If you’re in Bangkok and you love to shop ‘til you drop, then you better head on over to Pratunam. This neighbourhood is a thriving retail district, popular for its excellent street food and a wide range of affordable goods. The vendors are also willing to haggle (just be polite about it) and give discounts on bulk purchases, so you can save even more money.
Another great thing about Pratunam? It has plenty of value-for-money accommodations like Sovereign Group Hotel Pratunam Bangkok that are also very, VERY close to the shopping areas. In case you get carried away, you don’t have to lug around your shopping bags for long distances. You can even ask some of the shops to drop off your purchases to your hotel or find a shipping agent to have your stuff delivered.
To help you navigate Pratunam’s multitude of malls and markets, here’s a quick shopping guide.
Platinum Fashion Mall
What to Buy: Clothes, Shoes, Fashion Accessories
Platinum Fashion Mall is Pratunam’s crown jewel that is likened to Chatuchak’s indoor weekend market. As if to further highlight that it’s a shopper’s paradise, all of its floors are named after some of the world’s most famous shopping districts: Orchard, Nathan, Ginza, Soho, Oxford, and Camden. Platinum Fashion Mall has more than 1,000 stores, selling everything from children’s wear to evening gowns, from underwear to costumes.
Many shoppers prefer Platinum Fashion Mall because it’s air-conditioned, providing them relief from the muggy heat outside. It also has cafés, restaurants, and a sprawling food court. You’ll end up visiting one or two of these since you’re guaranteed to get hungry and thirsty just by exploring this huge mall.
Pantip Plaza IT Mall
What to Buy: Computers and Electronics
This mall is a legendary fixture in Pratunam, selling both new and second-hand computers, electronics, and accessories at unbelievably low prices. Technophiles will find everything in Pantip: laptops, tablets, cameras, printers, MP3 players, USB flash drives, software, keyboards and mouse pads, and a whole lot more. You can also haggle for even lower prices or ask for some freebies if the vendor insists on a particular price. The competition is high in Pantip, so many shops are willing to give you extras to convince you to buy. Just be patient, and don’t be a cheapskate.
One drawback of Pantip Plaza is that there are a lot of counterfeit items. Still, most of the stores will give you the choice if you want to get the genuine item or the copy. If you’re willing to shell out a bit more money, you can go to Hardware House on the mezzanine level and IT City on the top floor. These shops are guaranteed to sell authentic products with manufacturer’s warranties, and also offer after-sales services.
Pratunam Market Bangkok
What to Buy: Clothes, Costumes, Leather Goods
Pratunam Market is where tourists go when they want to “shop like a local.” This shopping hub offers clothes, shoes, fashion accessories, and more at wholesale prices, even when you’re buying in retail. If you don’t have a big shopping budget, then this is the place to be. Just remember that in Pratunam Market, the price of the goods often reflect their quality. Still, with a discerning eye, you can get the most bang for your buck. You don’t even need to haggle that much because the prices are already incredibly low. Pratunam Market Bangkok is also open 24 hours, so you can shop at any hour.
Palladium World Shopping Mall
What to Buy: Women’s Fashion, Silver Jewellery
If you’re feeling a little claustrophobic at Platinum, hop on over to Palladium World Shopping Mall. It’s newer and cheaper, with wider walkways and roomier shops. You can find a lot of great-value items here, like shoes, T-shirts, and even swimsuits. Much like any other market or mall in Pratunam, be prepared to haggle, especially if you’re buying in bulk.
One of the bigger draws of Palladium is Grand Silver Jewelry in the basement. This shop offers some of the best-value accessories and jewellery in Pratunam, maybe all of Bangkok. If you’re feeling a bit tired and achy after all that roaming and shopping, there are massage shops in Palladium. You can get a foot massage or even a full-body traditional Thai massage.
What to Buy: Japanese-Inspired Fashion
Shibuya 19 Shopping Mall is named after the Shibuya 109 in Shibuya, Tokyo. Therefore, expect to find trendy, Japanese-inspired clothes and accessories that are often targeted to younger markets. Of course, Shibuya 19 also offers more than just groovy T-shirts and ultra-colourful accessories. There are also handbags, shoes, bikinis, and even formal wear like shirts and slacks. If you’re looking for a more relaxed shopping experience, you may want to visit Shibuya 19 instead of Platinum. You won’t have any trouble finding this mall, thanks to the J-pop music that’s always playing from the ground floor speakers.
These stores are just a few of the many establishments that make Pratunam such an exciting place. Wear your most comfortable shoes and be ready for some good-natured bargaining. Happy shopping!
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