City Guide: Where to shop till you drop in Bangkok

Bangkok is known worldwide for its markets, temples, street food, walking streets, tuk tuks and ladyboys, to name a few. But this bustling city also offers a dazzling array of shopping venues. From its countless colorful night markets delivering a bargain hunter’s dream to the glitz and glamor of high-end malls – which one is best for you? We understand that travelers can be dazed by the maze of shopping craze in Bangkok, with the sheer amount of options that seem to entice you to spend your baht on every corner.

This is where Pete comes in to save you from your consumer headaches and help you find the best value for your baht. He’s curated this list of the best shopping malls in Bangkok, for those who want to browse the best deals this bustling capital has to offer – complete with food courts, caffeinated drinks and air conditioning. And of course, plenty of free WiFi.

ICONSIAM

Located along the Chaopraya River, you can take a water taxi across the river to Chinatown and enter the mall from the pier. This takes the cake for the best view and air-conditioned atmosphere. On the side of the pier, the viewpoint offers a breathtaking view of the river. For all the IG lovers, be prepared to spend some time taking photos by the pier with the palace-like glass and gold mall in the background. Besides the view, there are many luxury brand stores here, from Louis Vuitton to Guicci, Prada to Hermès, as well as fast fashion stores like H&M and UNIQLO. The mall’s wide selection of restaurants and cafes, coupled with its large cinema, are sure to satisfy foodies or movie buffs of all kinds.

Central Embassy

Central Embassy is the very definition of luxury shopping. It has a large collection of designer brands as well as fine dining and a classy cinema that other places can’t beat. If you want the best of the best, Central Embassy might just be your best bet. It is also relatively quiet, providing a more peaceful shopping experience. The top floor houses the luxurious VIP cinemas – where the cheapest “sofa” seat costs THB 1,500. It’s also recently been renovated into a hip coworking space called Open House, where you can rent an office by the hour or use the public space for the price of a cup of coffee – for all digital nomads. The mall is also connected to the neighboring mall, Central Chidlom, and can be reached by BTS station Ploen Chit or Chidlom respectively.

MBK

MBK is one of the most popular malls among tourists and travellers, and for good reason. There is something for everyone here. From countless boutiques selling counterfeit clothing brands to electronics stores where you can buy the latest phones, video games and accessories, with a food court, cinema and arcade, this is a warrior’s oasis of the weekend. Most stores are reasonably inexpensive. It’s important to walk around and bargain, as some stores may give you a better deal on the same product. Its central location in Siam makes it relatively easy to get to. We recommend getting off at Siam and walking around. For those who prefer to rest their feet, get off at the National Stadium BTS station.

Siam Paragon

Siam Paragon is located in the heart of Bangkok and is famous among the younger generation. It’s always busy, especially after school and working hours. There are countless stores where you can shop, from H&M and Uniqlo to high-end luxury brands like Chanel and Hermès. There’s an aquarium if you’re visiting with your kids and a cinema on the top floor to catch the latest blockbuster. If you go out with your friends, the bowling alley is right next to the cinema. Within walking distance from Siam Paragon, there are two other malls called Siam Center and Siam Discovery. Think of Siam like Shibuya in Tokyo. There is everything you could wish for in a domain.

Fortune City

Don’t overlook the geeks and nerds. Fortune Town is the perfect place to get lost in the computer world. If you’re looking for a new computer or want to build your own, this is the place to go. There are also many hardware and software options. But it’s not just computers and laptops. If you love photography, Fortune has you covered too. If you are interested in technology, this is a unique opportunity. You can visit here by getting off at MRT Petchaburi station.

Platinum Fashion Mall

Platinum is a great place for women as it has everything on sale from dresses, casual clothes, bags and shoes. Everything on sale is affordable and cheap. Most stores sell in bulk, which makes you want to buy even more. Most stores sell the same clothes, but the price varies, so it’s important to shop around. Here is a bit far from the train station, and the nearest station is BTS Chidlom station, and you have to walk about 1 kilometer.

Terminal 21

Each floor is themed around a different city, each an international travel destination. The entire mall feels like an airport, with a unique urban vibe on each floor. The signs resemble flight arrival and departure boards, while the pretty ladies at the information desk wear flight attendant uniforms. The food court is well known and loved by travelers and office workers alike, with a wide selection of tasty and affordable dishes. And like any decent mall in Thailand, there’s a Starbucks on the first floor for those who want their signature caffeine or matcha latte, as well as a cinema on the top floor, which features the latest domestic films and Hollywood blockbusters. The stores here are not limited to luxury brands but also include many local and boutique brands that cannot be found elsewhere, making it a great place to shop for gifts. Travelers looking to do some last-minute shopping for souvenirs or clothes in the capital can make a quick stop here, before taking the MRT one stop south to Phetchaburi Station, then on to the Airport Rail Link via Makkasan Station to enjoy a cheap, air-conditioned ride directly to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

ASIAN

Although not a mall per se, this well-developed riverside shopping district offers the colorful assortment and open-air allure of night markets with the safety and sanitation of mall, not to mention its exquisite selection of restaurants. But both places are beaten in terms of views. Located next to the Chao Praya River, you can ride a Ferris wheel overlooking Bangkok’s skyline at night. Just a 10-minute walk from Saphan Taksin BTS station, it’s open from 5 p.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Once the sight of an international trading port, you can now sail, (no pun intended) visit the shops and buy gifts as souvenirs. There are two shows: a Thai puppet show and the Calypso cabaret (aka ladyboy show). ASIATIQUE is one of the main places to watch the city’s fireworks display along the river during the annual New Year celebration.

What is your point of view ?

So there you have it, our list of the best malls for style and selection, fun and entertainment, location and cuisine. When it comes to shopping, Bangkok has you covered. Whatever your price preference, everyone can find something to their liking in this city of material pleasure. As far as we know, all malls in the city are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, except on holidays and special occasions. Of course, there are many other places to shop in Bangkok, but these are our favorites. What are yours? Is there another mall or special shopping spot that is not on our list? Or do you have an exceptional shopping experience that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments section below and contribute to the ThaigerTalk travel community!

To note: A previous version of this article appeared in the “Bang for Your Baht” category. We’ve moved it to the “City Guide” category to better represent the content.

About Andrew Miller

Check Also

Renewed visa on passports is not mandatory

The Royal Oman Police (ROP) has clarified that affixing a renewed visa to passports is …