February 24, 2019 • 0 Comments
Bangkok, Thailand Shopping Guide (From An Anti-Fast Fashion Perspective) + Where I Stayed
Shopping in Bangkok, Thailand
It is a well-known fact that Bangkok is a HUGE haven for shopaholics – honestly, a gold mine. Many many years ago, I would look forward to going to Bangkok. I come with half of my luggage empty to leave all that room for shopping and spend a whole afternoon combing through the endless aisles of Platinum Mall. The equation was simple: cheap + plenty = heaven!
But surprisingly, that was the old me.
in Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market
Lol – I am still the same although Yuki 2.0 just detoxed her closet a few weeks ago (
*insert huge smile* inspired by Marie Kondo!). When I was going through this detox, I was quite shocked with all the trendy pieces I discarded or wore only once/twice for an Instagram photo. Unfortunately, all for the gram. So now, with fresh precious wardrobe space, I challenged myself to only buy clothes I’d wear over and over again (therefore, the material would have to be very good.) At least 5x is the bare minimum. Let the choosy-limited-shopping challenge begin!
a bit way too comfortably in Train Market, Bangkok
Young college Yuki (on a budget) or wifey Yuki (but still forever on a budget), one thing is for sure: I LOVE to shop. I love a good bargain, I love reasonably priced stylish items and I love love love dressing up
kahit mag g-grocery lang.
In Chatuchak Market
Recently, I went to Bangkok, Thailand so I am here to share with you shopping places I liked and disliked. Btw, apologies if I don’t have plenty of pretty pictures, I didn’t plan to write this post so pls bear with my photos that I was just sending to Nick through Telegram. Lol!
SO without any particular order, here are my retail location suggestions: ☺️
Also Known As: Platinum Fashion Mall
Where: 22 Phetchaburi Rd, Khwaeng Thanon Phetchaburi, Khet Ratchathewi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
One of those most sikat shopping recommendations, this place is literally, thousands (!!!) of stalls filled with clothes, shoes and bags. There are 3 zones and EACH zone is around 5 floors per building. You can just imagine spending a good 2-3 hours (minimum) combing through stall after stall and not even knowing which Zone you are in anymore.
As I mentioned, I loved this place when I was younger but after detoxing my closet and realising how much excess trendy pieces I had, I surprisingly did not end up buying a SINGLE thing in Platinum. (Miracle!!!) Why?
1. Looking at the stalls of necklaces/earrings, I knew the accessories would tarnish early. So a few IG shots then I’m done with it? No thanks. (Let’s be mindful shoppers!)
2. I do not know the exact origin of the merchandise but most of the pieces I saw unfortunately had sub-standard quality. The material was too thin or there was something off about the stitching that would eventually lead up to damage.
Now, I prefer quality pieces that can be worn more than 5 times and looking back at my closet NOW, the Bangkok pieces I bought a few years ago didn’t last very long.
PROs: Fashion-wise, the styles and colors are pretty up to date. You’ll instantly be greeted by the frilly, ruffled styles with feathers, light pastel colors etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are amazing finds in this place (thousands of stalls so I’m sure you’re bound to find SOMETHING!) but I just had no energy. Haha! If you’re looking for trendy up-to-date pieces – you’re in the right place. Wholesale prices are extended too if you buy 3 or more items
pero parang ang mahal pa din.
CONs: For what it was and comparing to our prices back in Manila, I felt like some stalls were a bit overpriced. I guess since Platinum has become a popular shopping destination, the prices increased along with it. Again, do a quality check. The material of a lot of pieces that I saw were quite thin and some had stitching that didn’t look so durable but I’m sure there are still great steals
but I just had no energy to find them.
Second, sizing. Most of the pieces are FREE size / one size fits all. You’re lucky if your size ranges from XS-S or sometimes to M. But what about those who do not fall under the size – anuna?!
Lastly, you are not allowed to fit the clothes AT ALL. You can’t even put it over your existing clothes. I believe with style, it also needs to FIT well. If it doesn’t fit well, then the item will just end up as a wasted piece that will go to the garage sale pile or given away. Of course you can estimate it if you know your size SO WELL and I do that with online shopping but I felt Marie Kondo whisper and said “Don’t Yuki…” 😄
Someone asked, “So where DO YOU buy plus-sized pieces?” One of my readers suggested Krung Thong Plaza – which is right across Platinum Mall. It’s a more limited selection but everything they sell there is apparently plus-size.
Must-buy: Watch out for nice neoprene-y suits with fabric belts for 700-800 THB a set (around Php1,300 so pwede na!)
📍Bo Bae Market
Also Known As: “Bo Bae”
Where: 488 Krung Kasem Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Maha Nak, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
I highly recommend this one! On maps, I simply pinned “Bo Bae Tower”. This will lead you to the tower right beside Prince Palace Hotel. I checked on TripAdvisor and I’m not mistaken, the stalls are open everyday from 9AM
parang earlier pa ata. This place is HUGE – like Platinum Mall with a more grungy location and no aircon (kaya siguro cheaper??) I only got the chance to explore the stalls inside Bo Bae Tower but there are hundred more stalls outside, by the canal near the bridge. I aim to explore that next time.
PROs: For a price comparison, definitely the prices here are lower than Platinum. They also sell retail (1 piece only) and offer a tempting discount should your volume get higher. They offer legit discounts which I felt like were much more reasonable than the wholesale discounts in Platinum.
CONs: Style wise, the styles & trends in Platinum are syempre more up to date. Don’t worry though – you will still see stalls with nice items – just be patient and take your time looking around.
Must-buy: Satin silk pajamas! For its price (around 500-800/set) and quality, this is a good-buy! I’ve mistake of buying overpriced silk pajamas back in Manila (for around Php3,000/set) and the quality is shockingly comparable to these lower priced ones I saw.
Also known as: Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market
Where: Ratchadaphisek Rd, Khwaeng Din Daeng, Khet Din Daeng, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
Grilled scallops and lobster with cheese – GLORIOUS!
My beautiful friend Yoo of Lub D took me on a food adventure and honestly, this was one of my favorite markets. We hopped on a train (medjo malayo ha) to Train Market (lol – we took a train to train) but it was worth the trip. You’ll be greeted by a wide array of food (!!!) and fashion stalls.
Come hungry and come with cash! Suggested budget if you want to do a food trip and a little shopping? 1500-2000 THB.
Order seafood and refreshing drinks in Train Market, Bangkok
PROs: The food!!! Feast on authentic Thai street food, refreshing juices and grilled seafood. The stalls sell random things too – so random that I even got to buy a lens cap and case for my camera. I loved the mix of the stalls
hindi lang puro phone case! I hear they close at 1AM so you can even start for late dinner until midnight snack.
CONs: For the eco-conscious, this place will be your nightmare. Tons of plastic and styro used as people eat in the food stalls. Straws and plastic gloves – I hope the organizers do something to make this eating experience more eco-friendly. Bring your own utensils and metal straws when you go please! It’s also very warm (because of the heat from food stalls) so come dressed very comfortably and with less stuff with you kasi it’s very crowded.
Must-order: I super enjoyed the spicy seafood thing they serve in a plastic bag (which was around 700 THB, for 2). You also have to order the grilled scallops (50 THB for 3) and lobster with cheese OMG! Reasonably priced too so you’ll get to be filled!
Yoo, my beautiful tour guide
Also Known As: The Chatuchak Weekend Market | JJ Market (I wonder why?)
Where: สวนจตุจักร Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Lat Yao, Chatuchak
Chatuchak Market, Bangkok
From it’s name, obviously just open on the weekends (so time your itinerary correctly!) Imagine this: 15,000 stalls of clothing, accessories, food and drinks. You can seriously shop every 3 steps. I love Chatuchak market because it is a mix of finding trend pieces at an affordable price. In my opinion, it’s like when you marry Platinum Mall and Bo Bae Market!
Fresh fruit drinks in Chatuchak Market
Wearing: Thai Silk pants
PROs: I honestly LOVE this place because of the great selection you’ll get and as mentioned, priced quite reasonably. This is a good place to find pasalubong, find stylish pieces and it even has nice oriental things for your home. Kumbaga – parang SM na hindi airconditioned. :P
CONS: Some people say it’s too hot but honestly, I’m quite used to it (hello, parang same lang in the Philippines.) I guess since it’s an open market – it is very weather-sensitive so bring an umbrella incase it rains?
Must-try: Make sure you grab some mango sticky rice in some random food stall – it’s bound to be good. This is where I found nice quality spandex midi dresses.
Where: 299 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Ton Sai, Khet Khlong San, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
ICONSIAM Mall, Bangkok
Aside from the flea markets Bangkok is widely known for, their huge malls are also, in itself, a must-see! Recommend by travel blogger Tia Lacson, ICONSIAM is one of their newer malls that house international brands as well as their very own Thai homegrown brands. Siam Takashimaya has a great selection of brands and they also have “ICONCRAFT” which showcases products made by their very own artisans.
The mall also provides FREE river cruises which is a must-do as you cruise along and see the lovely sights of Bangkok. The mall is located right on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.Ang sayaaaa! I super enjoyed this.
PROS: The mall offers a great selection of Asian designers too (especially Japanese brands) which I liked. I loved the ICONCRAFT store because I was able to see their local products. The cruise on the riverbank is a big YES!
CONS: It houses international luxury brands and a Takashimaya department store so you can already expect the items won’t come as cheap but I really enjoyed checking this mall out. Reason to shop? They’ll give you a VAT refund when you get to the airport so go lang!
Must-try: You have to hop on the river cruise and check out ICONCRAFT on the 5th level to see products made by skilled Thai-artisans.
📍Siam Paragon (screencap taken from IG story lang)
Where: 991/1 สยามพารากอน Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok
Dubbed as the 4th largest shopping mall in Thailand, I super loved going around Siam Paragon. If ICONSIAM is to Greenbelt then Siam Paragon is to Glorietta. Haha! Also, they had a very big selection of Zara pieces (awow I went to Bangkok to buy Zara lol!) but it just means they stock this branch very well. They have Sephora too! Really worth a visit (so I had to include it talaga even with a horrible photo)
Also Known As: A Fashion Mall for the Seriously Cool (seriously!!!)
Where: 989 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
Visual feast in Siam Center, Bangkok
Bless the kind soul of the stranger who took this photo
This mall initially gave me an artsy hipster feel – they definitely live up to the “seriously cool” vibe. The visual merchandise of the shops is eye-candy and this place actually houses over 200 international and Thai brands.
📍Duty-Free in Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)
Where: I flew AirAsia on this trip (the cheapest fare I found!) and landed in DMK Airport aka Don Mueang International Airport
It was Yen of AirAsia who once told me, if you’d ever buy expensive perfume (like Jo Malone) or make-up, buy it in the Duty-Free Bangkok airport. True enough, I did a little experiment and she was correct.
I bought a bottle of perfume in Takashimaya in IconSiam Mall. They extended a 10% “tourist discount” to me plus I was also able to retrieve the VAT at the airport but guess what? The price of the SAME bottle still cost lower here in Duty-Free Bangkok. Amazing! In Takashimaya, the bottle was Php7,300 then here in Duty-Free it was Php6,100. Grabe – mas mura nga.
How I stayed connected:
Everytime I go on a trip, I always bring a Big Sky Nation device with me. I would turn on the device as soon as I head out of my accom around 9AM – can you believe it’s still alive and kicking after 12 hours? So amazing. I did a speed test too (see photo below) and I loved how it was quick enough for all my work and personal needs.
If you have a trip soon, use my code STYLECAT10 to get a discount when you book online!
Where I stayed during this entire retail adventure:
A comfy double deluxe room in Lub D Siam and Silom!
Lub D Silom, Bangkok
Where: 4 Decho Rd, Khwaeng Suriya Wong, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
Lub D Siam, Bangkok
Where: 925, 9 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Wang Mai, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
My Lub D Experience
Clearly, I was traveling alone in this trip but that also gave me flexibility to do my own things at my own pace. (If I was with Nick I can already hear him politely asking, “Can you walk faster?”) Lol! First of all, I became familiar with Lub D when they got me on board for a project last year to visit their hostels in Cambodia and Thailand. I immediately fell in LOVE with the service and amenities of Lub D because it is not your average hostel. You actually get the usual perks from a hotel (I got a double deluxe room which a nice clean comfy bed, cold aircon, Wifi, my own banyo, etc.) and for its super reasonable price (Around Php3,000 a night* depends on date for 2), you actually get to allocate more budget for your food and shopping.
I hope you guys enjoyed my retail guide in Bangkok! Remember – only shop for what sparks joy. ;)