With such a dazzling array of shopping malls in Bangkok, it can be tricky for a newbie in the city to know the good from the bad.
But don’t worry. Help is at hand.
We can safely say that Siam Paragon and Central World are the best places to start when it comes to shopping in the Big Mango.
As two of the biggest and brightest malls in the whole of Thailand, they both offer you a unique and very satisfying shopping experience.
Today, we’re going to talk about Siam Paragon vs Central World, as well as everything you can expect to find when you arrive at these amazing malls.
Regardless of whether you choose to visit Paragon or Central World first, they are both located in Bangkok’s central shopping district — otherwise known as the fashionista’s hub.
Siam Paragon sits next door to Siam BTS station and is the third largest mall in the city.
You can reach it via either the Sukhumvit or Silom BTS lines. If you choose to drive or take a taxi — beware. Traffic in the Siam area is heinous.
Nearby, you’ll find Central World, the largest mall in Thailand, which is situated next to Chit Lom BTS station.
This can be reached on the Sukhumvit BTS line. There’s also a handy skywalk linking it directly to Siam BTS station, so you can walk there easily from the Silom BTS line as well.
That means that both shopping malls are very near to Bangkok’s sky train, the BTS – which also happens to be the most convenient way to get around the city.
Paragon vs Central World: Stores
From the trendiest fashion stores to upscale and affordable sports and lifestyle shops, there is no doubt that Paragon and Central World offer you a huge variety of choice. But what you really want to know is — how do they compare?
Siam Paragon has over 250 stores, many of which are dedicated to selling luxury goods.
If you’ve got some serious cash to spend, you might find yourself drooling over the first floor and shops like Versace, Chanel, Prada and Rolex. On the second floor, the Bentley and Aston Martin fleet of supercars is likely to draw your eye.
If you prefer to browse premium high-street stores, head down to the first floor for H&M, Gap, Zara and Coach.
When you reach the second and third floors, you’ll be greeted by many lifestyle and leisure brands including Sony, Samsung, Asia Books, Kinokuniya and much more.
Now to Central World – the ever-so-impressive shopping complex that presents you with more than 500 stores.
If you’re looking for something in particular, you’re guaranteed to find it at what is often referred to as the best shopping mall in Bangkok.
In fact, there are so many shops here that you can make a whole day of it — if you can handle the crowds. From popular fashion brands like Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Fred Perry to gadget stores, toy shops and furniture outlets, the list goes on and on.
Central World has many more high street style outlets on offer than Paragon, which is typically seen as more of a luxury shopping hub.
Siam Paragon vs Central World: Restaurants
This is Thailand, so you know that you’ll be well provided for in terms of food wherever you decide to do your shopping.
You never need to look far when shopping at Paragon or Central World when you fancy a bite to eat and a place to rest those over-shopped feet. There’s so much choice to keep hunger at bay and even for the most discerning of appetites.
At Siam Paragon, there’s a hugely popular food court in the basement floor, boasting a huge selection of Thai and foreign dishes. You’ll be welcomed by vast amounts of cheap eats, fast food brands and takeaway counters. Everything from ramen, sushi and BonChon chicken to Ben & Jerry’s, Au Bon Pain and Krispy Kreme.
If your taste buds are yearning for something more luxurious, head on up to the ground and fourth floors to discover various up-market establishments, including Four Seasons and Sra Bua.
When it comes to eating at Central World, the main action is happening at Groove – a zone bursting with tempting bistros and bars. Spanning over around 20,000 square meters, you can select from lunch time, dinner and night time treats across two separate floors.
The Groove at Central World also has a sheltered outdoor dining area where you can indulge in mouth-watering cuisine and drinks. This place is truly an experience in itself and many come here to dine even if they’re not shopping.
Other cafes and coffee shops are scattered around the mall as well.
Central World vs Paragon: What Else?
There’s plenty. Among its 15 theaters, Paragon has a Cineplex, exhibition hall, bowling alley and IMAX theater.
You can even get a taste for the high life by trying out the Nokia VIP cinema experience with complimentary drinks and snacks or spend some time getting pampered in one of the friendly beauty salons.
If you have a thing for prestige vehicles, then you won’t be able to ignore the Aston Martin, Ferrari, BMW, Lamborghini, Maserati and Lotus showrooms.
Siam Paragon is also home to the always busy Sealife Ocean World — a large aquarium. There’s also the opportunity to walk with sharks here if you’re feeling brave.
As for Central World, this place is so much more than your typical shopping mall in Bangkok. Along with the 15 screen cinema, it plays host to lots of unique events throughout the year, such as a beer festival every high season, music concerts and a New Year’s countdown.
You can also drop you kids off at Genius Planet Zone, a learning center for children, to leave you free to shop till you drop.
Hotels near Siam Paragon and Central World
There are a huge number of hotels in the Siam and Chit Lom areas, and this is often considered one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in as a tourist thanks to its proximity to these shopping malls.
It’s also very well connected, with both the Sukhumvit and Silom lines of the BTS servicing it.
Here’s a few of the best hotels near Paragon and Central World:
Right next to the Chit Lom and Rajadamri BTS stations, the Grand Hyatt Erawan is one of the best luxury hotels in Bangkok. It’s also very close to the beautiful Erawan shrine.
It’s most well known for its wide selection of onsite restaurants and incredible spa.
- 5* hotel
- Award-winning spa
- 13 dining options
- Marble ensuite bathrooms
- Airport shuttle
- Fitness centre
The Kempinski is regularly held up as one of the best hotels in Bangkok, if not the whole of Thailand.
For one thing, it’s absolutely stunning: with beautiful manicured gardens and multiple swimming pools, it looks more like a resort than a city centre hotel.
Fine dining is also guaranteed with the wonderful Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin and the spa is worth checking out too.
- 5* hotel
- 3 onsite restaurants
- Access to Siam BTS station through Siam Paragon mall
- Multiple swimming pools
- Fitness centre
- Pets allowed
- Airport shuttle
The Anantara Siam is another fine hotel by a Thai brand in Bangkok.
It’s just one minute’s walk from Ratchadamri BTS station, which is on the Silom line and just one stop away from Siam. A spa, health club, outdoor pool and multiple restaurants and lounges means that this is an ideal hotel for relaxation and getting away from it all.
- 5* hotel
- 9 restaurants and lounges onsite
- Health club with steam room and fitness classes
- Bedtime milk and cookies for child guests
- Spa by MSpa
- Airport shuttle
- Outdoor swimming pool
Which is your favourite in the battle of Siam Paragon vs Central World?