Tech-savvy tourists will be happy to hear that Bangkok has an entire indoor mall dedicated to people like them. Visitors and locals alike regularly frequent Pantip Plaza, the best place in town to find any and all electronics. Here is everything you need to know about the IT mall.
Almost every time visitors walk through the large glass doors of this mall, there will be some new promotion taking over the main entranceway. One week, there will be discounted athletic clothing, and the next it will be cheap Galaxy and Vivo phones. One consistent thing visitors will find, however, is a constant hodgepodge of discounted cell phone accessories, selfie sticks, lighted neon signs, and essentially the most random assortment of electronics one could imagine.
There are a few banks located on the ground floor, as well as electronic toys and some shops dedicated to stylish bags, suitcases, and backpacks. Continue to barrel through the electronics, and visitors will find even cheaper gadgets away from the entrance. The further back visitors venture into the mall, the less expensive the items get, which is true on every floor. This area is also where shoppers will find the majority of the gaming gear. There are a handful of eateries on the first floor, including McDonald’s and an A & W Restaurant.
As shoppers make their way up to the first floor, be warned that Pantip Plaza, as incredibly popular at it is for its amazing, affordable prices, is also known to sell a number of counterfeit and pirated items. Apparently, the government has been working to alleviate this problem, but this does not mean it has gone away entirely. One of the best ways to spot a counterfeit item is its price: if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
The first floor of Pantip Plaza is home to IT Junction, an even larger collection of small and seemingly random electronic goods than on the ground floor, and it is where visitors can purchase refurbished electronics, including iPhones and iPads. Visitors can also get electronic devices repaired here, should they be so lucky to have a broken one. If visitors are in need of a cheap phone or any Apple product, this is the floor to explore. There are old LCD monitors towards the back as well as old MacBooks, ranging in price from ฿10,000–20,000 (approximately US$290–579). Eager shop keepers will invite you to have a look over and over again, waving down shoppers as they meander aimlessly through stalls; this gets very old, very quickly.
The second floor is the lifestyle floor. There are a handful of restaurants, should visitors need to refuel, including Jiang’s Healthy Fish Balls. Photographers will be happy to hear that this is the floor dedicated almost entirely to cameras. Canon, Sony, Nikon, Panasonic—if you can name the brand, this floor has it. In addition to these, this floor features vendors selling car, action, and digital cameras in shops like Camera Cafe, Camera Shop, and World Camera.
Next, visitors can make their way to the hardware section on the third floor. Those with Apple products that need fixing should head to iShop by SPVi, an authorized reseller of Apple products. One thing to note is that there are many missing shop owners in addition to shops being closed entirely for seemingly no apparent reason. The best time to visit Pantip Plaza in order to avoid abandoned shops is in the afternoon. Most shops open at least by 10 a.m., though the mall technically opens at 9 a.m. Many of the shop owners will pack up and head home early as well.
While it is certainly fun to roam this seemingly never-ending tech mall, visitors will start to feel as though they are circling the same products over and over again after a while. Déjà vu will hit strong as shoppers lap yet another refurbished computer stall.
The fourth floor has been dubbed the solution floor. It is certainly the most modern level, with mock offices staged by Microsoft to show shoppers just how awesome their office space could be with their products. This level is also where guests will find the Food Street. This food court offers cheap Thai food, and there is no other type of cuisine available. As a heads up, it is not entirely vegetarian-friendly.
Also located on the fourth floor is Syn Hub by Synergy Technology. This co-working space features its own café, foliage décor, and some incredible views of the city below. This floor is going under some renovation at the moment, and visitors will find that each floor gets quieter and more abandoned than the last as they continue to make their way up.
Up one last floor is IT City, the giant IT superstore. It is the largest IT store in Pantip Plaza. It is broken up into zones that allow visitors to easily find what it is they are seeking. There is a printer zone, projector zone, laptop zone, mobile zone, and more. It is a bit more organized than the rest of Pantip Plaza, for those visitors who cannot stand the chaos that is the tech mall. Rest assured that the products at this superstore are legitimate.
How to get there
Visitors can get to Pantip Plaza from a few of the stations off the Skytrain. The easiest is to take the Skytrain to the BTS Station Ratchathewi and take exit four. Go down the stairs, turn around, and then make a right on Phetchaburi Road. It’s a 10-minute walk or a ฿40 (approximately US$1.16) baht motorbike ride to the IT mall from this corner.