One of the first places visitors to Bangkok, Thailand head when they arrive in town is Mahboonkrong (MBK) Center. This enormous shopping mall is known for its huge variety of shops, cafes and restaurants as well as its dirt cheap prices. It’s also conveniently located next to a sky train station, so easy to get to. If you’re going to be in Bangkok on business or on vacation, don’t miss visiting MBK mall. It’s amazing.
How To Get To Mahboonkrong (MBK) Mall – Take the sky train to National Stadium station and exit with the crowds. Once through the turnstiles, just follow everyone else and you’ll see MBK Center on your right hand side immediately outside the station. There’s a sky bridge directly into the department store at the mall.
Why Is Mahboonkrong (MBK) Center So Popular? – MBK is popular for many reasons. It’s popular because of the cheap prices of most of its shops, the variety of items sold here is unbelievable, there are coffee shops, restaurants, cafes and a large supermarket, and there’s a huge food court where you can eat cheap meals.
On top of that, MBK has an entire floor devoted to cell phones, cameras and other electronics, as well as has many stalls selling bootleg DVDs and CDs (I’m not recommending you buy them. I’m just saying). The mall is also popular for furniture shoppers as one floor is dedicated to furniture and household item stores. MBK even has a world-class bowling alley and a huge movie theater complex showing the latest western, Thai and Asian releases.
Variety of Shops at MBK Center – With six floors of shopping, MBK sells just about everything you could ever want. You’ll find shoes, t shirts, dresses, shirts, jeans, tailors, beauticians, hairdressers, massage salons, spas, DVD shops, CD stores, pharmacists, cell phone stalls (hundreds of them), camera shops, Thai souvenir shops (hundreds of them), silk shops, jewelry stores, vitamin shops, and on and on. In fact, there are so many shops and market-style stalls, it takes a couple of days to really see everything.
Add onto this more than 150 cafes, restaurants and coffee shops, a huge food court and an international cuisine food court where you can eat Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, American, Korean and many other cuisines and, really, once you get there, there’s no reason to ever leave.
MBK is my favorite place to shop for mobile phones, t shirts, DVDs and CDs and Thai snacks. It’s also a wonderful place for Thai souvenirs and for gifts. Every Christmas, I buy most of my Christmas gifts at MBK as it’s all under one roof and easy.
Negatives to Shopping at MBK – There’s really only one negative to shopping at Mahboonkrong and that’s the crowds. Get there early when they open at 10am as, with more than 150,000 daily visitors, it gets busy. The busiest times are after 2pm when the universities and schools start to loose and just about every teenager and young adult in Bangkok heads to MBK to window shop, meet friends and eat.
Mahboonkrong is an unbelievable shopping experience. Unless you’ve spent a lot of time in Asia, you will never have seen anything like it. Plan on spending an entire day here, particularly on a really hot day when it’s a great place to cool off, and enjoy. Just don’t spend too much as it’s easy to do.
Top photo – Outside MBK mall at night – copyright Keng Susumpow, Creative Commons