Shopping in Bangkok

Shopping in Bangkok

If there is one city that is completely obsessed with shopping then that is Bangkok. With its numerous malls, arcades, swanky department stores and floating markets, Bangkok is the perfect place to go on a shopping spree.

While the Siam Center and Paragon are well placed and are loaded with higher-end shops, some of the best shopping can be had in the night markets and Chinatown, where you can bargain and have fun. Best buys in Bangkok include imitation brand clothes, silk items, sunglasses, gold and jewelry.

Siam Square

Located in the center of Bangkok, Siam Square is Bangkok's Times Square, which is home to glitzy shopping malls connected by a group of walkways.

From the legendary MBK to the sophisticated Emporium, trendy Siam Discovery and Central World Plaza or the huge Siam Paragon, Bangkok caters to every taste and every whim.

These malls house the city's finest fashion stores, global brands, book shops, specialty stores, accessories and all kinds of luxury designer lifestyle goods. As they are modern and air-conditioned, shoppers flock to these malls to escape the warm weather and humidity of Bangkok.

Siam Paragon

Home to a range of international high-end fashion brands, Siam Paragon shopping center (in photo) is a shopaholic's paradise. Conveniently located in front of Siam BTS Skytrain station, this immensely popular shopping mall is fairly compact and provides mainly luxury items for well-heeled Thais and international visitors with cash to splurge. This is the right place to purchase something special and of high quality. The mall hosts stores of designer brands such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Versace. You can apply for a Tourist Discount Card at the information desk on the ground floor and get up to 5 percent discount on most purchases.


Open since 1995, MBK is one of Asia's oldest shopping malls and one of Thailand's most famous shopping centers. Packed with small independent shops - mostly Thai brands and designs - MBK is very popular among the younger buyers. This is a great place for bargain hunters looking for Thai-branded clothes.


Bangkok's main thoroughfare, Sukhumvit is lined with shopping plazas and department stores all the way to soi (street) 63 at Ekkamai. The best shopping takes place during the day.


Home to dozens of smart shops and arcades, Silom Road is the commercial heart of Bangkok. You don't have to go far before you come across Surawong Road, which is also popular. When the sun goes down, Patpong Road comes alive with its market; this is a great place to shop as the city is cooler at night.


Chinatown is a formidable alternative to the massive shopping malls in Bangkok. Yaowarat Road and Sampheng Lane are the main Chinatown thoroughfares, featuring a range of jewelry shops and clothing stores. This is a great place to buy the elephant pants that are so popular in Thailand. They are fresh and they look great. While you shop, you can stop for a Thai massage, a bite or get someone to read your fortune on Tarot cards.

Chinatown is the best place to find the best bargains in Bangkok but bartering is necessary. There's nothing you can't buy in Chinatown. Head to Balanna Plaza for all kind of shoes (beware of fakes). The best thing about shopping in Chinatown is that you can stop for snacks and drinks every now and then as it is home to the best street market in the city. In fact, Chinatown is responsible for making Thailand famous for its delicious street food.

Shopping tips

Bangkok's weather is hot year-round, so wear cool clothes. To avoid rush hour, you might want to do your market shopping in the morning. There are no set prices, so always make sure you compare prices between one stall and the next. Don't forget it's Thailand and there haggling is a national sport, so don't be afraid to barter. When you shop in the market, check for any flaws before you purchase any clothes.

If you need some motivation to go shopping, here are some quotes to awaken your inner shopaholic:

“Born to Shop! Forced to work.”

“I shop like a bull - I charge everything!”

“I love to go shopping. I love to freak out salespeople. They ask me if they can help me, and I say, ‘Have you got anything I'd like' Then they ask me what size I need, and I say, ‘Extra medium.'” - Steven Wright.

“Shopping is my cardio.” - Carrie Bradshaw.

“Whoever said money doesn't buy happiness didn't know where to shop.” - Blair Waldorf.

“Danger women shopping.”

“Take me shopping and I'm yours.”