Where to shop in Bangkok – Cheap vs Luxury?

Expensive or cheap shopping in Bangkok?

Where to shop in Bangkok

Expensive or cheap shopping in Bangkok?

Exploring Bangkok is an absolute shock to the system – the extreme heat, the organised chaos, the hustle and the culture… it all hits pretty hard! Some might see these things as negatives, but they’re really not, they’re all part of what makes Bangkok so special and charming in a way thats kind of hard to put your finger on. It’s an enormous city that’s incredibly well connected by public transport, namely the BTS Skytrain service, all of which seem to feature a full scale shopping mall in every single station! It seems like every corner you turn in the city reveals another shopping center, and not just any old mall either, Bangkok offers a ridiculous variety, covering everything from street markets, cheap knock off malls and plazas that are full blown luxury.


Cheap Shopping in Bangkok

When it comes to shopping in Thailand, the word ‘cheap’ is relative. If anything, it’s more about how good you are at bargaining, rather than crazy cheap sticker prices. Below are our top 2 recommendations for the cheapest places to shop in Bangkok, but just know, the only way you’ll get good prices is by negotiating – and we’re talking like 50% off the initial price they tell you! Thai’s are skilled in the art of negotiating, we on the other hand, not so much, leading to lots of purchases that were more than they should be. Missing out on a few dollars savings doesn’t really bother us though, you need to go into these things with a smile and realise that this is the livelihood of the local trying to make sales – that small savings for you means a lot more to them.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

MBK Mall – Cheap Knock Offs

MBK shopping center is 8 stories high, features over 2,000 shops and has to be one of the most well known malls in Asia. There’s a BTS station right next door, National Stadium BTS, and it’s one of those places you just have to visit!

As you’ll see in our video linked below, MBK is the home of knock offs in Thailand but times have changed a little. In the past the mall was full of knock off everything – name brand shoes, handbags, jewellery, electronics, bags, clothing and more. There’s been a pretty drastic tightening on knock offs in Thailand, so it’s a very different scene inside MBK vs what it was 2-5 years ago. From what we’ve been told, if you want the fake handbags and shoes these days you need to ask the shop attendants to show you, rather than being able to walk around and see Celine, Gucci and Yeezys at every shop.

MBK is high on the list of cheap shopping spots as there’s so much competition of the same items within the mall, that means you can grab a steal if you’re willing to walk away. One subscriber told us he spoke to 5 different shops looking at the same item, 1 didn’t move much on price, 2 discounted slightly and the remaining 2 offered very competitive pricing. If you really do want to find the cheapest shopping in Bangkok you need to do a bit of leg work, lots of negotiating and be willing to just walk away if a situation doesn’t go to plan!


Patpong Markets – Cheap Night Markets

Visiting the Patpong night markets is one hell of an experience – this is pushy Thailand at its near best. While MBK is a little relaxed, with some hustle, Patpong is in your face and demanding your attention. The shop owners, floor workers and surrounding businesses are on a nightly hustle to try and get you into their shop, view their ‘ping pong show’ or into their restaurant. The Patpong area is known as an entertainment district, more than just shopping and restaurants you’ll also find a lot of seedy bars and dodgy shows, something to be very aware of before any visit!

To find the absolute cheapest prices in Bangkok you really should start in Patpong, find what you want and negotiate with a handful of shops to really squeeze them on the price.

Luxury Shopping in Bangkok

You’ll see in the video below, on our day exploring the malls of Bangkok we picked Siam Paragon as our luxury option and it’s always been our go to recommendation. Since that video has been published we’ve been told of a newer mall that takes things to a crazy extreme level. Icon Siam is the newest kid on the block and apparently Bangkoks largest shopping mall. We’ve heard stories of it being called ‘The Mother Of Malls’ and ‘glamourous beyond belief’ – that sounds pretty lux to us.

Generally we only recommend places we’ve personally been, but the amount of comments and messages we received about Icon Siam being the ultimate luxury mall were pretty overwhelming. That’s kind of to say that if you like it, it’s because we recommended it, but if it sucks, it’s because we were mislead by a couple of viewers 😛

Don’t be fooled though, if you shop in these legit malls the prices are high – often higher than your mother land – and there’s zero negotiating. Probably an even bigger warning is to be extremely cautious of anything you’re buying, ensure that it is genuine and you’re not being fooled into paying full price for something that’s fake. A few Bangkok locals told us to assume everything is fake, unless proven otherwise. Generally a quick Google on the products you’re looking at buying will show the ways you can spot something that’s real vs fake, considering the thousands of Baht you could be spending it’d worthwhile to not be tricked!


Our Shopping Day In Bangkok

See what MBK and Siam Paragon look like:


Hope this has been helpful!

Catch ya next time.

Dane & Stace


We’re Dane and Stacey – full-time travellers, Digital Nomads, YouTubers and travel content creators from New Zealand. We explore the world with the purpose of showcasing new countries, unearthing amazing experiences and sharing the honest costs of travelling full-time.

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