Thailand is one of the world’s most famous shopping destinations, with an amazingly large number of malls, boutique shops, and markets to appeal to all kinds of shoppers — and a wide variety of budgets! There are fantastic shopping opportunities anywhere in the country, but three hotspots are especially exceptional: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.
A must-visit for any shopaholic, Siam is home to some of the biggest shopping malls in Bangkok: Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, MBK, Central World, and the relatively new Siam Square One. And even beyond the major malls, locals and tourists flock to Siam Square to shop at the various boutique shops and vintage stores in the area. Travelers looking for other things to do in and around Siam may also enjoy visiting the Jim Thompson House, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and Siam Amazing Park.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is one of the most vibrant Chinatowns in the world, an ever-bustling area where travelers can buy clothing, accessories, beauty products, jewelry, toys and games, herbal teas, and many more — all at shockingly affordable prices. You’ll get great deals throughout Chinatown, but Sampeng Lane is the heart of all shopping activity in the area. It’s also worth exploring Chinatown even if you’re not planning to buy anything; this part of Bangkok is culturally rich, with plenty of temples and exotic street food to enjoy.
The most famous of the shopping spots in this area is the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, with most of the activity focused on the main bazaar building on Chang Klan Road and extending to nearby areas. Expect great finds like traditional wear, jewelry, and even silk shawls; Anusarn Market is a must-visit for more products from Thailand’s hill tribes. Also a part of this nightly market is the popular Kalare Night Bazaar. Locals also enjoy the more relaxed Warorot Market, a three-story market selling affordable food, spices, clothes, and handmade goods.
Bo Sang Umbrella Village
Known for outstanding local arts and crafts, San Kamphaeng Road has earned its moniker “Handicraft Highway.” Bo Sang Village (also called Bor Sang) is set along this 18-kilometer road, a quaint tourist spot renowned for beautifully handcrafted paper umbrellas and parasols. Visit the village Umbrella Making Center to learn more about the ancient art of umbrella-making. Besides umbrellas, other paper products are for sale, such as notebooks and cards.
As the most popular beach town in Phuket, it’s not surprising that Patong is an exceptional shopping destination as well. Travelers tend to frequent Patong night markets; the beloved OTOP Market is a must-visit for local products like silk clothing, pottery, and traditional Thai handicrafts, while Malin Plaza and Banzaan Market are also popular. Shopping malls in Patong like the Jungceylon Shopping Centre offer a more refined experience.
Old Phuket Town
The colorful Old Town of Phuket is a small yet culturally rich district that’s worth exploring during a Phuket tour. Eye-catching colors and Sino-Portuguese architecture make this town unique — and numerous shopping spots promise a good souvenir or two. Stroll down Thalang Road and look for souvenirs in the boutiques and cafés lining the famous street. There are also a couple of markets that are fun to roam, including Chillva Market and Naka Weekend Market.
Discover more Thailand hot spots on KKday, whether you’re in the country for shopping, beaches, or cultural attractions.
*Featured photo via Chait Goli on Pexels