Shopping in Thailand - Well Worth the Trip!

15-Oct-2011 | News-Press Release

Many Malaysians are heading north to take advantage of the many deals available in Thailand, from Hat Yai to Phuket, to Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and increasingly, to Hua Hin, which is carving out its own special market in very unique, traditional, and antique products. There are 2 new floating markets – Hua Hin Sam Phan Nam Floating Market and Hua Hin Floating Market – there now that are well worth checking out, perhaps in conjunction with a shopping trip to Bangkok.
Hat Yai is a very popular Malaysian holiday destination, and offers many items not for sale in Malaysia at excellent prices. Popular among many Malaysian visitors are the delicious Thai dried fruits and nuts, especially cashew nuts, pistachios, and durian cakes. These can be easily purchased from the street vendors and hawkers at better prices than the larger markets or malls.

Of course, there are almost innumerable products to select from when shopping in Thailand, from international brand name products to handmade crafts.  Some of the more popular items are Thai antiques; Thai arts & crafts; artificial flowers and gorgeous live orchids; and rattan and wickerwork accessories, such as furniture.
More upscale favorites for those on a Thailand shopping holiday or simply looking for bargains while souvenir shopping in Thailand include apparel & accessories, Thai gems, jewelry, gold & silverware, clothing and leather goods, and various fabrics, such as the world famous Thai silk. If you’re shopping for gold, gems, or jewelry, exercise common sense and visit reputable shops on your own, avoiding any “guides” that might approach you on the street.
Heading up the coast to Krabi, one can find some good bargains in down-to-earth Krabi Town markets. On display here are items such as children’s toys, textiles, pewter ware, silk, antiques, farming tools and machinery. Krabi has developed quite a bit in recent years, and now has three major satellite shopping malls stocked to the brim with a gaggle of brand name outlets.
Moving further south to Phuket is a great idea for those who not only want to shop, but to enjoy some of the world-renowned beauty of the area, and perhaps take a cruise on the magical Phang Nga Bay. This is a good way for shopaholics to take a forced break from the many bargains to be found in Phuket, such as beautifully and distinctively designed clothing, fabrics, jewelry, antiques, housewares and wonderful local handicrafts for you or as a souvenir to take home.
And for those who prefer air-conditioned malls, Phuket now boasts the hugely popular JungCeylon Shopping Center, featuring Robinson and Big C. Just outside Phuket Town, one can enjoy Central Festival Phuket, perhaps starting with its namesake store, Central Department Store. And don’t forget to explore the Asian arts and crafts that can be found in historic old Phuket Town.
Of course, Bangkok is a world unto itself, where shoppers can spend weeks in shopping paradise, truly one of the best cities in the world to shop, from top to bottom, from T-shirts to works of art, from knick knacks to the latest designer goods in truly upscale brand name megaplexes.
There are luxury shopping malls such as Siam Paragon and Gaysorn Plaza; multi-story electronic plazas, such as Panthip Plaza; massive markets such as the overwhelming Chatuchak Weekend Market; and a gaggle of local markets that sell everything from trinkets to fresh fish and flowers, complete with self-watering systems so you can get them home fresh.
There are many opportunities for good deals in the Chinese districts of Bangkok, the largest of which is Yaowarat in Chinatown. While shopping in the heart of the city, you may want to make a quick pass through the Silom and Sukhumvit Road areas. There are also many fine restaurants in the Sukhumvit area, including many featuring halal food.
Night owls may enjoy visiting Silom after hours, when the night merchants come out and line the streets selling DVDs, T-shirts, purses, and other Thai curios, and the infamous Patpong Night Market kicks into full swing with a dizzying assortment of products for sale, including watches, knives, clothing, and many unusual items. 
Thailand is well known as a major Asian shopping destination for both custom-made and originally designed furniture. Although this furniture can be purchased throughout Thailand, in locations such as MBK in Bangkok, the savvy shoppers will head north to Chiang Mai or Tak to go to the source for these quality products. Wood carving is among the most popular products and these items are to be found in northern Thailand. 

In fact, Chiang Mai is known as the handicraft capital of Thailand, and northern Thai as well as tribal goods can be found at the famous Night Market, as well as at weekly markets and in neighboring handicraft villages, Ban Tawai being the most famous and popular. Other handicrafts appreciated by visitors include smaller items than can easily be packed, such as lacquerware, bamboo, rattan, and sedge products. 
Wherever you decide to go, or whatever you decide to buy, no one leaves Thailand disappointed by the selection of quality products for sale, not to mention the amazing prices. There are also many low cost flights between Malaysia and Thailand now, especially if you plan ahead and book early. 
The best tip experienced shoppers to Thailand will give you is always the same: pack light, and take extra bags and suitcases: you’ll need them to take all your Thai booty back home with you.

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