the new Lotus on Rama 4 behind Sukhumwit Soi 26
Foodland Supermakets (open 24 hours)
- Sukhumvit Road, Soi 5
- Sukhumvit Road, corner of Ekamai Road (Soi 63)
- Patpong Soi 1 just off Silom Road
- Ramintra Road
- Ramkamhaeng Road near Rama 9 Road
- Sukhumvit Road near Soi 33
- Sukhumvit Road, Soi 49
- basement of the Ploenchit Centre on Sukhumvit Road near Soi 2
- Pahonyothin Road near corner of Soi 18
- mini supermarkets that you find everywhere
There are many excellent department stores pretty well everywhere, with a few chains (such as Central or Robinson's) dominating the scene:
- in Silom Complex at 191 Silom Road
- 306 Silom Road
- in Future Park Rangsit Shopping Center
- 1027 Ploenchit Road near the Chidlom Sky Train stop
- in Fashion Island Shopping Center on Ramintra Road
- 1691 Pahonyothin Road (Lad Prao)
- 2001 Ramkamhaeng Road in the Bang Kapi district
- Sukhumwit Road Soi 19 next to the Grand Pacific Hotel
- corner of Rama 4 Road and Silom Road
- at the Seacon Square Shopping Center on Srinakarin Road
- 110/5 Phet Kasem Road
- at Sathorn end of Charoen Krung Road
- in Future Park shopping area in Rangsit
Isetan and Sogo: Nice, Japanese department stores with a lot of Japanese groceries as well as Thai and Western food. Theres a large Isetan in the World Trade Center and a Sogo on Ploenchit Road (more or less opposite the WTC)
Shopping Centres (Malls)
World Trade Center: modern and big with an ice skating rink, smaller shops, restaurants, Asia Books.
Maboonkrong (MBK): huge, multi-floor and chaotic shopping centre with thousands of shops, millions of items and great prices. At Siam Square, next to the Siam Square Sky Train stop.
Siam Discovery: thousands of brand-name and designer clothes, shoes and accessories. The famous meeting-point of Thai teens. At Siam Square.
Seacon Square Shopping Center: a huge place on Srinakarin Road in Bangkoks eastern suburbs.
Gaysorn Plaza Shopping: up-market shopping including Prada, Noriko, Valentino, Bally and Mont Blanc.
Emporium: very modern and stylish. Sukhumwit near Soi 24 and Phrom Phong Sky Train stop.
Unlike department stores and supermarkets, markets offer plenty of scope for bargaining.
Street Markets: these pop up all over the place, especially in the evening or at night. One of the largest street markets is in Patpong off Silom Road, but not by day.
Pratunam Clothes Market: a large, indoor market selling mainly clothes and accessories at remarkably low and negotiable prices. Near the Amari Watergate Hotel, Petchburi Road.
Chatuchak (or JJ) Weekend Market: This is a huge and very well known outdoor weekend flea market. Some 9,000 stalls and vendors spread across 28 acres. Tremendous variety of items available here. To get to it just take the Skytrain to Mo Chit. It operates 7am to 6pm Saturdays and Sundays.