The Bangkok Shopping Guide

If you love to shop, Bangkok might just be paradise.

There are some of the biggest and most dazzling malls in the world here, as well as a whole host of magnificent markets. Regardless of what your budget might be, you’ll find somewhere to splurge your cash while you’re in the City of Angels.

Spoilt for choice? We’ve rounded up the places where you can find the best shopping in Bangkok…

The 7 Best Bangkok Shopping Malls

Siam Paragon

Shopping at siam paragon

By Mark Fischer (CC BY-SA 3.0 licence)

Shopping at Siam Paragon is an extravagant experience.

Situated in the heart of Bangkok on Rama I Road in Pathum Wan district, Siam Paragon is probably the best shopping centre in Bangkok, and the third largest in Thailand.

High end brands such as Jimmy Choo, Prada and Gucci can be found here, as well as over 250 other stores selling fashion, jewellery, the latest electrical equipment, luxury cars, and quality handicrafts and gifts.

What’s more, Siam Paragon boasts the biggest aquarium in South East Asia, a 15 screen state of the art cinema, a bowling alley, and a seriously impressive gourmet food court which is well worth the visit alone. Indeed, for some people the food court is the main attraction!

Emporium and EmQuartier

emporium mall bangkok

In 2015 the glossy EmQuartier mall was built to augment the popular Emporium mall at Phrom Phong BTS station on Sukhumvit Road. The two malls stand opposite each other, creating quite the high end shopping district in this expat neighbourhood.

Part of the same group as Siam Paragon, you can expect to find designer brands in both malls, as well as bang-on trend offerings from more affordable names like H&M and Zara. Homewares, jewellery and accessories, gifts and more can be found in the stores here, as well as the Emporium department store.

EmQuartier also features an impressive 40 metre high indoor waterfall and 3,000 square meter indoor garden, a high-tech fitness centre with pool and spa, an excellent foodhall, over 50 restaurants, a gourmet market, and a world class cinema.

Emporium too has a cinema, as well as a foodhall.

Siam Center

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The recently revamped Siam Center is all the rage with Bangkok’s bright young things who are attracted to its glittering mix of mostly affordable Thai and international boutiques selling cutting edge fashions, jewellery, shoes and accessories in quirky, ultra cool surroundings.

As well as boutiques, there are outlets of popular international brands here too, including Lush, Sephora and Forever 21.

A food court and a good selection of restaurants can be found on the top floor of the mall, and there’s a live radio station continually blasting out tunes as you shop.

Siam Center is located next door to Siam Paragon, so a trip to both malls can easily be combined.

Terminal 21

Terminal 21

Designed around an airport theme, each floor at the gigantic Terminal 21 mall is dedicated to a major world city, including Tokyo, Paris, London, and Rome.

Aside from the decor, the rest of the mall is dedicated to fashion and food.

Over 600 shops sell everything from luxury brand clothing to quirky fashions from local designers. There are also a wide variety of health and beauty stores. Prices are generally very reasonable and there’s something of a unique, market-style vibe here too — especially in the Turkish souk section!

The food court Pier 21 on the top floor of the mall is arguably the best — read: cheapest — in Bangkok, and there are also some fabulous restaurants and coffee shops on other floors that are perfect for relaxing and people watching. There’s even a cineplex should you wish to catch a movie.

Central World

central world vs paragon

By Adam Lai (CC BY 2.0 licence)

Bangkok likes to do things big, and the gargantuan Central World plaza is no exception.

Bursting with over 500 shops selling just about everything you can think of from books, musical instruments and electronics to clothing, accessories, and delicious foodstuffs — this is the biggest shopping mall in Thailand.

In addition there are more than 100 coffee shops and restaurants, a 15 screen SF Cinema City movie complex, and two major department stores, one of which has a luxurious fitness and beauty centre.

Central World is located at the buzzing Ratchaprasong intersection in Pathum Wan district and can be accessed directly from both Siam and Chit Lom BTS station.

>>> Siam Paragon vs Central World

Central Chidlom

A big hit with expats, the Central Chidlom department store is probably most famous for its exceptional food market where you can buy top quality imported foods from all over the world — including Europe.

Conveniently located in Chidlom with easy access via the BTS Skytrain, the department store features a refreshingly simple, easy to navigate layout.

There are 7 floors in total, of which 3 are devoted to fashion and accessories available in international sizes big enough for most westerners. There are a number of high-street fashion brands that you’ll recognise from home.

You’ll also find all kinds of homewares, books and stationery, and a fantastic selection of beauty and pampering products. There are also some great restaurants and coffee shops in addition to the exciting food court.

Central Embassy

shopping in bangkok

The interior of the Central Embassy mall looks like something from a science fiction film, with smooth minimalist design and glowing white surfaces, and the exterior architecture is strikingly modern and unique too.

There’s everything you could possibly want here for the ultimate luxury shopping experience -s including an integrated hotel just in case you love it so much you don’t want to leave.

Situated in Phloen Chit, the achingly chic Central Embassy is strictly for the well heeled and focuses on high end products and fashions from world famous designers over 6 floors — there’s even a Harrods department store here. Plenty of fine dining options, as well as a lavish cinema with butler service, complete the luxury ensemble.

Aside from the very reasonably priced Thai food court, Central Embassy is known for being very quiet — almost dead, at times. Whether that’s because of the glut of high-end options or its location just outside the popular Siam shopping district, who knows.

Best Cheap Shopping Centres in Bangkok

MBK Centre

mbk centre

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Far less ostentatious (and cheaper) than the malls mentioned above, MBK Centre at the Pathumwan Intersection in Siam offers an interesting fusion of street market and conventional covered mall.

Eight storeys of small shops and boutiques — over 2,000 in total — sell clothing, leather goods, handicrafts, fashion accessories, watches and jewellery at bargain prices.

It’s an extremely popular spot with both tourists and locals and is particularly good if you’re looking to buy electrical goods like cameras and mobile phones at rock bottom prices.

There are also two food courts and an entertainment center where you can sing karaoke, play video games or go to the cinema.

>>> MBK Centre Guide

Platinum Fashion Mall

For wholesale shopping complete with refreshingly cool air conditioning, head on over to Platinum Fashion Mall in Pratunam, where you’ll find an indoor market with four floors brimming with trendy fashions.

The majority of the stalls cater to the ladies, but there are an increasing number that cater for men too.

There’s a huge range of extremely affordable styles on offer, and buying in bulk can give you even bigger savings.

If you’re feeling peckish there are plenty of food stalls and coffee shops, as well as the obligatory food court.

Best Bangkok Markets for Shopping

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Famous the world over, Chatuchak Weekend Market is a chaotic and fun shopping experience not to be missed, and you’re sure to leave happily exhausted and with bags full of bargains.

Meander through the winding narrow passages crammed with homewares, ceramics, clothing, vintage items, antiques, art, flowers, pets and pet accessories, electrical goods and pretty much anything else you can think of.

Be sure to haggle as vendors are always willing to lower their prices, and beware of pickpockets. It can get very hot here, so grab the chance to sample some delicious coconut ice cream when you can to cool down.

>>> Chatuchak Weekend Market Guide

Pratunam Market

pratunam market bangkok

By Biyu Lau (CC BY 2.0 licence)

Another of Bangkok’s biggest markets, Pratunam Market is incredibly popular with locals and there are far fewer tourists here than places like MBK Center.

Prices are seriously cheap, so you can splash the cash on as much clothing as you can carry without breaking the bank.

As well as hip Thai fashions, you can pick up a great suit here, some swanky luggage, or even a fancy dress outfit.

Many of the vendors here craft their items themselves, and you’ll often spot them furiously sewing whilst manning their stalls. Pratunam market is based at the intersection of Ratchaprop and Petchburi roads.

>>> Pratunam Market Guide

Talad Rod Fai Market

bangkok night market

By aotara (CC BY 2.0 licence)

Bangkok’s Ratchada district is the home to Talad Rod Fai Market 2, and this colourful open air bazaar is the place to be to experience one of the best and most unique night markets in the city. This is the eminently easier to get to version of the original Talad Rod Fai out in Srinakarin Soi 51.

The eclectic mix of vintage and antique items, indie fashions, homewares and art, all creatively displayed brings in the arty hipster crowd.

Likewise the seriously good street food, live music, ice cream parlours, festive atmosphere and cheap booze make for a very entertaining evening out for the young and the young at heart.

>>> Bangkok’s best night markets

Where do you like to go shopping in Bangkok?



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Staff Writer for What's On Sukhumvit

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