Shopping in Thailand can easily turn into a addiction since it’s capital Bangkok is the shopping destination that passed by shopaholics paradise Hong Kong years ago. Ten’s of giant luxurious shopping along with 24 hours markets for bargaining turned Bangkok to be the leading shopping destination in South East Asia. Another upcoming shopping destination within Thailand is Chiang Mai which night market attracts thousands of tourists a day.
Shops are open late, and each Thai city has at least one to several night market. It’s endless offers and incredibly low prices seduce visitors to buy clothing, jewelry and house decorations. Most of the prices are negotiable with the salesman, negotiation is expected from tourists at all times. There’s no set rules for negotiation yet it’s important to remain friendly and polite at all times. Even at shopping malls such as Pantip Plaza, MBK Center and Union Mall Ladprao you can discount your products, although the luxurious and giant malls like Platinum Mall, Emporium, Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon (Upscale, high class), CentralWorld (largest mall in South East Asia), Siam Center (one of the oldest malls in Bangkok), Amarin Plaza, Gaysorn, Erawan, Platinum Fashion, Central Ladprao, Esplanade have set prices.
Thai silk and cotton are known to be the best in the world, it is top priority on most of visitor shopping lists. The specialty of Thai silk and cotton which are handmade in north eastern Thailand is that the yarn is painted before being weaved which creates the wished patterns. Thai silk and cotton are available in several sizes or as handmade clothing.
Bangkok has become the international city of jewels. From all over the world jewelery is transported to this city for polishing and processing, since there are no taxes on import and export. Thailand has many places where polished jewels can be bought against appealing prices and quality. It is always important to buy jewelery from so-called ‘Jewel Fest Clubs’.
The antique shops have flourished in Thailand, but not everything is really antique. Astronomical prices are being asked, so negotiation is very important for getting an acceptable price. Thailand has also very strict rules for export of antique. The prices in Chiang Mai are lower than what is being offered in Bangkok.
In the north of Thailand and especially in Chiang Mai wood cut is an essential part of tradition. Furniture, domestic articles, decorations and souvenirs are being made of wood. Most of the shops will take care of the complete formalities to transport the wood items abroad; package, custom office, insurance and shipping.