If you’re looking for music on CDs or DVDs while in Bangkok, Thailand, you’ll be so spoilt for choice you won’t know where to start buying. You’ll discover music shops selling Thai pop music, Thai luk thung (country music) and Thai rock. Every western artist like Madonna, Coldplay, Pink Floyd, Lloyd Cole and Tupac Shakur on both CD and DVD for concert performances or music videos.
Asian singers from Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia are also well represented. CDs start at prices of 100 baht ($3) and go up to 800 baht ($25) for hard-to-find or imported albums. The best places to buy music are spread all over the city with these shops selling some of the most amazing selections.
B2S Stores – B2S is a chain of book and music stores with locations all over Bangkok. Every B2S branch has a huge selection of Thai music, with most genres represented. Western artists too are sold here with everything from jazz, pop and rock to alternative and rap.
B2S stores too usually have a separate glassed off area for jazz and classic music fans. Here, you can listen to an album before you purchase them to see if its what you want. Prices for Thai artists CDs begin at 125 baht ($3.80), with western artists at 350 baht ($11) and classical and jazz music from 200 baht ($6) on up.
One of the largest B2S stores is located in the Central World Plaza mega-mall near Chidlom sky train station.
Khao San Road – Khao San Road is the famous backpacker area of Bangkok. It’s also known by locals as one of the best places to buy music in Bangkok. Street stall after street stall is loaded with CDs of just about every artist you’ve ever heard of and, with a CD starting at 100 baht ($3) you can afford to buy many. There are stalls specializing in American and British pop.
Other stalls only sell house and dance music. Thai luk thung country music is well-represented and rap and alternative also have stalls. Khao San Road is easily accessible by taking the ferry boat on the Chao Praya to Banglamphu Pier or a taxi from National Stadium sky train station.
Mae Mai Pleng Thai – This amazing shop located on the first floor of Mahboonkrong (MBK) mall sells real Thai music. Starting with CDs from Thai singers in the 1950s right up to the 1980s, here you’ll find artists you’ve either never heard of or old favorites. More of a traditional Thai sound than the present day Thai pop, Mae Mai Pleng Thai sells a wonderful collection of Thai folk music, luk thung and old-time dance music – this shop is full of nostalgia. Prices start at 200 baht ($6).
Chatuchak Weekend Market – Another of the best places to buy music is Chatuchak Weekend Market, next to Mo Chit sky train station. Only open on Friday evenings, and all day Saturdays and Sundays, the market has 15,000 stalls with many music stalls to shop from. There are small stalls and shops selling house music, rap, Thai house and dance music, there’s a huge shop specializing in American country music, and several selling hard rock, alternative and hip hop. Prices begin at 100 baht per CD ($3) up to 200 baht ($6) for the more unusual albums.
Next time you’re in Bangkok, grab a few CDs or DVDs at one (or more) of these best places to buy music. And don’t just stick with what you know. Branch out and try some Thai pop, Japanese house or Australian rock too.