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First time in Bangkok

Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 08:45 AM
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First time in Bangkok

I will be in Bangkok for 3 days for the first time ever to attend a family event. I will probably have one day available for shopping. Where should I go? What are some of the good buys?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 09:43 AM
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Lucky you! If you can manage to make the one day a Saturday or Sunday then you should head for Chatuchak, which is a huge market. I'd advise that you get a Nancy Chandler map (available in the shop at most hotels) which gives a great guide to what is where in Chatuchak. And go early, it gets very hot.

If it's not weekend, then I'd again use the Nancy Chandler to work out the best places to shop for whatever you're looking for.

And whatever you do, and wherever you go HAGGLE! It's all part of the fun in thailand.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 09:58 AM
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Personally, I don't like the weekend market.

What do you want to buy?

I like to buy gorgeous silk items from Jim Thompson (look at both the main store and the outlet store as well); jewelry (sapphire and ruby jewelry are the best deals, but know what you are buying and go to a reputable jeweler. I use SJ International - a search on this board will get you the details); Thai crafts, and weavings from Laos and Cambodia.

There are so many good buys in Thailand you'll have to give us an idea of what you are looking for in order for us to be of assistance to you.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 10:22 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions! I really am going with an open mind - not looking for anything in particular but whatever catches the fancy. All the suggestions sound fab - the silk, the jewelry - I hope I will be able to check it all out. And I hope also to look for some decorative objects for my home.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 01:10 PM
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Hi Kathie! Can you give an estimate as to the price of silk from Jim Thompson? I'm looking for silk drapery fabric. Wondering if it's cheaper to buy it there rather than here in the East Coast?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 02:13 PM
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Beautiful Thai silks will be less expensive in Bangkok than in NYC. Of course the price varies widely. I'd recommend that you visit the main Jim Thompson store, then go to the two outlet stores. One of the outlet store, just a block from the main store has only fabrics. The other outlet store has both yard goods and other Jim Thompson items. At the outlet store you'll find fabrics at 50-70% off the regular price.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 02:58 PM
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The weeekend market was a one time thing for us!!! We really liked MBK, i know some here dont think it but it was great for us becs it was inside and had just about everything, and soooooooooooo different from the us malls! we also took lots of advice from people here and brought another suitcase to put all our stuff in that we bot in bkk, and am sure glad we did becs we, that is it say my wife, bought a ton!!!!!!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 05:38 PM
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with only 3 days i would skip the weekend market...it is interesting but takes a lot of time and you really don't have that with all there is to do and see...imo

mbk is an excellent suggestion for a general view of thai goods at excellent, even bargain prices...remember to bargain... the area around mbk offers retail at every level as well....3 or 4 major shopping malls...the jim thompson house museum is quite close to mbk (5 minute walk) and there is a small jim thompson store there---high end silks and clothing...a must visit on my bkk trips---i think the house is the #2 most important thing to see in bkk...allow about 1 hour total for a visit...guided tours...

jim thompson outlets....the one on suriwong, nearer to new road than the main store but on the same side of the street has an excellent array of fabrics---they only have fabrics...expect at least 40% off, but often as much as 70% as said above...
the other outlet on soi 93, sukhumvit road is well worth a visit...its a long ride but you will be rewarded by visiting....take sky train to on nut station and then get a cab or walk..

many more fabrics to choose from here---2 1/2 floors plus they have general JT merchandise on the 3rd floor

if you go to the main JT store on suriwong, the fabrics are found upstairs in the back on maybe the 3rd or 4th floor...dress goods are on the second floor...

the fabric we bought to recover a wing chair was 1850B per meter and is cotton...heavy silks were slightly more maybe 2200B/meter....this was full price at the main store...

another good silk store is sinwatra silk on soi 23, sukhumvit road...cheaper than jim thompson, but generally not as nice...

look at the full jt store first and then head to the outlets...
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 05:57 PM
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I agree with RHK-- the siam area is good area too shop you have everything from stall that sell boot leg binaculars
and socks too louis vitton (sp) and Armani boutiques..

may'be Im too manly but checking out silks at jim thompson house and stores ranks about 100000000000000000 on my bkk too do list.. LOL
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 06:11 PM
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Night market: Suan Lum Night Market at Lumpini Park.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 06:24 PM
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Ha Ha!-that was funny, Orgy! As for Suan Lum Night Bazaar at Lumphini Park-it is very large, the tourist police headquarters is oddly made to look like the facade of Angkor Wat-there's lots and lots of stalls, also restaurants-BUT it is rather characterless, for a BKK night market- the Govt. apparently set this up as a counter to the sleaziness of the Patpong area Night Market, hence, there is a rather forced aspect to it. That said, however, I found a BEAUTIFUL hand-carved wooden sitting Buddha, which looks absolutely perfect on my altar table (can one have too many Buddhas in their home? I don't think so!) I paid around US30 for it, and I know it would go for at least $US75 here. But there aren't too many good bargains at Suan Lum, I've found. Better bargains are to be found along Silom Rd, Pratunam and elsewhere.

Of course, if you really want shopping bargains, you need to go to Chiang Mai.
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Old Jan 24th, 2005, 11:13 AM
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What/where is "mbk"?
I have little experience w/bargaining.
Any advice?
Wd like to get a lady's silk robe. Are they available on the rack or better to get made?
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Old Jan 24th, 2005, 11:37 AM
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MBK is Mah Bon Krong, a huge Thai shopping mall, with everything for sale! It's an amazing place to shop. It's my favorite. MBK is located at the National Stadium skytrain station.

There are shops in MBK where you do not haggle, but then there are others where it is more or less expected! You need to offer about 50% of the asking price, and then take it from there. When you are happy with the price, go for it. I was not a good haggler at first, but I'm getting to be much better at it.

I also like shopping the Central Store at the Chidlom skytrain station. No haggling there, as it is a big dept store, but lots of neat stuff. There is a small Jim Thompson shop within, where you will find a few silk bags, ties, accessories, pillow covers, and such. I really like JT bags.

I will be going to Pratunam for my first time in another two weeks. Can't wait! I understand that there are good bargains in clothing there.. copies... we'll see what else is of interest.

Oh, I see you mentioned jewelry. MBK has more jewelry stores than any mall in the world (I'm sure). There are shops everywhere. I'm not all that experienced at buying gold/jade but will have a go this time I'm there.

I agree with others that you can skip the weekend market unless you are really into crowds and no air cond. Yes, there are bargains to be found, but you kind of have to know what it is you are wanting to buy. You could wander the weekend market for a whole day and get nothing but TIRED!!

Have a great time on your trip.
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Old Jan 24th, 2005, 01:19 PM
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My wife and i bought a pair of jeans for a store in mbk just to say we got them in bkk and when we got home my wife went to work and some woman was showing off her $150 pair of jeans and they were the exact same pair that she got fot B400 at mbk! i just thought i would share that becs thinking about mbk made me think of that story. i think you will love it!
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 06:04 PM
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Dear All - what a storehouse of info this is! Am I glad I found out about this before my trip - thx for the great tips - keep them coming!!!
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 06:19 PM
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silk robes are available in many places, but for a decent price you could have one made....try js thai silk on the ground floor of the river city shopping center---opposite the info desk at the sheraton end of the building...
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 10:16 PM
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rhkkmk, thanks for the suggestion to get a robe made. Good idea.
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Old Jan 29th, 2005, 05:20 AM
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this is just one place, there are many...any tailor should be able to assist...its just that my wife likes js thai silk and we know the quality of their work and the fact that they can produce things quite quickly....also my tailor, money il sarto, --jack-- in the mall at the marriott resort and spa does robes....
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Old Jan 30th, 2005, 04:09 AM
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BKK: which jewelers in mbk? If I want 'one stop' shopping, this sounds like the place (No specific agenda of things to buy...love to look) and while I amnot looking to buy gems of any substance, I'd still appreciate the recommendation of a shop others have used and liked. thanks
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