When you hear the name Bangkok, I think the activity of shopping straightaway pops into our heads, right? The capital of Thailand has become synonymous to shopping. With leading retail websites also providing clothing shipped all the way from Bangkok, it is no surprise that when one visits the city they set out a good amount of time for shopping. Even if you aren’t a shopping addict yourself, there would be someone or the other in your life who upon hearing of your Bangkok plans would have quipped, “Oooh yes, you must shop in Bangkok!”. So, be it for yourself or souvenirs for friends and family, the likelihood of shopping when in Bangkok is a strong one. And, when you find yourself in a city where you are spoilt for choice for markets to go shopping, I guess we could all lead a little guidance or divulging of information for the better picks to opt for. Ta da, presenting you the best places to head for some street shopping fun in Bangkok!
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Note: This is a weekend market and remains open only on Saturdays and Sundays.
Heading to Chatuchak for shopping is an activity that requires preparation. Wear a nice pair of sturdy shoes, stay hydrated and get into a full-blown shopping mood! Ah, sorry, does it sound like I’m sending you into battle? Actually, this market has over 15,000 booths sprawling and spreading across its 27 sections, thus, the sheer size of it demands that you be well-prepared for your visit! You cannot complete going through the entire market in one day, so, make sure to pick exactly what areas you wish to target as different sections are dedicated to specific items on one’s list. Clothes, jewellery, footwear, home décor, stationery, furniture, electronics, etc., you name it, they’ve got it. Don’t you worry, they hand out maps for your help and benefit so that you don’t get lost within this shopping kingdom. Plus, there’s a massage parlour too where you can rejuvenate to keep yourself going. 😉
My dear supporters of Sarojini Nagar in Delhi, meet its counterpart all the way in Bangkok. The only reason why Pratunam is more popular even with Indians is on account of the fact that the market area is cleaner and that it gets the designs and trends sooner. Pratunam is also known for having a massive mall bearing the same name but it’s the market right outside it that has gained itself quite a name. After all, there’s something about street shopping, right? When you have clothes on your mind, you can head to Pratunam for rows after rows, lanes after lanes stacked with clothes. However, I do have to warn you that the clothing sizes you will find all over Bangkok are quite limited, so, you’ll have to leave it a little bit up to luck when you head here!
Asiatique The Riverfront
A market sitting on the sides of Chao Phraya River, sounds scenic, doesn’t it? Well, I hate to burst your bubble but it isn’t scenic, not unless you find rows of shopping booths a scenic sight because that you will! The riverside used to once be a major trading port but has now evolved into a hustling bustling market area where one can reach not just by road but even by hopping on a boat! Over the last decade or so, the culture of “night markets” has really picked up in Bangkok. A night market isn’t simply an area to shop but it comes with musical elements, good food, eateries and a certain air of liveliness overall. With 1,500 stores and 40 restaurants spoiling you, you will also find some or the other form of nightly entertainment over here.
Rot Fai Srinakarin
Speaking of night markets, meet the Rot Fai Night Market of Bangkok. A meringue of colours come to life with business and activity running replete, that’s what you can expect at this market. Here you can shop items such as daily use items, household good, kids’ toys to even homeware stuff. Bargaining is a pretty common affair when you’re shopping in Bangkok, so, let out your inner Monisha Sarabhai. But be careful as there is a fine line till which you can bargain here or else the shopkeepers tend to get offended, so, exercise caution, my dear shopaholics. Shopping here isn’t a constant go, go, go, kind of affair. Its more along the lines of shop a bit, snack a bit on one of the stalls, shop again and then repeat, so, enjoy for yourself a night of leisurely shopping.
If bulk shopping is on your mind, then Sampeng is a good pick to go with. It is known as a wholesale market packed with food items, snacks, hair accessories, handbags, gifting items, toys and what not. This market is also believed to be quite the favourite amongst shopkeepers who purchase goodies in bulk here, import it to their home country and then sell it there in huge numbers. With this one though I must give you a forewarning that what’s described as a market is actually Sampeng Lane or Soi Wanit 1, so, while the shopping avenues are plenty, they all come lined up in narrow lanes one after the other. Thus, for the ones who are quick to feeling claustrophobic this is not an advisable one. For the others, shop away!
So, tell me, what are your “shop till you drop” eyes eyeing first and foremost?!