Bangkok with its excellent rates and amazing discounts have developed into one of the most popular shopping locations in Asia, part of your trip should certainly include a day, at least, for browsing the shops and malls of the city
Good buys to be found throughout the city include tailor-made clothes, silk items, pottery, niello-ware, lacquer-ware, silver-ware, bronze-ware, pewter-ware, gems, pearls, painted umbrellas and fans, ceramics, wickerwork, woodcarvings and leather goods. An ideal souvenir from Thailand would be a woven Thai silk; perhaps the country's best known craft; a tailored suit, or maybe a Thai, Burmese or Khmer antique among the huge variety of accessories and decorative items found around the immense number of shops.
When out shopping in Bangkok you can discover an extensive range of ultra-chic malls, world-class shopping centers, department stores, small shops, street markets, street vendors and more, especially around the Sukhumvit Area. Most shops seem to be open 12 hours a day, from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, everyday of the week, although smaller shops might close earlier; some shops are busier in the mornings and other in the evenings.
Prices are cheap by Western standards, quality generally good and the range and variety is pretty impressive, street stalls will generally have lower prices for the same product than the main shopping centers and department stores though the difference can be reflected on the quality of the product.
Bargaining is expected, prices are often bargained by buyers and vendors taking turns in typing numbers into a calculator. Although most vendors speak enough English, it is worth to learn how to say the numbers in Thai; it’s possible that you get cheaper prices. Department stores frequently offer interesting discounts.
Historically, tourists have preferred the traditional markets and bazaars, although, as result of the decrease of canals, water markets are gradually disappearing. You should buy a shopping map to see the complete range of shopping options around Bangkok.
Bangkok is famous for its fake goods; you can buy one at a fraction of the cost of originals but there will be not guarantee of quality.
Bangkok has a great shipping service, most of the bigger shops offer shipping abroad and they will sort out the necessary documentation. There are also specialized companies that will do it for a fee.
Si Lom area is one of the main shopping centers boasting numerous specialist shops and department stores (including Robinson), several shopping plazas, antique shops, and street stalls offering numerous bargains. Along the Sukhumvit Road area there is dozens of small shops and larger shopping centers, including Robinson, Times Square and Emporium. Patpong, apart its colorful nightlife, has a bustling night market where you can buy clothes, music and many other items.
The weekend market at Chatuchak Park is a must; here you will find everything from furniture, plants to unique antiques at very knock down prices. This market is open on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, it is conveniently located at the final stop of the Sky Train.
The Suan Lum night bazaar at the intersection of Rama IV and Wireless/Sathorn Roads is very popular; you will find thousands of stalls selling gifts, clothes, handicrafts and jewellery. There are future plans to move the bazaar and develop residential buildings into the actual area.
Chinatown, which covers a large area around Yaowarat Road and Charoen Krung Road, is full of gold shops. Nearby Phahurat Market have a number of renowned cloth fabrics. Woeng Nakhon Kasem aka “Thieves Market”, located near Chinatown, sells old furniture, imitation antiques, porcelain and copperware.
A must for the technology-junkies are Pantip Plaza Petchaburi Road, near World Trade Center and the Fortune Town on Rachadaphisek Road.
Siam Square, conveniently located at Central Station on the BTS Sky Train route, is a luxurious shopping area with dozens of shops where international brands are on sale. It is connected to other upscaling shopping complexes like Siam Center, MBK Center, Siam Paragon.