Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bangkok Shopping

Colourful ribbons at Platinum Fashion Mall (accessories floor)
A colourful stripey rubber ducky at the entrance of Siam Centre
A different expression for every toyboy (Siam Centre)
The courtyard of Siam Centre
A colourful montage of tiles at a shop in Siam Paragon
Bangkok is such an enjoyable place to be if you want a shopping and culinary experience. If you only have a few days to spare and shopping is a priority, there are many options depending on your budget. There's Chatuchak market (market is only fully open on weekends) , one of the largest indoor market where each lane is a treasure trove of bargains and unusual finds. Skip all the fake goods and you will see authentic Thai handmade treasures and quality clothes which costs so much less compared to department stalls and boutiques.

The best way to get here is to take the Skytrain to Mo Chit station which is only about five minutes walk away from the market. Finding your way from the station is easy - just follow the large crowd of people. But if there are at least four persons in your group, take a cab and use the meter. With everyone having different shopping interests, it is not easy to shop in a group at Chatuchak . Locating one another is difficult too as the lanes are like confusing little mazes. Best thing is to get a map at the information centre or even print it out from the web and arrange a meeting point. The map is also useful as you can zoom in on the category of goods you want to buy rather than meadering aimlessly. Alternatively, get to meet your friends at a stipulated time at the clocktower, one of the higher structures within the market which can be seen from most parts of Chatuchak. 

For a more structured form of shopping, there is the Platinum Fashion Mall, where people take shopping seriously, judging at the way some actually lug luggage bags as shopping bags.
This massive wholesale mall is a source for retail shops all around Bangkok. Bargain hunters can still pay wholesale prices by purchasing a minimum of three and if you are lucky even two pieces from the same store. With more than 1,300 shops, you'll need at least four hours to get through the place and even blogshops and businesses from countries as far away as Russia actually come here to stock up. With floors dedicated to every category of goods - accessories, clothes, leather goods such as bags and shoes, it is the shopping mecca of Bangkok.

Platinum Fashion Mall
542/21-22 Petchaburi Road

But for a more upmarket shopping experience, there's Siam Centre where many established Thai fashion designers set up shop as well as Siam Discovery,  a place that houses major international brands. Siam Centre and Siam Discovery are actually twin shopping malls, conveniently located at the BTS Skytrain Siam Station. They are just opposite Siam  Paragon, adjacent to MBK Centre. I especially love the eateries and the beautiful big supermarket at Siam Paragon. Well, this is as much as I have discovered during my 3 days there.

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