Places To Go Shopping In Bangkok
Thailand is considered the country of really cheap shopping. This is true for jewellery, electronics, exquisite wood carvings, silk and many other goods. Any resort market would offer anything you like, but if you’re aiming to benefit while shopping it is better to visit Bangkok. There you would find the largest shopping centres and markets.
Shopping In Thailand
In every major city or resort town you can find large shopping centres such as Bangkok Siam Paragon, Central World Plaza, Mah Boon Krong Centre or Pattaya Royal Garden Plaza. These shopping malls may remind American or European ones, but only at first glance. It is believed that prices are fixed in such places, but if you buy a lot, it is worth trying to ask for a discount. Salesmen usually make concessions in such cases. These shopping centres has not only well-known chain stores, but also popular Asian boutiques and clothing shops of Thai designers offering leather goods and jewellery. If you visit malls searching for cheap jewellery than visiting the factory might be a good idea. Range of goods there is truly broad. In case you liked anything, it is possible to reduce or enlarge the size right on the spot. What is more important you will be given a certificate and a discount if you buy a lot.
When purchasing products look for sign of Tax Refund for Tourists Scheme. This will allow you to reclaim the 7% value-added tax levied on all purchases in the Kingdom of Thailand. The total spending must be 2,000 baht or more at a shop within one business day (meaning that you could make two 1,000 baht transactions at the same shop on the same day and have them count towards your refund, but a single 1,000 baht transaction followed by another two days later will not qualify). During your entire trip in Thailand, you must have at least 5,000 baht of qualifying transactions to get a refund.
Drinks and food (except fruits) are best in chain supermarkets such as 7Eleven and Family Mart. These supermarkets can be found everywhere in Bangkok.
It is no secret that Thailand is visited not only for its stunning beaches but for street markets. These trading points are not only places where you can find cheap clothes and food, but something like a social network for residents. Some street markets operate all night long, visit it to feel the flavour of this authentic place. And still you’re a white skinned foreigner the prices would be twice higher than they supposed to be. Bargain over every certain thing! And be aware of pickpockets!
Unfortunately, these traditional dingy chaotic street markets are vanishing. They are rapidly replaced with antique styled shopping centres with impersonal cubbyhole shops. But even worse is that fix price their credo now.
Shopping Malls usually open from 10-11 a.m. until 9-10 p.m. without break for lunch or weekends. Markets that operate on similar scheme usually have the same schedule. Meanwhile, street markets open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Squares are the best places for street markets, which usually held on certain days of the week. Night time markets are held after sunset and last until midnight.
Sales And Discounts In Thailand
Sales in large shopping malls are carried out constantly. The major sales are timed to various holidays. Prices usually drop during rain season in July, August and November. This period can be compared with European sales. Discounts can reach up to 30-70%.
Thailand Shopping Tips
There are a lot of replica or fake goods in Thailand. This affects famous manufacturers in the first place. There is no need to say that it is impossible to get Gucci or Louis Vuitton for little money. But replica has its fine quality for much lesser money, so many tourists would prefer this kind of deal. Mind that some shop men aren’t totally honest. This is especially so in popular resorts such as Pattaya. My friends told me about the following situation. A man asked to try on a thing. But when he wanted to leave the shop without buying anything, the owner explained that customer obliged to pay because he revealed the package seal. Surely that man was in outrage, but at that very moment dummy policeman appeared. This particular fraud attempt ended well for that man, he wasn’t forced to pay. But it might have another end. The outcome of the situation totally depends on the audacity level and bluffing skills of each participant.
Be also vigilant when using a credit card. Keep an eye on your card and don’t keep large sums of money on it. As you may start receiving reports about your card usage in Thailand after returning home in case you miss something.