Added: Vicki Horstman - Date: 12.05.2022 02:52 - Views: 45991 - Clicks: 1894
Thailand and Bangkok have developed into one of the best and most popular shopping locations in Asia, and with good reason. Prices are low, quality generally high and the range and variety is pretty amazing - silks, gemstones, tailor-made clothes and traditional handicrafts are all highlights of Bangkok shopping. Most shops seem to be open Silks, nielloware, lacquerware, silverware, bronzeware, pewterware, pottery, gemstones and jewelry and all types of handicrafts are particularly good souvenirs of a trip to Thailand, while clothes and tailor-made clothes are widely available and inexpensive.
Fake goods of all types abound and can be bought at a fraction of a cost of originals. There are different manufacturers of fake goods, so the 'Rolex' watch costing B will be better than the B one, which in turn is superior to the one at B. Most vendors and staff at stores speak good enough English, though non-fixed prices are often bargained by you and the vendor taking turns in typing s into a calculator. It's worth learning how to say the s in Thai - this is easy, will save the calculator routine and may well get you cheaper prices too. Street stalls and shops on the street will generally have lower prices for the same product than those paying premium rents in hotel shopping arcades and some higher end shopping centers and department stores.
The price difference can also reflect on the quality of the product though. Goods can be pre-ordered here and then picked up at the airport - you have to show your passport and airline ticket in order to make a purchase. It's not really worth it unless you are particularly short of time at the airport. Many of the larger and more specialized shops now offer shipping abroad, and they will sort out the necessary documents and permits for this. Insurance should also be included. If you don't feel comfortable with this, there are specialized companies that will do it and sort out the arrangements for a fee.
The GPO also has a parcel-wrapping service, and smaller items can be mailed from here. Another option is to go Thai Airways office on Silom road and, for a fee, they will ship them and sort out documentation for you. Though there are many good deals on offer, caveat emptor buyer beware is definitely a good rule to follow in Bangkok. Fakes passed off as genuine and overpricing are rampant amongst certain valuable items, particularly gemstones, art and antiques.
Bear in mind that refunds are very rare in Thailand - goods are sold 'as is' and once you have bought something, that's it. Barring pretty exceptional circumstances, you will have a lot of difficulty in getting any money back, even with a valid receipt.
Chances of a refund are best at the big department stores check their policy beforehand if you think you might need one and are virtually nil at street stalls and small independent shops. Replacements and free repairs are often the best that can be hoped for, though even getting these can sometimes be a struggle.
Don't let a friendly stranger or tout take you shopping either, as they will take a commission on anything you buy. Gemstones are a particularly risky item to buy in Bangkok, as many tourists are tricked into paying a lot of money for 'gemstones', which later turn out to be fakes or are real ones, but massively overpriced. Never buy from a store you are taken to by an unsolicited third party, and don't believe any claims they may make of 'government sale', 'TAT endorsed', 'factory prices' etc People are often tricked into spending large amounts of money with the promise of being able to resell the stones when they return home for a big profit.
Don't be fooled by this claim, the stones or fakes you will be sold are worth only a fraction of what you pay for them and any money spent is basically lost. It's impossible, even for qualified gemologists, to tell good fakes from originals without the aid of specialist equipment, so bear in mind you are buying solely on the word of the salesman. The TAT may be able to reclaim some of your money for you if you were tricked into buying fakes, but if you've simply overpaid there's little that can be done.
It's wise to be very wary of mailing gems and other precious stones home, as this removes any chance of getting a refund if you have been scammed and they may well never arrive in any case. Credit card fraud is a problem in Thailand so, while there is no need to be overly paranoid, it's well worth trying to never let the card out of sight if possible. Bargaining when shopping is a way of life in many parts of Asia, and Thailand is no exception to this.
Though it is gradually becoming less common, it is still something that any visitor will have to get to grips with if you want to get reasonable prices for most things you buy. In some places prices are fixed e. Even in department stores and other fixed price situations discounts can be negotiated if you are buying high ticket items e. Except in the most touristed areas Patpong night market, for example it is pretty rare that the first price quoted is several hundred percent more than the going rate.
The more expensive items can generally be bargained down more. You will help your chances at getting a good price by being patient, friendly, smiling a lot and not raising your voice. Treat it as a kind of game to get the most out of it - getting angry or aggressive will never help to bring the price down. Note that if you offer a price which the vendor accepts, you are then expected and obliged to buy the item. Not doing so is regarded as breaking a promise and will certainly not endear you to the vendor, to put it mildly.
Speaking Thai can also help, as if you look and act like a free spending tourist it may be impossible to get a ificant discount many vendors will give cheaper rah kah poot tai dai 'Thai speaker prices'. Though the asking price for a foreigner is likely to be higher than it would be for a Thai sometimes considerably so , it's not really two-tier pricing - if you're good at bargaining it's definitely possible to only pay local prices. A good idea to try and gauge the going rate is to compare prices to various other vendors, and see what kind of price the item you want goes for in fixed price stores if possible.
There are many places to go shopping in Bangkok, and markets and large shopping malls are spread out all over the city - you're never far from one wherever you are. Anywhere where there is a large hotel will likely have good shopping facilities that cater to foreigners very nearby, though these can be overpriced.
Outdoor markets are almost always the cheapest places to shop if you bargain , but the quality of goods sold is not always up to the standard of the department stores. Nevertheless, many are worth a visit for the experience even if you don't plan to buy anything. Information on Bangkok markets is in a separate section here. Supermarkets are reasonably priced, numerous, and the place to go to for things like diary products and imported goods which aren't available at outdoor markets. Hygiene and cleanliness are also of a much higher standard at the supermarkets than the outdoor markets, and they are quicker and more convenient if you have a lot of different items to buy.
The numerous large air-conditioned shopping malls and department stores are popular places to shop, and they are the best places to find high quality merchandise along with shops found in high-end hotels shopping arcades. Prices in shopping centers are generally higher than in markets, sometimes by a little and sometimes considerably. The various main areas for shopping centers are described in detail below:.
This area, east from the top of Sukhumvit road, is a modern and fashionable shopping district with several large shopping centers. Siam Square is a large modern shopping area, consisting of interlocked sois , and is not really a square at all. It has a collection of cheap to mid-price fashionable clothes shops, a lot of which cater to teenagers. Also around here are book shops, internet cafes, fast food restaurants etc Not far from here - next to the Tokyu department store - is the massive and very popular MBK standing for mah boon krong shopping center. This has a huge range of goods and many varied, inexpensive shops and facilities including restaurants, cinemas, games arcade and a bowling alley.
Nearby shopping centers include Siam Center, also with fairly inexpensive clothes shops, and Siam Discovery, which has more upmarket clothes shops, restaurants and various other shops, including a branch of Asia Books. This is Bangkok's main business and commercial district, but it's really only an average shopping area. Patpong night market is popular with tourists but is crowded and overpriced - you have to bargain very hard here to get a good deal. The larger hotels, such as the Dusit Thani, Narai and the Montien, have shopping arcades, but these are expensive for what they offer.
Silom Village, near soi 24, is a complex of small shops selling antiques and traditional handicrafts. Prices aren't as expensive as in River City see below but are still expensive when compared to, say, Chatuchak market. This is home to a large of prestigious art and antiques shops and prices are, not surprisingly, very high.
It has several good restaurants which are reasonably priced though, and give impressive views over the Chao Phraya river. Oriental Plaza, part of thee Oriental Hotel, is another very upmarket shopping arcade and the shops here mostly sell art, antiques, handicrafts and clothes. Also around here is a street market, selling fake and cheap clothes, cheap handicrafts etc It's pretty similar to the stalls on Sukhumvit road. Quality is generally high, as are the prices - many shops here also have stalls at Chatuchak weekend market , and it is much cheaper to buy there.
Sukhumvit Road Area Though the western end of Sukhumvit road between soi 1 and 33 has a lot of foreigners, both tourists and residents, it is not an especially great place for shopping. There are quite a few tourist shops cheap tailors, camera shops etc There is also the Ploenchit center, near soi 2, and the Ambassador and Landmark hotels shopping arcades, but none are particulary inspiring compared to elsewhere in the city. The new and very upmarket Emporium shopping center right on soi 24 has many quality deer labels, but it's not a cheap place to shop by any means.
Further along Sukhumvit road, in the Phrakhanong district around soi 71, is a better shopping area but it's not much visited by tourists. There are a few shopping centers and a market, and prices are cheap. The Bangna branch of the Central department stores is located all the way down near soi There's a branch of Central on Pahurat road, just south of Charoen Krung road.Bangkok electronics shopping prices
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