About Bangkok Malls

Just like what I did with my previous informative blogs about Bangkok, I am dedicating a page to my recent topic about Bangkok Shopping Malls for easy location and referencing for interested individuals.

Terminal 21: Bangkok’s newest and coolest shopping mall

During my recent trip to Bangkok, I made sure of reserving a day just for Terminal 21 – the City of Smiles’ latest addition to its ever-growing number of shopping malls. I simply love the concept of the place. Designed like an airport terminal, each floor has a country theme that evokes specialty shops. Level M1 is Caribbean (Popular Thai and International brands), Level M is Paris (Mixed), Level 1 is Tokyo (Women’s/Teens Wear), Level 2 is London (Men’s Wear), Level 3 is Istanbul (Jewelries, Accessories), Level 4 is San Francisco (Dining) and Level 5 is an extension of San Francisco which includes the Multiplex. What makes this mall different from the others? Well, it looks and feels like a high-end place, but the independent shops dotting the Paris, London and Istanbul levels make Terminal 21 such an attractive venue to splurge your money (or credit limit) in. In fact, if you’re good at reasonable bargaining, you can get some excellent buys. And the most creative of local clothing manufacturers have joined hands to give shoppers the most unique options. In short, the expensive looks from the outside are just for show because there are really no high-end stores/boutiques inside. It is practically an homage of a mall for the more price-conscious but ambiance-particular among Thais and tourists alike.

Here are some interior shots I took of the place:

It can be dizzying looking down from where I took this photo. The long escalator is actually a short cut from M level to all the dining places in San Francisco level.

It was pure joy checking out the independent shops in the Paris and London levels.

Here's a view of Terminal 21's entrance coming from the BTS Asoke Skytrain station.

By the way, don’t worry if you just want to plain window shop. The food level offers a wide variety of mouth-watering choices and all priced competitively. A good number of my favorite eateries (e.g. Hachiban 8 and Oishi) have branches here. And if you have a thing about rest rooms, you will be pleased to know that all the toilet bowls are heated (imported from Japan) and the wash room designs adjusting to the theme of each level.

Terminal 21 has an excellent location. It is right at the corner where BTS Asoke (skytrain) and MTR Sukhumvit (subway) meet. If you’re a lazy bone and want to be super close, book a room at Grand Centrepoint Hotel & Residence – Sukhumvit Terminal 21 which has its own access to the mall. Otherwise, some of the walking distance hotel options here are The Key Bangkok, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Westin Sukhumvit, Radisson Sukhumvit, Kingston Suites, City Lodge Soi 19 and Sacha’s Hotel Uno which you can book HERE.

Happy Shopping! :-D

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Bangkok Shopping Malls 101

If you’re a moderate-to-marginally frantic shopaholic just like myself, chances are you have vigorously scoured clean the numerous shopping malls of Bangkok. Most repeat visitors to the Land of Smiles never fail to check out a good number of its scattered shopping havens in each trip. But for those who have not been to Thailand’s capital or are scheduled to fly within the next few months, then here is a quick guideline to the same should you be interested in checking them out or simply window shopping for comparison. I will divide them into high-end, mid-range, and low-to-mid range for easy classification.

High-end Malls

Siam Paragon (which also houses Siam Ocean World)

Siam Paragon (which also houses Siam Ocean World)

Siam Paragon is both expensive and crowded. It is expensive because it has outlets of most of the global designer names aside from the uppity Paragon Department Store. And with a very central location, it gets really crowded because of the large food court and gourmet market in the basement which attracts thousands upon thousands of locals and tourists on a daily basis plus the Siam Ocean World which has people of all ages flocking to. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Novotel Siam Square, Centara Grand
Emporium Mall on Sukhumvit Road

Emporium Mall on Sukhumvit Road

Emporium is a sister company of Siam Paragon. It was opened a few years ahead of the latter. In terms of ambience, it has all the expensive qualities of Paragon but on a smaller scale, size-wise. High-end but not as crowded, it has a smallish food court on the highest floor but don’t count on it as a favorite of many because the area fights space with the home apliance section of the department store. And aside from being isolated from the cluster of malls in the Siam Square area, it doesn’t have the wide crossover appeal of Paragon. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Emporium Suites, Novotel Lotus, St. James Hotel
Central World which has been a work-in-progress for many years now.

Central World which has been a work-in-progress for many years now.

Central World is what I call a work-in-progress. It used to be the simpler, albeit humongous, World Trade Center that has Zen Department Store in one end and Isetan on the other with a large number of shops in between. Now, it has transformed to an architectural maze that can challenge (and confuse) the ordinary window shopper to a game of hide-and-seek. It wants to capture the best of both high-end and mid-range shoppers with the strengthening ‘presence’ of the masses in its wide walking spaces. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Centara Grand, Arnoma Hotel, Intercontinental Bangkok
Gaysorn Plaza (very high-end with not much options for the budget shopper)

Gaysorn Plaza (very high-end with not much options for the budget shopper)

Gaysorn Plaza could be the favorite of rich Thais who want a sense of exclusivity while shopping. Only fat wallets or gold/platinum-branded credit cards can afford most of the merchandise here. But if you simply want a go-see, you won’t feel cramped because it doesn’t get deluged by busloads of tourists or locals. Alternatively, you can use its cool interiors as short cut to the pathway leading to Pratunam markets or Big C Ratchadamri. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Intercontinental Bangkok, Holiday Inn Bangkok, Grand Hyatt Erawan, Arnoma Hotel
Erawan Center is high end but compromises with a good food court downstairs.

Erawan Center is high end but compromises with a good food court downstairs.

Erawan Centre can actually double as the official shopping mall of the Grand Hyatt Erawan attached to it. It is across Gaysorn Plaza and is just as high-strung. The only difference is the food court in Erawan’s basement. It may not have the cheapest dining options but there are some good eats that can be had. Also, its frontage is almost always the pit stop of buses upon buses of tourists who make a quick peek into its offerings before moving to other malls. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Grand Hyatt Erawan, Intercontinental Bangkok, Holiday Inn Bangkok

Mid-Range Malls

Siam Discovery Center

Siam Discovery Center

Siam Discovery Center is actually teetering between mid-range to high-end, but since its present state is more of a mid-range in high-end guise, I would classify it in the former. The interiors reek of some opulence here and there but the finer details show more leaning on attracting the common masses. The multiplex and amusement center on top are constantly vying for patronage being located side by side with each other. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Novotel Siam Square, Asia Hotel
Espalanade on Ratchadapisek Road - the newest in the fold

Espalanade on Ratchadapisek Road - the newest in the fold

Esplanade was initially conceptualized and eventually opened as a high-end mall in the stretch of Ratchadapisek Road – the only one worth mentioning in its location. Afterwards, it slowly became more reachable in appeal and sacrificed exclusivity for a more visible throng of shoppers. Its multiplex is worth recommending for the movie buff. Hotel/s near or within a 1km distance: Amanta Ratchada Serviced Apartments, Palazzo, Siam Beverly
Siam Center - the teenagers' shopping paradise

Siam Center - the teenagers' shopping paradise

Siam Center is one of the older shopping establishments in the list. But with a prime location beside Siam Paragon, it has sustained continuous patronage through the years. The place has already evolved into the shopping paradise of teens, young adults and the young-at-heart. It proudly houses a lot of boutiques of homegrown designers with clothes for the fashionably adventurous and/or stylishly up-to-date. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Novotel Siam Square
Amarin Plaza is very mid-class with more appeal to the older crowd

Amarin Plaza is very mid-class with more appeal to the older crowd

Amarin Plaza is another old shopping mall that has been slowly refurbished in recent years. The shops inside appeal more to an older middle-class crowd so do not expect the place to be filled to the rafters. Honestly, I find this place boring unless there is a particular store I need to buy something from. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Holiday Inn Bangkok, Intercontinental Bangkok, Grand Hyatt Erawan

Low-to-Mid Range

MBK Center is a must-visit shopping mall in Bangkok

MBK Center is a must-visit shopping mall in Bangkok

MBK Center is a must in every tourist’s itinerary. No visit to Bangkok will be complete without making at least one visit to the place. It has just about everything you need – all in one place….well not all because this is not the mall to shop for genuine (and pricey) designer brands. It has multiple levels of shopping for the budget-conscious with a spacious food court and multiplex in the upper floors. The middle ground portion regularly puts several brands and items on sale with deep discounts that can make the stingy part away with his/her shopping money on the spot. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Pathumwan Princess, Siam Design@Design Hotel, Novotel Siam Square, Krit Thai Mansion
Platinum Fashion Mall is the place where bargaining is an art.

Platinum Fashion Mall is the place where bargaining is an art.

Platinum Fashion Mall is the viajera’s air-conditioned dream of a shopping venue. Before it opened, people interested in wholesale prices would troop to Pratunam Market and spend hours upon hours buying boxes and boxes of several clothing items to be sold back home. But the hot and humid weather definitely took a toll on many of them so they decided to shift allegiance to Platinum where they can endlessly haggle without sweating bullets. For purely retail buyers, don’t get turned off. The place will always welcome you with open arms. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Grand Diamond Suites, Amari Watergate, Baiyoke Suites, First Hotel
Pantip Plaza is Bangkok's answer to Hong Kong's Sham Shui Po

Pantip Plaza is Bangkok's answer to Hong Kong's Sham Shui Po

Pantip Plaza is where you can buy all things related to computers, I.T. requirements, gadgets, DVDs, etc. – in short, it is electronics galore here and at very competitive prices. I would classify Pantip as Bangkok’s answer to Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po, but I still prefer the latter hands-down. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Grand Diamond Suites, First Hotel, Amari Watergate, Residence Rajthaevee
Big C Ratchadamri (on the right with EGV on top) is a personal favorite

Big C Ratchadamri (on the right with EGV on top) is a personal favorite

Big C Ratchadamri is a favorite of mine especially when staying with its next-door neighbor Arnoma Hotel. The place is more about height than horizontal spaces. It has several stories of small shops, boutiques, restaurants, multi-level supermarket etc. plus a good enough multiplex on top (than can be quickly accessed via elevator on the side facing Arnoma) and a food court with some of the cheapest prices for lunch or dinner. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Arnoma Hotel, Aphrodite Inn, Intercontinental Bangkok, Holiday Inn Bangkok
Silom Complex Shopping Plaza

Silom Complex Shopping Plaza

Silom Complex Shopping Plaza is the only mall in the Silom area so you call this one an oddball amidst the street shops lining up the area. The upper floors of the building are actually concentrated on offices and the like but the first 3-4 levels have a department store (Central), a curious assortment of independent boutiques, bookshops, restaurants, etc. What’s more, it has a dedicated walkway to a skytrain station (Saladaeng) from where you can also hop to the subway depending on where you want to go after. If you ask me, Silom Complex doesn’t have a clear shopping image or specific niche it wants to cater to, but it easily qualifies as a convenience mall to office workers and tourists conglomerating in this section of Bangkok. Hotel/s adjacent or very near: Dusit Thani, Pan Pacific Bangkok, Inn Saladaeng, Saladang Place

This is where the list ends and since I focused only on shopping malls, I did not include places like Chatuchak Weekend Market, Chinatown, Suan Lum Night Bazaar and Patpong Night Market anymore. I also intentionally did away with malls outside the touristy areas (like those in Bangkapi, Ramkamhaeng, Srinakarin, etc.) because they are not convenient to skytrain or subway routes.

So if you’re ready to shop to your heart’s delight in Bangkok’s air-conditioned shopping places, then ready, get set, GO!

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91 comments on “About Bangkok Malls

  1. Hi mate, Thanks a lot to share with us such information. I use to make shopping at asok at terminal 21 and in chatuchak market. Now all the shopping mall seems having the same stuff, so i prefer to rent some nice cars and make trip outside bangkok and visit local market. On those markets i found a lot of nice and interesting products, even vintage. Market in and around bangkok are really amazing. I invite all of you to move in bangkok with the bts for any fast move around the city. If you want to enjoy any other area around pattaya e hua hin get some brand new luxury sport car at: http://prestigecarrentalbangkok.com and enjoy your shopping and beach time :)

  2. In my trip to Bangkok I have enjoyed my shopping in Emporium Mall and it was really a lovely experience. Bangkok is really a great international hub for all shopping lovers and we should also appreciate Thailand tourism that they have maintained their cultural tradition of floating market. I have written some content about Bangkok floating market. Please have a look. http://www.joguru.com/damnoen-saduak-floating-market-bangkok-thailand

  3. hi norman, can u please help me where i can buy cheap medicines in bulk in bangkok? or somelike of a wholesaler type. im planning to purchase in bulk and bring to phils.

    • Oh my, I wish I can help you in that regard. My knowledge of medicine suppliers in Bkk is practically nil. But I’m sure you can find something online in the meantime. ;-)

  4. Hello Norman, i’ve been to Bangkok about three times already and since i myself love to shop i just fall in love in this place but now i have plans to purchase in bulk so i might be able to put up a small business and help my husband with all our daily needs specially since he is in battle with his life. Honestly though i do not know where to start… i do know where to shop but bringing the goods to Manila is a different matter. I wanted to find a freight or cargo that would deliver my goods to manila without having any problem with the customs but in the same time is not that costly coz it would definitely affect the price of the clothes. I am so hoping that you could enlighten me with this passion of mine… Thanks in advance

    • They offer that service inside Platinum Mall. I’m just not aware of the rates. ;-)

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  6. Hi, I do not trust the “famous sellers” now, I really prefer to buy everything from Thailand now, this is where I buy my stuff, for $20 “Personal Shopper Bangkok” (Google it I don’t have the exact link) will go shopping for you (anything), cheap and good, I would love to find the same cheap service in Paris or New York !!!

    • That’s cool! :-)

      • Hi norman,is there any mall in bangkok like greenhills?

      • Definitely! MBK is the most popular. But you shouldn’t miss Platinum Mall. ;-)

  7. This is very informative! Thanks Norman! :)

  8. Hi Norman,
    I really enjoy your blog post and planning to go there on early of July.
    Do u hv any suggestion for travel agent that trustable and do u know where is the best place to get cheaper shopping on baby clothes? Would love to buy abundle and how to courier back to kl aite?

    • Maria, as far as hotel booking goes, I trust sawadee.com which you can click on the side part of my blog’s home page. While there, the group also has an off-site branch at Chitlom station of the skytrain for other related bookings which may come at a short notice or while vacationing there.

      For shopping of baby clothes, you can do no wrong with Platinum Mall. I believe their customer service can recommend you couriers on the spot to help in transporting your purchases. :-)

      • Thank you Norman. U’ve been so helpful n do u hv any acc in fb which I cn add u as a friend?
        Would luv to suggest ur page to all my Fran later on^^

      • You’re welcome, Maria. Yes, I’m on FB. Just search for Norman Tinio. ;-)

  9. Have to agree with Norman (excellent blog by the way) so much great info here!
    Yes Grand Palace is an absolute must, and don’t forget the teak house next door – go early to ensure you have enough time for both.

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence! ;-)

  10. Hi Norman,

    I’m going to BKK by the end of the month and your blog is very helpful. Do you know where the stalls in Greenhills get their stuff there? Also, I would like to ask if tipping is necessary in Thailand. Thanks!

    • Platinum Mall and Chatuchak market, Mike. Treat tipping just like you would in Manila. ;-)

  11. Hi Norman! You’re blog is very informative. I am planning to visit Bangkok this May. Do you know any budget-friendly hotel near the airport? It’s gonna my first time travelling abroad so I am worried about the immigration process. I am gonna be travelling alone too, and that makes me more anxious. Are there any requirements that I need to prepare before hand? Thanks.

    • For reasonable accommodations near Suvarnabhumi Airport, check out Sinsuvarn Airport Hotel, Rafael Mansion Bangkok Airport or Plai Garden Boutique Guesthouse. All three are less than 3 kms. from the airport.

      Don’t fret about the immigration procedure there. Just wear your usual smile and friendly attitude. The Thais are just like us. No need to prepare anything before hand. The arrival cards are given inside the plane on your way there. You can fill it out before disembarking. Just make sure that the departure card attached to it is safely kept inside your passport so there will be no problems leaving Thailand. ;-)

  12. Thank you so much!! I really love your blog :)

    • You’re welcome, Angela. I’m glad you enjoy your visit/s here. ;-)

  13. Hello :) do you know which brands sell fringe bikinis/unique and designed by bangkok designers/bikinis with embellishments like chain or the like? Thank you so much. Will be going this summer :)

    • Angela, I’m afraid I can’t name brands, but I have an idea where you can start looking – Siam Center right beside Paragon. That’s where all the upcoming and current Thai designers (mostly for the young and yuppies) hold shop. Of course, Platinum Mall is also another place worth checking for the same. ;-)

  14. Wow this blog really led me into the malls with ease, Thanks a ton Norman,, would you have any idea to suggest me about good Resorts or restaurants ? I found few sites like http://www.bangkokin360.com/virtualtour/ which has a lot of information on it, but do you have any good choices of your own that you can share , I mean your personal favourites?

    • Restaurants, I can help you with, John. At Central World, check out Thasiam Gold on the Atrium area and See Fah Thai-Chinese resto on the 3rd floor old wing. There is also the very reliable Nara on the basement of Erawan Mall fronting the Erawan Shrine beside Grand Hyatt. For a quick fix of Thai-infused ramen, Hachiban has branches in just about every mall. And for a really cheap but delish array of authentic dishes, the food courts of MBK, Platinum Mall and even Siam Paragon should be visited. But truth be told, Thai street food is still the best! The options are endless and the food is served piping hot.

      Oh, and you’re welcome! ;-)

  15. Norman, thats like a quickest reply ever on a blog. Kudos to u mate.

    So when you say speak to the concierge, meaning they will organise it all for us? really?

    And I also wanted to ask if you can recommend a good massage parlour around lebua. We are sincerly looking at fun. A friend suggested J-one and said they offer really special services, however its located at sukhumvit. Something similar to that near lebua?

    Cheers

    • You can ask the concierge but emphasize on ‘discretely’. They can only do so much but it sure can cost you. About the massage, there are lots around the area. Again, the trusty concierge can give you safe recommendations. ;-)

  16. Hey,

    My friends and I are visiting bangkok in 2 weeks for my bachelor party. Need some tips to make sure we go crazy. We are put up at Lebua at state tower. Please do not assume we would be ready to spend anything just coz we r put up at lebua. Friend is a big fan of hangover 2 so had to make it happen.

    Anyways, we would like to do a cliche with the bachelors night but dont have any idea as whether we will be able to. Like call a few strippers, everyone has fun and then ofcourse the to be groom takes the cake.

    So tips please. Appreciate it.

    Vik

    • Vik, it sure won’t be a cheap bachelor party because the Silom area (which is on the far north end of Silom Rd from lebua) has everything you are looking for in a stag venue. Be ready to shell out a good amount of cash but make sure you hold on to it like crazy especially when you’re already drunk. Keep in mind that staying at lebua will give your ‘guests’ the idea that you are in Bkk to splurge in all night partying. If you don’t want being branded as such, then just discretely speak with the male concierge who will most likely arrange something for you and your friends. Enjoy! :-)

  17. Good to know lot of stuff through this blog!
    Really enjoyed reading it, I am planning to vist in the month of Dec 2012 single male, I need to few things where I can stay within $50 aud as well I am interested in nightlife, shopping cloths, shopping electronic items and some branded products!!!!

    Please be advised

    Srinivas
    India

    • Srini, thanks for dropping by. About your queries, my advise is for you to stay in the Sukhumvit area where good nightlife and shopping is within a walkable radius. Try staying at Kingston Suites, The Key or Legacy Express. For electronics, you can just schedule one day to visit Pantip Plaza in Pratunam where you can satisfy all your electronic needs. For name brands, visit Terminal 21, Siam Paragon and Central World. Enjoy!

  18. Great, Spa 1930 it is then :-). Many Thanks !

    • You’re welcome! :-)

  19. Many Thanks for the prompt and very useful revert Norman :-).
    Also just came across Lek Massage Centre, which I note is across the gate from Novotel Siam, where we will be putting up for 2 nights on our return as well. Worth a visit ?

    • Lek is alright, although I would go to them more for the foot massage. The area around Novotel Siam has lots of these establishments. Go for the one the hotel concierge would highly recommend. ;-)

  20. Hi Norman, you have a fab blog going, and really do appreciate your efforts in addressing all the many queries. Have a quick question myself – would you have ideas on good midrange spa’s for good massages around the Siam Square area please ? (Staying at the Four Season’s). Want to stay clear of ones that might have any shady back door business, but don’t want to pay five star prices either.

    • Hi Ava, thank you for the kind words about my blog. Now, onto the spa. I have three recommendations for you in the area (it will only take a 10-12 minute walk to any one of them). Top of the list is Spa 1930 –
      http://www.spa1930.com/ on Soi Tonson (check the website for map) which is the more expensive one but their packages are value for money in my opinion. The place is classy enough but without charging you an arm and a leg. The two other ones are more on the lower midrange and very reasonably priced. One is Indara Massage – http://www.indaramassage.com – and the other is Seventh Sense Spa – http://seventhsensespa.com – which are almost neighboring each other. Don’t get turned off with the crowded environs leading to the place itself. All three venues are recommendable, but Spa 1930 remains as my #1 pick. Enjoy! :-)

  21. Hi norman, we are a bunch of university postgraduates planning a trip to bangkok, our main purpose is to get some cheap shopping done, at platinum shopping mall or pratunum market, as we heard it’s one of the most budget shopping areas possible, correct us if we are wrong. Do you know of any nearby budget hotel that is still good and within the area? Awaiting your reply. :-)

    • There are lots, Jevin. But you can take your pick among Lemon Seed Rooms, Ten Stars Inn and Citin Pratunam. All three are walking distance to Platinum Mall. Lemon Seed may require the longer hike but it is the closest to the skytrain. ;-)

      By the way, your group will love (cheap) shopping at Platinum Mall.

  22. great reviews Norman, must have taken some work to compile all those great pics and a few there i didnt know about. good work!

    • Thanks!

  23. Hi Norman

    Thanks once again for your comprehensive explanation. :)-

  24. Hi Norman

    Really appreciate that you are always so helpful. I heard of the “Heart Land” chain of massage parlour. Would you know which branch is nearest to Citin and which skytrain station I should be looking out for.

    • It’s Health Land Spa. There are two branches that are marginally close, but that’s not saying a lot if you’re coming from the Citin/Pratunam area. One is Health Land Asoke. Ride the skytrain at Chitlom station and get off at Asoke station. From there, you need to walk along Asoke and turn left at Soi 1. You will see the place on your right.

      The other one is Health Land Sathorn which can be a bit more tricky to get to by skytrain. It is best to ride the skytrain at Siam Center ( which is a longer walk from Pratunam) then take the train coming from National Stadium and get off at Chong Nonsi station. From there, you’ll need to walk to the corner of Sathorn, turn right, walk some more until you find Health Land on your right.

      Both branches are not the easiest to locate on foot, but the one at Asoke should be more manageable in your case. I would go to this address more than the one in Sathorn, coming from Pratunam that is. And should you opt for a taxi, the Asoke branch is relatively closer if you hail a cab in front of Amari Watergate Hotel (Petchburi Rd.) and in the direction the vehicle is facing, ask the driver to bring you to Asoke where he should turn right, moving along until the corner of Soi 1. From there, you can just walk to Health Land.

  25. Hi Norman

    Is Nara restaruant at Erawan near to the Great Hyatt hotel? Any skytrain to go there? Is it walkable from Citin? From the map, it looks close.

    • Nara is at the basement of that high end Erawan mall beside Hyatt. Dont be deceived by the map. Its not always accurate. But just to make the walk less tedious, make a quick pit stop at Big C then proceed to Nara from there. The food will be worth the hike, specially the grilled giant prawns in spicy vegetable salad and rice. The place is right beside Chitlom skytrain station which is already one of two nearest stops to Pratunam. From Citin, that would be a 1.2km walk more or less.

  26. Hi Norman

    Could you pse recommend me a dinner cruise? I prefer the “junk” type not the kind with buffet.
    What is the rough cost for each?

    ty

    • All dinner cruises in Bangkok are buffet style with Thai dancing and the like. It is the Chao Phya river (like a bigger Pasig river) after all.The boodle-type of food feast you’re looking for is more common in the beach islands and resort provinces of Thailand. :-)

  27. Hi!
    I’ve actually just come back from 2 amazing weeks in Thailand  I was actually after some local shopping knowledge. Whilst in Bangkok I did a lot of shopping in the Siam Square area within the market and covered stall area. Here I came across a great ladies fashion shoes by a brand called “Shoes Gallery” which were sold in a number of stores but I haven’t been able to find any information about this shoe brand via the internet since returning to the UK. I would be really grateful if you have any information regarding this shoe brand (contacts, retailer, wholesaler, manufacturers etc)
    Thanks! Dotty.

    • I wish I could be of help, Dotty. But these Thai shoe manufacturers are not the easiest to track down. The brand name may belong to a pool of several subcontractors for several shops in Bangkok. But if ever I find any info about them, I’ll add to this reply. Just check from time to time. ;-)

  28. hi there my partner and i will be in bangkok for a week staying at Amari Watergate, i would love to know what are the biggest sizes that i wpould find in terms of cloths. and because i want to shop ALOT and i love pretty trendy things i would like to know in bhat how much we would need for that week, please bare in mind that our accomadation is paid for so i just basically need to know how much bhat will be enough for shopping and food. thank you so much

    • Hi! I normally set aside a minimum of 20k baht shopping money (with a small portion set aside for food) for a 5d/4n vacation. So if you add a couple of days, 25k should be okay (without high end purchases of course). By the way, they do have XXL at Platinum Mall (across Amari Watergate). :-)

  29. Ty Norman for your prompt reply.

  30. Hi Norman

    Is Citin Pratunam far from Baiyoke Sky Hotel? Does The Thanying Restaurant in Bangkok serve authentic Thai food? and how is the pricing?

    • BKK, Citin is around 12-15mins by foot from Baiyoke Sky. Both hotels are within the radius of the Pratunam area so they are walking distance from each other. As for Thanying, it is my opinion that any Thai resto in Bkk serves authentic local dishes except the modern ones that are fused with other Asian fares and advertised as such. Pricing-wise, resto food there is not that expensive, except if you dine in 5-star hotels and the like. I would also suggest Nara in the basement of Erawan Mall beside Grand Hyatt. You can also try Taling Pling at Central World. Btw, the food courts of MBK and Paragon are very reliable. ;-)

  31. Sawasdee krub Khun Norman,
    My name is Paolo who is Thai and lives in Bangkok. On behalf of Thais , I have to say “Kob Khun” to many things you’ve done in this blog. Very goooood information and all correctly. I found your blog by random via google.com. I just want to know the opinion of foreigners thinking about my country. R U half Thai by the way? Finally, Thailand Ambassador goes to you. Bravo!

    • Khop khun maak khap, Paolo. I don’t have Thai blood. 100% Filipino here. But it cannot be denied how much I love your country. :-)

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  35. hi! im planning to go to bangkok this year, can u suggest me where hotel can i stay, im bringing my 3 yrs old son with me, all i want to do is to go shopping & buy some stuff to sell, any hotel that near any shopping mall, so no need to ride a cab, i mean walking distance only & do you know any cargo or shipping company, that ships boxes from bangkok to manila philippines.

    • Ann, I have 3 words for you – Novotel Bangkok Platinum. This brand new hotel is attached to Platinum Mall itself so shopping will be a breeze. About the shipping of cargo boxes, consult the different shops where you will be buying stuff. They can help you. Otherwise, why not have them checked-in with you? You’ll be practically paying the same amount anyways. At least that’s what I learned from the viajeras who do the same thing. ;-)

  36. Hi Norman,

    Nope, i just short listed few hotels with a good rates. I really didnt have any idea about the location.

    Thanks a lot for your suggestions, we are now checking a good deal on the mentioned hotels by you.
    I know your blog is particulary on Bangkok, still I thought to check with you about the hotels at Phuket. Do you have any recommended hotels/locations for us?

    Thanks & Regards,
    Sethu

    • I’ll get back to you with a few recommendations on Phuket. ;-)

    • Sethu, here are my recommendations for Phuket:
      In Karon I would suggest the Hilton Arcadia or the Movenpick. Although you might consider the Karon Beach Resort in Kata as well.
      But given that you’re a couple, I would wholeheartedly recommend Indigo Pearl.

  37. Hi Norman,

    I really liked your blog, very informative.
    We 2 (me & hubby) is planning to visit bangkok for the first time, could you plz share your comments on the hotels ‘All Season Gold Orchid’, ‘Bangkok Cha-Da’ or ‘Luxx XL’, ‘All Seasons Bangkok Siam’. Also it would be really helpful if you could suggest us few good hotels in a ‘good’ location.
    Regards,
    Sethu

    • Thanks for reading my blog, Sethu.

      Ok, about your hotel selections, let me ask this first. Is there any place you want to be close to? I asked because all four choices are in relatively odd locations that are either off-center (Gold Orchid and Bangkok Cha-Da) or involving a good hike to the skytrain or sights (All Seasons Bangkok Siam and Luxx XL). I would assume that you would like to be conveniently located without spending an arm and a leg for accommodations, right?

      With that in mind, I am giving you four more options to consider, with rates varying from less than USD100 to roughly around USD100-110. Do check out the brand-new Novotel Bangkok Platinum in the Pratunam area, another brand-New hotel Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam near MBK, the no-frills Golden House (VIP House) in the Chitlom area & Erawan Shrine and the Ramada Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 8. All are near the skytrain, lots of dining options and shopping galore. If you prefer a big hotel set-up, Arnoma Hotel fits the bill.

      Just holler if you have other questions. ;-)

  38. Pingback: Bangkok-What A City!!! - Write Traveller | Write Traveller

  39. My brother suggested I would possibly like this blog. He was once totally right. This put up actually made my day. You cann’t believe simply how so much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  40. hi! i’ll be flying to bkk this month. would you recommend any hotel budget friendly walking distance to platinum mall? appreciate your reply

    • Hi tracy, check out Citin Pratunam Baiyoke Suites and First House Hotel. All 3 are walking distance to Platinum Mall. But if you want to be within a stone’s throw, there’s Grand Diamond Suites to consider.

  41. Hi Norman, This blog is very informative. Thank you! May I ask for suggestions where it’s best to eat at Bangkok? Also, where to go for an after dinner drinks? Note that I would appreciate a mid level budget. Thanks again! :)

    • Appreciate the compliment, polly! Are we related? :-)

      Anyways, there are so many dining choices in Bangkok. The cheap eats in food courts alone taste so good that you’ll weigh on a scale everyday just to check how much weight you’ve added. But if it’s a reasonably-priced lunch or dinner in a cozy atmosphere you’re after, check these ones out:
      1) Rosabieng Thai Restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 11 – very authentic!
      2) Nara on the basement level of Erawan Shopping Plaza right beside the Grand Hyatt
      3) Taling Pling Gastrocafe on the 3rd level, Atrium Zone of Central World
      4) Kalapapreuk on the basement of Siam Paragon (near the Gourmet Market)
      5) Baan Khanitha on Soi Ruamrudee near the Ploenchit Skytraib Station (probably the most expensive in the group)
      6) If you’re looking for one of the best Italian restos there, you can do no wrong with Zanotti’s on Soi Saladaeng (very near the Saladaeng Skytrain station on Silom Rd) right beside Saladaeng Colonnade.
      7) How about the best food court option available? Head off to the 5th Floor of MBK Shopping Center where you’ll be spoilt for choice without breaking smaller bills in your wallet.

      As for the drinks, you must try either the Rooftop Bar of lebua at State Tower (at the very end of Silom Road) or Sirocco (rooftop of Banyan Tree Bangkok) where you can get a breathtaking view of the city at night, while sipping on a glass of tequila or vodka tonic. There is also the very metrosexual Bed Supperclub on Sukhumvit Soi 11 (right after President Palace Hotel) where the vibe is anything but traditional.

      Enjoy Bangkok! ;-)

  42. Hi Norman, very informative blog. my family is planning a trip to bangkok sometime may. is arnoma or bayoke hotel
    close to malls? i have 2 teen daughters who are so excited to shop. i am a foodie critic and would appreciate where i can find exotic dishes and local beers. my son is with a telecom firm and wants to know where a good electronic mall is. for my wife, a bag store is her craving. for your wisdom please. cheers!!! benj

    • Benj, thanks for dropping by. Ok, here are my two-cents worth on your queries:
      Hotels – between Arnoma & Baiyoke, I would pick the former for sheer convenience, proximity to the skytrain & a location in the middle of malls. But if you want to push it further, Novotel Siam Square would be a haven for all of you.

      For your wife – if she’s looking for originals, Siam Paragon, Central World & Gaysorn Plaza would be the place to shop. Otherwise, Platinum Mall & MBK should do it.

      For your daughters – Siam Center (right beside Siam Paragon) is a must but the goods tend to be pricey. Alternatively, Platinum Mall, Siam Square (surrouding Novotel) & MBK are top picks for the young & trendy ones.

      For your son – a visit to Pantip IT Mall (just a couple of bldgs. away from Platinum Mall) is a must. This is the electronic hub in Bangkok. He can also check the ones at MBK but Pantip is as dedicated to all things techie as it gets.

      For you – if you guys stay at Arnoma, Big C is a next door neighbor and the food court in the higher floors is a safe bet to initiate your tummy to the authentic wonders of Thai food that we don’t normally see in Thai restos here in Manila. Beer can also be had. What’s more, the prices are so cheap you won’t mind the bill. On your visit to Central World (across Arnoma), treat the family to a nice Thai dinner at Taling Pling Gastrocafe on the 3rd level Atrium Zone (beside Bread Talk). That place is my current fave.

      If you have other concerns, feel free to ask or email me at : norman.blogsite@gmail.com

      Happy planning! ;-)

    • By the way, benj, I have so much more to share but the replies on this topic have become so long. Email me so I can expound further. I enjoy sharing these tips so that first-time visitors to Bangkok will have a real good time. ;-)

      • hi norman, just emailed. thanks.

  43. Hi Norman, just wanted to say thank you for all your advice and I had an amazing time in Bangkok and Phuket. Already plotting my return. I have referred your blog-spot to some of my friends and people i meet wanting to know more. I could not have found a more honest account of what things are really like before i departed. Keep doing what you doing. xoxo Dayne

    • Hey, dayne, thanks for the kind words. A good word-of-mouth is always the best (and most economical) advertising. ;-)

  44. Gee! you are amazing my friend! It takes a lot of energy to do this,being a Blogger, shop aholic,adventurous & jetsetter person rolled in one. You have shared some interesting facts that i truly enjoyed reading ,as they are very informative. Keep on rolling and Goodluck to you!

    • Thanks, pie! It took me years to compile my Bangkok-related blogs and I’m about to make updates again in a week or two. Nice to get in touch with you once more. See you around! ;-)

  45. Hi Norman, interesting read! I was hoping you could help me out with my queries
    Firstly, I am a single woman travelling to bangkok in feb 2011 and was wondering if its safe-i am precautious but are there any dos and donts? which area is good to stay? not a party animal at all so not interested in night life just needs to be safe and within budget.

    Secondly,
    I am a die hard shopoholic and cant wait to fill my bags with goodies so this was a v. helpful read for me. I have been warned that bikinis , monokinis arent easily availiable for western woman-is that true? I am flying airasia so thought could pick my swim wear there. I am 115 pounds, 5’6′ so not fat but def not petite like thai women.

    thank you for your help!

    • Jane, thanks for visiting my blog. Here are my thoughts on your questions:

      I am a single woman travelling to bangkok in feb 2011 and was wondering if its safe-i am precautious but are there any dos and donts? which area is good to stay? not a party animal at all so not interested in night life just needs to be safe and within budget.

      Jane, you forgot to share your budget. Nonetheless, here goes…..Bangkok is a safe city. Of course, it goes without saying that any city in the world has its fair share of shady characters everywhere. But the Land of Smiles ranks in my book as one of the safest. Area-wise, it is best to stay in the Siam Square area – Bangkok’s shopping mecca. I’m not a party animal either so we share the same preferences in this regard. I suggest you look at Arnoma Hotel, Asia Hotel or Aphrodite Inn if your budget is under USD100/night. Other options are Krit Thai Mansion and Lub D Bangkok-Siam Square if you prefer to spend less than USD50 a night. Now, if you’re willing to shell out more than the above, I strongly recommend that you pick Novotel Siam Square or Holiday Inn Bangkok (Chitlom/Ploenchit). Any of these properties are close to the skytrain for easy navigation of the city. Not so many don’ts to share with you except that you ignore touts on the streets who are offering to bring you to jewelry shops or authentic Thai restos. Also, it’s much better if you can avoid using taxicabs because there is a tendency for some of them to drive you the long route instead of the quick one so that you end up with a high fare. As far as food is concerned, don’t fret about eating in food courts inside malls. They offer some of the cheapest and most authentic Thai dishes. Yum!

      I am a die hard shopoholic and cant wait to fill my bags with goodies so this was a v. helpful read for me. I have been warned that bikinis , monokinis arent easily availiable for western woman-is that true?

      Yes, you can still find swimwear your size in Bangkok. Go for a brand like BSC (Thailand’s own) which you can find in almost any department store like Central Chitlom, Siam Paragon and the like. Otherwise, you can visit Platinum Mall in Pratunam (walking distance from Arnoma Hotel and Aphrodite Inn) where a lot of generic-branded swimsuits can be bought. You may not be petite but your height and weight are still within the upper fringes of Asian size parameters (probably a Large or XL at most). Just be careful about buying too much because I know AirAsia has limited baggage allowance. A couple of hours or so at Platinum Mall or MBK is enough to accumulate 10kg of additional luggage.

      Hope this helps. If you have other concerns, feel free to ask. ;-)

  46. Hi Norman, just read your blog and really liked it and informative.I will follow you advise as first time visitor to Bangkok and shop at MBK Centre. I need some advice, Fristly i would really like to buy swim wear when i get to Bangkok befiore i travel to Phuket and i am a huge fan of AussieBum swim wear and was wondering if there are any stockist in Bangkok as i have searched every where online, alternatively i would buy from any local designer but do not know any names so if you can suggest some that would be great.

    Secondly i though it best to stay in Sukhumvit area however if you can suggest a really nice hotel then i might reconsider. I really liked the Amari Watergate but discovered they have no swimming pool.Also would really like the hotel to be close to gay areas aswell as MBK Centre.

    Lastly i heard that best place to stay in Phuket would be the Paradise complex as its close to gay area and beach etc. What hotel would you suggest?

    Please let me know as soon as you can as i will be in Bangkok in 4 weeks.

    Regards
    Dayne

    • Hey dayne, first of all, thanks for dropping by. If it’s going to be your first time in Bangkok (and Thailand in general), let me just say that you will have a fab time in the Land of Smiles.

      Swimwear-wise, I always shop for the BSC brand because they’re known for it. It is available in any of the leading department stores like Central, Siam Paragon, Zen and Emporium.

      About hotels, I would use Amari Watergate as benchmark in terms of your budget. If you want to be walking-distance-close to MBK as well, check out Siam@Siam Design Hotel & Spa. You will like this one – the concept and atmosphere are nice. On the other hand, if Sukhumvit floats your boat, I would suggest Phachara Suites on Soi 6. This is relatively brand new with very spacious units to boot. Their Studio Executive is value-for-money especially now that they have Super Saver Specials ongoing. But if you want to be in the middle of gay activity itself, head over to Silom and check out Bandara Suites. The bars in Silom and Surawong Roads are within arms’ reach but not too close so you can still maintain some privacy. By the way, all three hotels are Skytrain-friendly so moving around in the city won’t be a problem.

      In Phuket, Paradise Complex is indeed a good area to stay close to, but it can get crowded and noisy until the wee hours of the morning. If that doesn’t bother you a lot, then you can choose between Royal Paradise Hotel Phuket and Blue Dolphin Hotel. But if you want more privacy, there is the gay-owned CC Blooms Hotel and BYD Lofts.

      Have fun in Thailand! ;-)

  47. Hi! Thanks for the feedback on P2 boutique hotel.Can you help me on my itinerary.My husband and I will be there this July for 4 d/3n.What are the best places to visit for first time tourists in Bangkok.What are the places to avoid ?

    • Hi jennifer, I would suggest two activities not to miss. First, take the Grand Palace tour because it is a must in any first-timers’ itinerary. You can also avail of the Chao Phya river cruise, preferably late in the afternoon, or better yet, take the dinner cruise for something more romantic with your husband. There’s not much in terms of places to avoid because Bangkok is still relatively safe. Just steer clear of touts who convince to bring you to jewelry shops and the like. Have a fun time in the Land of Smiles! ;-)

    • Hey dear, There are a large number of place where you can visit to watch the real beauty of Bangkok. I am sharing a link with you. I also follow it and it helps me alott. http://bangkok.travel/category/bangkok-areas Hope it will help you

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