World traveler and shopper extraordinaire Suzy Gershman returns to the markets of Bangkok, Thailand.
In between shopping adventures, she shares the off-season hotel and restaurant deals available to those willing to brave the summer heat.
Summer is a great time to visit Asia. Yes, it’s hot and humid just like at home, but it’s also exotic.
The hotel is a block from the LoWu Commercial Center, the big mall next to the train station where you can shop for anything in the world…or just a copy of it!
Shopping adventures in Asia: Suzy & Sarah Shop Shenzhen, China
I flew Air Asia, one of those specialty low-cost airlines. It was a good deal for the ticket, but they charged $25 for use of a wheelchair in both HKG and BKK airports.
NEW HOTELS OF BKK:
We booked into The InterContinental in Bangkok for our first weekend because we know our way around from there and they have a pool and spa.
Then we moved over to the Four Seasons around the corner. With both hotels, we got a special rate online. The InterContinental offered us a weekend rate and the Four Season gave us a free night for every three nights we paid for. We ended up staying at the Four Seasons 10 days, during which we viewed the newly renovated lobby and tried out the new Italian restaurant Biscotti.
We also walked next door to the just-opened St. Regis Hotel where we ate in their restaurant that has a view over the park. We admired the stunning rooms and apartments. We even considered buying one of the residences for sale on the property, which seemed like a great idea at the time.
While at the InterConti we walked across the street to the Amarin Plaza, which has a floor devoted to local crafts. Despite being a regular to this ‘hood, we had never been in this mall and didn’t know about this market, which turned out to have good gift items and souvenirs.
At a chain store called Come Thai, we found marvelous printed and hand-stitched bed quilts.
We later found their shop in Chattajak Market and stuffed the king-sized quilts ($200 each) into our extra luggage. Chattajak is the famous weekend market in Bangkok where you can buy arts and crafts, beads and souvenirs. We loaded up on silk orchids as well.
For beads and necklaces, we always go to Charoen Krung Road, near the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where the street is lined with scads of tiny shops selling ethnic necklaces and table settings.
We paid $30 for elaborate necklaces and went crazy from greed. Most of the stores here are owned by Pakistanis and Afghans and have names like Kabul or Euphrates.
Ask your taxi driver to take you to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and then pop out a block before the hotel on the 1200 block of Charoen Krung Road. Plan on doing serious bargaining for each necklace.
Since Chattajak Market is just on weekends, we were curious to try Talad Rot Fai , the new night market out near Chattajak. The market specializes in retro and mid-century junk.
More markets: From Dirt to Pearl Shopping: Beijing’s Many Markets
I can’t say it was one of the best markets I’ve ever been to, but the night atmosphere was fun. If I ever want an old barbershop chair in Bangkok, I now know where to go. This market is relatively new, so your hotel concierge may not know about it.
It is held only on Saturday and Sunday evenings after 6 or 7 p.m. The regular night Market at Suan Lum no longer exists, so shoppers are still looking for relief.
While we were in Bangkok, the annual blow-out Jim Thompson sale was being held at a convention center just out of town. The Four Seasons concierge guided us to the Jim Thompson home furnishings outlet store near the flagship Jim Thompson store.
And there was another outlet shop for clothes and men’s ties about 40 minutes away by taxi. At the home fabrics outlet, I bought 15 meters of upholstery fabric for about $220—an excellent deal. The Jim Thompson shops hand out printed cards with the addresses of all their outlets; their annual sale event is announced in local-listings magazines, events calendars and on their Web site.
Perhaps the most fun we had was during an adventure to Little India right near Chinatown in Bangkok.
It’s in an area surrounding Phahurat Road in the Phra Nakhon District of Bangkok.
We bought fabrics, saris and exotic earrings, all without the visa we needed to get to India.
By Suzy Gershman for PeterGreenberg.com. Visit Suzy on the Web at www.suzygershman.com and www.borntoshoplady.blogspot.com and of course, check out her latest book, Suzy Gershman’s Born to Shop California Wine Country.
Related Links on PeterGreenberg.com:
- Suzy’s Previous Postcard From Bangkok, Thailand
- From Dirt to Pearl Shopping: Beijing’s Many Markets
- Suzy & Sarah Shop Shenzhen, China
- Suzy’s Postcard from Hong Kong: Shopping, Spas & Salons
- Suzy’s Postcard from Shenzhen: The New China
- Shopping section
- Suzy Gershman’s Postcard from Hang Zhou, China
- Exploring the New China: Shenzhen & Guangzhou Travel
- What To Do On A Long Layover In Hong Kong