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Shopping in Bangkok

Shopping in Bangkok

By Chris QuanUpdated May. 31, 2021

Bangkok is a paradise for shoppers with shopping malls suiting all kinds of tastes and budgets. Most shopping malls offer an exciting shopping experience in terms of the amazing range and variety of products, which include tailor-made silk items, traditional handicrafts, hill tribe artifacts, and wooden and bamboo items.

The malls also have accessible locations in downtown areas, which can be reached easily via the efficient BTS Skytrain, and attentive English-speaking staff to help you with your purchases. Whether you are looking for souvenirs to take back home or are interested in local markets and Thai items, walking around the shopping district will give you a good chance to experience the unique mix of contemporary and traditional culture.

Shopping District

Shops and markets are scattered all over the city with an especially high concentration of shopping malls and stores located in Siam Square, Silom Road, and Sukhumvit Road. There are plenty of open spaces to stroll and relax in these shopping areas.

For a good meal, head to the basement, where all the eateries are located. There are high quality restaurants with regional or international cuisines. For clothes, stroll along the floors to find boutiques and tailors with prices that are only a fraction of what they are in Western countries. We recommend the Siam area for a profusion of retail outlets and a wide variety of high quality goods.

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Shopping Malls in Siam

Siam is one of the famous places to go for a shopping spree. The district owns several large shopping centers with numerous modern and fashionable shops. CentralWorld leads the way as Southeast Asia’s largest shopping complex, while Siam Paragon offers everything from high-end brands to a selection of world cuisines. Here are some must-visit shopping malls in the Siam area.

CentralWorld

CentralWorld is a shopping plaza and complex in Bangkok. The complex, which includes a hotel and office tower, is Bangkok’s best mall and the tenth largest shopping complex in the world.

CentralWorld has a range of offerings that include more than 500 stores, 100 restaurants and cafés, 15 cinemas, a Kids' Zone and Learning Center (Genius Planet Zone), and two anchor department stores.

It also has a trendy food court, an expansive supermarket, and an outdoor square for large-scale events, such as Bangkok's official New Year countdown party.

Siam Paragon

Siam Paragon includes a wide range of specialty stores and restaurants as well as a multiplex movie theater, the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World aquarium, an exhibition hall, the Thai Art Gallery, and an opera concert hall.

It also has a large bowling alley and karaoke center. It is the sixth largest mall in Thailand, following CentralWorld, CentralPlaza WestGate, King Power, viewmal[Is this supposed to be written in this way? I can’t find any reference to it on the Internet.], and ETC.

It opens every day from 10am to 10pm. Located prominently in front of Siam BTS Skytrain station – the interchange of the two BTS lines – it is considered by many to be the center of Bangkok.

Siam Center

Siam Center combines fashionable Thai designers along with big foreign brand names and plenty of hi-tech and glitzy gimmicks to make sure you have a pleasant shopping experience.

A large active muay Thai boxing ring in the middle of the store is just one of the surprises you might find, along with a giant fish tank that makes up the front display window for one entrance into the mall.

The mall opens every day from 10am to 10pm on weekdays and 10:30am to 10pm on weekends. Located next to Siam BTS, it is linked by a covered walkway to Siam Paragon mall.

MBK Center

MBK Center, also known as Mahboonkrong, is a large shopping mall in Bangkok. At eight stories high, the center contains around 2,000 shops, restaurants, and service outlets, including the four-story Tokyu department store.

MBK Center is particularly easy to reach thanks to a direct walkway linking to National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station. Every taxi driver knows this famous shopping mall in Bangkok so you can hail a cab from anywhere, but the traffic can be intense.

Groove

Groove@CentralWorld is a foodie shopping paradise tucked in between CentralWorld and Siam Paragon in the heart of Ratchaprasong in central Bangkok. The complex can be accessed from ZEN Department Store in CentralWorld as well as from the BTS Skytrain’s Siam and Chidlom stations via the Ratchaprasong Skywalk.

The building itself features an innovative and state-of-the-art design with a futuristic look that is highlighted by the innovative roof, which creates a sheltered outdoor dining area usable in all weather conditions. There are also trees and wooden benches in the area to create a cool and pleasant atmosphere.

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Opening Hours and Payments

The opening hours for shopping malls are 10am to 10pm while convenience stores are open for 24 hours. Most shops in tourist areas are open all week and on public holidays, except for Chinese New Year and Thai New Year when some shops may shut for several days. Opening hours to get fresh produce from markets are usually from dawn to mid-afternoon.

Credit cards and debit cards are accepted in department stores and boutique shops, but most market vendors expect cash payments in Thai baht. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted cards. VAT refunds are available with a completed form indicating items that have been bought in the shop. It can be really time-consuming to wait for VAT refunds at the airport.

Shopping Tips

  • When shopping in a local market, you can always try to bargain. The biggest discounts are gained when you buy a large amount of goods.
  • Watch out for fake goods. Many local markets will sell famous brands for cheap prices but, of course, these items are fakes.
  • Avoid buying items made from ivory or animal fur. We strongly encourage ethical traveling, and those items are usually produced in an illegal and unethical way, harming animals and the local environment.
  • Look around for the item you want to buy. Often, you can find the same object in a different place for a significantly cheaper price.
  • Use a currency calculator. As all the prices will be in baht, it can be easy to lose track of how many dollars you are spending. A calculator on your cell phone will save you a lot of problems.

Explore Bangkok with Us

Bangkok is a paradise for shoppers with large numbers of retail outlets, high quality goods, surprisingly affordable prices, and attentive staff members. Our professional advisors will help arrange a hotel for you that is near to the downtown shopping districts, making it easier for you to explore Bangkok at night. Let us know your preferences and we will tailor-make your itinerary to suit you.

Why Travel with Asia Highlights During the Pandemic

  • Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
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