SHOPS

SIAM SQUARE:

Siam Square represents Thailand as a newly industrializing economy. Siam Square’s first buildings were only constructed in the 1970s, on land of Chulalongkorn University which tried to get some extra rental income for the university. It started with ordinary shops, but has since expanded to a shopping and entertainment mecca that has everything upper-class teenagers and college students could possibly want — luxury shopping malls and glitzy department stores filled with designer labels and hip fashion boutiques.

Despite the name, it is not a square in the traditional sense. It could better be described as a warren of small sois filled with hundreds of tiny boutiques, restaurants, cafés, record stores and bookshops, mostly catering to upper-class 20-something Thais, shopping-spree Malaysians, and working ex-pats. If you’re not up for a trip to the Gap or a pink martini, it’s still worth a visit just to see the Bangkok-of-the-future. The area north of Rama I Road does feature some kind of courtyard on the second floor, which functions as the entry point for the Siam Center, Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon shopping malls.

Siam Square, like the city in which it is located, is an area of contrast. In essence it is the hub of all things cool, an individual expression point where styles are both shaped and surface (and resurface). Siam also holds claim to being the most expensive place to rent land in Bangkok. It is to The City of Angels, what Bond Street is to London and Fifth Avenue to New York, while still possessing the innovative atmosphere of Camden Town or Soho, NYC. Siam Square itself is something of an open-air shopping complex that radiates a feeling of creativity. Recently, new malls have been taking the place of the street vendors but there are still lanes upon lanes to explore. Tribes of bright and bold slogan T-shirts meet with tailored suits and hipster fashion. Siam Square is in essence where trends both emerge and are created, an epicentre of inspiration in Bangkok. This area stretches from Rama 1 Road down to the Chulalongkorn University Campus and from Phayathai Road over to Henri Dunant, and is a popular haunt of university students, media types and generally Bangkok’s ‘bright young things’.

Siam Square One is the latest shopping mall to open in Siam Square, taking the place of roughly half of the market area. This seven storey mall is home to cheap fashion items on the bottom two floors, where young, trendy fashion is for sale for around 100-200 baht per item. The two floors above it are reserved for Thai and International brands, with a handful of up-and-coming fashion boutiques congregating on the Siam Square Soi 5 side of the mall. The upper floors are dedicated to dining mostly, with a couple of technology stores in between. The restaurants cover most Asian regions, be it Korean BBQ, Japanese noodles or even Thai-style French patisseries. Located directly opposite Siam Paragon, there is a direct walkway from Siam BTS Station into Siam Square One so its pretty much impossible to get lost.

To sum Siam Square up in a word, ‘eclectic’, would be about right. An abundance of food options pepper the streets, from classic Thai street food to global delicacies, to sweet and simple sandwiches and pastries. The Siam Discovery Centre and Siam Paragon are home to an incredible array of restaurants and cafes, but don’t discount Siam Square itself, as plenty of cafes, patisseries and street food hawkers compete with the latest dining trends; be that Japanese ramen, Korean hot pot or fusion pizza. Hard Rock Café is another popular choice for visitors. Burgers, steaks and Tex Mex are served to a rock’n’roll soundtrack for the ultimate Americana dining experience. For upscale dining, the concentration of five-star hotels in Siam provide some of the city’s most delectable dishes in unparalleled surroundings. Siam is also home to a number of rooftop bar and restaurants, including Centara’s Red Sky and Zense Restaurant at Central World.

SIAM PARAGON:

Siam Paragon (Thai: สยามพารากอน) is a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand. It is the third largest mall in Thailand, following CentralWorld and CentralPlaza WestGate. Siam Paragon is an immensely popular shopping mall housing a host of international high-end fashion brands, Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium, a 16-screen Cineplex, and a comprehensive selection of world cuisine. Located prominently in front of Siam BTS Skytrain station – the interchange of the two BTS lines – it is considered by many to be the centre of Bangkok. Considering the mall contains over 250 shops, the layout is logical and fairly compact, certainly when compared to the sprawling Central World mall nearby. However, this mall provides mainly luxury items for well-heeled Thais and international visitors with cash to splurge. If you are looking for something extra-special then Siam Paragon is definitely the place to find it.

Entering through the impressive glass-and-steel atriums, flagship stores of designer brands such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Versace are clustered in the prime positions around the main escalators, each fighting for attention with elaborate window displays. The exclusive products on display in Siam Paragon rival anything on offer in Bangkok, or, indeed, throughout the region. This is where the wealthy come to play. As for how popular they are: around the time of new product launches, it’s not uncommon to see queues of people lining up outside waiting for a chance to glimpse the season’s new line. Bring your credit card though, as this kind of luxury doesn’t come cheap – but as the old adage goes, ‘you get what you pay for’.

If shops with no price tags on their merchandise put you on edge, head up to the First Floor where the premium high-street shops are based. Again, the prime locations inside the glass atriums are dominated by the likes of Paul Smith, Armani and Hugo Boss, but this gives way to more affordable brands further into the mall. Both Gap and H&M – among many others – have massive shops on this floor offering more everyday items for price-conscious shoppers who still demand cutting-edge style. It’s also worth keeping your eyes peeled for seasonal sales throughout the mall as you might get lucky and bag yourself a designer bargain.

The Second and Third floors are dedicated to Lifestyle and Leisure with a mixture of beauty salons, home technology, up-market home furnishing showrooms, luxury car marques – including a jaw-dropping Lamborghini display, and the biggest and best stocked foreign-language bookshop in Bangkok: Kinokunia. For those in the market for the latest audio equipment, both Bang & Olufsen and Bose have their Thai showrooms on the Second Floor with complete ranges of products for both personal and professional use. The bustling crowds start to thin out up here as there are fewer window-shoppers, and it’s a good place to take a break at one of the several cafes dotted along the thoroughfares, allowing time to recover from the lively crowds below and appreciate the stylish and refined décor.

As well as a growing number of restaurants and eateries over-spilling from the mammoth Ground Floor Gourmet Paradise (scroll down for more details), the Fourth Floor contains most of the I.T. and electronic goods any shopper is likely to need. While it’s true some items might be found cheaper elsewhere, at Siam Paragon you are guaranteed all the latest technology, first-rate advice, customer service, and help with set-up and configuration for the technophobes. It gives peace of mind that most shops are official dealers, and products are always genuine, unlike at some other malls. Also on the Fourth Floor is an assortment of bespoke stores selling all manner of silk products, handicrafts, top-of-the-range aromatherapy oils and other souvenir-type goods.

Somewhat confusingly, the level attached to the skywalk is called the Main Floor, despite it being one above the ground, and the floors above that are then the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, up to the 5th, which is taken up by the Cineplex and its 15 large size theaters including IMAX, Blue-O Rhythm and Bowl, and the Royal Paragon Exhibition Hall. It’s advisable to ask for a map at one of the numerous information counters to quickly gather your bearings.

It is a joint venture by Siam Piwat, the company that owns the adjacent Siam Center/Siam Discovery shopping malls, and The Mall Group, which also owns The Emporium. Siam Paragon’s financial results are not reported by the privately-held Siam Paragon Development.

Siam Paragon is on Rama I Road in Pathum Wan District, adjacent to other shopping areas. It is next door to Siam Center and Siam Discovery Center and opposite Siam Square. MBK Center is also nearby. An elevated walkway beneath the BTS Skytrain tracks links Siam Paragon to the Ratchaprasong intersection, where CentralWorld, Gaysorn and several other shopping malls and hotels are located.

BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit and Silom Lines – Siam station has a skybridge linked to Siam Paragon’s M floor.

Parking – 100,000 square metres, accommodating 4,000 cars.

Booking.com

EMPORIUM & EMQUARTIER BANGKOK

Emporium is a luxury shopping mall in Khlong Toei district, Bangkok, Thailand. It opened in 1997. It is owned and operated by The Mall Group, who also operate the EmQuartier and Siam Paragon malls in Bangkok.

It is on Sukhumvit Road at Sukhumvit Soi 24 beside Benchasiri Park. It is connected directly to the Phrom Phong Station on the Sukhumvit Line of the BTS Skytrain by a footbridge.

Emporium is a major component of the “EM District” and contains a shopping mall, department store, a luxury cinema “Emprivé Cineclub by SF Corporation”, a high-end supermarket, food court, office building, exhibition hall, children’s play centres and a hotel. Emporium is a popular hub for entertainment, food, and education for local residents and visitors. With direct access from the BTS at Phrom Pong, Emporium Shopping Mall is filled with glamorous boutiques selling both international and Thai designer brands. On the first floor you will find the usual suspects: Dior, Hermes, Chanel and more, but head up into Emporium’s department store to discover some fabulous Thai fashion including names such as Sretsis, It Happens to be a Closet and Disaya. Other Thai brands we love are Greyhound for eating and clothing and Ginger for colourful home decor and accessories. Emporium Shopping Mall isn’t just about clothes shopping; it is also a great place to buy homeware and gadgets, with almost an entire floor dedicated to laptops, photography and mobile phones.

Opening Hours: 9.00-21.00 Location: Sukhumvit Soi 24/26

The shopping complex is linked to the EmQuartier and BTS Skytrain, Phrom Phong Station.

Emporium Tower – A multi-purpose building 41 floors high. It consists of two parts: Emporium office building & Emporium Suites By Chatriu.

EmQuartier Bangkok opened in March 2015, and is part of The Mall Group’s multi-billion-baht ‘EM District’ project to transform Phrom Phong into one of the biggest retail hubs of the city. You may have already heard of or visited the popular Emporium Shopping Mall – the new EmQuartier mall stands tall on the opposite side of Sukhumvit Road. Expect to find a long list of designer brands at the new EmQuartier Bangkok, as well as a distinctly futuristic design with dozens of restaurants, offices, event halls and a cool atrium garden – complete with a waterfall. There’s also direct access from Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain and a link to the original Emporium mall across the road.

Shopping options at EmQuartier definitely lean towards the more luxury side of Bangkok’s booming mall scene, with designers like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Valentino and Fendi all opening up on the ground or second floor spaces. However, as you head up to the higher levels, expect a mix or more affordable high street brands such as Zara, Uniqlo, H&M, Gap and Super Dry, as well as a good selection of homegrown brands, including Fly Now, Greyhound, Kloset and Soda. There’re a whopping 400 labels in total over 4,000 square metres of floor space. The design of EmQuartier Bangkok is nothing short of impressive, with giant glass panels fronting the mall and its sweeping futuristic floors enclosing a cool outside concourse space. There’s also plenty of grass, plants and trees added to each level; a much needed dose of greenery in the dense concrete jungle that is Sukhumvit Road, and also fitting-in nicely with the nearby Benjasiri Park. The mall is split up into three different zones, one of which is actually in a separate building connected by several walkways. These include ‘The Glass Quartier’, ‘The Helix Quartier’ (where you’ll find almost 50 restaurants by heading up an impressive spiral walkway) and ‘The Waterfall Quartier’, which, true to its name, is fronted by a modestly-sized waterfall in a pretty cool central atrium area – which is already proving EmQuartier’s most popular selfie spot.

 

MBK:

MBK Center, also known as Mahboonkrong (Thai: มาบุญครอง), is a large shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand. At eight stories high, the center contains around 2,000 shops, restaurants and service outlets, including the 4-story Tokyu department store.

The MBK Center management reports daily visitor numbers of more than 100,000, half of whom are young Thai people and a third foreign visitors. The multi-storey MBK is probably Bangkok’s most legendary shopping mall, popular with both tourists and locals. Eight floors packed with 2,000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs. MBK (launched in 1986) offers a mind-boggling range of goods spread over 89,000 square metres and is considerably less expensive. You’ll find entire floors dedicated to shoes and handbags, fashion and clothing, mobile phones and furniture. Like every shopping complex in Bangkok, there is an enormous food court with lots of affordable and yummy Thai and International food to choose from. The top floor comprises of an entertainment complex boasting plush cinemas, modern karaoke facilities, a computer games arcade and plenty of other restaurants and fast food choices.

Many stores selling authentic merchandise are also available. MBK Center is connected to the Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon shopping mall by elevated walkways, both of which are more upscale and have only authentic goods.

MBK Center is located in Pathum Wan district, on the southwest corner of the intersection of Rama I Road and Phaya Thai Road. It is close to Siam Square, which can be reached from the second floor via a covered pedestrian bridge over Phaya Thai Road, and Siam Centerand Siam Paragon, which are across Rama I Road from Siam Square. The mall is just next to Supachalasai National Stadium complex.

TERMINAL 21:

Terminal 21 brings the dream of traveling the world to downtown Bangkok, with its cutting-edge concept that places several world-famous cities under one roof. Find yourself wandering around a maze of shops in Tokyo City, sauntering down London’s Carnaby Street, bagging a bargain in an Istanbul zouk, or shopping for something to fill your growling stomach at the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

Part of the same building as Grande Centre Point Sukhumvit, Terminal 21’s curvilinear glass-and-steel façade resembles a 21st-century airport, and the theme continues once you step inside. The floor signs that signal the arrivals in particular cities, a crisscrossing network of escalators, electronic display boards that bring to mind flight information displays at an airport terminal and the information desk receptionists donning air hostesses’ uniforms – these are all part of the shopping experience at Terminal 21. Lifestyle mall with a personality The nine floors at Terminal 21 house some 600 shops, a Cineplex, Gourmet Market (supermarket) and a food court with all kinds of mouthwatering Thai and international fare. The basement level (LG) has a Caribbean theme and is where you will find the Gourmet Market, take-away food outlets, market-style food vendors as well as banks and bookstores. Take an escalator up one level and the ground floor (G) brings you to Rome, with all kinds of international and local fashion labels such as Kipling, Fox, CC:OO, Nike, Jaspal, Adidas, Levi’s, and more. Paris on M floor takes you to the Champs-Élysées, where more fashion brands await your discovery. The 1st to 3rd floors are home to smaller shops by local independent labels. Women’s fashion is found on the 1st floor (Tokyo) and men’s on the 2nd floor (London). The 3rd floor (Istanbul) is for gifts, jewellery, fashion accessories, toys, beauty products and home décor. With an eclectic collection of shops, this floor has a look and feel of a Middle Eastern zouk but with a modern twist.

Haven for food lovers Now to the main highlight, San Francisco on the 4th and 5th floors, where you will find more than 50 restaurants and cafés vying for your attention. Both restaurant chains and independent outlets are represented here, among them Pepper Lunch, MK, Chabuton, Dory Seafood Bistro, Secret Recipe, Tohkai Yakiniku, Tony Roma’s, Fuji, Ootoya, The Canton House, Baanying Café and Swensen’s. If you like a food court experience, head up to Pier 21 on the 5th floor. This is perhaps the best food court in town in terms of price, taste and variety. Find everything from dim sum to grilled seafood (fast food style), Hainanese chicken rice to delicious phad thai, roast duck noodles to vegetarian ready-to-eats. Don’t forget to leave some room for desserts, as there’s mango sticky rice, shaved ice dessert, ice creams, and more.

 

PLATINUM FASHION MALL:

Platinum Fashion Mall is like an indoor version of the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It specialises in wholesale fashion clothing and accessories, with four floors of shopping space, packed with some 1,300 shops. Here, haggling is part of the fun, and you’ll save more buying in larger quantities.

Platinum Fashion Mall location is smack in the centre of Pratunam, a 10-minute walk from either Ratchathewi or Chidlom BTS Skytrain, so it is easily accessible when compared to other clothing bazaars of the same scale. Plus, it’s air conditioned and comes complete with a large food court as well as cafés and fast food chains. There’s even a four-star hotel, Novotel Bangkok Platinum, on top. Talking about a one-stop shopping for reasonably-priced clothes and accessories, Platinum Fashion Mall is your best bet.

There’s not much to the concept; it’s a wholesale shopping mall filled with small outlets, selling mostly women’s fashion and accessories. Each floor of Platinum Fashion Mall is named after famous shopping districts around the world, namely Orchard, Nathan, Ginza, Soho, Oxford and Camden. Roughly, the four floors of retail shopping space are dedicated to men’s and women’s clothing, leathers, shoes and fashion accessories. The range of styles and what’s available is more than impressive. Find everything from children’s wear, adolescent clothing, jeans, evening dresses, underwear and oversized clothing to wigs, belts, shoes, handbags, hats and cosmetics. Specialty shops are interesting too, with imported fashion from Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, China, India, as well as niche fashion, such as oversized clothes, elderly lady’s fashion, chiffon dresses, cowboy clothes, costumes, and more. Basically, you can find anything to embellish yourself with from head to toe, so it’s a good idea to do some mixing and matching in your head as you browse along. And don’t hesitate to buy when you see something that you like or you may not find it again.

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00

Location: Petchburi, Ratchathewi (next to Pantip Plaza)

BTS: The nearest Skytrain station is Chidlom (but not really walking distance, you wll need a taxi or tuk tuk)

CENTRAL WORLD:

Central World mega-shopping complex offers one of the most exciting shopping experiences in Bangkok. It has everything from brand name clothing boutiques, funky fashion, high-tech gadgets, bookshops and designer furniture to imported groceries, a lineup of banks, beauty salons, gourmet eateries and even an ice-skating rink. With so many tantalising options to explore, you could easily spend half a day here without realising it. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has experienced the incredible size of Central World that this is, in fact, the largest mall in Thailand and among the largest in the world. We think it’s safe to say that if you are looking for a shopping fix in Bangkok this place will deliver.

Occupying some 550,000 square metres of retail space and a total area size of 830,000 square metres – that is 30% larger than any other shopping centre in central Bangkok – CentralWorld has a range of offerings that encompass more than 500 stores, 100 restaurants and cafes, 15 cinemas, Kids’ Zone and Learning Centre(Genius Planet Zone), two anchor department stores, as well as a trendy food court, an expansive supermarket and an outdoor square for large-scale events like Bangkok’s official New Year countdown party. The location is slap-bang in the heart of the Chidlom ‘battleground of the malls’ with direct Skytrain (BTS) access and home to the two famous shrines, Erawan Shrine and Trimurti Shrine.

CentralWorld’s retail layout is influenced by the shopping street concept, allowing shoppers to spec several storefronts at a glance, whilst its overall design has placed a lot of emphasis on natural light / daylight that filters through the many skylights and open wells. Spectacular sculptures by famous artists are used as decoration features, and a glass mobile consisting of 3,500 glass balls hanging in an open well has had the crowds in awe. Specialised anchor ‘mega-stores’ – measuring between 2,000 and 8,200 square metres – include SuperSports, PowerBuy, B2S, Central Food Hall, SB Furniture and Toys ‘R’ Us. The department store Zen spans seven floors, while Zen World on 13 floors offer a fitness centre, spa, yoga, beauty centre, as well as an educational and tourist promotion centre. Among the 500 world-class stores count 35 flagship brands like Zara, Miss Sixty and Timberland, and 36 ‘first stores’ – the likes of the Japanese brand Uniqlo and the English brand Next.

Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00

Location: Ratchaprasong Intersection, opposite Gaysorn and Erawan BTS: Chidlom, Siam

Tel: + 66 (0) 264-7000

CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET:

Once only popular among wholesalers and traders, Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees – this is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’. The 35-acre (68-rai) area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer. Veteran shoppers would agree that just about everything is on sale here, although not all at the best bargain rates. But if you have one weekend in Bangkok, squeeze in a day trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market and you will not be disappointed.

For first-timers, ‘conquering’ Chatuchak may seem like an impossible task, but worry not. There is a system to help you navigate your way through Chatuchak. Inside, one main walkway encircles the entire market, and it branches off into a series of numbered alleyways called Soi 1, Soi 2, Soi 3, and so on. These alleyways are grouped into sections, with 27 sections in all. You will find more than one category of goods contained in one section, and the same category of goods will appear again in the other sections. In terms of locating your category of goods, this system is rather useless; but it will come in handy when you try to locate your particular stall or where your exact location is on the Chatuchak map. Another way to find your way around Chatuchak is to find points of reference as you go along. The BTS and MRT stations as well as banks and numbered entrance gates are good points of references, as you will come across them as you turn corners. Then again, use the map to locate these references to find your correct orientation.

If you can dream it up, Chatuchak probably has it. Here, you will be amazed at the sheer variety of merchandise, whether a Moroccan lamp, an antique wooden chest, a pair of vintage Levi’s jeans, or, on the exotic side, a python. Although it’s impossible to name all, the selection of goods being offered at Chatuchak can be roughly divided into 11 categories: Clothing & Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26) Handicrafts (sections 8-11) Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25) Furniture and Home Decoration (sections 1,3,4,7,8) Food and Beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27) Plants and Gardening tools (sections 3, 4) Art and Gallery (section 7) Pets and Pet Accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13) Books (sections 1, 27) Antiques and Collectibles (sections 1, 26) Miscellaneous and Used Clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26) When buying goods at Chatuchak, particularly ‘antiques’, it is wise to exercise a few precautions. Check your goods thoroughly to see whether there is any damage, as many vendors sell factory rejects. For ‘antiques’, don’t trust the vendor when he tells you it is genuine. It’s better to bring along an expert, unless you are happy with what you are paying for.

Few people go to Chatuchak knowing exactly what they want or which stall to go to. Many expect to be surprised and let the sights of all the goods take them through a journey down the maze of stalls. Most often, shoppers arrive with a rough idea of what they want, then are hypnotised by what they see and end up going home with more than a few extra shopping items. So, the best advice is, if you are going for the first time, to pick a starting point then just follow your instincts, enjoy the experience and bring home your exciting new finds.

How to get there:
Hop on the skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit station, take exit no. 1 and follow the crowd until you see rows of canvas stalls selling clothes. Turn right while continuing to follow the crowd and you will see a small entrance that leads into the market (clothing section).

Another option is to take the subway (MRT) to Chatuchak Park station (exit no.1), then follow the crowd until you arrive at the small entrance that leads into the market (clothing section). For the plant and flower section, get off at Kampheng Phet MRT station (exit no. 1).

The weekend market is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 09:00 – 18:00, and Fridays 18:00 – 24:00. Plant sections are also open on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 07:00 – 18:00.

PLEASE READ OUR BLOG FOR MANY MORE SHOPPING MALLS