What to buy in Thailand? Bangkok, chiangmai,..

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  1. Hi!

    Me and my boyfriend have planned a trip to Thailand at the end of november- beginning of december.

    We're staying in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Patong, Phuket and back to Bangkok!

    What is cheaper to buy in Thailand than in Europe?

    Are there asian or thai brands that we dont have in Europe that I should take a look at?

    Which places to go shopping can anyone reccomend (we are thinking of mainly/only going shopping in Bangkok, staying at lebua and the second time at the Kempinski- which shopping centers are nearby? )

    I'm thinking mainly watches (not too expensive), purses, clothes, scarves, accessories, Ipod? Any thoughts on price compairisons? I especially like Marc Jacobs, but I have a feeling it might be more expensive than in Europe..?

    Thanks for your input!
  2. oh i love thailand! i was there 2 yrs ago.

    Definitely check out the weekend market (chatuchak or jj market). soooo many great bargains. this is the cheapest place to buy anything. we saw the same stuff sold in phuket for about 3 times the price of chatuchak.

    I would also hit up Platinum Shopping Mall for whole sale pricing for clothing, shoes, accessories. It has i think at least 6 floors full of little stalls selling things for a steal. They give you a better price if you buy more than one. And definitely check out the make up stalls usually in the middle. The fake lashes, brushes and lip gloss are uber cheap and good quality.

    Siam center has lots of little boutiques that sell unique clothing and accessories. It's underground!

    Central World is more of a standard american type mall, but also amazing. It's huge and I got lost there several times. Their department stores are awesome. I went to Zen and picked up a bunch of bras and other things.

    Siam Paragon is where the luxury items are. But I don't think they are cheaper in asia, most likely equal.

    Thinks like ipods and electronics were the same price there as in the US

    Have a great time! And enjoy the shopping, I loved it when I was there. And don't forget to bargain at the stalls!!
  3. oh i almost forgot if you're in chiang mai, i would go visit the elephant camp and buy one of those paintings painted by the elephants.
  4. Check out Jim Tompson (sp?) - they have very nice things silk!
  5. in chiang mai check out the sunday walking street market - it's more artsy and has younger designers than the usual night market which has alot of stuff you'd see throughout thailand/se asia.
    In chiang mai check out the mandarin oriental hotel there dhera dhevi - in their shopping area they have small boutiques.
  6. I would buy jewelry while in Thailand.
  7. You are going to have so much fun. Thailand is amazing! Chiang Mai has a fun market. And of course elephants! Its a great place to buy hmong items if you like that fabric. The bags are so much more expensive here, I regret not buying more. Etsy has some good examples. Not sure about luxury goods and electronics, but everything is cheap and its just so fun there! Enjoy!!
  8. Like the Jim thompson stuff ands silk scarves...
  9. Wow! So many replies! Thanks a lot! I'll definately check out everything you've all recommended. :tup:
  10. I have been going to Bangkok, almost annually for 13 years. I rent an apartment while there. I do a lot of personal shopping.

    I shop at Paragon Mall, Siam Discovery and the other Siam Mall that's attached to Siam Discovery, Gaysorn Mall, Central World Plaza Mall, Emporium Mall at Prom Phong skytrain station, and Oriental Place Mall, which is a small, colonial style mall on the street directly in back of the Oriental Hotel. It has some great items and all Thai and Southeast Asian items.

    There's also the huge antique mall that has a walking bridge that attaches to the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel. There are some fabulous items in there, including jewelry stores along with great antique and non-antique items. It's usually a pretty empty mall. I go there to have my clothes made at Cotton House. But, the January jewelry store is in there and I purchase gorgeous jewelry from them. There is also a January jewelry store in the antique mall connected to the Royal Orchid Sheraton hotel. And there was one in Central World Plaza Mall, but the Red Shirts set that mall on fire, so I don't know if things are back in order or not.

    I also shop at a lot of small boutiques of which I can't remember all of the names.

    As for high-end items, I love to shop at Shanghai Tang. There's one in Paragon Mall. It used to be at Emporium Mall, but moved. www.shanghaitang.com. When I'm annually in Paris, I check out Shanghai Tang there and the prices are astronomical.

    When in Bangkok, I like to look for ceramics, like celadon. I also buy jewelry like yellow sapphire jewelry, quite sought after in Bangkok, as they are well known there. I've had my pieces appraised here at home and they have been appraised for at least 4 times what I paid for them in Bangkok. Also rubies are priced quite well in Bangkok.
  11. I forgot....Jim Thompson. There's the flagship store on Surawong, a very short walk from the Saladang skytrain stop. And then there's the discount outlet out on Sukhumvit Soi 93, I think it is. www.jimthompson.com. It has tons of items highly discounted. I go there often as the apartment I rent is in the east part of Bangkok and right on that skytrain line.

    There's also a Jim Thompson boutique in Paragon Mall. And there are a lot of them all over town. You can even shop at the one at the Jim Thompson House. Visiting the house is highly recommended. Have fun.

    The east-bound skytrain can be taken to the end station and then one can walk from there. The last two skytrain stations were just completed so now one doesn't need to take a taxi from the previous end line on the east line.
  12. Growing up in Thailand, I am quite familiar with shopping in Bangkok. There are brands that are getting more popular but I have no idea whether they will be your styles or not. However these are my favorite that can be bought in Bangkok and probably Chiangmai:
    -Naraya (bag)
    -Fly now
    -Boudoir & Disaya

    Other than the mall above, you can also check out Central Chidlom which is walking distance from The Central World through sky bridge.

    If you want more of the traditional stuff likes silk scarf, silk bags or jewelry: Jatujuk market is best bet and it should not be too hot to visit during your visit.

    P.S. Staying at Le Bua,you should check out dinner at Sirocco- better Bangkok view than Baiyoke sky II.

    P.S II. Zen is still under reconstruction due to the past 2 summers that it was burnt by red shirt people.
  13. I would go to the street/night markets ... very inexpensive and pretty unique, especially young local designs!
  14. Whichever department store or mall you go to, hit up customer service for a tourist discount card which can give you 5% off any non sale items. Not much, but with the 7% vat refund you can get at the airport, it's cool.

    Not all stores participate (luxury brand names don't), but you most certainly can ask if you're interested in anything. I used it for cosmetics, ipad cases, etc.

    In addition to the above, you can buy electronics in Thailand - MBK department store would be the place to go. ALL cell phones are unlocked and Ipads etc. are about US prices (with or without tax) as they are all imported in at bulk by many sellers. If Europe ties you down to an account when you get their cell phones, getting an unlocked phone is an option in Thailand. If you'd like to unlock your phone, this is the place to go - costs about $10-12. However, if you DO want to buy from a true distributor, their prices are higher than the importers at MBK, however, these guys can write up a 7% VAT refund form for you - go to iStudio stores for Apple stuff if you want the "retail" prices. Buying at MBK, an 32GB Ipad 2 wifi only is 18,500 Baht or $604 (hubby purchased one in Thailand 2 weeks ago).

    Trendy cocktail dresses or cool clothes from local designers - hit up "Siam" its a trendy shopping area across from Paragon.

    Platinum Mall is definitely the place to go. Buy more than 1 item form the store (doesn't have to be a duplicate item) and you'll get the wholesale price. I love this place!

    JJ Market is amazing. The homemade coconut ice cream there is great. If you see a bunch of people clamoring at one stall and they serve the ice-cream in coconut shells - that's the one to try.

    Buying Korean / Japanese / Asian makeup - great selection if you ever want to buy or try something new. Tons of BB creams to play with, seems to be an "in" thing in Asia now. Again buy these inside the department store area and use the 5% off discount!

    Medicine! LOTS of stuff (branded medications) doesn't need prescription here. You can go to Boots Drugstore and buy whatever you need from birth control (many leading brands and about $5 a month) to acne medications to antibiotics.

    Getting ultra facials. For skincare and high-tech facials, visit APEX, it's a leading med-spa type place that's quite popular. Their website is all English and very informative.

    Massages - definitely hit up Health Land but call to make reservations. The building will astound you! Especially the one in Asoke (BTS train Asoke Station). Two weeks ago I called for a price quote and got 2 Hour Thai massage for 450 baht, $15.