It’s that time of the year again when a much-needed holiday beckons! You may not have admitted this to anyone yet, but you know your favourite part of any vacation is the shopping. Taking aimless strolls around the streets, perusing the goods unique to that place, observing what locals buy, picking up a smattering of local language to bargain, you can’t get enough of it. So why not take a vacation to do what you love the most, which is to shop?
Vacation with just a day set aside for shopping is passé. For the real deal, try going on a ‘shopcation’, a vacation that’s purely for the shopping. Put on your walking shoes and explore a new city the way you want to. And the treasures you lovingly collect during your shopcation? Those will give you priceless memories for a lifetime.
Why you should shop in Bangkok
1. To get everything under the sun
A pair of limited edition trainers, a rare Buddhist antiquity, Feng Shui charms, designer jewelry, or even exotic vegetables, Bangkok is a great place to shop. Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Versace, YSL, Swarovski, The North Face, Rolex or any other luxurious name, you will find it in the impressively sized malls here.
Not a brand person? Hidden inside the by lanes are hundreds of small boutiques and street hawkers who may not have their names on billboards but whose exquisite wares will be hard to resist.
2. Explore Thai fashion
In the last few years, Thai designers have rocked the fashion world with their designs. From Michelle Obama to Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Lopez, celebrities known for their fashion sense have been spotted in Thai couture.
Discover these talented designers through their outlets. Disaya at Centralworld mall, Sretsis at Siam Paragon mall, and Kloset at Central Chidlom are some of the best homegrown labels.
3. Indulge in night shopping
Don’t we all love establishments that say ‘open 24/7’ on their doors? In Bangkok, the party never ends. Experience the unique concept of night markets like the Rot Fai and Patpong, where you can pick up attractive local goods like handmade crafts, cheap bags, jewelry, and unusual garments. You can also find random but interesting collectors’ items imported from USA, UK, China, Japan etc. Enjoy the food stalls and live music as you stroll through the markets.
Best time to visit Bangkok for shopping
If shopping is on your mind, the best time to visit Bangkok is (drum roll…) anytime! Whether you are looking for an air-conditioned mall experience or the colourful and noisy ambience of the streets, this shopping paradise is exciting no matter when you decide to go there. However, mark the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale, a mega shopping festival held between 15 June and 15 August on your calendar. Participating retailers offer fantastic one-time discounts on their products, a rare opportunity you should not miss. Mall outlets, boutiques, hotels, flights, restaurants, and services also participate in this sale so be prepared to score some great deals.
What to buy
1. Made to order clothes
One of the best features of Bangkok is the enthusiastic (and skilled) tailor that greets you at every street corner. Get yourself measured and be amazed at their quick sewing skills and low stitching costs. This is custom made at its best!
2. Home décor
If you like collecting show pieces for your home, you will end up with some huge shopping bags! From lamp shades, vases, wall hangings, candle holders, curtains, pillow cases, bedsheets, clocks to paintings, you will find novelty items at cheap rates. Try the shops at JJ Plaza and Chatuchak weekend market and give your home a ravishing make-over.
Woven by artists, silk garments are truly special. Quality usually differs according to the price but the best places to buy the authentic ones are Jim Thompson, Exotic Thai at Siam Paragon mall, and the Queen Thai Silk outlet.
Key shopping areas
From uniquely themed malls and departmental stores to commercial complexes and stalls on the street, this is a shopper’s paradise! Visit Terminal 21, a mall with a country theme where you can be mistaken for thinking you are shopping at Tokyo or London high-street. Other prominent malls housing the top names of fashion include the EmQuartier, the Emporium, and K Village. If flea markets and street shopping interest you, you can go to the Chatuchak Weekend market and JJ Green night market.
Here are some great HomeAway choices in the area:
1. Artsy den
This artistic two-bedroom HomeAway is the perfect background for your holiday photographs! It has wooden floors, creatively decorated spaces, and all the comforts you need. Start your day at the gym and end it with a relaxing dip at the pool after a long day of shopping. The stunning Terminal 21 mall, a guaranteed fun shopping excursion, is located nearby.
Average price per night: SGD 128
2. Cozy home
This one-bedroom condo is the perfect little home to stay at. Tastefully furnished, it has a kitchen, refrigerator, and microwave to make meal times at home easy. Stroll around the garden or continue your fitness routine at the gym. Explore the On Nut night market and some lovely restaurants and department stores nearby.
Average price per night: SGD 50
3. Resort home
If you are the kind that loves a resort ambience with pools, slides, tennis courts, sauna baths and a dedicated children’s play area, this three-bedroom place with opulent interiors is for you. With plenty of space to store your luggage, your party of ten will be able to live in comfort. Hop over to the nearby ‘Emporium’. This impressive high-end mall has the best of luxury brands, stunning exhibition space, and a sprawling food court.
Average price per night: SGD 159
4. Two-bedroom retreat
If you like to live in a quiet corner but within the proximity of shopping places, this two bedroom HomeAway for three people is an ideal place to live in. Enjoy a well-equipped home and access to recreational facilities without a cleaning fee. The On Nut BRT is just a few minutes away by walk. You will also find a host of fast food restaurants, cafés, and a 24-hour supermarket close by.
Average price per night: SGD 61
Think of Silom and its vibrant night life comes to mind. The Patpong night market with its lively ambience and sheer variety on offer is a must-see experience even if you are not a big fan of cheap knockoffs. For a conventional air-conditioned shopping experience, try the Silom complex, a haven for some of the best brands in the world. Who doesn’t like a big discount? Don’t forget to visit the Bangkok Fashion outlet, which offers attractive discounts on well-known brands.
These HomeAways will be perfect for your shopcation:
1. Stunning studio apartment
You will be bowled over by the visually stunning complex where this one bedroom studio apartment is located. Enjoy the stay with multiple amenities like a futuristic pool, lush green grass beds, wireless internet and the services of a doorman and villa staff. Interested in blending in? This residential area with its food stalls and local shops can be a fun experience. If due to unavoidable reasons you cannot make the trip, you are eligible to a full refund if intimated five days before arrival. Isn’t that a relief?
Average price per night: SGD 37
2. Exquisite suite
Warm décor, pastel curtains, glossy coffee tables, wooden floor and cabinets, this two-bedroom HomeAway is elegance personified! Enjoy the proximity to the cultural centers and must-see shopping avenues like the impressive Central Embassy, home to the biggest brands. Open up a bottle of wine as you discuss the day’s adventures with your partner or have a relaxed soak in the hot tub. With a full-fledged kitchen and washer/dryer, you can look forward to a memorable stay.
Average price per night: SGD 428
3. Luxurious two-bedroom suite
In this suite, it’s all about the deft touches that makes it so special. The flowers on the table, the organized cutlery, the comfortable lounging chairs, this two bedroom apartment for four has it all. Enjoy wireless internet, a pool, gym, parking and cable tv. Love to have people over? This spacious apartment with villa staff and a chef is perfect for you. You don’t have to go looking for a good suit. Some of the best custom-made tailors in the city are located nearby. Head over to the Central Plaza Rama III for good deals on toys, electronics, and local goods.
Average price per night: SGD 193
4. Sky villa
At this serviced two bedroom penthouse, don’t just aim for the stars, stay there! You want a villa with amenities like a pool, hot tub, gym, washer/dryer and wireless internet, this fits the bill. Enjoy the wide spectrum of quality restaurants and pubs. This area has several luxurious hotels who have their own shopping boutiques selling wellness, local apparel, and specialty goods. You can also visit the nearby Q House Lumpini Life Center mall and the bustling Susan Plu indoor market for a taste of local groceries.
Average price per night: SGD 116
Siam is at the heart of mall paradise. From the renowned Siam Paragon, known for its premium stores and Siam Centre where you can find some great Thai brands to the MBK, the traditionally popular mall selling a wide range of goods, you will love it here. The biggest mall of them all is the Central World whose vast spaces, entertainment options, food, and of course shops are a real treat. The title for the most sophisticated mall goes to Gayscorn. With its impressive premises and luxurious outlets of top apparel, shoes, bags, watches and jewelry brands, this one has a ‘wow’ written all over it.
Interested to stay in Siam? Here are the HomeAways we recommend:
1. Home with a spectacular view
With a breathtaking view from the 22nd floor, there is really no better way to experience the sights and sounds of this live wire city. Consisting of one bedroom and accommodating upto three guests, this fully loaded apartment comes with all home appliances and shared recreational facilities. It is located near the Old Siam Plaza and is close to several popular boutiques and departmental stores.
Average price per night: SGD 80
2. Peaceful nest
Hidden in a calm pocket of a bustling area, this one bedroom HomeAway gives you the quiet you need. But you needn’t think this is far out. The BRT is accessible with a short walk from here, making it an ideal location during an exhausting shopcation. This place promises to give you a panoramic view of the city. Tennis, pool, foosball, table tennis, air hockey and a spacious play area for kids, you are sure to be entertained during your stay here. Walk over to the supermarkets, boutiques, and tailor shops nearby and enjoy the flavour of local shopping.
Average price per night: SGD 75
1. They may not have the flair and amenities of the big malls but small stores selling export garments of brands like Gap, Armani and Levi’s offer great value.
2. Love high-end electronics but have a tight budget? Check out MBK center in Siam for pre-used products.
3. Thailand is famous for its beautiful flowers. From orchids, roses and lilies to marigolds and jasmine along with a host of other varieties, you can buy a bouquet for amazingly cheap rates. The Pak Klong Talat flower market in Chinatown is your best bet.
4. Here’s a tasty souvenir for home – Thai Good Luck desserts that are gold coloured desserts made of egg yolk, sugar, flour, and coconut. They are available in most departmental stores.
5. If your shopping will take you to multiple points across the city, take a BTS Rabbit card, which is economical and can be used to travel to all train stations.
Looking for more options to stay in Bangkok? Check out these great ones! And to sweeten the deal on your shopcation, use the promo code SHOP17 to get 5% discount on HomeAway properties.
HomeAway is the world leader in vacation rentals. The HomeAway network of sites represent more than 1.2 million listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries and is part of the Expedia group family of brands. Visit www.homeaway.com.sg or download the HomeAway app to choose the ideal holiday homes and homestays for your next holiday.