Shopping in Bangkok – The Shopaholic’s Guide

Shopping in Bangkok

Some people believe that shopping is therapeutic – an activity to make them forget their stress. For others, it is a way to experience another country’s culture closer, and this is one of the reasons why shopping in Bangkok is part of the list of activities that tourists engage in when they visit Thailand. Bangkok shopping is a colourful and fun activity, and if you know where and how to shop, it becomes even more memorable.


What you can buy in Bangkok

Shopping in Bangkok means you can shop for almost anything you need or want: furniture, clothes, gadgets, and many more.

Antique collectors often go to either River City or OP Place. Both antique complexes are located beside hotels: the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel and Mandarin Oriental respectively. They sell antiques, antiquities, and items that are deemed to be antique. If you’re going to buy anything, you must have a keen eye and be cautious so you only get genuine antiques.

If gadgets are what you need, Bangkok has a wide variety of products you can choose from: cameras, mobile devices, computers, etc. For cameras and camera equipment, it’s best to buy them from camera and specialist shops that aren’t in department stores because the prices are more expensive when you’re in a mall. For mobile phones and accessories, Bangkok has so many stores offering these items, but the go-to mall for them is the MBK shopping mall. On the other hand, the Pantip Plaza is the place you need to visit to shop for computers and computer equipment. Music lovers can get their iPods and MP3 players from stores like iBeat.

Bangkok is also known for its tailors, and you can easily find some on Sukhumvit road, Silom Road, and Khaosam Road, and in the Thaniya Shopping Complex, River City, and Central World Plaza.


Shopping in Bangkok for mall and market-goers

If you’re the type who shops only in malls or in markets, Bangkok has a lot of them. These places have diverse products and services that can suit any kind of budget.

One of the most popular malls is MBK, which has seven floors full of retailers particularly of mobile devices, luggage, video games, street fashion, and gold accessories. For those who aren’t on a tight budget, Siam Paragon is a high-end place megamall filled with sports cars, luxurious home decorations, high-tech gadgets, etc. Trendy fashion brands can be found in CentralWorld, while the Gaysorn Shopping Mall has luxury fashion and lifestyle labels. Pantip Plaza is considered the mother of all Bangkok IT malls, while the Platinum Fashion Mall is like a more comfortable and air-conditioned flea market known for its clothing and fashion stores.

Floating markets can be found all over Thailand, and Bangkok has a lot of popular ones including the Taling Chan, Damnoen Saduak, Amphawa, Khlong Lat Mayom, and Bang Nam Pheung Floating Markets. Most of their goods are food like sweets, vegetables, and fruits, but these floating markets also offer drinks, shirts, and various tourist souvenirs.


Fees, Taxes, and other Bangkok shopping information

Shopping in Bangkok is incomplete without haggling, asking for discounts, joining sales, and paying taxes.

Generally, it is easier to haggle and ask for discounts at stores outside of malls as mall prices tend to be fixed, but there are also some mall retailers who can be convinced to let you pay less for certain products, especially if you buy them wholesale. The trick is to be patient and not be rude; smile more! If a personnel or a retailer doesn’t agree with your price, you can walk away and try other stalls. Most of the time, the trick of walking away and letting other vendors know the price you want works. Many shops already have discounts because of a general sale, while you can avail of a tourist card from a lot of malls and department stores.

As for taxes, you only have to consider them when you’re purchasing gadgets like cameras, mobile phones, and computers. When planning to buy a gadget, check the exchange rate of the Thai baht versus your country’s currency first and compute the price of the gadget you need to buy. Depending on the exchange rate, you can either save or spend more when buying in Bangkok. If your computation results in a cheaper price in Bangkok, you then add the 7% Thai tax to fully know if you can save more there than buying the gadget in your country. If you decide to buy it, make sure that it has an international warranty.

Overall, shopping in Bangkok can be hassle-free if you know where to shop, what to buy, and how to pay for them.