Bangkok Shopping

Bangkok Shopping

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Bangkok boasts no shortage of places where shoppers can spend their money, from traditional floating markets to modern shopping complexes complete with indoor playgrounds, amusement parks, and even ice skating rinks. Bangkok's biggest concentration of shops, however, may be in Siam Square.

Siam Square's places to shop include the luxury Ratchaprasong shopping plazas and Siam Paragon shopping centre as well as dozens of smaller designer boutiques on the surrounding streets. The most popular Siam Square shopping centres, however, are probably Siam Center and MBK Center as these two shopping complexes are famous for their deeply discounted designer clothing.

One of Bangkok's most unique shopping experiences is its tremendous number of tailoring shops where people can order custom made suits for a fraction of the cost at most Western tailoring shops. Visitors should, however, avoid most of the tailoring shops at Nana Plaza, Khao San Road, or other busy tourist areas. Tailors who promise suits completed within 24 hours or at dirt cheap prices should also be avoided.

Tailoring shops recommended by fellow tourists are generally more reliable than those suggested by tuk-tuk drivers or touts. Bangkok's best quality tailoring shops, including Raja's Fashions, are located in Sukhumvit, Silom, Pratunam, and other places off the well beaten tourist path. Knowing fabrics and suit styles, being able to attend at least three fitting sessions, and choosing English or Italian cloth are other ways to guarantee getting a custom made suit of the finest quality imaginable in Bangkok.

Most Bangkok visitors do not have to step far outside their hotels to find lively street markets which sell virtually everything under the sun. However, no other Bangkok street market can match Phahonyothin's Chatuchak Weekend Market. This 8,000-stall weekend market is the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Those who love clothes may want to check out the weekday Pratunam garment market where high-end clothing is sold at wholesale prices in bulk. Another place where shoppers can find fabric in every size and colour in the rainbow is the Phahurat Fabrics Market. The predominantly Indian Phahurat area is also home to the Pak Khlong Talat flower market, Memorial Bridge Night Market, and several gold shops.

Bangkok's biggest electronics shopping complex, Pantip Plaza, is filled with both authentic and counterfeit gadgets. Damnoen Saduak may be the best known of Bangkok's many floating markets, but shoppers may also wish to venture further off the beaten path to Thonburi's lesser known Taling Chan Floating Market. This charming weekend floating market combines traditional canal living with rural charm. Wang Lang is another Thonburi market known for affordable prices.