Covid or not, Bangkok remains the ultimate shopping haven. Most tourists will admit that one of their key itineraries in the Land of Smiles is to shop till they drop. There are so many places to shop in Bangkok and the list just keeps lengthening every year.
First-timers to Bangkok will probably not know where the Must-Shop places in Bangkok are. I too understand that it would be very challenging to visit all the places during a typical 3D2N trip. Hence, here are our 19 Must-Shop Places in Bangkok, categorised based on your preferences. Some of them already have full posts on them written so you can click on the various links to read more about them.
Shopaholics love Bangkok because goods are affordable with many beautiful designs to choose from. However, it can get quite challenging due to the sheer size of these places. It’s a true test of your endurance and willpower if you would like to fully cover every location.
The largest and most widely known air-conditioned Wholesale Shopping is The Platinum Fashion Mall. There are 5 levels of shopping in both Wings. Being a wholesale mall means that when you purchase 2 or more items, it will be cheaper. The more you buy, the cheaper it gets.
There are no changing rooms in the stores. Hence you will have to have your measurements ready, though many shops will provide measuring tapes. Make sure to check with the shop owners if an exchange is possible in the event that the clothes do not fit you after you try them in your hotel room or public washroom within the building. Some shop owners will allow you to exchange.
Pratunam is the most well-known garment wholesale district in Bangkok, and hence you can find many hotels and street food here. The only drawback is the lack of trains (BTS) in Pratunam, but that does not seem to be a huge factor because many Singaporeans still like to stay in this area for the convenience of shopping and street food. Furthermore, a relatively new covered walkway (Ratchaprasong Walk) allows you to walk in comfort from Chit Lom BTS straight to Pratunam. Besides the famous Platinum Fashion Mall, there is also lots of outdoor shopping just opposite Platinum, which extends all the way to the Baiyoke Hotel area.
For those who can wake up early, you shouldn’t miss out on the Morning Market! However, if you can’t wake up, do not worry because you can also shop in the afternoon and at night.
Where > Pratunam (via Taxi)
3. Sampeng Market
If you can’t get enough of shopping at Platinum Fashion Mall, you should visit Sampeng Lane in Yaowarat, one of the oldest and most interesting street markets in Bangkok. Besides jewellery and fashion apparel, they also sell ceramics and paper lanterns, where items will be sold at cheaper prices when you buy in wholesale quantities. If you are a night owl, you can also head to the Sampeng Midnight Market.
Where > MRT – Wat Mangkon, Exit 2 Operating Hours > Sampeng Lane (Daily, 0900 – 1700 hrs), Sampeng Midnight Market (Daily, 1200 – 0500 hrs)
Union Mall is a favourite hangout for Thai University students. If you can’t get enough of Platinum Fashion Mall, this is the next place to visit! Some of my female friends actually prefer Union Mall to Platinum because of the different designs available here.
In general, the prices are slightly higher as compared to Platinum but shopping here is much easier since there are fewer shops and the walkways are wider and more spacious.
Where > BTS – Chit Lom (Exit 1) > Gaysorn Village > Ratchaprasong Walk Operating Hours > Daily, 0800 – 2200 hrs
Unlike your typical shopping mall, CentralWorld is a massive shopping complex that serves as a haven for avid shoppers worldwide. Comprising a convention centre, a 5-star hotel, as well as 8 levels of shops, restaurants and entertainment centres, you can find almost everything here under one roof. Located right in the city centre, CentralWorld is also easily accessible as it is within walking distance from Platinum Fashion Mall and hotels like Courtyard Marriott and Grand Hyatt.
Where > BTS – Chit Lom (Exit 1) > Ratchaprasong Walk Operating Hours > Daily, 1000 – 2200 hrs
7. Terminal 21
Each floor in Terminal 21 is decorated based on the most well-known shopping streets of cities like Tokyo and London. From the store’s decor to the bathrooms, you will feel as if you have just travelled from one country to another as you go up each floor. Known for its five-star food court, gourmet supermarket, designer shops and more, Terminal 21 is one of the most popular premier shopping destinations in Bangkok. Go eat at our favourite Seafood Restaurant – Savoey when you are there!
EmQuartier is a trendy 6-story mall that consists of all of your favourite luxury designer brands ranging from Valentino to Saint Laurent. Divided into three sections – the Helix Quartier, Waterfall Quartier and Glass Quartier, you are bound to spend at least a few hours here. Even if you’re not an avid shopper, you can head over to the open-air garden on the 5th and 6th floor to eat and admire the panoramic view of Bangkok’s cityscape.
Being one of the largest malls in Asia, ICONSIAM is an all-in-one complex well-known for its affordable Thai street food at the basement, as well as the thousands of high-street and luxury products from brands like H&M and Prada. Some stores not to be missed are Takashimaya, the high-ceiling Apple store and Starbucks, which unexpectedly offers a breathtaking view of the Chao Phraya River. If you visit in the evenings at around 6:30 pm, there is also a water light fountain show for you to enjoy.
Where > BTS – Charoen Nakhon / BTS – Saphan Taksin > Transfer to free shuttle boat Operating Hours > Daily, 1000 – 2200 hrs
While these shopping centres typically operate from 10am to 10pm, there are some shops that are open for 24 hours.
With a lively atmosphere and beautiful interior designs that serve as popular photo-taking spots, Samyan MitrTown is a modern retail mall that has an art house cinema, a wide variety of restaurants, and numerous brands that are not commonly found in other malls, such as Taco Bell and Lhong Tou Cafe. If you head up to the top floor, there is also a balcony from which you can admire the spectacular view of Bangkok. With many 24-hour cafes available within the mall, visiting Samyan Mitrtown allows you to fulfil your cafe-hopping dreams even at night.
Where > MRT – Samyan (Exit 2)
11. MBK Center
The most well-known shopping centre in Bangkok is MBK (Ma Boon Khrong) Centre because it was one of the first few major shopping centres in Bangkok. You can get almost everything here (fashion, tidbits, mobile accessories, etc). After undergoing a major renovation, MBK Centre is now booming again with the addition of many new tenants. A small section of the mall is also open for 24 hours.
If you have not been here before, why not drop by to visit if you’re already around the Siam area? You can then decide for yourself if this will be in your itinerary for your future trips to Bangkok.
Where > BTS – National Stadium
12. The Street Ratchada
With food, a fitness gym, bars, and hundreds of retail and commercial shops, The Street Ratchada is one of the most popular shopping and chill-out destinations for those staying near the Ratchada or Huai Khwang area. If your daytime purchases weren’t enough to satisfy your shopping needs, you can visit the 24-hour shops located in the basement and outdoor area, which also houses numerous air-conditioned drinking places that locals often go to.
Where > MRT – Thailand Cultural Centre (Exit 4)
Just like the Orchard Road of Bangkok, there are many shopping centres (Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery and Siam Square One) in the buzzing area of Siam, each catering to a different target group. If you have time, make sure to check them out!
Having undergone a major revamp in 2021, a portion of Siam Square is now redesignated as Siam Square Walking Street, successfully replicating the vibes of Myeong Dong in Seoul. The walking street and art performances start from 5pm Friday to Sunday.
Where > BTS – Siam
As the name suggests, this market is only open on weekends (Saturday and Sunday). And you will soon realise, this category is reserved for the 1 and only, the first and last but not least.
Also known as Jatujak or JJ Market, Chatuchak Weekend Market is the largest market in Thailand. With more than 5000 stalls selling a wide array of products including fashionable clothes for both females and males, accessories, footwear, household items, pets, Thai handicrafts and much more, Chatuchak Weekend Market is so huge to the point where you will never be able to complete all the stalls in a day.
It is hot here so do wear light clothing. If you are able to conquer the heat here, I’m sure you will not leave empty-handed. Also, this is one of the best places to stuff your face with Thai Street Food. You can’t leave Bangkok without visiting Chatuchak.
Where > BTS – Mo Chit / MRT Kamphaeng Phet or Chatuchak Park Operating Hours > Saturday and Sunday, 0900 – 1800 hrs
In the past, weekends were usually reserved for visiting the Chatuchak Weekend Market but night markets are now opening up to cater to those who enjoy the laid-back vibe of such markets. Plus, there’s nothing better than to shop without worrying about the afternoon heat!
Talad Rot Fai (Train Market) was previously located at Kamphaeng Phet but has since closed. It is currently located at Srinakarin Soi 51, which is next to Seacon Square Mega Shopping Mall. If you like retro, vintage items and antiques, you will definitely love this place. Not only does Talad Rot Fai attract the city’s hip and stylish, it also attracts people from all age groups. It is a popular hangout area for friends and families.
Where > BTS – Udom Suk > transfer via taxi Operating Hours > Thursday to Sunday, 1700 – 0100 hrs
The One Ratchada Night Market just opened at the former site of Talad Rot Fai Ratchada behind The Esplanade Mall, accessible from MRT Thailand Cultural Centre station (Exit 3). It is run by a different management, hence do not expect it to be identical to its predecessor. Comparing to Talad Rot Fai Ratchada, I will say The One Ratchada feels more modern. Palm trees create a holiday vibe, and there are seats in the middle and back of the night market, so you don’t have to worry about not having somewhere to sit to enjoy the food purchased from different stalls. Read more…
Where > Thailand Cultural Centre (Exit 3) Operating Hours > Daily, 1700 – 2400 hrs
Ever considered shopping while on a boat ride? If you would like a different kind of market experience, you should visit a floating market. Apart from cruising along the river, it is just like visiting a normal market with a myriad of stalls selling food, accessories and other leisure items.
17. Khlong Lat Mayom
Located in the suburbs of Taling Chan, Khlong Lat Mayom is one of the most popular and authentic floating markets in Bangkok. With hundreds of vendors selling Thai food, produce, clothes and handicrafts, you can take your time to explore what each of them has to offer as you embark on the boat ride tour. Since most people who frequent Khlong Lat Mayom are locals, the goods are also sold at very affordable prices. However, it is advisable to come in the mornings as it can get very hot in the day.
Where > BTS – Bang Wa > transfer via taxi Operating Hours > Saturday and Sunday, 0800 – 1700 hrs
18. Central Village
Central Village is the first international luxury outlet in Thailand that houses over 130 world-class brands such as Coach and Kate Spade. With some stores offering up to a 70% discount, Central Village is a must-visit outlet mall for shoppers and travellers since it is only a 10-minute drive from Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Where > BTS – Udom Suk > transfer via taxi Operating Hours > Monday to Friday (1100 – 2100 hrs), Saturday to Sunday (1000 – 2200 hrs)
19. Siam Premium Outlets
Another luxury mall worth visiting near Suvarnabhumi International Airport is Siam Premium Outlets, which comprises a mixture of sports and designer products from over 145 local and international brands. Besides shopping, there are also many dining, leisure and entertainment options for the whole family to enjoy.
While there are so many other shopping malls and markets in Bangkok, these are some of my favourite go-to places for shopping, which have been organised into different categories for your convenience. Since borders are opening up, we hope that this article is able to help you plan your ideal itinerary and overall have a fun time in Bangkok!
Are you tempted to fly to Bangkok to shop now? I’m glad to have found HotelsCombined.combecause I can now compare the prices and see which one offers the me the best rate. Why pay more when you can save? With the savings, I can either shop more, eat more street food or go for more massages. This is happiness! :)
AroiMakMak.com is the brainchild of Wilber Suen. He is based in Singapore but loves Bangkok so much that he keeps returning. He loves travelling, eating, technology and has high standards for them. In his free time, he will be sourcing for new places to visit so that he can document and share. Try to catch him in Bangkok eating local dishes, enjoying aromatherapy spa or chilling at a rooftop bar.