While travelling through the super capitals of Asia, something remains certain, Malls are quintessentially part of the culture of most of the Asian metropolis like Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok. Far from being your regular mall, those megastructures are titanic in size and shelter hundreds of shops and eateries and sometimes surpass western structures in terms modernity and advancement.
After exploring the week end and night markets of Bangkok, try and embark on a journey through the fiercely modern part of Bangkok. Here’s our pick for the most unmissable Malls of the Thai capital.
There is no way we could start this list with another place but this one. This unbelievable megastructure is in fact a Mega Mall and the largest shopping structure in Thailand. Hosting an impressive number of shops (over 500!), it mostly caters to a modern lifestyle with many brands being represented, including luxury and high-end cosmetic and clothing brands to bring you a world-class shopping experience.
The Mega Mall spreads out for buildings on end and is always buzzing and bustling with life, in the center of the Thai capital and surely wouldn’t have to blush in front of its American or East Asian counterparts; it is fact ranked the 11th largest mall in the world!
This elegant Mega Mall definitely caters to a luxurious lifestyle. Indeed, the tasteful building hosting this megastructure is designed and decorated with taste and modernity and is a vibrant hub for the Thai and foreigner upper classes. Made of glass and steel, It spreads out for several floors of high end clothing and cosmetic brands, as well as high-end design item and modern gadget shops. Eateries are also numerous and offer literally everything that you could dream of, from Kobe Beef to Sushi, and gourmet Thai cuisine. The Food Hall covers thousands square meters representing, certainly the largest offer of international food, among all Bangkok’s Malls. Try it, this is a must do!
It is also home to an incredible 16-screen Cineplex.
Pro-tip: Siam Paragon also shelter an Aquarium: Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World, which also feature some shows. Perfect and ideal for rainy day with your family!
Central Embassy Shopping Mall
Central Embassy Shopping Mall was in fact Bangkok’s very first luxury mall and is still renowned all over town for being the finest luxury mall of the Thai capital. It owes its name to the fact that it was built on the ground of the former British Embassy of the Capital. Additionally, along with the mall, the tasteful and modern structure also hosts the decadent Park Hyatt Bangkok Hotel, a luxury hotel. Spreading out for over six floor or extravagant shops, the shopping centre shelters an elegant white decor and an impressive number of luxury brands such as Gucci or Chanel, as well as a cinema and fine dining restaurants, all sitting in the heart of this incredible modern and futuristic building.
While it is indeed certainly not ideal for every budget, Central Embassy Shopping Mall also shelter a fantastic Thai Food Court, sourcing regional delicacies from all over the country, allowing you to explore the wonders of Thai cuisine, for a fairly decent price and in an incredible setting.
Completely redesigned in the year 2016 and created along with a Japanese design company, this shopping center is probably the one of the best shopping experience you’ll have in the country. Indeed, the concept of this shopping structure is unlike anything you’ve seen before. The settings and decors are elegant and sophisticated, hosting a wide range of high-end boutiques and designers.
Additionally, the kicker of the experience is the entire layout of the mall. Indeed the items are not presented like they would be in a traditional boutique, but in fact laid out and spread about like they would be in one’s personal home, while cashiers are entirely concealed, as if you were in an actual home. If you’re not going there to shop, you’ll surely at least go there solely for the experience of this extremely avant-garde and stylish structure.
Neighbour of Siam Paragon, the Siam Center caters to the hip youth of Bangkok, with a whole variety of chic and casual boutiques and brands, as well as many, many small eateries, cafés and restaurants. The elegant design and modern interior are definitely one of the highlights of our time at the Siam Center. A vibrant hub of fashion, casual-chic and hip eateries where local students use to come all along the week.
Now for an experience that is much more affordable, MBK will surely cater to travellers with a budget that is more modest. Sitting in the Siam Neighbourhood, like most of its luxurious counterparts, MBK is extremely popular amongst locals and tourists alike and has gained fame over the years so as to now retain a solid reputation as of Bangkok’s unmissable shopping experiences. MBK could actually be described as a local market sheltered inside of the megastructure of a Mega Mall, spreading for over six floors of literally any goods you could wish for, and offering extremely affordable prices. Spreading out for a dizzying 89 000 square meters, this other incredible structure is not as hip and luxurious as its neighbours, but it offers an unbelievably wide range of goods and items. Be aware that a lot of products you will find in this mall are counterfeits. This is not the place we recommend to buy authentic Thai artisan products, which you can easily find in local night markets or in the chattuchak week end market with a better quality and cheaper prices.
It also hosts a supermarket as well as an impressive number of eateries and food joints, offering endless opportunities and culinary options for the empty stomachs, but it is probably not the best place to taste real Thai Food. An additional fun fact, which is certainly rather surprising, while it is known as a cheaper shopping destination for tourists and locals, MBK Shopping center is actually connected to… a luxury five star hotel!
Malls of the Siam district are accessible via a variety of platforms that are interconnected with each other (which was actually a great excuse to snap pictures of with a great view on the district !) If you have not changed or brought enough currency, there is no need to panic! Most of the shops at the malls above take credit cards. Additionally, most of them shelter currency exchange desks as well as ATMs. Remember to bring your passport should you need to exchange some currency as most currency exchange desks asks for a passport so as to validate the transaction.
Finally, here’s a particularly nice pro-tip for avid shoppers: most of the chic and luxury malls of Bangkok offer the VAT refund, just make sure to have your passport and boarding pass with while you are shopping so you can benefit from a rather sweet refund on your journey back home!