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downundergal Bangkok - A travel report by Kerrie
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Bangkok,  Thailand - flag Thailand -  Krung Thep Mahanakhon
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downundergal's travel reports

Shop over in Bangkok

  16 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
Although Bangkok offers many grand tourist sights we decided that after a month long jaunt that had already included many similar attractions that we would opt out of being tourists and spent our time doing some thing that Bangkok is famous for - shopping!

Bangkok Street
Bangkok Street
Although transport in Bangkok is good it is such a huge spread out city you really need to decide how you wish to spend your time and base yourself in a particular area if possible. We chose to stay in the Ratchathewi district near Siam Square. This area hosts many different shopping plazas including amongst others Siam Square, Siam Discovery, Siam Center, Pantip Plaza and Mah Boon Krong (MBK). If you are here for the tourist sights you may be better to base yourself in Khao San Rd the traditional traveller’s haunt as it close to all the major tourist attractions and offers all the traveller needs but will take at least an hour to travel back across to town to this area for the shopping and it is a little too westernised for my liking.

Favourite spots:
If you are looking for anything computer related you just can’t go past Pantip Plaza. It really is a mecca for anything electronic with over 5 floors to choose from. There is so much to choose from you will probably have a headache in no time. If you are unsure exactly of the specifications of what you are looking for slip out the front door, turn left, walk along a block and there is an internet café there that is as cheap as chips. Do your research online and then walk back to close the deal. There is also loads of pirated software and DVD’s cheap but not as cheap as other places we have been. Mah Boon Krong was one of my favourite places to shop. It is huge!! I think that I spent most of my time in Bangkok inside this shopping centre. With eight floors and thousand’s of shops it was really well designed with each level carrying a particular item or line. cont'd

What's really great:
Street sign for the main tourist area
Street sign for the main tourist area
For example the first three levels had all the “normal” Thai shops selling clothing, shoes, belts and all types of clothing. Although you need to be fairly small to fit Asian sizes. On another floor the whole level covers mobile phones, new and second hand with all the accessories. My poor old mobile had been so badly knocked about I had it rebuilt there with a whole new cover and new LCD screen for less than the cost for someone to even look at it at home. Level three was great if you don’t want to carry your souvenirs with you when traveling as it had a huge range of carvings, paintings and fake “brand” name clothing aimed at the tourist market. I think it was more expensive than you would find elsewhere. The centre also contains a huge department store called Tokyu with the most incredible shoes (sorry my fetish) amongst other items that I have ever seen.

Khao San Rd
Khao San Rd
If you are in Bangkok on the weekend make sure that you take the Skytrain out to the colossal Chatuchak markets. To get here you need to take the Skytrain out to Mo Chit.
This is one of the largest weekend markets in the world and it is huge, steamy hot and very disorientating but still fantastic.
Everything you can think of is here, where to start? It is divided into sections which is a great theory but when you start wandering within it’s internal maze you will soon find that you won’t end up where you were hoping you would. The pet section can be upsetting but on the whole most of the animals for sale we saw were well looked after albeit a little stressed from the heat. One of the funniest sights we saw was a cockatoo having a blow wave. Sitting on a perch looking bedraggled and scrawny and dripping wet whilst the store owner was blow-drying him with a hairdryer and he was loving it.

Room at Samran Place
Room at Samran Place
If you are here for the shopping you can’t go past the little known Samran Place for the location and the price. It was one of the most reasonable priced places that I found in this area where upmarket hotels abound. Rooms start at just $20US per night for a double. This includes breakfast which was really good, freshly cooked with a choice of Asian or various western combinations. Check out Asia rooms as well as the hotel website as we found they were a fraction cheaper and offered a really good booking service. The rooms were large, clean and comfortable not flash but adequate.
With a 10 – 15 minute walk to the shopping centres it is really convenient. The only downside is that a little way past the hotel you have to walk past a long line of street food vendors. It was OK in the morning when everything was fresh but by late afternoon you just had to hold your breath and make a dash for it.

The restaurant at Samran Place has a large menu is reasonable and serves good food. They have a fantastic Seafood Tom Yum Goong or spicy Thai soup on the menu, guaranteed to raise the roof off your mouth. The security guard doubles as the resident pianist.
In Khao San Rd I can recommend a little restaurant in a back alley running parallel to Khao San. It is attached to a hotel called NJ New Joe Guesthouse. Although we didn’t stay here the rooms looked OK for the price 450 Baht and the restaurant and the staff were great, really friendly. The restaurant is located in a covered courtyard. Their web site is

Other recommendations:
Bangkok street
Bangkok street
Getting from the airport into town is easy on the Airport bus. Take the AB4 and they drop you at the door. Cost is just 100 baht per person. A taxi is about 400 depending on your negotiating skills.
If you wish to visit Khao San Rd from Samran Place you take any number of buses including the 59,511,60 and number 2 or ask at the Reception. The ladies working on there might look scary but they are really helpful.
If you are in transit here and need to kill some time you can take a Bangkok Transit tour. There are eight on offer and you can hook up with them at the airport.

Published on Saturday August 20th, 2005

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Thu, Feb 22 2007 - 12:15 PM rating by travler

I'm not fond of Bankock but your review was great.

Tue, Aug 23 2005 - 04:20 AM rating by gloriajames

thanks for the shopping tips!

Sun, Aug 21 2005 - 04:45 PM rating by eirekay

Kerrie, I admit to a love of shopping - I enjoyed reading about this side of Bangkok!

Sun, Aug 21 2005 - 10:46 AM rating by mistybleu

An intersting report on practice aspects of Bangkok. I missed the pictures though.

Sun, Aug 21 2005 - 01:58 AM rating by davidx

I admit to preferring your tourist reports and I think a trip round these places would destroy what is left of my mind - but this is a very informative report.

Sun, Aug 21 2005 - 01:05 AM rating by esfahani

I really enjoy reading your report... add some pics!!! - Ralph

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