If you love to shop, I bet you are going to set aside at least a few hours to explore the markets and boutiques of Bangkok - a must-visit destination for your Thailand vacation. This city is a veritable shopper’s paradise. But where should you start? First, let’s talk about what you should buy while you are in Bangkok. Then, we will introduce you to some of the most exciting shopping destinations.
We could just as easily ask, “What can’t you buy in Bangkok?” You can find just about anything your heart could desire in Thailand’s bustling capital. But let’s talk about some of the specialty items that this city’s shops and vendors are renowned for.
Vintage: If you love all things vintage, you will enjoy browsing Bangkok’s antique markets where you can find classic furniture, housewares, artwork, décor, clothing, toys, and more.
Handcrafts: Bangkok also is an excellent place to shop for beautiful handmade wares such as silks, ceramics, lacquer items, brass bowls, jewelry, and other artisan crafts.
Luxury goods: While in Bangkok, you also can shop for luxury clothing, furniture, and other high-end goods. Whatever your budget and no matter what interests you, you can bring home wonderful souvenirs of your travels.
Food: As you browse the markets of Bangkok, the mouthwatering aromas of street food vendors will draw you to their stands. Try foods like crispy pork, green curry, boat noodles, seafood, and more along with delicious, refreshing beverages. Many vendors also sell fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also shop for tasty packaged Thai snacks that you can bring home to enjoy later or share as gifts with friends.
One of Bangkok’s most popular markets is the Chatuchak Weekend Market. In fact, if you are going to visit just one market in Bangkok, this one is a good option due to its sheer size and the impressive variety of merchandise for sale. If you cannot find what you are looking for here, you will be hard-pressed to find it anywhere.
Address: Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok
Wednesday and Thursday (Plant section only) 7 am - 6 pm
Friday (Wholesale only) 6 pm - 12 pm
Saturday and Sunday (The whole market) 9 am - 6 pm
Adjacent to the Weekend Market, discover M Chatuchak Night Market operated by Green Vintage. Take a break from the heat and sun to shop the stalls at night for vintage clothes and handcrafts (you can shop there during daytime as well, however).
Address: MIXT Mall, 8 Kamphaeng Phet 3 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok
Friday: 1pm - midnight
Saturday and Sunday: 1 pm - 10 pm
For a different experience from a street market, visit the Siam Paragon shopping mall. One of the largest malls in the country, it is packed with just about every type of store you could imagine.
Siam Paragon is an all-in-one entertainment destination that offers even more than shopping. When you feel ready to take a breather from browsing the wares, you can grab a bite at one of the mall’s numerous restaurants, or check out the multiplex, the Thai Art Gallery, the exhibition hall, the karaoke centre, the bowling alley, the opera concert hall, or the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World aquarium. Many tourists end up spending an entire day at Siam Paragon.
Address: 991 Rama I Road, Pathum Wan, Bangkok
Opening hours: Every day of the week, 10.00 am - 10.00 pm
centralwOrld is another absolutely massive mall that is conveniently open every day. Over 600 stores of all shapes and sizes sell clothing, beauty products, electronics, sporting goods, and more. Like Siam Paragon, centralwOrld features tons of restaurants and additional entertainment options. Pick up Thai snacks at the supermarket, watch a film at the cinema, or go ice skating at the complex’s rink. There is something here for everyone who is shopping in Thailand.
Address: 999/9 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok
Opening hours: Every day of the week, 10 am - 10 pm
Which is the best shopping market in Bangkok? That is a topic that is up for debate, but quite a few candidates are densely concentrated in the Chinatown district of the city.
Chinatown shoppers will be able to shop for souvenirs at markets such as Sampeng Lane, Old Siam Plaza, Flashlight Market (Khlong Thom), Talat kao, Phahurat (Little India), Balanna Plaza, and others.
Some Chinatown markets have fairly specific purposes. For example, if you are in the market for shoes, then Balanna Plaza is the place to be. If you desire fresh seasonal fruit to snack on, drop by the stalls at Talat Kao. Others, like Old Siam Plaza or the Flashlight Market, offer tons of variety, and may be more suitable if you are not sure what you are looking for.
Address: 322 Tri Mit Rd, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok (Chinatown Gate)
Opening hours: Varies (depends on market)
If you are willing to take some extra time to reach the famous “Train Market,” it can be well worth your while. Located in the southeast part of Bangkok, it is a favorite of the locals (as many tourists stay closer to the central part of the city) after sundown.
That means that what you see for sale here is going to be less “touristy,” as is the overall vibe. Vintage goods dominate the wares under the colorful canopy tents, which include clothing, electronics, toys, shoes, glasses, and so much more (even classic cars). Be sure to grab a bite to eat. We recommend some seafood and snacks.
Why is it called the “Train Market?” The reason has to do with the fact that originally, it could be found close to the tracks. When the BTS Skyline expanded in 2013, the market had to relocate. Now it is away from the tracks but retains its original name (as well as its original charm).
Address: 1 4 Srinakarin Rd, Nong Bon, Prawet, Bangkok
Opening hours: Thursday – Sunday, 05:00 pm - 01:00 am
Among the most unique shopping experiences in Bangkok is the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market. That’s right—some of the vendors at this market are seated in boats stocked with food and wares. Whether you shop for produce, seafood, or souvenirs, the experience is one that will probably be far removed from anything you could have at home.
While at the floating market, make sure to sign up for a boat ride tour. The tour will take you beyond the bustling market through quieter residential, business, and agricultural districts. Watching the greenery and buildings drift by gives you a break from the crowds of the market and shows you parts of the city you probably would miss out on otherwise.
Address: 30/1 หมู่ที่ 15 Bang Ramat Rd, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok
Opening hours: Saturday, Sunday: 08.00 am – 5:00 pm
With so many affordable markets in Thailand selling handcrafts, vintage items, tasty cuisine, luxury goods and more, you may feel overwhelmed at first when choosing where to shop. But this list of markets is the key to finding the best shopping in Bangkok. Figure out what you want to buy and what days and hours you want to shop, and then use our list to help you draft up a more personalized itinerary of the markets you want to visit most.
Be sure to prioritize your list in order; it is easy to end up spending a lot more time than you plan to at any one of these markets. So, hit the ones you are most excited about first. Enjoy your souvenirs!