Thailand attracts shoppers from across the world. And not just because it is an affordable destination. From budget shopping to extravagant splurging - whatever type of shopper you are, Thailand has got you covered. With literally hundreds of malls lined up throughout the city, currency exchange counters at every street corner, and skywalks to let you hop from one mall to another non-stop.
The megacities of Thailand seem like they are designed specifically for the shopping crowd. While going on a shopping haul in Thailand, there are two places which should definitely be on your list - Phuket and Bangkok.
Here is everything you need to know about the sought after shopping destinations in these cities.
Shopping in Phuket
In Phuket, head out to these five places in Phuket for a shopping spree.
1. Jungceylon shopping Mall
With over 200 shops, the Jungceylon shopping Mall is one of the finest malls in Phuket where you can find everything with a mass variety of options available in the mall. It encompasses international labels like Big C and you can buy a diverse range of fashion products all in one place like clothes, bags, sunglasses and a lot more.
- Where: Tambon Patong, Amphoe Kathu, Chang Wat Phuket 83150, Thailand
2. Chillva Market
When in Phuket, go for a late night shopping stroll for a great experience with offbeat items. The moment you step in, you will find light and colourful shops with eye-catching set ups of shipping containers to give you the signage and differentiation between shops. These shops sell bohemian items in all forms and designs. From dresses, clothes, and accessories - there is nothing you would not find at Chillva Market.
- Where: Ratsada, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
3. Phuket Old Town Handicraft shops
If you are looking for history and handicraft on the same platter, then make sure you visit Phuket Old Town to find it. The lanes of this Old town are filled with shops selling art and handicraft items and modern clothing. Even though you won't find any big brands here, it is a must visit shopping space for all rustic items - dolls, toys, clothes and accessories, everything telling you a story in a way that’s Thai.
4. Phuket Indy Market
If you are a young soul or looking for something that resonates with the youth, then Phuket Indy Market is your place to be. With young Thai's selling the latest fashion - pretty clothes and unique accessories, this market is for all fashion lovers who want to explore the Thai fashion style. Even though this market is not as big as others in Thailand, it definitely is a lively place for you to absorb all the young vibes.
- Where: Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Shopping in Bangkok
As Thailand’s capital, Bangkok has travellers visiting from all walks of life. Even though it is popularly known as the ‘City of Angels’ because of the presence of ornate shrines, the city is not any less than a sight to live and enjoy for a shopaholic.
Here are some shopping locations to visit for great shopping experience
1. Platinum Fashion Mall
With a six story complex housing over 2000 shops, Platinum Fashion Mall is a place where you will find everything. Scroll around the mall and buy what suits you, at your price. Yes, your price! This is possible because price tags are not fixed in Platinum Mall. This means that when at Platinum, you can shop comfortably in an air-conditioned set up with a fun and flexible street shopping experience.
- Where: 222 Phetchaburi Rd, Khwaeng Thanon Phetchaburi, Khet Ratchathewi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400, Thailand
2. Chatuchak Weekend Market
Offering a blend of food and shopping, Chatuchak Weekend Market is a great shopping spree destination in Thailand, especially if you love to eat while you shop. This weekend market hosts over 8000 shops which means there is basically nothing that you won’t find here. The shops showcase products like clothing, accessories, ceramics, antiques and more.
- Where: Kamphaeng Phet Road, Lat Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
3. Central World
The sixth biggest Shopping Center in the world, this one should be in your shopping list when in Bangkok. It also offers dining, night parties and entertainment experience which means that Central World should be your go-to place to enjoy while you shop. You can buy high tech gadgets, branded fashion related items and books when in Central World.
- Where: 4,4/1-4/2 4/4 Ratchadamri Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330
4. Union Mall
This one is a great place to buy apparels curated by local young designers, giving you an exclusive tour of the upcoming fashion styles in Thailand. It is extremely popular among the locals and caters 1000 retail shops. The designing of the apparel is unique here, and you won’t find these products anywhere else.
- Where: 54, Soi Lat Phrao 1 | Chom Phon, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
5. Terminal 21 Bangkok
A mall based on a unique concept, at Terminal 21 Bangkok, each floor showcases a city-based theme. On one floor, you may feel like being in Tokyo while looking for a dress or finding a souvenir and on the other one, enjoy a great meal feeling like you are in San Francisco. So, put this on your shopping list and get a worldwide experience, all in one place.
- Where: 88, Soi Sukhumvit 19, Sukhumvit Road | Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Souvenirs and More
While you’re busy enjoying yourself, buying expensive stuff, exploring the markets and eating the local food, don’t forget to bring yourself and for others, a part of that country, a memory which can be touched, felt and gifted as a souvenir. Something to remind you of the place you visited, and also to leave you with a story to tell.
Which is why, here are some souvenirs you should grab when in Thailand - souvenirs which speak of the local culture, ways of living and art forms.
1. Thai Spa Products
Thailand is rightly called ‘The Wellness Capital of Asia’ because of Thai massages, which are extremely popular for their soothing experience. As much as the technique matters for the same, the products being used are also equally important. Thai Spa Products have components which strengthen the tissue muscles deeply and allows your body to relax. So grab one of these - soaps, oils, scrubs, massage packs etc. for yourself or someone else as it’s a great utility product, which also has super health benefits.
2. Thai Silk
When in Thailand, make sure you get yourself some Thai Silk Fabric since there is no other souvenir which will be as authentic than this one. Make sure you get to know the very interesting story behind the famous Thai Silk. Thai Silk is a fabric locally made through silkworms and Thailand has promising silkworm farming for the same. Different silk forms different kinds of fabric.
While looking for Thai Silk, try multiple shops since the quality may vary and this would allow you to find the best one, at the best price. If you are not looking at buying a fabric, then you can also go for shirts, skirts or other clothing items; or accessories/home decor items like pillow covers, bags or wallets - all made up of Thai Silk.
3. Thai Spices
Well, there’s no denying as to how popular Thai food is for all the right reasons! It is the right blend of Thai Spices, which makes the flavours so exquisite. All Thai dishes derive their uniquely bold and pungent flavour from Thai aromatic spices which add richness and a taste to the food.
But you need not miss the amazing Thai food once you’re back if you grab yourself the local Thai spices. They are easily available and easy to carry since they are dried and come in sealed packing. You should grab some of these to treat yourself and your friends with some authentic Thai food.
4. Thai Handicrafts
Local artisans, young artists and handicrafts - old, new, transitory - this is what Thailand is all about. The markets are colourful, eye-catching and unique; and so are the products. In every market, you would find handicrafts in pretty much all the shops. Watch out for wooden carvings, paintings, triangle cushions and wicker baskets.
5. Pottery and more
Thailand showcases intricate designs when it comes to ceramics, making the pottery items available here unlike what you would find in other countries. Two of the most famous are Bencharong porcelain and Sangkhalok stoneware. To buy yourself some of these, you can either stroll around in markets or malls or find some exclusive ceramic and pottery shops or studios, where you can learn the form, make one for yourself and take it home.
A symbol of Thailand, small elephant sculptures or any other form makes a great souvenir option. You can look for things like chocolate elephants, ornaments, wood carvings or paintings. You can also grab them from duty-free shops at the airport. The elephant shaped, chocolate covered macadamia nuts at Duty-Free are a good option and make sure you keep some Thai Baht in handy for these.
So, get into those shopping shoes, and make the most of what Thailand has to offer, in its nooks and corners, through its local products and colourful lanes.
Travel tip shared by Swapnil