If you love shopping then you’re in the right place in Bangkok. It’s home to an eclectic selection of multi-level shopping malls where you’ll find everything from the latest fashions to books and high end accessories. If you’ve already been browsing the markets on the streets then a visit to the best shopping malls in Bangkok will provide an entirely different shopping experience.
One of the major positives of visiting any of the malls is the contemporary and air conditioned environment. The traditional Thai markets are exciting to visit but they can become very hot and over-crowded, so it’s good to have a change of scenery. So what can you expect from the best shopping malls in Bangkok? We’ve put together a Bangkok shopping guide to give you an insight into some of the best shopping malls Bangkok has to offer.
444 Phayathai Road
If you’re looking for great value for money then the MBK Center is definitely among the best shopping malls in Bangkok. It doesn’t have the luxury feel of some of the other malls, but it’s an excellent place to treat yourself to a leather hand bag, or an electronic device, with its reasonable prices. The electronics stores are situated on the 4th floor, so head there if you’re looking for a new phone. After shopping you can relax with a bite to eat in the food court on the 6thlevel of this 8 level shoppers’ paradise. MBK Center is a busy place to shop at weekends, when the locals converge on the hundreds of stores to search for bargains. It may be best to visit during the week if you want to avoid the biggest crowds. One of the best things about this mall is its accessibility; exit the Bangkok Skytrain at National Stadium BTS Station. Take exit 4 and you can follow the Skywalk to MBK Center.
991/1 Rama 1 Rd
This luxury mall is featured in our Bangkok shopping guide as a must see for high-end shopping purchases. If MBK Center is a joy for the bargain hunter then Siam Paragon is more likely to put a smile on your face if you’re looking to treat yourself, or a very lucky friend. Enter the mall on the second level, from BTS Siam Station, and you’ll walk into a world of high end designer stores where the wealthier Bangkok residents come to shop. If you like the idea of a digital map of Bangkok to download then you can purchase one at Books Kinokuniya. If you like a bit of nature with your shopping you can round your visit off with a visit to Siam Ocean World aquarium in the basement; although it’s worth noting that tourists pay a lot more for entry than Thai locals.
If you want to swap your walking shoes for ice skates then head to the second floor of CentralWorld. Opened in 2010 The Rink, is an excellent place to let off steam while shopping, especially if you have children with you. You could spend hours in this mall, which is the largest in Thailand. From banks and hairdressing salons, to gourmet dining venues and the latest fashions, CentralWorld has something for everyone.
2,88 Sukhumvit Soi 19, Sukhumvit Rd
You may still be in Bangkok but it doesn’t feel like it at the next mall to feature in our Bangkok shopping guide. Step into Terminal 21 and you’re stepping into one of the most ingenious concept shopping malls around. The building itself is intended to represent the terminal building of a modern day airport, with its glass and metal construction. You’ll be able to keep your feet firmly on the ground though, as you travel through the shopping experiences of cities including Tokyo, London and San Francisco. To complete the look the assistants at the help desks throughout the mall are dressed in flight attendant uniforms.
604/3, Petchaburi Rd
It’s not the most eye catching building to visit but Pantip Plaza belongs on a list of the best shopping malls in Bangkok for one very good reason; it’s the home of all things technology. From the myriad of smaller stalls, to the flagships, Hardware House and IT City, you’re surrounded by everything from phones to PCs and gaming equipment. If you’re really interested in technology you’ll forget the fact that your surroundings have seen better days and get down to the job of negotiating a better deal. Every store wants your business, and there are lots of them, so don’t just accept the first price. Even if you can’t persuade the store owner to move on the cost, you may be able to get a few free items as a sweetener.
As you’re walking past the stores, check out the bargain bins that many have outside; there may just be a fun gadget you can buy for next to nothing. One thing you need to be aware of is that Pantip Plaza is known as a home of counterfeit goods. This isn’t quite as bad as it seems; most of the time these goods are sold openly and you will be offered a choice between a fake and the real thing. Then the choice is up to you.
PLATINUM FASHION MALL
222 Petchburi Road
If you’re good at haggling, and you love fashion, then this mall is a must visit place in Bangkok. It features in our Bangkok shopping guide because if you want fashion at a reasonable price this is where you can find it. The mall specialises in wholesale provision, so you’ll get a better deal if you decide to buy several items. Think of Platinum Fashion Mall as a little like an indoor market place where you can haggle to your heart’s content in thousands of stores.
CENTRAL EMBASSY SHOPPING MALL
1031 Plooenchit Road
A list of the best shopping malls in Bangkok wouldn’t be complete without this ultra-modern home of high fashion. If you’re on a budget you may not be buying anything in the Gucci or Prada stores but it’s fun to window shop, and the environment inside Central Embassy Shopping Mall is pristine and impressive. If you want to treat yourself to a quick bite to eat then sample the gourmet dining experience in the food court, where providers include Dean & Deluca and Harrods. The 18 billion baht project was built on the site of the former British Embassy and it has transformed the area into the ultimate venue for luxury shopping in Bangkok.
989 Rama I Road
This familiar mall has been a venue for Bangkok shopping for over 40 years, but that doesn’t mean it’s tired. The entire venue was revamped in 2013 and it’s a bright and eclectic inclusion in any Bangkok shopping guide. One of the great things about the Siam Center is its inclusion of products my many local up and coming fashion designers. This gives the mall a young, fresh and fun vibe. If you see an item of clothing you like there are even dress-up televisions which show how the clothes will look when worn. Come out of the Siam Center and you can take a short trip along the connecting walkway to one of our other featured malls, Siam Paragon.
We’ve introduced you to some of the best shopping malls in Bangkok, so now it’s up to you which ones you choose to visit. Our Bangkok shopping guide wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the many personal shopper guides that are available in Bangkok. You may be wondering why you would want a personal shopper when you can enjoy the shopping experience yourself. Hiring a personal shopper doesn’t prevent you from having the experience but it does mean that you can get valuable advice on where to find the best bargains. Another major benefit is that a personal shopper can negotiate a local price for an item which you may pay more for as a tourist and that can never be a bad thing!