New Bangkok shopcation locations
Adapted from image credit: @aomsaros
Ah, Bangkok. It’s the first place I think of when I want a quick yet affordable getaway, or when I’m in serious need of a wardrobe revamp. We flock there with half-empty luggages to fit in our new loot and empty stomachs ready for Thai flavour-packed food, but this time, I was there on a shopping mission - a shopcation, you could say.
If you’ve been to this vibrant city but haven’t indulged in its shopping, you are seriously missing out. On this trip, I wanted to focus all my energy on scoring every single cheap cheap deal that I could get, and shop till I dropped - literally. To really complete your BKK experience, here are 10 places you gotta visit for a unique shopcation.
1. Chang Chui - Creative hub with a decommissioned plane
When the first thing that greeted me upon entering Chang Chui was a massive plane with an attached slide, I immediately knew I was going to love the place. Translated as “careless craftsman” or “sloppy artisan”, Chang Chui sure nailed down that vibe with their quirky decor and mishmash of entertainment.
Chang Chui functions a little like a night market, opening after 4pm, but you can be there earlier to snap some pictures. Unfortunately the plane is decorative and you won't be allowed in, but the red slide juxtaposed with the metallic grey plane makes for a unique sight.
Drop by Galaxy Barber for a haircut, try your hand at carnival-inspired games at TAM:DA PLAY, and hit up Happening Shop and Fly Now for items you’ll never find at the usual night markets.
We also caught the exhibitions “NOT SO CUTE” and “Out of Order” at the art gallery while we were there, and stopped by Deerato for scoops of brightly coloured ice cream with unlimited toppings!
Address: 460/8 Street Sirindhorn Road, Bang Phlat, Bangkok 10700
Opening hours: 4PM - 11PM Daily
Telephone: +66 081 817 2888
2. Pak Khlong Talat - Bangkok's largest flower market
Although Pak Khlong Talat caters more to the locals, you can head down to Bangkok’s largest flower market for affordable blooms. You’ll find roses, orchids, marigolds, and chrysanthemums, plus some stalls already have pre-arranged bouquets to choose from.
Most vendors were threading fresh flowers into garlands while we were there, and these garlands are commonly offered to temples as a sign of respect. If you’re planning to visit Bangkok’s many temples and shrines, you can pick up a couple up here.
On the second floor, you can take up a floral art workshop or Thai cooking class that’ll teach you how to make use of the various ingredients and edible flowers in the market for a mouthwatering and pretty dish.
Outdoor parts of this market have recently been shifted into the main indoor area or Yodpiman River Walk since last year, so you can start at here first before continuing down the street.
Address: Chak Phet Road, Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours, busiest at 3 - 4AM
3. Siam Discovery Mall - Luxury mall with Korean + Japanese influence
The re-opened Siam Discovery Mall combines luxury and futuristic architecture for an out-of-this-world shopping experience. It’s hard not to splurge when big brands such as Issey Miyake, Alexander Wang and Balmain come into play.
For all you streetwear fans, there’s also Cazh.crew, with apparel from Thai and other Asian designers, including brands like Drink Beer Save Water from Korea.
This “lifestyle laboratory” themed mall also incorporates laboratory equipment such as beakers, test-tubes, and microscopes as part of the decorations that are scattered throughout the mall, so explore and interact with them for a shopping experience you won't get in Singapore.
Address: 989 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Hours: 10AM -10PM daily
Telephone: +66 2 658 1000
4. Rot Fai Ratchaya - A neatly-organised night market
Located right beside Esplanade Mall, Rot Fai Ratchaya is the sister market of the original Talad Rot Fai. This smaller scale market is a lot easier to navigate through since everything is in neat lanes, with food fronting the first four rows and clothes filling the other 8 to 10 rows.
The food didn’t disappoint, and there was everything from seafood platters similar to the ones at Dancing Crab, to skewers, tom yum noodles, sashimi, and raw oysters. We popped by Cafe 1958 for a Snow Thai Milk Tea (159 Baht/~S$6.50) that had the smoothest shaved ice we’ve ever had. It was a winning combination with cubed toast drenched in Thai milk tea sauce.
Stalls here have something to offer for everyone, and besides the usual clothes, shoes, and accessories, you can get a temporary airbrushed tattoo or an actual one, vintage art and knick knacks, as well as adorable plush toys.
The inner alcoholic in me rejoiced when we hit the street that was dedicated to different themed bars that were housed in containers. Prices for alcohol here start as low as 50 Baht - that’s approximately SGD$2!
End the night with a live band performance
Address: Ratchada Road, beside Esplanade Mall and near Thailand Cultural Centre MRT
Opening Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 6PM - Midnight
5. SHOW DC - K-culture mall with K-fashion and K-cafes
That's a mural of BTS members on the right!
SHOW DC is the place for all K-culture fans. You’ll feel like you were in Korea once you step in - there are familiar K-pop tunes, cafes, fashion and even a Lotte Duty Free store!
BTS is all the rage now, and if you haven’t been lucky enough to catch them live, you can make yourself feel better at BTS Brick Café. This BTS-themed cafe sweetens things up a little more with a variety of waffles served either whole or in finger form. You can also get an iced espresso latte that has its coffee frozen into a little lego man.
For something a little daintier, try the Black Bean Latte at by GRACE, a creamy concoction that bears a strong taste of sesame.
In the Lotte Duty Free store, you’ll find international, Korean, and Thai brands. There's a solid mix of apparels, beauty products, and souvenirs.
Unwind at K Pub’s rooftop bar and sip drinks as you watch the sunset morph into a sky illuminated by the city’s lights.
Address: Jaturatid Road, Huai Khwang, Bangkapi, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Opening hours: Daily 10AM - 10PM
Telephone: +66 2 203 1890
6. Hua Mum Night Market - Night market with more locals than tourists
Hua Mum Night Market is another market where you’ll find more locals than tourists, which also means that you’ll find more unique items here compared to other markets and malls. The only problem is the language barrier, but you could always pull out Google translate to get what you want across. If that fails, look out for stalls with young tenants - they tend to be more multilingual and would have a better chance of speaking English or Mandarin.
There were stalls selling vintage emblems, wall decorations, car decals, decorated helmets and even motorbikes and trucks. And you won’t have to worry about going hungry since there are rows and rows of food - you’ll leave here full on experience and nosh instead of just cheap loot.
Address: 11 Kaset-Nawamin Rd, Lat Phrao, Bangkok 10230, Thailand
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 6PM - 12AM
7. Talad Neon - Night market within walking distance from Platinum Mall
Image credit: @aomsaros
If you’re not a fan of travelling out of the Pratunam area, you’ll fancy the convenience of Talad Neon. Situated beside Berkeley Hotel, this market is a 10 to 15 minute walk away from Platinum Mall.
Perhaps the most touristy of all markets, Talad Neon reminds me most of pasar malams in Singapore, where there’s mix of hipster food, but nothing really local. This was also one of the quieter markets I visited.
Shopping wise, you could grab a couple of trinkets for your friends back home, or find touristy tees that proclaim your love for BKK. I found myself wishing for more neon decorations (ie photo spots) in the market, because unfortunately, the only thing that was neon there was the sign at the entrance.
Address: 1087 Khwaeng Makkasan, Khet Ratchathewi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400, Thailand
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 4PM - 12AM
Telephone: +66 063 230 1555
8. Box Space Ratchayothin - A niche Clarke Quay-ish space
Similar to Artbox, Box Space Ratchayothin is housed in containers and separated into three zones - Market, Plaza, and Hangout. The shopping here mainly features products that are made by the locals themselves, and you’ll be sure to score some unique accessories and apparels.
If you get hungry from all that browsing and bargaining, pop by Aruno for their Crab Fried Rice (59 Baht/~S$2.40) which has a generous portion of shredded crab meat piled on top of rice. This place is also serves alcohol, and is one of the many bars housed here!
There were five street stalls when we were here, from the usual hotdog selections to Thai salads, and sweet or savoury crepes. Box Space Ratchayothin feels a little like Clarke Quay, except with a less hyped-up atmosphere. If you prefer chilling with friendly locals instead of squeezing with bigger crowds, this market is for you.
Address: 20/126 Ratchadaphisek Road, Khwaeng Chatuchak, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand
Opening hours: Daily 10AM - 12AM
Telephone: +66 2 117 1111
9. Central Festival Eastville - Pet-friendly shopping mall in Bangkok
Central Festival Eastville gives you an escape from the city’s fumes and bustle, with trees and greenery incorporated into the mall’s decor. There’s also a rooftop running track and a pet park, which means you'll get to cosy up with strangers’ puppies if you're lucky.
This mall features many international brands such as Uniqlo, Cotton On, Pandora, and Muji, and you could also catch the latest movies at the cinema here!
Address: 169/2 Khwaeng Lat Phrao, Khet Lat Phrao, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10230, Thailand
Opening hours: Daily 10:30AM - 10PM
Telephone: +66 2 102 5000
10. TGIF Market - Roving flea market with BKK's top artisan craftsmen
You might just catch one installment of Thank God It’s Flea (TGIF) Market on your next BKK trip. This market functions similarly to Singapore’s flea markets, and typically lasts over a span of three days at different locations.
This market pops up every month and sells lots of trendy clothing, jewellery and Instagrammable food. As far as we know, the best way to find out TGIF's next location is to keep checking their Instagram page for real time updates!
Convenient stays in Bangkok with HomeAway
While we were in Bangkok, instead of sticking to the usual accommodation choice of hotels, we tried something new and stayed in apartments through HomeAway, which provides additional housing options ranging from condominiums, to cottages and villas.
You just need to key in your destination then specify the number of guests and days you are staying, and HomeAway's algorithm will proceed to filter the options according to your needs.
For example, you could change the filter to list apartments by price, neighbourhood, amenities, and room size!
The apartment we stayed in was super homely, coming complete with a fully-functioning kitchen, two TVs, and even access to the gym and pool. As most of the listings on HomeAway are real houses belonging to real locals, they're fully equipped with all the amenities and household applications that will make you feel like you're stepping into a second home.
Because that's what HomeAway really stands for: for you to step into a HomeAway from home when you travel.
3 x $300 HomeAway vouchers giveaway
HomeAway has generously agreed to give away 3 x SGD300 worth of vouchers for you to book your next shopcation in BKK. Simply:
Contest ends on 24 July 2017. Good luck!
This post was brought to you by HomeAway, part of the Expedia family of brands.