Bangkok shopping

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Chatuchak Weekend Market (p140)
MBK (Mahboonkrong; p134)
Pak Khlong Market (p132)
Pantip Plaza (p132)
River City Complex (p137)
Siam Square (p135)

What’s your recommendation? 

The disparity between the Thai baht and foreign currencies often clouds the judgment of otherwise eagle-eyed shoppers.
Do your homework and approach each expensive transaction with a healthy amount of scepticism.

Commerce and shopping are so ubiquitous in Bangkok that they appear to be genetic traits of the
city’s inhabitants. Hardly a street corner in the city is free from a vendor, hawker or impromptu
stall, and Bangkok is also home to one of the word’s largest outdoor markets, not to mention
Southeast Asia’s largest mall. There’s something here for just about everybody, and often genuine
and knock-off items live happily side by side. Although the tourist brochures tend to tout the
upmarket malls, Bangkok still lags slightly behind Singapore and Hong Kong in this area, and
the open-air markets are where the best deals and most-original items are found.
Bargaining is part of the culture at markets and small family-run shops where prices aren’t
posted. When engaging in this ancient sport, remember that it requires finesse rather than force,
and the best approach is one of camaraderie. If you’re interested in buying, ask the vendor the
price and then ask if they could lower it. You can then counter with a lower sum that will tug
the return offer closer to a comfortable range. Figures are sometimes volleyed back and forth
at this point, but stay calm and cool. It is poor form to haggle over a difference of 10B. Prices
aren’t negotiable when a price is posted.
Thais are generally so friendly and laid-back that some visitors are lulled into a false sense
of security, forgetting that Bangkok is a big city with untrustworthy characters. While your
personal safety is rarely at risk in Thailand, you may be unwittingly charmed out of an unfair
amount of the contents of your wallet. See opposite for more information about scams.



Most family-run shops are open from 10am to
7pm daily. Street markets are either daytime
(from 9am to 5pm) or night-time (from 8pm
to midnight). Note that streetside vendors
are forbidden by city ordinance to clutter the
pavements on Mondays, but do so every other
day. Shopping centres are usually open from
10am to 10pm.

The city’s i...
Chatuchak Weekend Market ( p140 )
MBK (Mahboonkrong; p134 )
Pak Khlong Market ( p132 )
Pantip Plaza ( p132 )
River City Complex ( p137 )
Siam Square ( p135 )
What’s your recommendation? www.lonelyplanet.com/ bangkok
© Lonely Planet Publications
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