Thursday, 17 September 2015

Mia's Bangkok Travelogue: Shopping Places

In the last post of my Bangkok travelogue, I'm finally going to share with you on my own list of recommended shopping places to go, if you're keen on some extremely inexpensive buys. 
Yeah, I know. You've had enough of animals, yes?

So, after 3 Bangkok trips over the years with itinerary being shopping, shopping, and more shopping (okay, I exaggerated. I did cafe-hop and visited Kanchanaburi along the way too) I think I can roughly put up a small list for all you shopaholics' consideration. 

Let's get started with the list of To Gos

1. Pratunam Market
-credits to skyscanner.com.sg-

For absolutely cheap apparels, pratunam market is the place you definitely need to visit! A wholesale market, prices generally go down significantly if you take a minimum of 3 pieces per stall. Some stallholders are a little more strict and limit it to the same design as well, so if you happen to travel with another 2 or more friends, say hello to effortless, ridiculously cheap apparels.
Any attempts to slash prices or ask for discounts will get you a, "3 piece, 180 Baht." So yes, save your efforts and just grab that 3 pieces instead.
The place is packed, stuffy and hot, with no air-conditioning, so do pack a bottle of water to hydrate yourself and perhaps, a portable fan for some comfort if the weather gets unbearable.
The market claims to be opened for 24 hours but for apparel shopping, do keep your visit timing from 10am to 9pm.

To get to Pratunam Market, the nearest BTS station will either be Ratchathewi or Phayathai and head towards the Baiyoke Towers.

2. Chatuchak Weekend Market

-credits to www.chatuchak.org-

The CTC weekend market has reached a landmark status and is definitely a must-visit place for all tourists. The 35-acre area is home to more than 8000 stalls that sells almost everything. The usual fashion apparels, to crafts, home & living, and even pets! It's really impossible to name all, but the selection of goods offered at CTC can be roughly divided into the following categories:
1. Clothings & Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26)
2. Handicrafts (sections 8-11)
3. Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
4. Furniture and Home Decor (sections 1, 3, 4, 7, 8)
5. Food and Beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27)
6. Plants and Gardening (sections 3, 4)
7. Art Gallery (section 7)
8. Pets and Pets Accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13)
9. Books (sections 1, 27)
10. Antiques and Collectibles (sections 1, 26)
11. Misc. and Used Clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)

While it might seem like a major maze that puts the Maze Runner to shame, conquering the CTC isn't impossible, even for a first-time visitor. Just remember to grab a copy of the map, and bear in mind that there's only 1 main walkway that encircles the entire market while branching into the small numbered alleyways. Or, if all else fails, head back into the main walkway (the "open") and look for the guards on duty to give you a more detailed direction. 

While some sites claim that CTC is opened on Friday night, I'll highly recommend that you visit on the weekends instead as what's open on Friday night are only the stalls that line the main walkway. It's still enough to give you a few bags full of bargained goods, in 1 to 2 hours work though. But why settle for 2 hours when you can shop for (at least) 4 to 6 hours? 

To get to CTC, simply hop onto the BTS and get to Mo Chit station and just follow the crowd. This method will absolutely NOT fail you, even on Friday night, unless you decided to visit on a Thursday instead. 

3. Rod Fai Market
-credits to bangkok.com-

Apparently, the original Rod Fai market garnered a huge reputation when it was still at its former location next to the train tracks behind CTC market. Subsequently, due to expansion of the BTS, it was forced to move in 2013 and returned at their new location beside Seacon Square Mall and is bigger and better than ever. Although there's no more train tracks, there's definitely more market space for traders to sell a vast array of goods, ranging from fashion apparel to vintage collectibles.

If you're planning to visit Rod Fai, please DO NOT take your dinner before coming as there's an entire row of cool restaurants that line the route into the bazaar section of the market as you walk in from Seacon Square. There's so many restaurants I'll love to try, but because I had my dinner before visiting, I ended up not trying any. And restaurants aside, there's also many snack stalls over at the open air bazaar section, so do not fear about any lack of food!

Now, showcasing the food I've had that night I was there at Rod Fai...

 Egg-Sausage
chicken franks enveloped in egg, drenched in teriyaki sauce and then sprinkled with shredded seaweed


 BBQ Scallops
 fresh scallops on shell, grilled with thick layer of cheese and sprinkled with chopped spring onions


 And there's the Jeju Soft Serve Ice Cream too!

And even French Macarons, which was pretty disappointing.
I'll suggest that you don't buy them. Heh!

Rod Fai Market is open every Thursday to Sunday, from sunset to midnight. To get there, just hope on to a taxi and get to Seacon Square Shopping Mall (the market is located behind the mall). However, if avoiding the massive traffic jam is a must, you can take the BTS to Udom Suk and try to grab a taxi from there. I know some tourist-sites suggest On Nut, which was where I alighted on my way over, but I find that it was still pretty far (chalked up 100 over, almost 200 baht taxi fare on meter) and when we left for our hotel, asking the taxi driver to get us to the nearest BTS, it took us barely 10 minutes and only 80 baht on meter to get to Udom Suk.
  
4. Siam Square
-credits to bangkoksite.com-

Siam is known to be one the more expensive shopping place and I'm not going to refute that. Apparels here are really way more expensive than the cheap finds you can get at the markets, but I'm highly recommending this are due to 2 (or 3) places.

1. A&W (for lunch!)
If you're Singaporean, you'll know that if you ever see A&W overseas, you WILL eat it. So head down to Siam Square for a day of endless shopping and have your favourite curly fries and root beer float while you give your tired legs a break

2. Siam Square One
Home to Hello Kitty Cafe Bangkok, this will naturally make Siam Square One a must visit for all HK fans out there. In addition to the cafe, there's also a wacoal store here for you to buy up your 1 year worth of lingerie supply at one go. In addition to the original cheap pricing of Wacoal in Bangkok, it so happened that Wacoal is having a store sale when I visited, so I ended up bagging home 4 sets at the price of (perhaps) 1 set in Singapore!

3. Eve and Boy
-picture credits to Lala Totem-

The most apt description I can give to Eve & Boy is, the Bangkok/Asian version of Sephora. So all you beauty junkies out there, remember to drop by and take a look for yourself.
There was really SO MANY items I wanted to buy because everything felt so affordable. But due to worries of an overweight luggage, I only bought one bag full of products in the end.

Locating Eve & Boy might be a little tricky as I only found it during my 2nd visit. Just remember to turn to your right as you exit Siam Square One to the streets of Siam Square and head all the way down until you see Watsons and Eve & Boy should be nearby.

On a side note, I've heard from multiple sources that MBK is also a good place for affordable shopping but over the 3 times I've visited Bangkok, I actually didn't get to shop at MBK. Next time, perhaps?

Then, let's move on to the No Gos

1. Platinum Mall

-credits to platinumfashionmallbangkok.com-

Well, add on aircon to pratuman market and you end up paying almost twice the price. Go or no go for you?

I do admit that there's much more variety of goods at Platinum Mall, but what they have to offer in terms of quality and designs of their fashion apparels is really not that different from what you can find at Pratunam Market. So just grab your portable fan, water bottle and brace yourself for the heat in exchange for a much more money-saving shopping spree just across the road.

2. Asiatique
-credits to bangkoknightmarket.com-

For a chillax night out, drinking beer by the river and munching on a plate of raw oyster, Asiatique will be the place for you to visit. But when it comes to shopping, I'll say it's better elsewhere. Even though you may find some unique pieces over here, the price that comes along with it really wouldn't justify for the quality you get. So while you 'splurge' on a few pieces here and there, do bear in mind not to overspend.

 And because I mentioned beers and oysters...

The day was too cloudy for me to enjoy a beautiful sunset but hey, the Hoegaarden Rose was just pure awesome!

T had a great time gobbling down these oysters. Pricey, but it's okay to splurge once in a while, especially when you're on holiday, right?

T also bought me a Doraemon balloon, which unfortunately, has to be left in the hotel when we left Bangkok for our return. 

So this concludes my humble list of shopping places - to go and not to go in Bangkok. Feel free to leave me a comment for shopping places you'll recommend in Bangkok!

Till then,
Mia Foo

18 comments:

  1. I'm always happy to find such recommendations for my travels. I too love to go shopping while travelling - not necessarily a lot, but I book a day for shopping. You may never know what treasures you find, right? :D

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  2. I am not much of a bargain shopper so places like this do not interest me. I do not like haggling. I would rather shop in a mall and get it quickly over with.

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    Replies
    1. I do not haggle too. if it's too expensive I'll just walk away.

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  3. I would probably enjoy the night markets the most! Those are so colorful and full of life. Their food looks amazing!

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  4. Thank you for the information. I surely would take note about this.

    Kai, www.lilpink.info

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  5. I totally love bargain shopping! The night markets seem so interesting too! Hopefully I will get to travel there one day!

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  6. I love night markets. Didn't know Bangkok has one too. I alwats wanna go there. Heard a lot of good food. Bookmarking this for future reference.

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  7. I loved going to pratunam market and the night market it was lovely walking on the street leisurely.I find malls slightly expensive paying extra for the same clothes.

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  8. Chatuchak is my favorite!!! A little overwhelming for me AND my pockets though.

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  9. Typical me, zoning in on the food at Rod Fai, those BBQ Scallops looks absolutely scrumptious! Will take your list in mind when I visit Bangkok for a shopping spree! Thanks Mia!

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  10. Ah!!! I love Bangkok! Its food and shopping haven without injuring my wallet. The place I usually go to is Pratunam Market, Platinum Mall and those malls around that areas. Lots of stuff and clothes to buy at good price.

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  11. I've actually been to Platinum Mall before and I actually liked it. The variety is better than in Pratunam, but yes, it does get more expensive but if you keep haggling and tell them it's for business, they would lower the price down. I'd also suggest Platinum to people who don't like crowded, humid, hot markets like Pratunam and CTC.

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    Replies
    1. it's stressful to keep bargaining too. so for me, i'll rather bear the heat. plus, with the difference in their pricing, you really gotta bargain real hard to match what you can get at pratunam. i'm saying this is because i've seen the exact same pair of skinny jeans at both platinum and pratunam. the wholesale price of it at platinum is the retail price of it at pratunam. but, that's just one example of the biggest price difference i've noticed.

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  12. Bangkok is a shopping haven. It's nice that you've simplified the sites and attractions here.

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  13. I went Eve and Boy too, but I tried converting the products into sing dollars, I don't think they are cheap! Maybe you are referring to their local products? But all in all, these are the legit places which do have plenty of stuff for people to explore.

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    Replies
    1. yup, I'm referring to the brands you don't find in sg. heh! if I can find them in sg, even if they're cheaper by a few dollars I also won't buy... too heavy to carry back.

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  14. Last year, my mom and I were planning to go to Bangkok but for some reason, our trip didn't push through. But during planning process, we did include Rod Fair Market as one of our must visit since we heard so many cool shopping experience there. I hope we can finally visit Bangkok soon.

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  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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