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Traveloka Team

01 Apr 2024 - 7 min read

What To Buy In Bangkok? Your Ultimate Shopping Guide 

Bangkok is not just a hub for cultural immersion but also a paradise for shoppers. From bustling street markets to luxurious malls, the capital of Thailand offers an eclectic mix of products that cater to every taste and budget. In this comprehensive guide, Traveloka will help you explore the must-buy items in Bangkok, delving into the uniqueness of each product and providing essential tips to make your shopping experience unforgettable.

1. Thai Silk

One of the most exquisite items you can bring back from Bangkok is Thai silk. Renowned globally for its quality, texture, and durability, Thai silk is made from the cocoons of Thai silkworms. It's not just the material but the intricate patterns and vibrant colors that make Thai silk stand out. Jim Thompson House, a name synonymous with Thai silk, is the go-to place for authentic purchases. Here, you can find everything from scarves to handbags, all adorned with this luxurious material.

The beauty of Thai silk lies not only in its appearance but also in its versatility, making it a perfect gift or a cherished keepsake. Remember, genuine Thai silk is handwoven and has a unique sheen that changes color with the light, so be sure to examine your silk under natural light before purchasing.

2. Thai Spices and Cooking Ingredients

For culinary enthusiasts, Thai spices and cooking ingredients are a must-buy. Bangkok's markets are teeming with fresh, dried, and powdered spices that are the backbone of Thai cuisine. From the fiery bird's eye chili to the aromatic lemongrass and galangal, these ingredients will allow you to recreate authentic Thai dishes back home.

Or Tor Kor Market, one of the world’s best fresh markets, offers a wide range of high-quality spices, along with other cooking essentials like coconut milk and tamarind paste. Buying these spices is not just about taking a piece of Thai cuisine home; it's about embarking on a culinary adventure that stimulates all senses. The spices are usually packaged in vacuum-sealed bags, making them convenient to transport and ensuring they retain their aroma and flavor.

3. Handcrafted Wooden Carvings

Thai craftsmanship shines through in the detailed wooden carvings available across Bangkok. These pieces range from religious figures, like Buddhas, to everyday items such as furniture and decorative ornaments. The Chatuchak Weekend Market is a treasure trove for handcrafted wooden carvings, offering pieces that reflect Thailand's rich cultural heritage and artisanal skills.

Each carving tells a story, carved meticulously by local artisans who have inherited their skills through generations. When purchasing wooden carvings, it’s important to choose sustainably sourced wood to support environmental conservation. These carvings not only serve as a testament to Thai craftsmanship but also add an exotic touch to your home decor.

4. Traditional Thai Clothing

Traditional Thai clothing, with its elegant designs and comfortable materials, offers a glimpse into the country's rich cultural tapestry. From the vibrant patterns of hill tribe fabrics to the refined simplicity of silk sarongs, there's a wide variety of traditional attire to choose from. The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre often hosts exhibitions and shops where you can find these traditional garments, supporting local communities and preserving cultural heritage.

Whether it's a handwoven cotton shirt or a silk wrap-around skirt, each piece is made with care, reflecting the beauty and diversity of Thai culture. Owning traditional Thai clothing is not just about fashion; it's a way to connect with and celebrate the artistic and cultural expressions of Thailand.

5. Thai Jewelry and Gemstones

Bangkok is famed for its exquisite jewelry and gemstones, with the city being a major trading center for rubies and sapphires. The craftsmanship in Thai jewelry is unparalleled, blending traditional designs with modern aesthetics. Yaowarat Road, Bangkok's Chinatown, is lined with jewelry stores offering everything from affordable pieces to high-end gemstones.

When shopping for jewelry or gemstones in Bangkok, it's crucial to visit reputable dealers and request authenticity certificates to ensure you're getting the real deal. Thai jewelry makes for an elegant souvenir or a timeless gift, embodying the beauty and finesse of Thai craftsmanship.

6. Thai Snacks and Sweets

Thai snacks and sweets are a riot of flavors, textures, and colors, making them a delightful purchase for foodies. From the coconut-rich khanom tom to the crispy and savory moo ping, Bangkok's street food scene offers many options. MBK Center’s food court and the streets of Yaowarat are perfect places to explore these treats.

These snacks not only offer a taste of Thai culinary diversity but are also packed beautifully, making them convenient gifts. Bringing home Thai snacks is like carrying a piece of Bangkok’s vibrant street food culture with you, allowing you to relive the city’s flavors long after your trip.

7. Eco-friendly Products

In recent years, Bangkok has seen a surge in the availability of eco-friendly products, reflecting a growing consciousness towards sustainability. From bamboo toothbrushes to reusable shopping bags crafted from upcycled materials, these products combine practicality with a commitment to the environment.

Artisans and local entrepreneurs are at the forefront of this movement, showcasing their goods in weekend markets such as the Bangkok Farmers' Market and various eco-friendly stores scattered throughout the city. These items not only serve a functional purpose but also help in promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.

8. Thai Tea and Coffee

The Thai tea and coffee culture is rich and diverse, offering a range of flavors that are unique to the region. Thai tea, with its signature orange color and sweet, creamy taste, is a must-try. Packets of Thai tea leaves can be found in most markets, allowing you to recreate this refreshing beverage at home. Similarly, Thailand's coffee scene has been booming, with local beans from the Northern regions gaining popularity.

These Arabica beans are grown in the highlands, providing them with a distinct flavor profile that coffee aficionados will appreciate. Specialty coffee shops often sell their beans, along with brewing equipment, making it easy for visitors to take a piece of Thailand's coffee culture back home. Enjoying Thai tea or coffee at home is a wonderful way to reminisce about your travels and share the experience with friends and family.

9. Thai Antiques and Vintage Finds

For those with a love for history and nostalgia, Bangkok's array of antiques and vintage finds is like a treasure trove waiting to be explored. From ancient pottery and traditional Thai musical instruments to retro posters and vintage clothing, the city's markets and antique shops offer a glimpse into Thailand's past.

The Talad Rot Fai (Train Night Market) is particularly known for its collection of vintage items, ranging from home decor to collectibles. While shopping for antiques, it's important to be aware of Thailand's laws regarding the export of certain historical items. However, there are plenty of legally purchasable antiques that can add a touch of Thai history to your collection. These timeless pieces serve as a bridge between the past and present, enriching your home with stories and memories.

10. Handmade Crafts and Art

Bangkok's creative scene is thriving, with local artists and craftsmen producing a wide range of handmade goods that reflect the city's artistic vitality. From intricate silverware and pottery to contemporary art and hand-painted ceramics, the variety is astounding. Areas like the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and Chatuchak Weekend Market are hotspots for discovering unique handmade items.

Purchasing these crafts not only supports the local art community but also gives you a one-of-a-kind souvenir that carries the essence of Bangkok's creativity. Each piece embodies the dedication and passion of its creator, making it a special reminder of your journey through this dynamic city.

Where To Buy? Check Out These Recommended Shopping Areas

1. Chatuchak Weekend Market

Address: 587, 10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Khwaeng Chatuchak, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

Opening hours: Monday - Tuesday: Closed. Wednesday - Thursday: 7.00 AM - 6.00 PM. Friday: 6.00 PM - 12.00 AM. Saturday - Sunday: 9.00 AM - 6.00 PM.

Chatuchak Weekend Market, also known as JJ Market, is one of the largest markets in the world, spanning over 35 acres with more than 15,000 stalls. It's a haven for shoppers looking for unique items, including traditional Thai clothing, handmade crafts, and intricate wooden carvings.

What to Buy: Handcrafted Wooden Carvings, Traditional Thai Clothing, Handmade Crafts and Art

2. Siam Paragon

Address: 991/1 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 10.00 AM - 10.00 PM

Siam Paragon is one of Bangkok's most prestigious shopping malls, offering a wide range of high-end products. It's the place to go for luxury Thai silk items from renowned brands like Jim Thompson. The mall also houses a selection of reputable jewelers offering exquisite Thai gemstones and jewelry.

What to Buy: Thai Jewelry and Gemstones, Luxury Thai Silk Products

3. Or Tor Kor Market

Address: 101 Kamphaeng Phet Rd, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 6.00 AM - 6.00 PM

Or Tor Kor Market is recognized for its premium quality produce, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and a wide array of Thai spices and cooking ingredients. It's an excellent spot for food enthusiasts wanting to bring home a taste of Thailand.

What to Buy: Thai Spices and Cooking Ingredients

Singapore to Bangkok flight

Jetstar Asia Airways

Start from US$ 83.00

Singapore (SIN) to Bangkok (BKK)

Tue, 14 May 2024

Malaysia Airlines

Start from US$ 142.37

Singapore (SIN) to Bangkok (BKK)

Tue, 30 Apr 2024

Gulf Air

Start from US$ 153.48

Singapore (SIN) to Bangkok (BKK)

Tue, 30 Apr 2024

4. Yaowarat Road in Chinatown

Address: Yaowarat Road, Samphanthawong subdistrict.

Opening hours: Vary depending on vendors.

Yaowarat Road, the main artery of Bangkok's bustling Chinatown, is renowned for its gold shops and jewelry stores, making it an ideal place to shop for Thai gemstones and jewelry. The area comes alive at night with street food vendors offering a variety of Thai snacks and sweets.

What to Buy: Thai Jewelry and Gemstones, Thai Snacks and Sweets

5. Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)

Address: 939 Rama I Rd, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Opening hours: Monday: Closed. Tuesday - Sunday: 10.00 AM - 8.00 PM

For those interested in contemporary art and crafts, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is a must-visit. Located near Siam Square, BACC hosts a range of art exhibitions and has shops selling unique handmade crafts and art pieces by local artists. It's a great place to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs that support the local art scene.

Bangkok's shopping scene is as diverse as the city itself, offering something for every type of shopper. From the sprawling markets to the sleek malls, the city caters to both those seeking the thrill of the bargain and those looking for luxury items. Whether you're hunting for traditional Thai crafts, the finest silk, or just a taste of Thai street food, Bangkok's shopping destinations have it all.

What to Buy: Handmade Crafts and Art, Traditional Thai Clothing

Each of these areas not only provides a shopping experience but also offers a glimpse into the cultural fabric of Bangkok, making shopping here an integral part of the travel experience. Don’t wait any longer, book your flight to Bangkok only in Traveloka and find the best deals to make your trip more affordable!

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