MBK Shopping Mall
Bangkok excels in one major category when it comes to shopping: cheap stuff, not luxury goods. MBK is one of the oldest multi-storey shopping malls, popular with both tourists and locals. You can buy pretty much anything here, food, tourist junk, replica designer clothing, accessories, slogan t-shirts and more. MBK gets busier as the day wears on, so the best time to go is morning – If you get to the MBK shops early, you can usually get a good deal on the items you want to buy. I’ve had a number of experiences where the stall owner will give me a good deal in order to secure a sale for the day.
Each floor is classified by shopping type. On the ground floor you will find a large amount of cosmetics and beauty products, bags, clothes and hair salons.
I did decide to take the plunge and get my hair cut at ToB1 Hair Station in MBK. Thailand is one of the best places in Southeast Asia to get a haircut as the price is reasonably cheaper and the service provided is excellent. A regular cut, wash and dry for ladies can cost just under 600 baht and will come with a relaxing head, neck and shoulder massage.
The second and third floors mostly consist of clothing, shoes, sports shops and fashion, including some brand names but mostly casual wear.
The fourth floor is mostly dedicated to electronics and mobile phones where you can find all the new or second hand models or buy a lucky phone number.
Thai Sim Card
When I first arrived in Bangkok I purchased a Thai Sim Card for £3 on the fourth floor and added £5 unlimited internet credit for 7 days. Little did i know this deal really wasnt that great as for the same price I could have had unlimited internet for one month with Telewiz. I had previously unlocked my phone in England before the holiday.
If you’re in search of a Thai phone deal I recommend visiting Telewiz and asking what internet and call packages are available. I tend to purcase 1g of internet for 28 days and I add 100 baht calling credit on my phone. Each month Telewiz has different deals on so it is always best to go in and check the brochures for deals or talk to a Telewiz representative.
I tend to skip the fifth floor as it is mainly furniture or furnishings although there is an excellent Canon dealership with a whole range of canon cameras, lenses and accessories
There are a number of places to eat on this level but the most favoured is The Fifth Avenue which is like a food court where you are given a ticket upon entering and then you can order from any of the stalls and pay one fee on exiting. All items are added to the ticket when you order. The ticket is swiped at the shop to add the sum and then swiped on exit to total the amount.
I always visit the 6th floor for the (coupon) food court as it is very reasonably priced. I had previously visited MBK on arrival to Bangkok but only spent two hours there which definitely isn’t enough!
If you want to get away from shopping at MBK for a while, the 7th floor has something to help you relax until you are ready to get shopping again. The seventh floor is dedicated to entertainment with the usual bowling, cinemas and a large karaoke mixed with all the food franchise always found in Thai shopping malls.
I also bought a hobo bag that had cute elephant print. Not all stalls can bargain, like those major departmental stores, but most shops can try your luck to bargain.
If you are after a fake…of pretty much anything, this is the place to go. By the escalators, you’ll find knock-off designer make-up, including MAC, Dior, Shiseido, and Benefit. MAC lipsticks sell for around 100B, and you can pick up a Benefit Bad Gal lash for 180B.
Bartering is the norm here, which means the first price quoted is generally twice what they would charge so don’t be shy.
Since such an importance is placed on light skin, mostly every product has a “whitening” label on it. Popular Western brands like Nivea, Oil of Olay, Jergens, Johnson and Johnson, and so many others all have released whitening-moisturizers, whitening-sunscreen, whitening-powder, whitening-body wash, whitening-deodorant….. These bleach-filled products fill the shelves of every grocery store, department store, 7/11 and local convenience stores.
Getting there: MBK links to the National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station which sits one stop from the central Siam station (and Siam Paragon). Connecting hotel is the Pathumwan Princess Hotel.
After spending some time at MBK mall we decided to head to the other malls (Siam Paragon and Siam Discovery). Both of these malls were expensive in comparion to MBK and much more impressive in regards to the decor.
Siam Discovery Center is a shopping mall in the heart of Bangkok, on Rama 1 Road directly across from Siam Square. It opened in 1997 and has 6 floors.
We didn’t spend too long in these two malls as they are in the high price ranges. They reminded me of an Asian West fields in Shepherds bush, 5 star shopping centre.
Siam Paragon Shopping complex houses international brands, beauty, sports, restaurants, cinemas, fitness centre, grand theatre and an aquarium.
One of the biggest shopping centers in Asia, with luxury labels from Fendi to Lamborghini.
There was a whole floor dedicated to selling cars-Porsche, McLaren etc. Nice to look at I guess. Typical 5*shops and plenty of food areas to eat. You could wonder around here for quite a while just window shopping but my feet were starting to ache by the time it got to 6pm.