Bangkok buffs: best shopping for...

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Feb 12th, 2009, 01:20 AM
  #1
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Bangkok buffs: best shopping for...

I am moving to northern Thailand in a few weeks (Mae Hong Son) and have some days in Bangkok before I fly up there. I would like to try and stock up on some things in Bangkok while I'm there, can anyone tell me a good shop where I can find (or best neighborhood to look for):

- some specialty groceries, i.e. good olive oil, parmesan, maybe some canned things like anchovies?

- cheap new or good used electric guitar and amp

- nice suits for hot weather (tailor maybe? is that doable in a few days)

- designer perfume, bath products

Also, is it feasible to ship some of this stuff up to MHS using Thailand's postal service? Is there some sort of preferable delivery service? Or should I just fly it up with me as excess baggage?

Sorry - this is kind of more of an expat than travel question but this forum is much better frequented than expat forums so I'm trying my luck.

thanks!!

mp413
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Feb 12th, 2009, 01:45 AM
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For the specialty groceries I recommend 3 places - Top supermarket at Central Chidlom department store, the supermarket at the Paragon and Villa supermarket at Sukhumvit Soi 33.

For cheap or used electric guitar I don't know but I've seen shops that sell guitars at the Paragon.

For the designer perfumes or bath products you can find them at the top department stores like the two I've mentioned previously.

There are quite a few option you can use for shipping things to MHS like air freight on Thai Airways, train, and buses - I would not ship anything heavy by mail! If it was me I would go with Thai Cargo - http://www.thaicargo.com/
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Feb 12th, 2009, 01:49 AM
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Tesco Lotus or Big C will stock most of what you are looking for foodwise. They have stores all over Bangkok and I am pretty sure they have sizeable stores in Chiang Mai as well. Another option is Carrefore but I prefer the other two.

Big C have a large store across the road from Central Shopping mall and they were selling motorbikes when we were there so you may even be lucky with the electric guitar. Best to check out their websites.
In addition to the supermarkets most of the shopping malls will stock bath products etc.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 01:52 AM
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Forgot to mention that you can find good groceries stores in Chiang Mai as well and if you want to stock up on olive oil there's no cheaper place than Makro.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 05:54 AM
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Carrefour is also good, especially for cheeses (their own brand of ementhal is good). For used stuff, you might want to check out Fortune Town. There's a pretty good second hand shop at the far end of the fourth (? maybe third) floor. I think I've seen guitars in there. There used to be another one or two guitar shops in Fortune Town.

For bath products, Chiang Mai is much better than Bangkok - for local herb soaps. I always buy a big supply at the Saturday or Sunday walking streets when I'm in Chiang Mai.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 11:28 AM
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Thanks these are very helpful replies! I'm sure I'll make a trip to Chiang Mai at some point but for the moment I just have a stop in BKK then probably a month minimum in the field so I want some goodies to last me.

I am so excited for Carrefour! (I used to live in France.) Do they carry French products? My family was addicted to their tabouli mix (came with a can of oily tomato goodness to pour over the cracked wheat) and Banania! Very nice to know about the cheese.

Keep the recs coming!
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Feb 12th, 2009, 12:34 PM
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If you have time, mp413, while shopping in Bangkok, you might go to MBK mall. It's located at the National Stadium skytrain station. I think you might find music instruments on the 4th floor...? Surely much cheaper than at Paragon! Maybe Michael BKK knows if I'm correct, that MBK might have some used ones.

Or maybe the weekend market. If you are a shopper, you really should take the time to go out to Chatuchak. It's the largest market in the world (I've read that stat somewhere) and is has EVERYTHING imangineable!

(Michael, it just seems like I saw some instruments amongst the cell phone shops, back to far left corner as you leave the Tokyu store... am I right?)

Carol
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Feb 12th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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The supermarket in Paragon Shopping Mall. Happy Travels!
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Feb 12th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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Yes Carol there was a music shop up in MBK where you say along with another camera shop. Can't remember if it had any second hand but they would know where to go. Also as Michael says Fortune Town.

mp413 - I don't know if you are in BKK for a weekend (I think from another post you only have a day or two) but the weekend market is great for bath products. However if you do only have a couple of days your going to be stretched so stick to the area around Siam/Chitlom (for Paragon, MBK and the big supermarkets) to make sure you get a least the lions share of what you are after without wrecking yourself in the process.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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Thanks all - I believe I am landing on a Monday night and flying out to MHS on Saturday afternoon (and in training Wed, Thurs, Fri) so I doubt I will have time to check out the market. I will have to save the Bangkok sight-seeing for when all my peeps back home come visit me!

This is more about checking items I need to get off my list, sadly.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 06:10 PM
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mp413,

You can order some food online in Thailand but I'm not sure if they will deliver to MHS or not.

http://www.villamarket.com/
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Feb 12th, 2009, 06:13 PM
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mp413

If I recall, from another thread, you are staying on the river (right?), which is not close to the shopping you need to do.

I would think you would want to be located close to the skytrain or subway for getting to/from the shopping area. Or maybe, select a hotel in the Siam/Sukhumvit area rather than the river, since this is the basic shopping area.

Traffic in Bangkok is a snarly mess most of the time, when folks are out and about to work and shopping. Taxis are plentiful, but you might waste a lot of time just sitting in traffic if that's your chosen mode of transportation. Tuk tuks are an "interesting and often exciting" way to get around. It isn't something I'd do everyday...

Just my thoughts.

Carol
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Feb 14th, 2009, 12:16 AM
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Hi Carol, yes you are totally right I am staying on the river near the Democracy Monument, which is near my office. So ideally, I would be doing my shopping somewhere near there as I won't have a lot of free time.

I think I am covered as far as finding a few comfort food items from home, bath products, etc. - thanks all for the great suggestions.

The main thing I am still unsure where to find is the guitar & amp. I would like to revise my original post: I want a good guitar that is used, I do NOT want a cheaply-made one that's new. And I am on a pretty tight budget so buying the good one that's new isn't an option Is Paragon like the super-expensive expat store that stocks the best new electric guitars, or might I find a used one there? I will definitely check out MBK and Fortune Town (or at least call/ask around to see if they have second-hand).

Thanks Carol also for the tuk-tuk idea - I am definitely going to work that into my schedule!

mp413
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Feb 14th, 2009, 12:57 AM
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Paragon is where you'll find the newest, most expensive imported stuff. For what you want, you might find it at MBK, but Fortune Town is the more likely place. There used to be a similar outfit in Panthip Plaza, but I'm not sure it's still there.
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Feb 14th, 2009, 05:46 AM
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mp413
Paragon is a big new mall. It is filled with top end stores, along with "the" Paragon Department Store. The food court/grocery store in the basement level is my favorite part of this mall. I enjoy looking around in the stores in this mall, but really do not do much buying here.

MBK is also a mall. But it is very different from any malls here in the USA. MBK is more like a "market" in a mall. Lots of small shops and stalls. There is also one department store, Tokyu, that has some name brands. The 4th floor of MBK is the place to buy a cell phone, SIM card, and a calling plan. This is the floor where I think I recall seeing a music shop.

Pantip Plaza, which Michael just mentioned, is a mall that is all about electronics. I have not been there in a while, but it is possible you would locate a guitar and amp here.

Carol
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Feb 15th, 2009, 04:31 AM
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I'd also reco the Emporium supermarket on the top floor of the mall for the groceries.
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Feb 15th, 2009, 08:43 PM
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Yes, Emporium Supermarket is very good. I shop there 99% of the time. Happy Travels!
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