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Travelers from around the world flock to Thailand in search of a bargain on everything from ornate teak carvings, and silk pillow shams, to electronics and tailor made suits. Made in China might mean cheap, but Made in Thailand, especially when it comes to textiles, is synonymous with high quality and fast service. If you’ve got a few extra days on the itinerary to scoop up some deals, Bangkok is definitely your city to do it in.
No one does mega malls quite like Asia, and it just so happens, Bangkok is teeming with some of the most popular malls in the world. CenterWorld offers up a buffet of shopping choice with everything from high-tech gadgetry, designer home decor and specialty grocery stores, to luxurious salons, and cute boutiques. Shoppers have their choice of 500 stores, 15 cinemas, a Kids’ Zone, as well as more than 100 restaurants and cafes.
A popular favorite with locals and visitors alike, Siam Paragon is more than just a shopping complex. Home to Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium, a large array of restaurants and cafes, a 16-screen Cineplex, and more than 250 shops full of everything from high-end designers, to bargain gift shops. You will find Siam Paragon located directly in front of the Siam BTS Skytrain, right in the heart of the city.
If you’re after a 5th Avenue experience with a budget-friendly selection, Central Chidlom Department Store is seven-stories of retail bliss. There are a number of branches of this department store located throughout Bangkok, however, the flagship store in Chidlom offers the best selection, especially if you’re after high end brands. Each floor is chock full of foreign and domestic brands, and easy as pie to navigate. Located mere steps from the Chidlom BTS Skytrain, getting here is a cinch!
Just about every guidebook on Thailand talks about MBK shopping mall, and with good reason. Launched back in 1986, MBK maybe not be as chic as other Bangkok malls, but the prices are hard to beat. You’re going to want to put your best walking shoes on and have a decent sized meal, because with more than 2,000 stores located on eight floors brimming with everything from handbags, furniture, handicrafts, to electronics, stationary and designer clothing.
Another beloved Thai favorite, the Emporium Department store is the heart of opulence. Find the latest in couture fashion and perfumes, offering up everything from Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel, to Louboutins and Winita. Your credit card is destined to get a work out at the Manhattan-like establishment, and with a savvy and friendly staff, we dare you to walk out empty handed.
Asia is renowned for its fantastic electronics shopping. Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Shenzen are all key destinations for the best in electronics shopping, though they all pale in comparison to what you’ll find at Pantip Plaza. Located on Petchaburi Road, in a weathered and tired looking warehouse, Pantip Plaza is a “techys” dream! Just beware of counterfeit software and DVD’s, you risk a hefty fine if you’re caught at the airport!
Who doesn’t love a little globetrotting all in one day? No, you don’t have to jump aboard a plane, Terminal 21 takes you on a hair whipping tour around the world all under one roof. You’ll immediately notice London’s ultra-chic Carnaby Street, the kaleidoscope of eateries at Fisherman’s Wharf and the neon lights of Toyko’s electric streets.
For those who would rather spend the daylight hours flitting about the city, checking out the myriad sights, Bangkok has plenty of night markets to go bargain hunting in. Different markets offer different wares, so if you’re after something specific, the best thing to do is to have a chat with your hotel concierge or fellow travelers, and find out where the best bargains are to be had!