Shopping in Bangkok Can Save You Oodles Of Money
Most of the time, I really hate shopping. I don’t even like to shop for a bottle of milk. But, in Bangkok, I find myself shopping almost every day. When I first arrive in Bangkok, I go shopping to fill up my refrigerator. Even though it is fully stocked, I tell the concierge to empty it. I like to stock it with cheaper items from the local 7-11.
I have the hotel remove everything except the two free bottles of water and pick up some beer, soda, red bull, and a couple of extra bottles of water I also get some chips and candy. Since I travel light, I usually go out the first or second day and pick up some shorts and T-shirts. I will also get a few DVD movies to watch back in the hotel room. I have some preferred local toiletries and pick these up too. I really enjoy using Lux shower soap.
I usually pick up these few items at one of the many street vendors on Sukhumvit Road. Never accept the first price. Always bargain and don’t be afraid to walk away if they don’t meet your price. Walking away may drop the price drastically. If not, walk 10 feet and you will see the same items. I make it a point to go to Pantip Plaza to check out the latest in electronics. This is a five-story electronics heaven. I may or may not pick up an unlocked, tri-band cell phone that I can use in Thailand and also back in America. I will also take a look at the latest in pirated software and Thai movies. I enjoy Thai music so I will buy some CD's, MP3's and videos.
Hardware is not really a bargain in Thailand, so I don’t bother looking at PCs or laptops. My favorite place to shop is at the flea market. In Thai, this is called talat naht. It is open daily and may be in the Guinness Book as largest open air market in the world. It is called Chatuchak or JJ market and it is open at about eight in the morning and I try to get there by nine. If I am early, I will just grab a bite to eat at one of the many street vendors. You will want to arrive early and complete your shopping by about eleven o'clock. Otherwise it will be way too hot. Shopping under all those canvas tarps in close quarters can be extremely hot. Make sure you bring a bottle of water or buy when at the market.
Most of the items are 99 or 199 Baht. This works out to about three US dollars or six US dollars. This is the place I buy most of the clothes I want for me and for my family and friends. You can also find clothes for less than that. I have gotten many outfits for my 1-year old granddaughter for about $1.25 per set. I also pick up some additional Thai music and videos. The vendors will have stereos and TV's set up so that you can hear and see what they are selling. You can also the items to make sure they work. Prices for videos and music are about 3 dollars per CD.
It seems like you are always buying something just walking around Bangkok. I can be out going to dinner or to a bar, and I will see something that catches my eye and I buy it. Vendors also sell their wares while you are eating or drinking. They can be pests but every once in a while I will see something that I want to buy. Bangkok seems like it is one giant flea market. Shops are everywhere, vendors are located every 10 feet, and malls are popping up all over the city. Large outlets are also available in Bangkok, but I prefer the smaller places where I can still use my bargaining skills. So, even if you are like me and absolutely hate shopping, you will find that you will be shopping daily in Bangkok and actually enjoying yourself. Maybe it is because of how cheap all the goodies are.