Siam shopping in Bangkok
This travel report is about shopping. Everyone who comes to Thailand should do some gift shopping. If your friends and family are lucky then you may remember to pick them up an item or two as well. Many people will say that there is shopping everywhere in Thailand but I want to concentrate on just the shopping venues located in Bangkok at the Siam SkyTrain terminal which has some of the most fascinating options all grouped in a single area for convenience. During this review please refer to the map at the bottom of the page for directions and orientation. I've also added links to the main shopping centers in their underlined titles so you can take your time to get the latest information on what shopping options are available.
This area is very convenient to get to by many transportation modes. One of the easiest ways to get in is by the SkyTrain platform. This is one of the busiest platforms out there as it is also where many commuters will transfer between two different SkyTrain routes. As most tourists will be coming from the Sukhumvit area of the city you could get off at the Siam station, or continue on to the end of the run at the National Stadium to avoid the crowds. For the rest of this article I'll provide a shopping route which assumes you have taken the Skytrain to the National Stadium platform and we'll go around to all the venues which you can enjoy.
Once you get off the SkyTrain at the National Stadium platform you want to walk across the bridge to the MBK shopping center. The SkyTrain platform has a walkway above the street which extends all the way down the road. At each mall the walkway will connect you to the stores right above street level.
MBK Shopping Center
The MBK shopping center is one of the highlights of any trip I take into Thailand. I always make it one of my first stops on my first day into the country as I travel with just about no clothes. This is a great place to pick up some good tshirts and other sundries to wear over the next few days. I also enjoy the fact that there is a shop selling a wide variety of tshirts for only 99baht with no hassling or negotiating. This mall is also well known for clothing, electronics, food outlets, touristy trinkets, and there's also a cinema on the top seventh floor. If you're into phones and other portables then the 4th floor is a must-stop location. On the 3rd floor on the far side is the 99baht tshirt stands. Recently I've also discovered the 5th and 6th floors, which are much smaller, are also doing the touristy trinkets and 99baht tshirts. This usually gets me everything I need in shirts while in country.
To get into the Siam Discovery center you'll need to exit the MBK shopping mall on the overpass walkway and make your way to the other side of the street. There will be a set of stairs going down to the street level where there is an entrance into the building. The Siam Discovery store is mostly about clothing and beauty products. The items featured here are fresher than at MBK and priced higher in comparison.
Exiting Siam Discovery it's just a short walk down the street to the Siam Center, which is another clothing and fashion trend store. Most of the clothing here are name brands with frequent fashion events being promoted. The first three floors are dedicated to clothing styles. There are a few food outlets on the fourth floor but not many options.
At the Siam Discovery exit you can walk along the street level into Siam Paragon or take the overpass walkway. Siam Paragon is noted as being one of the very high-end shopping excursions in the city, if not the whole country. With 9 different floors there is a lot to entertain everyone. In the basement you can spend a few hours at Ocean World where there Asia's largest aquarium can be found. The ground flood has a huge selection of restaurants from the simple grills to high-end eateries and several food markets as well. Among the many floors of fashion, accessories and trending clothing there are also several electronic shops to visit. Best of all, there is also an automobile section on the second floor where you can check out the latest from Lamborghini or Bentley (I told you this was high-end). On the top fifth floor there is a cinema with an imax theater, and a bowling alley.
Across the street from Siam Paragon is the Siam Square One center and surrounding boutiques or shopping booths. You will need to leave Siam Paragon at the SkyTrain platform and go across the overpass walkway to cross the street. The shopping center is a mix of clothing booths and small eateries located across it's seven floors. In the back of the center is the famous Hello Kitty store. The fourth and fifth floors are dedicated to established restaurants for a bite to eat. The sixth floor is the professional floor with a medical clinic, dentistry, and other healthcare services.
Around the Siam Square One center is a plethora of shops and booths. Everything is down here from the Shark Fin Soup restaurant, 7-11 stores, Hard Rock Cafe, a theater, and more. A lot of bargains can be found and negotiated at the smaller shops along the alleys.
After hitting all the shops around the Siam station you can talk a stroll down the SkyTrain walkway (SkyWalk) to Central World. There is a Wat between Siam Paragon and Central World on your way to the entrance. Once you get into the mall you will find a mix of name brand stores and food shops scattered across the mall. At the far end there is a cinema complex, a supermarket, and even an outlet for the Jim Thompson silk store. Be sure to take advantage of their tourist discount card.
This mall is located behind Central World. I heard there was now an overpass walkway from Central World which can be taken to get into the Mall. The Platinum Mall is actually two buildings from 6 to 7 stories each. Building A has 6 floors with hundreds of booths selling clothing and other items among them. Scattered throughout the building are small eateries. The main dining floor on the top sixth floor can seat up to 1,500 customers. If you brought your car then there is a basement in building B for parking. Building B is the same as building A where there are booths and stores of various types everywhere. This is a store where tons of deals can be made an unique items found from clothing to tourist gifts and even a winter jacket.
If you are still looking for more shopping then right down the street is the Pratu Nam Market. There should be an overpass to cross the road to the market location. This is a mix of booths throughout the store offering deals to customers that come by. Prices here will be some of the lowest possible in our shopping circle. Better bargains can be obtained by purchasing multiple items as this is considered a wholesale market. There is a scattering of shopping items all over the store to peruse and wander through 24 hours a day. While they do not have an official website I was able to get a tourist link for the location.
After all of your shopping has been finished you may find yourself carrying too many shopping bags. If that is the case then please be considerate of others on the SkyTrain. If you are carrying two arms worth of shopping or more then get a taxi for your benefit and those of the SkyTrain commuters. It will also help to ensure that you do not lose any of your bags as you head back to your hotel.