Anyone who''s been to Thailand will know that the shopping in
Bangkok is second to none - you can literally shop till you drop!
Prices are cheap, markets line the streets touting everything from
fake designer wares to cheap leather sandals and tourist t-shirts,
bargains are endless and haggling is a way of life. Many of the
items for sale are the same throughout all the markets in Thailand
so it''s best to scout around for some original-looking buys.
Patpong night market is a must and great fun to wander through
on a balmy Bangkok evening, though bear in mind this market is
situated in the red light district of the city so don''t be alarmed
at the touts and half naked ladies outside the bars. Khao San road
is also brimming with stalls selling all kinds of counterfeit
clobber. Plenty of snacks and eats can also be found on the side of
the road stalls, but watch out for some of the more unconventional
Thai delicacies, such as deep fried locusts. The biggest market in
Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market, with 15,000 stalls selling
spices, leather goods, and practically everything under the sun
that can fit inside a tourist''s backpack.
The MBK Shopping Centre in Bangkok offers more expensive and
better quality wares than the markets on the sides of the streets
and prices here when converted are not much cheaper than in other
countries. Other popular shopping malls include Central World,
Erawan, Mah Boon Krong, and Panthip Plaza. Sukhumvit is the place
to go for fahion, designer goods and custom-made suits.
Many shops are open seven days a week and 12 hours a day, while
street markets have longer hours, often staying open until 11pm.
VAT in Thailand is 7% and this can be refunded on goods bought to
the value of THB 2,000 (including VAT) in shops labelled ''VAT
refund for tourists''. Forms must be completed at the point of
purchase and your passport must be shown. Shoppers can obtain their
cash refunds to the minimum value of THB 5,000 in the airport