The Pratunam area of Bangkok, Thailand is known for its huge amount of discount malls, and cheap and wholesale street markets. For many Thais, if they’re looking for inexpensive clothing, accessories, electronics and more, the first place they shop is Pratunam. With many shoppiing venues available, here are the best places in the area for the cheapest bargains. Particularly if you’re planning to buy in bulk.
Platinum Fashion Mall – For dirt cheap clothing, you can’t beat Platinum Fashion Mall, and it’s the first place every Thai woman in Bangkok goes to if they want good quality clothing and accessories for unbelievably inexpensive prices.
Platinum is a wholesale mall, with more than 1,000 stalls and shops inside. That means anyone can buy there but, if you buy more than three pieces at any one shop or stall, the prices will fall quite drastically. T shirts start at 150 baht ($5) for three, and shorts and pants for 200 baht ($6.50) each. It’s not all clothing though. You’ll find shoes, accessories, jewelry, gifts, even household items. Remember too, while prices are already cheap here, practice your bargaining skills.
Platinum Fashion Mall is at 222 Phetchaburi Road in downtown Bangkok.
Pantip Plaza – The place for cheap electronics in Bangkok, if you want to buy a cheap computer, printer, camera, cell phone, DVD player, MP3 player or any other electronic item, Pantip Plaza is where much of Bangkok shops.
Be aware, sellers here are pushy and there are definitely lots of scams, so make sure you know which models you’re interested in and approximate prices before you venture into Pantip. If you have that information handy though, you can get some great deals. Just be prepared to walk away if prices are too high or you feel you’re being scammed.
Pantip sellers too often give away free items with purchases. Things like free printers with desktop computers, free tripods, camera bags or lenses with cameras, and various mobile phone accessories if you buy a cell phone. Pantip Plaza also sells second-hand as well as new electronics, so if you’re in the market for something even cheaper, that’s the place to start.
The easiest way to get to Pantip Plaza is to take the BTS sky train to Rathchathewi station then walking to the mall at 604 Phetchaburi Road.
Pratunam Wholesale Market – Pratunam is the wholesale market in Bangkok that just about every market stall owner, store owner and internet seller shops at. Many of Thailand’s clothing exports are bought here too. Prices here are astoundingly cheap, probably the cheapest in the country, and with literally thousands of stalls, both indoors and outside, if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, they don’t sell it in Thailand.
Mainly a clothing, accessories, shoes and costume jewelry market, you’ll still find household items, sporting goods, flowers and a few other items here, but clothing is the main product. Look for designer jeans, cool Asian-style t shirts, Japanese-brand products (remember, Thai factories make a lot of products sold under Japanese brand names), sports and casual wear, running shoes, children’s clothes and so much more.
Like Platinum Fashion Mall, the more you buy the cheaper each piece becomes. For instance, t shirts that start at 200 baht per shirt can miraculously come down to 75 baht per shirt if you’re willing to buy 10 of them. Haggling, as usual, is the secret.
Get to Pratunam Wholesale Market at Phetchaburi Soi 21, by taking the BTS sky train to Chidlom and walking along Phetchaburi Road. You’ll find the massive market close to the Baiyoke Tower, just passed the first major intersection on your left hand side. Be aware though, the market is not the area on the main road – that’s just overflow. You’ll need to walk down tiny lanes in between buildings to get to it.