Ask someone what their favourite thing about Thailand is and quick comes the reply ‘Shopping’. Shopping is one of those cultural experiences everybody should experience when traveling in a new country, and even more so in Thailand. There is one thing that everyone can agree upon though; Thailand shopping is among the best in the world regardless of your budget. Whether you are shopping for food, clothes, gadgets or any other necessities, you may notice some differences between Thailand and your country of origin in terms of affordability and variety.
Here is our favourite places to go binge shopping in Thailand.
1. Sunday Walking Street
The Sunday Walking Street Market is a huge market located right in the centre of the old city area of Chiang Mai. You should visit Th Ratchadamnoen on a Sunday afternoon to witness the amazing market of Sunday Walking Street take over the entire area. Starting at the Tha Phae Gate at one end the Sunday Market extends for roughly 1km down the full length of Ratchadamnoen Road. You can go to the Market every Sunday from 4pm till midnight. This street gets filled with amazing food joints and markets that are set up in the courtyards along the way. Apart from all of this, you will also find a wonderful collection of Northern Thai-made souvenirs and other handmade stuff. It is not a surprise the Sunday Walking Street is the favorite of many tourists as well as the residents in the nearby area.
2. MBK Center
The MBK Center in Bangkok is an enormously popular mall infamous among expats and holiday makers for its cheap prices and knockoff brand. Established in 1985, MBK Center, also known as Mahboonkrong, is one of the oldest shopping malls in Asia and one of the largest shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand. At eight (8) storeys high, MBK hosts around 2,000 stores and services, that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs. It’s not as up-market or stylish as nearby Siam Discovery, Siam Centre and the glitzy Siam Paragon, but it offers an overwhelming range of goods spread over 89,000 square metres and is considerably less expensive.
Just like other shopping malls, apart from shopping there are plenty of outlets when you get hungry. There are two food courts – one local (6th floor), one international (5th floor) – with lots of selections. The top floor comprises of an entertainment complex boasting a multi-screen cinema, karaoke, a computer games arcade and plenty of other restaurants. MBK have also added a 3D Trick Art Museum, which is a fun family activity just perfect for a rainy day.
3. Thanon Khao San Market
Khao San Road is a short 410 meter street in the center of Bangkok in Thailand and is bursting with fun, tacky and useful things to blow your baht on. The best time to visit this market would be post evening when the range of things on sale here also becomes even more intriguing (except on Mondays). The market stalls in Khao San Road are both eclectic and exciting with tightly packed stalls that line the walkways on either side and sell pretty much anything and everything: from clothing, jewellery, textiles, to gadgets, pirate music CDs and DVDs, as well as old Thai movie posters.
4. Siam Discovery
If there’s one thing synonymous with Siam Discovery, it’s shopping. Siam mall, now organised like a department store, boasts lifestyle brands including clothing, shoes, furniture and digital devices. Each floor is jam-packed with creative goods, cutting-edge technology and hip fashion brands. The first impression of the mall is that of modern contemporary interior design. Thus, the mall is not just another brand new shopping mall but one of the most impressive interior designs for a mall. Among other international brands such as Kate Spade, Brooks Brothers, Marimekko and more, you will also spot a number of Japanese designer brands here. Most prominent is the two storeys Issey Miyake designer boutique. Travelers can also visit the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum as well as Ecotopia, which takes over the top floor with a huge range of handicraft items and sustainable wares from young designers, spanning home decor and clothing to cosmetics and organic food supplies.
5.Thong Sala Walking Street
Shopping on weekends can be fun, right? And what if we tell you that we have got a place for you that has the best items for you to browse and shop? Don’t believe us? Well, the markets in Thong Sala would certainly make you think otherwise. Thong Sala Walking Street is the most widespread shopping experience in Koh Phangan. A lively gamut of art, crafts, music and food with handmade souvenirs that echo the spirit of Southern Thailand every Saturday afternoon from 4pm. Every weekend Thong Sala comes to life with its weekly walking market. And during this time the road is closed to traffic. Vendors from across the island put up shops and stalls that sell gourmet goodies, accessories, clothes, ethnic handicrafts and souvenirs, as well as, food joints that smell of delicious food.
Whether you want to flex your credit card or just do a little window shopping, Thailand is truly a shopper’s paradise.
Have you ever tried shopping in Thailand? Was there anything that surprised you? Share it with us in the comments!