Co-written by Dawn Pillay, Shannon Osztonits
Everyone goes to Bangkok for a shopping spree, us included.
True story, I’m always struggling to fit my purchases into my huge luggage – and it all becomes one big game of Tetris when it’s time to leave Bangkok.
We have to apologise, this story will make it even harder for you to pack your luggage. After seeing all these shopping havens, you might even have to consider adding baggage weight before you fly back!
These are 5 shopping malls that are tested and proven to be great for the real shopaholics out there. Whether you’re looking to drop your shopping money on quality but affordable mid-range designer goods at Terminal 21, or if you’re the type who truly wants more bang for your buck – cheap clothes in bulk that look great at Union Mall…
These 5 shopping malls will cater for any shopaholic who knows exactly what they’re looking for.
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1. The Japanese craze has arrived and you can shop here 24/7! – Don Don Donki
This Japanese Discount King empire has finally made its way to Thailand, with its first megastore opening up in the shopping capital, Bangkok.
If you’ve ever visited a Don Don Donki in Japan, Hong Kong or Singapore you’ll be thrilled with all the Japanese products they have to offer, many of which you can find now in Bangkok for cheaper than say, in their Singapore store – we’ve done the comparisons!
Bulk stock, indulge and go pretty much nuts; the two-storey supermarket is conveniently divided to make all your grocery, beauty, clothing and merchandise navigating easier.
The first floor is filled with all things foodie, with endless Japanese SNACKS, products and brands. Some of our favourite products we overstocked on included; Hakodate’s Stewed Crab, Hokkaido’s Dry Roasted Scallops, Itsuki’s packets of Ramen and Maruesu’s Cheese & Tara.
The second floor is for all your skincare, beauty and health, as well as a whole bunch of random products and merchandise. It’s like a giant toys aisle, but for adults! There’s just so much to see (and buy), you have to check it out for yourself! You won’t leave empty handed, we promise.
2. Fancy Shmancy for all your designer needs – Central Embassy
Located in the heart of Siam, this modern, eight(!!!) level shopping mall will have your designer hearts fluttering, with names such as Chanel and Saint Laurent floating past your eyes. (What’s affordable here, you say?)
Let’s break it down; the first six levels are dedicated to clothing and lifestyle, home to both international and local designer names, and Floors LG through to Floor 2 is where you’ll spend big bucks.
You can find affordable mid-range designer clothes here, as well as familiar fashion outlets such as TopShop and Zara on level 3. If you make your way up to Level 4, you’ll find all your beauty and lifestyle needs taken care of, plus an allotment of spas.
You’ll also be spoilt for choice, with restaurants, cafes and even a tea room (Level 5+6), but the real show stopper is the mall’s Eathai located on the lower ground floor (LG). Pick and choose between independent stalls (look out for Little Chinatown & their Street Food), they even have a Cooking School down here!
3. For a stress-free shopping and some unique streetwear finds! – The Market Bangkok
One of Bangkok’s latest shopping malls that opened in 2019, we fell in love with the laid-back ambience at this L-shaped shopping complex.
It’s located right next to Big C Supercenter, and has lesser crowds (compared to its famous sister mall, Platinum Mall), which makes it easier to shop and browse!
The lengthier side of the L-shaped building is slightly pricier compared to the shorter side (based on our personal shopping experience).
There’s even a Chatuchak Market section, dedicated to a few beloved market stalls now turned into shops! Epic and guaranteed great finds!
And before you go, do try Go Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice, you won’t be disappointed! There’s also a few cafes around, including the unique Lhong Tou dim sum cafe (the famous original is located in ChinaTown, BKK).
4. From a floating market to gorgeous views, yes, this is a shopping mall – IconSiam
I absolutely love this shopping mall, and this reminds me of some of the ones we have back home in South Africa – it’s actually about the shopping experience.
There’s so much to see, do, eat and shop for, and there’s a great range of different fashion outlets for different budgets, I mean there’s six floors that make up this beauty!
The most affordable thing about IconSiam is something truly special. The ground floor is home to SookSiam, the mall’s very own indoor floating market, and it’s been designed and done so well! It really replicates the setup and feeling of a Thai floating market, with actual artists and vendors selling their treasures, crafts, souvenirs and traditional works.
Head to the first floor for high-end designers, if you’re looking to add to your Chanel collection, darling…The second comprises of your bigger fashion and beauty outlets, and things become a bit more affordable than the first floor.
On the third floor, you’ll find a nice mix of ‘casual’, street/everyday-wear brands such as H&M as well as our beloved Sephora. And whilst you’re up there, step into your Japanese lifestyle haven at Loft, where there’s everything you NEED in this store, but don’t really…
(Speaking of beauty, the amazing UK beauty brand, LUSH, is on the second floor! There’s also a few other Beauty & Cosmetics stores around, and do check out the Korean Cosmetics Corner at Aland (A Korean fashion multi-store brand))
Up you go through the remaining floors, filled with all sorts of shops, things to do (beauty centre, spas, Kids Artclass workshop @ Global Art) and eateries.
Cafes are spread out amongst all levels, but a lot of restaurants and cafes are located on the 6th floor.
PS: If you’re looking for a dining experience, you might wanna head back down to G floor, as there are some fabulous restaurants located here with stunning views of the Chao Praya River.
5. Local prices with a unique variety of designs! – Union Mall
Did you know that Union Mall is one of the malls locals shop at? We saw local girls walking past with their shopping bags while on several trips there. This means good prices (slightly cheaper than Platinum Mall) and unique variety of designs!
Guys, if you’re looking to shop, or accompanying your girlfriend -you’re not forgotten! Here you’ll find men’s clothes, bags and shoes too.
If you’re looking for bridal clothes and accessories, Union Mall has some really great shops with gorgeous bridal dresses for the ladies and suits for the men. There are also stores selling bridal accessories for wedding photo shoots and photo booth props too.
On the 4th floor, walk around and you’ll see lots of little mani-pedi shops offering classic mani-pedis to gel mani-pedis. For those who love a good gel mani-pedi, you have to get your nails done here! A gel manicure costs from 250 Baht! (That’s SGD$10 and MYR30. Crazy.)
There’s also a night market at Union Mall that starts everyday at 6pm! It’s a small-ish student night market, but there’s definitely nice and interesting things on offer. From dog collars to trendy clothes, accessories, sunglasses and more – you won’t walk away without getting something, we’re sure.
Also read: 5 reasons to visit Union Mall near Chatuchak in Bangkok
Price: From 20 Baht (for accessories), 100 Baht (for clothes)
Address: 54 ซอย 1 จอมพล จตุจักร Bangkok 10900, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Getting there: Alight at Phahon Yothin MRT Station, walk out and you will see Union Mall. (It’s located pretty near Chatuchak, so you can choose to combine a visit here with Chatuchak, or not.)
Contact: +66 2 512 5000
Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 10pm
6. ‘Get your fresh fish here, ladies and gentlemen!’ – Central Plaza Mahachai
If you’ve ever visited the famous Mahachai seafood market just 40km outside of Bangkok, you’ll be absolutely thrilled to know that you no longer have to travel outside the city for it.
Built to represent the shape of a fishing boat (going with the ocean theme), it’s not only fishy things you’ll find here, but a mixture of affordable fashion and lifestyle stores too.
But if you’ve come here solely for the food experience, the shopping mall has actually adopted the famous Eataly. (Starting in NYC, the Eataly concept was set to represent an Italian marketplace, and if you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit an Eataly, you’ll be jumping off your chairs at this news!)
At Mahachai’s Eataly, they focus on all things gloriously seafood, and you’ll find it fresh from the port everyday.
Shopping-wise, you’ll find a mix of mostly local and international outlets, and if you’re looking for a bargain – most shops are moderately priced, and you can always expect to find a bargain going on somewhere.
7. The perfect family shopping mall with activities for all ages – Gateway Bangsue
It’s as if this newly opened mall was designed for families, and if you’re travelling to Bangkok with the whole family, especially younger kids… This is a great choice.
Although not massive in size, it’s the perfect size for a fun shopping experience.
Split up by zones (Fashion, Lifestyle Living , Lifestyle Dining & the Play Zone) they’ve cleverly designed the set-up. We were really impressed by how much entertainment they have to offer for kids – so parents can shop stress-free!
The Play Zone is a space set up where children can enjoy music and art classes while mom and dad do their shopping, and apart from this zone, there’s a total of six movie theatres in the mall too.
There’s also tons of different shows and events happening, so be sure to check their FB page to find out what cultural delight they have going on during your stay in the big city!
8. Is this cool or what?! – The Commons Thonglor
Hip, happening, contemporary, and trendsetting-ly cool – just a few adjectives that spring to mind when stepping into this gorgeous community mall, that focuses more on the artsy side of life.
This shopping mall is unlike most in BKK, and feels more like a modern market space set up in a Brooklyn or London loft – if you can picture it all.
If you’re a serious foodie, you’ll be in heaven and there’s a string of artisanal cafes and restaurants to choose from at The Market. The Commons was opened by the owners of Roast, one of our personal favourite speciality coffee shops in the city – and there’s everything from Poke bowls to delicious Hakata-style Ramen.
The Village part of the mall is full of fashion, from vintage stores to florists, and if you’ve bought the kids along, enjoy your time at Play Yard.
Finally, if you’ve shopped till you’re about to drop, or eaten so much you just need some chill time, make use of Top Yard, a dedicated backyard of green grass as well as Roast.
PS: You can even plant a tree up here! Pretty epic if you ask me…
9. Get ahold of the latest fashion trends – Siam Square
Siam Square is filled with various stores that each have their unique charm. From rocker-chic leather and studs at Pony Stone, to soft, pastel vintage – you won’t have to worry about this place not meeting your stylish needs (or demands heh).
The different sois (lanes) within the square feature different types of products. Soi 2 has a majority of accessories.
While you’ll be able to enter shoe heaven at Soi 3.
When you get a little too tired, head on to Soi 6, wherein lies the acclaimed massage parlour Chang Foot Massage.
If you’re the artsy fartsy type (we’re not judging), you’ll definitely enjoy Good Little Space (in Soi 6), which is indeed a good little space in Siam Square. It celebrates creativity and entrepreneurship by renting out spaces to young Thais with big ideas.
Here, you can find interesting fashion, bags, accessories, and also enjoy live music by budding local bands.
Address: 833 Rama 1, Khwaeng Wang Mai, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand, Thailand
Opening hours: 11am – 9pm
10. Immerse yourself in different cultures – Terminal 21
Terminal 21 is where you should go if you’re interested in having a unique shopping experience. Each level in this modern mall is themed according to a different country – and although prices here are generally higher, you’ll still be able to find bargains for as low as 150 Baht.
Friends who tag along sullenly on your shopping trips will also find this mall and its numerous insta-worthy spots infinitely more enjoyable than sweating it out at outdoor markets.
It’s pretty easy to find your way around Terminal 21 if you know what you want – every “country” has their own specialties. You’ll find regular imported brands such as ESPIRIT and Guess at Rome and Paris, while Tokyo features hip, locally designed fashion items.
Your poor husband/boyfriend will also get the chance to upgrade from shopping assistant to head shopper in London, where menswear of all shapes and sizes can be found. (If you’re not a fashion person, skip up to Istanbul, where you can have your pick from a selection of quirky accessories!)
Terminal 21 is also known for the huge array of food available here, so don’t forget to stop by the top floors (San Francisco) and the Pier 21 food court for some wallet-friendly and mouth-watering munchies!
Also read: 8 reasons why Terminal 21 is a must-go for shopaholics in Bangkok
Address: 88 Sukhumvit Soi 19 88 Sukhumvit Rd, North Klongtoei Wattana Bangkok 10110, Thailand Website
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm
11. Prepare to bust your budget – Platinum Fashion Mall
Platinum Mall is a wholesale fashion mall, which means that retail therapy won’t break your bank account here (you can get clothes for around 100-250 Baht per piece).
BUT, that’s only if you buy three or more pieces from the same store, and stop yourself from going on a spree. With that in mind, it’s always better to make the trip with a friend or two.
Platinum Mall has three different zones – Zone 1 and 2 (in Building A) mostly focus on fashion and accessories.
While there are a lot more bags and shoes in Zone 3, which is in Building B.
The fashion style in Building B is mostly feminine, so if you’re looking for something more edgy, it may be a good choice to head to Zones 1 and 2 first! Building B also tends to have more choices when it comes to menswear.
You don’t have to worry about getting lost in Platinum – all levels are specially catered towards a certain type of product, and these are all clearly labelled on the directory. For Zones 1 and 2, women’s fashion are found on the first and second floor, while bags, leather products and shoes can be found on the upper floors.
Platinum Fashion Mall
Address: 644/3 Phetchaburi Rd, Khwaeng Thanon Phetchaburi, Khet Ratchathewi, Bangkok (Coordinates here)
Nearest BTS: Siam, Chit Lom
Opening hours: Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday from 08:00 to 20.00, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 09:00 to 20:00
12. Find your own style and snap a selfie with Einstein – Siam Discovery Centre
After closing down in 2015 for a major revamp, the mall has returned with a newly rebranded concept that focuses on personal experimentation and creativity – this, you definitely want to check out.
This is where people who are looking for a more high-end shopping experience converge. The mall’s new concept was created by renowned Japanese design firm, Nendo – and presents the retail area as a “laboratory” where shoppers can experiment, and personalise items to create their very own style.
Sounds interesting? The mall is now split into different “labs” representing various life experiences! Check out the latest female fashion items at “HER LAB”, get a snazzy new suit at “HIS LAB” or explore cutting-edge home decor at “CREATIVE LAB”.
While prices at Siam Discovery Centre are by no means cheap, the visual and shopping experience is not one to be missed.
If you’re a fan of pretty things, a trip to this new mall will definitely provide you with some eye candy (and really tempt you to break that piggy bank).
Siam Discovery Centre
Address: Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand Website
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm
Special Mention #1: For everything under the trendsetting sun – Gaysorn Village
Now you may not get as much bang for your buck down at this new shopping space. It is however, making Bangkok headlines in the shopping world as a mall for the trendsetters, along with it’s 100 outlets of fashion, jewellery, lifestyle and travel brands.
There’s a mix of boutique and designer stores, and two fashionista shops really caught our attention; Matter Makers is aimed at young, modern, instagram-popping streetwear fashion – think the streets of NYC. I want like, at least ten things from this store!
Labellist Vintage Vibes is for all you second-hand/vintage dreamers, and you’ll be able to find seriously bespoke vintage pieces and finds. Their collections range from original Chanel to YSL. Gimme gimme, please.
There’s unique illustration concept stores (a lifestyle store with products covered in the brand’s gorgeous artworks – check out Me & a Cup of Hot Chocolate), a seriously beautiful Booksmith – and so many amazing lifestyle stores, with really unique and beautiful product design!
There’s also tons of exhibits happening at the mall, so there’s this real ‘fashion & art’ feeling about the place. Added to the drama are stunning installations you’ll find in the middle of the mall, whether hanging from the ceiling or creatively installed on the ground floor.
And lastly, the food. It feels as if there’s somewhat of a cafe/foodie culture here, so they don’t disappoint on this front. 1823 Tea Lounge by Ronnefeldt and Boyy and Son Cafe are so Insta-worthy, and Burger & Lobster is a must-visit, I mean, it’s burgers…and lobster!
PS: There’s even a Speakeasy whiskey bar, Duke, and you’d probably want to grab a drink here simply for the interiors!
Special Mention #2: An upcycled creative market where a retired Thai jet takes center stage – Chang Chui
Although not your typical shopping mall, this creative space made our list because of just how darn cool it is! Plus it’s filled with amazing stalls, shops and restaurants.
Chang Chui Market is bursting to the brim with creative spaces all around for you to take great photos at. So they’ve actually plonked a huge airplane in the middle of the market where you can dine and drink inside. There’s even this cool taxidermy museum where you get to pose with natural history exhibits.
With four acres of open space showing unconventional street art, Bangkok rarely does things halfway, and a lot of the art is actually made from recycled materials.
Visit some of the stores selling antiques, handcrafted items, or products by new designers. But if those things are too pricey for you, there are also stalls that sell (more) affordable apparel, accessories, and paintings. If you’re lucky, you might find something you like (that’s within your budget)!
Up for a challenge? Make your way to Insects in the Backyard to try some insect-centric, fine-dining cuisine (caution: not for the faint-hearted). But if this is too much for you, opt for one of the cafes, restaurants, or stalls scattered around the market – or the food pavilion offering classic Thai street food instead.
Special Mention #3: More than just a coworking space dating back to World War II – The Warehouse30
I feel like there’s a trend going on in Bangkok at the moment, and the recent opening of this warehouse-like shopping space is giving me all the Chelsea Market (in SoHo, New York City) feels.
Ultra trendy in its design, this space was actually a collection of seven warehouses (dating back to the 40s), which have all been turned into shopping and outlet spaces.
One of the warehouses is home to tres cool fashion label Lonely Two-Legged Creatures, whilst another houses an 80-seater screening room showing cinema nouveau movies and documentaries, and the room is operated by the Documentary Club.
Apart from all the super cool cafes and restaurants (Wallflowers, Li-Bra-Ry, The Fox and Moon cafe to name a few…), there is also a dedicated co-working space taken up by two of the warehouses, called OneBigHouse. If you’re looking for somewhere new and interesting to spend your freelancing hours, here’s a new place for you!
PS: For all you motorbike enthusiasts, do check out bike accessory store 8080Rubber, and bookworms, Candide has got you covered.
Now you know the best air-conditioned shopping havens in Bangkok – shop away, and don’t forget to share your favourite shopping place with us in the comments below!
We’d love to hear all you dirty little shopping secrets. Hehe 😛
PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
|PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you! |