Bangkok’s fashion scene has an interesting combination of high-end boutiques, local hand-made goods and fake designer products in the plethora of malls found there. Similar to some of Bangkok’s markets, malls like MBK Center are just an indoor, air-conditioned version of the city’s famous night bazaars. Expect variety, both in prices and in stores themselves.
There are many options ranging from things you need to the latest must-haves in Bangkok’s shopping haven. Get your haggling skills up to par and get fluent in calculator in order to get one of the most rewarding shopping experiences you will ever have. If nothing else, you can still spend a day enjoying the air conditioning and window shopping. Here are the seven best shopping malls in Bangkok.
Prepared to be amazed at the newly renovated Siam Discovery. Originally opened in 1973, Siam Discovery got a Hollywood-worthy facelift and re-opened again on May 28th, 2016. It claims to be the largest lifestyle specialty store in Thailand, and, quite frankly, it might be right. This is one of the most unique malls you will ever come across. For example, you can buy drones here. What kind of mall sells drones? That being said, you can also explore a plethora of other incredibly unique stores, including a toy store with life-size Star Wars figures and an entire vendor dedicated to saving elephants around the world with funds generated from the sales of their goods. There is also an entire floor dedicated to great décor, with seats so plush that you will want to take a break from your shopping spree to take a load off.
Rome, Paris and Tokyo: these are just a few of the countries you will visit upon entering Terminal 21, as each floor celebrates a different city from around the world. On one floor, you may find yourself in San Francisco. On another, you are back in Asia. It makes your entire shopping experience that much more unique. Conveniently located right off the BTS Skytrain stop Asok, Terminal 21 is undoubtedly one of the best malls in Bangkok, with everything you might need when shopping. On Level G, or in Rome, you will find designer brands, such as Levi’s, Guess and Sequel. Head up a few floors and you will come across more vendor-style clothing for sale. There are 5-star restaurants that cost an arm and a leg for a meal,intermixed with a food court serving full plates of food for less than 35 baht (about $1). There is also a popular gym on the top floor that overlooks Sukhumvit Road, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Head up one more flight of stairs and you are suddenly in an enormous movie theater, showing both Thai and Western films.
One feels like a celebrity upon entering Siam Paragon. A large glass entryway and security greet you as you walk into an oasis of shrubbery and fake flowers. One of the first stores you see is a Maserati dealership, if that is any indication of the kind of products sold at Siam Paragon. If not only for the experience, explore the entirety of the mall to see all of the high-end products available. There is also a food court in the basement, as well as an aquarium in the mall. That is right … an aquarium. Siam Paragon also holds expositions almost every other week, this week being a watch expo, titled, ‘The Iconic Of Timepiece,’ going on from now until August 15th. That being said, the exposition could be showcasing make-up or cameras the following week.
Siam Center is a fashion-lovers paradise. There are so many shops and boutiques to choose from, you will not know where to start. Fuel up for your inevitable shopping spree at Siam Center’s high-end food court, the Food Factory. It has everything from smoothies to Indian food and noodle soup smelling so good you will be forced to stop just to breath in some of its sweet aroma. Siam Center is unique in that it is truly a fusion of Western-meets-Thai style. The very first thing you see upon walking in the entrance closest to Siam Paragon is a Forever 21. The further you venture into the mall, however, the more rare the stores and designs get.
MBK Center is the closest thing Bangkok has to an indoor street market. It is almost as if the owners of all the stalls from every market in the city migrated to this indoor mall. The stalls and stores are lined up almost like what you would see at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, but without the crowd and, of course, the heat.
You might feel a little let-down if you venture from the high-end Siam trilogy over to MBK Center, but give it a chance. It is certainly less expensive than its pricy neighbors, and it definitely has a wide range of goods and clothes to choose from.However, it has its own perks as well. For one, everything is cheaper. There are no name brands here. Secondly, MBK sells more than just clothing. You can find some great souvenirs in the basement of MBK, or the Mini Plaza.
King Power Complex
About a five-minute walk from BTS Skytrain stop Victory Monument is the high-end King Power Complex. Pristine white interiors greets you on all sides upon entering the mall. A glass elevator sits in the middle of the entryway, where you have to buy a shopping registration card that must then be presented in order to make any purchases. This is definitely where you want to come to purchase luxury brands only. Designer sunglasses, such as Oakley and Ray Bands, can be purchased here, as can the latest styles from Coach, Burberry and Lacoste, among others.
King Power is definitely setting a high-class mood here. Between the registration cards for purchases, the swanky rooftop bar-style music that plays throughout and only foreigners in sight, be prepared to drop some coinage at this mall.
Just a short walk from King Power is Century Mall. This mall is a small, quaint version of MBK. Oh, and it has a movie theater. You will find a food court on Floor B. There are many dessert-oriented restaurants here, including shops that sell donuts, pancakes and crêpes, and there is even a Dairy Queen. If beauty products are what you are after, head to floor two, where you will find many make-up products and skin care lines.
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