Now that the FCO has lifted its advice against travelling to Thailand, Cheapflighters are busy booking flights online to Bangkok, one of our favourite cities.
Bangkok is one city that puts the bliss back into buying. Thailand’s capital offers visitors a huge variety of things to purchase; often at great value for money. It also affords the long-haul shopper a variety of types of shopping – from indoor malls to river-based markets. Try out this handy itinerary and know the best places to go and when.
Check in to the Davis Bangkok hotel (www.davisbangkok.net). Located downtown, in the fashionable Sukhumvit quarter, take advantage of a comfortable night’s rest in this four-star boutique stay. Take the opportunity to rest your soon-to-be weary legs for the weekend shopathon ahead.
Get up early and catch a quick taxi drive or a slightly longer tuk-tuk ride from the hotel to Chatuchak Market. You can also take the skytrain to Mit Chit station or subway to Chatuchak Park station (exit 1). This is the market of markets. The ultimate Bangkok shopping experience – if only for the unbelievable amount of wares on display and incredible scale of the market.
Be prepared for browser overload as you try to navigate this 35-acre market that sells everything from clothing to ceramics, furniture to food. Make sure you get hold of a market map, free from any of the information kiosks. Animal lovers may want to avoid the rather sad pets section…
After a hard day’s bargaining and buying, head back to your hotel. As the sun goes down in Bangkok, the after-dark shopping begins.
Make your way to Silom for a sinful slice of Bangkok nightlife. Here you’ll find Patpong Night Market among the go-go clubs and sleazy bars. Open until 1am every day, stay safe among the stalls, where you can pick up everything from fake branded goods to traditional Thai products at bargain prices.
Before you head home, why not enjoy a cocktail at the Crown Royal, resembling the inside of a rather luxurious train carriage and one of the more dignified bars in the area.
No time for a lie-in if you want to catch the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. This Sunday-only event is one of Thailand’s must-sees, located 100km southwest of the city. A strangely alluring shopping spectacle, where vendors display and sell their wares on boats. As the market closes at midday, go grab brunch at one of the street stalls and watch as gridlock hits the canals.
Head back in to central Bangkok, to the Devrana Spa (www.devaranaspa.com) to pamper yourself, enjoy a body scrub or Thai massage and regain your vigour enough to hit the shops again.
Choose to cool down in the air-conditioned splendour of a Bangkok mall. These shopping plazas are more lifestyle than necessity, with many offering live entertainment among the big brand experience.
Siam Paragon (www.siamparagon.co.th) is the city’s most upmarket shopping mall; a five-story colossus next to the Siam Centre in Pathumwan. Home to Hermes, Gucci, Burberry and other top luxury brands, this is shopping in style. As you walk the marbled hallway, gazing at the glittering shop windows, you’ll see why.
After an exhausting but rewarding weekend of shopping in one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, you deserve a treat. Visit Sky Bar (www.lebua.com) atop the city’s second-tallest building, the State Tower. Make sure you are dressed appropriately (no beach shorts or flip flops). A favourite hangout for celebrities and the Bangkok jet-set, order some oysters, sit back, take in the sweeping views and end your Bangkok shopping trip on a high.