I was quite overwhelmed when I arrived in Bangkok - it was akin to travelling 50 years into the future of Cambodia (with the exception of 3G coverage). Needless to say, I was more willing to eat street food and go barefoot in our hotel without the fear of contracting foot-fungus. And the shopping! Deprived I was indeed as you probably came to the conclusion from Wednesday's loot shoot. As alluded to in that post, this (barely) literary offering highlights some of my favourite shopping haunts in the Siam & Ratchaprasong districts on our week-long sojourn in Bangkok. Pictures first then ramblings later:
Siam Paragon (photo 1)
Brands, brands, and more luxury brands. Plus there's Zara, H&M, and Uniqlo. Not to mention, an aquarium and a cineplex to visit as well if you get tired of shopping here. Simon and I visited this shopping mall for almost a week straight - definitely a place to hit up if you're in the money and willing to spend it.
Siam Center (photos 2-8)
This was my favourite shopping centre; just next door to Siam Paragon, it hosts a menagerie of kitschy stores and local designers. With a price point that's more affordable than Siam Paragon, it is also a great place to pick up unique gifts (for yourself included).
Siam Square (photos 9-13)
This is located just across the road from Siam Paragon & Siam Center. It is a rat-maze of independent boutiques and tiny shops, spread over about five streets, and is even cheaper still. You have to hunt a little harder to sort the goods from the crap, but there are plenty of bargains and icecream to feast on when you get hot and bothered. A notable shop to visit if you're a raging hipster on international mecca of all things alternative and five-panelled is the Swagshop - tucked away up some stairs at the end of Soi 9 & 10.
This giant shopping mall features a larger range of mid-range brands than Siam Paragon, such as Furla (regretting now not stocking up on plastic-fantasticness) & Kate Spade.
Another collection of luxury designers - this time including my beloved Celine, as well as Dior, Loewe, Fendi, and yet another Louis Vuitton store. This mall is considerably smaller, and can be covered in a morning. It probably can be skipped too in favour of other malls (e.g. Erawan across the road, which has Lanvin), but is a quieter and more civil alternative.
There you go, travel-bug-shopping-addicts! A couple of districts in Bangkok which you could definitely sink a day or two in. Note that luxury goods aren't as cheap in Bangkok as expected (most items are quite expensive compared to other Asian countries eg. Singapore & Malaysia), but the local designers offer up plenty of goods which are great souvenirs as well as wardrobe additions.