Over the last decade, Bangkok’s retail industry has grown significantly. Shopping opportunities in Bangkok now compete with all major shopping destinations across the world. There are a number of shopping malls to explore as well as markets, boutiques, home furnishing stores, DIY stores and much more. Most of the shopping centres are located on Sukhumvit Road as this is the heart of the shopping district within Bangkok, but the area around Siam Square is also a great place to shop for local brands.
Thailand is brimming with fake designer goods, fake jewelery and pirate CDs and DVDs. You should always be cautious if something is extremely inexpensive; the likelihood is that it will be an imitation. Fake goods are usually found in the tourist markets such as Patpong and the night bazaar, but local markets and some shops in the cheaper shopping centres will also sell fake goods. The fakes are usually very easy to spot, despite the seller’s insistence that they are real. As long as you are aware that you are buying a copy and are content with the fact, there will be no problem. Always make sure there is a guarantee on every electrical product you buy, as this will be your only comeback if something goes wrong.
Bangkok has shopping options on all levels, from bargain open-air markets to modern, fashionable shopping centers. The Siam Paragon mall is the largest mall in South East Asia and is the playground for the local elite. You will be able to find any and all luxury items here. On the other hand there are markets like Chatuchak that receive hundreds of thousand of visitors every weekend and offers everything from local brand clothes, second hand rare sneakers, antiques to even pets and exotic animals.
Name brands are usually just as expensive as back home or cost even more, while local brands are much cheaper. The big shopping malls usually carry Western and Japanese brands, while the smaller shops and superstores carry local brands. Buying local or buying brand is a tough choice. Some products such as electronics are not as good as the brand names, while you will probably get a lot more value by going local when shopping for clothes. You may be able to get a top custom tailored suit for the price of a brand shirt in a store.
Part of the Bangok experience is taking advantage of all the shopping opportunities and buying both from markets and mega malls.
Bangkok shops, markets and malls are usually open well into the evening which is perfect for expats working long hours.