• Sunday, October 22, 2006

    Shopping in Bangkok

    It's a holiday weekend here in Thailand so Bangkok has been refreshingly quite by comparison to its usual chaotic madness.

    Having done the weekly chore of taking the daughter to ballet class we headed out into town to check out the latest addition to Bangkok's seemingly endless collection of shopping malls. Since Paragon opened its doors in December, claiming to be the biggest shopping mall in Asia, the Central Group have given the old World Trade Centre (WTC) a refurb and opened with the same claim. the place isn't finished so it's luxury shopping combined with a strong aroma of various chemical, paints and adhesives.

    It's an improvement on the dated WTC that it has replced but let's face it, Bangkok needs another shopping mall like it needs more cars on the roads. The draw for us, being parents of a three year old, was Bangkok's first Toys R Us. Though the prices are enough to make anyone wince. Once again Bangkok's residents are being fleeced because of their passion for all things luxury and modern.

    What remains a mystery to me is how Gaysorn Plaza has remained open for so long. It's a mall that is home to all the mega-pricey brands like LV and the like and has shops selling expensive wines and imported cigars. It's been going for about ten years now and always seems empty whenever I go there, no to mention the fact I've never once seen anyone buying anything. It once had an excellent French restaurant but that seems to have gone now.

    Nice as these places are they just haven't got the charm of the street markets and places like Khao San Road. OK, so you might not get the same selection of quality items on Khao San Road but doing the rounds there is a lot more fun than trawling through endless floors of expensive shops. The Night Bazaar (soon to be replaced by yet another shopping mall) remains an old favourite, as does the hot and sweaty Chatuchak Market.

    Early morning Khao San Road before the hordes awake


    Tomorrow's a holiday so we have another day as a family before I take the reins again for my parenting duties for the half-term break. According to news reports we will be graced with torrential rain and flooding tomorrow. Nice!

    Shopping in Bangkok



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