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Thai silk, cotton, silverware, bronzeware, pottery and celadon, pewter, precious stones, finished jewellery and a dazzling range of folk handicrafts make memorable gifts and souvenirs.

International standard ready-made sportswear and leisurewear is inexpensive and quality tailors and dressmakers offer reliable 24-hours service in Bangkok and major tourist destination.

Fixed prices are the norm in department stores and a number of shops in Bangkok, but at most other places bargaining is acceptable and expected.

Choose a shop carefully. With gems, for example, make sure it is a specialist in that field and not simply a general souvenir store.

Shops in hotel arcades pay high rents and accordingly prices tend to be higher than at street shops. On the other hand, hotel arcades are very convenient if you have little time for shopping. Moreover, prestigious hotels generally attract quality shops.

Reputable shops will give a written agreement to a full refund on any goods returned within 90 days. If a shop refuses to do this, go elsewhere.

Obtain a receipt for goods bought and check it is correct before leaving the shop.
Shopping Areas


Silom Road is the main artery of Bangkok's commercial heart and is paralleled by Surawong Road, while Phatpong rus crosswise between the two. In addition to housing dozens of specialist shops and boutiques representing all the major buys, this area also boasts branches of Central and Robinson's department stores and several shopping plazas. Street stalls also abound, most notably at Phatpong's famous night market.

Silom-Mahesak-New Road:

Silom leads into New Road, which parallels the Chao Phraya River, and notable shopping opportunities include gems and jewellery stores, Oriental Plaza and River City Shopping Complex.


Like Silom, Sukhumvit is one of Bangkok's main thoroughfares, and the long road is lined with shops, boutiques and modern shopping plazas.


Centred on Yaowarat Road and Sampheng Lane, Bangkok's Chinatown offers a profusion of gold shops as well as two nearby traditional shopping places, "Thieves Market" and Phahurat Cloth Market.

Beyond Bangkok:

The main city for shopping outside the capital is Chiang Mai, which ranks as one of the world's largest centers for handicrafts and cottage industries. The extensive range of local products includes silverware, lacquer ware, cotton and silk, hill tribe clothing, Burmese tapestries and hand-painted umbrellas. Pattaya also offers plentiful shopping for Thai goods, while virtually all other tourist centers give ample opportunity for buying gifts and souvenirs, as well as local specialties.

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