Part1- Shopping paradise

My friends are off to Thailand for a holiday next month, lucky things! They’re only planning to stay in the capital for a few days before heading off for the beaches, so they asked me to put together a very short list of where to go shopping in Bangkok.

{ Shopping paradise }

If you like shopping with a capital S, you won’t be disappointed with Siam Square, which for many years has been a commercial landmark in Bangkok with a host of shops, independent designer boutiques and restaurants popular with young Thais.
And across the road there are three huge shopping centres: Siam Center & Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon and MBK. They are all easily accessible by skytrain (Bangkok’s elevated railway) via the "Siam" station. Once there you can walk from one to the other easily. There is so much to see, taste and do; it’s difficult to do it all in one day (especially loaded down with shopping). Shopping malls in Australia pale in comparison.

Siam Paragon
Siam Paragon is the newest and largest of the three, with six levels and the world’s most luxurious brands. It’s unashamedly up-market and offers an international-standard shopping experience at a reasonable price.

There’s a food court – of course, you are in Thailand – with a fantastic array of culinary delights and every kind of Asian and Western cuisine you could wish for, and it’s busy, really busy.
In case you were in any doubt about the target market, on the second floor are dazzling showrooms for Maserati, Lamborghini and Ferrari.

But the store that impressed me most was the huge Kinokuniya bookstore on the third floor. It offers an enormous range of books in vast range of languages and has a coffee shop on the premises. You can easily spend the day just in here.
The fourth floor is IT City with outlets for everything to do with computers and all the latest gadgets: it’s geek heaven. Also around here is Paragon Passage, which showcases handicrafts, antiques, and handmade products, great for those looking for authentic Thai gifts.

For the fitness minded, CaliforniaWowX (Fitness Center) is on the 4th floor.
In case you run out of things to do, Paragon CinePlex, and KrungSri IMAX movie theatres are located on the fifth and sixth floors. There are five IMAX theatres and nine regular movie theatres.
To round the complex off, the biggest aquarium in Asia is in the basement, where you can watch a 4D movie, travel and see fish in a glass bottom boat and an aquarium tunnel with sharks and much more.
Siam Ocean World

Siam Center & Siam Discovery
For the young and hip at heart, Siam Center & Siam Discovery is Thailand’s fashion hub for the latest and coolest clothes, from both Thai and international suppliers. There are over 300 stores featuring fashion, leather goods, cosmetics, extreme sport apparel and accessories. This is the perfect place for your teenager to max out your credit card. Add to this a range of chic cafes and ice cream parlors, free concerts, fashion shows and entertainment activities every weekend and it is not surprising that this is a center for young trendsetters and those that want to be seen with that set. The Siam Discovery Center also has Asia’s only Habitat store and a specialty store from Japan called Loft.

Set kitty-cornered across the intersection, is a shopping mall called MBK Centre, which sells, well, you name it. With thousands of shops, large and small, from department stores to tiny independent retailers, this is shopping’s ground zero. Try here for everything electronic, phones, watches, TVs, DVDs, games, clothes, luggage ... the list goes on and on. Take a pocketful of cash, sharpen up your bartering skills and dive in. MBK is very popular with Thai teenagers and most of the brand name clothes, bags and belts are copies, so be warned. If you want the real stuff, head back over the road to Paragon, but for my money, MBK is way more fun.

Good tips: -->The Bangkok Shopping Guide

After shopping all day, head back to the movies on the sixth and seventh floors of Siam Discovery and try the Grand EGV: the most luxurious and comfortable cinema complex in Thailand. It features seven theatres, including two Gold Class theatres with a seating capacity of forty, and five Deluxe cinemas with a stadium style seating. Gold Class tickets are expensive, so do the currency conversions before fronting up to the counter.

This is Thailand, so foreign films are censored for nudity and violence, but the original soundtrack is usually kept with Thai subtitles added at the bottom of the screen. The seating is supremely comfortable, sound and picture quality is excellent, and viewers enjoy huge, private couches, well away from your neighbours. Waiters will bring you snacks and beverages. One thing to note, Thai movie theatres are usually freezing cold, so take a sweater or a wrap.

At the beginning of every movie in Thailand, the Thai national anthem is played while images of the HM the King and the royal family are shown on the screen. You must stand quietly during the anthem, along with everyone else, as the audience pays its respects to Thailand’s beloved King.

Combined, these three shopping centres are an unmatched retail mecca with a plethora of outlets, dining options, and attractions, and a ‘must visit’ for those in search of that special something. The staff are outstanding; they’ll always smile and try to help you, even if they can’t! Seriously, if you can’t find what you want in these shopping centres, you’re not looking.

The three centres offer a tourist discount card, which offers 5%-30% discounts from participating shops. Visitors are also eligible for a 7% VAT refund on purchases of more than 5000 Baht (about US$150) in one day at any of the centres.

Photo credits:

Part 2: Floating market
Part 3: Vimanmek

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1 comment:

Exquisite Accessories said...

Gosh its changed since I was last there, gosh I feel old!! I want to go & I want to go NOW!!! How fantastic I just want o go to the move's & sit in one of the luxurious seats with a large flat white & a Pizza please :)

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