Siam Paragon is one of Bangkok’s two biggest shopping malls and it’s massive. Located next to Siam BTS sky train station, it’s easy to get to and centrally located but is it worth shopping there?
The Stores at Siam Paragon – Siam Paragon is huge. When it first opened four years ago it was billed as south east Asia’s largest shopping mall. Since then, it’s been dwarfed in size by the recently renovated Central World Plaza just down the street, but at 300,000 square meters it’s still enormous. With shops ranging from high-end jewelers to designer clothing, electronics stores to luxury car sellers, shopping at Siam Paragon is certainly an eye candy experience.
The mall has the best bookstore in Bangkok, Kinokuniya, as well as a large branch of Asia Books. Here, you’ll also find Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Fendi, Paul Smith, Zara, Armani, Jimmy Choo, Valentino and much more. There’s mobile phone stores, an Apple store, a golfing store, sporting goods stores, a guitar shop and several upscale jewelry stores. You’ll also find a large area with traditional Thai arts and crafts shops that sells some of the most exclusive Thai crafts in Thailand.
Add on some of the coolest restaurants and cafes in Bangkok, and Siam Paragon really is a must-shop.
The Paragon Department Store – Siam Paragon is home to Paragon department store. One of the largest department stores in Bangkok, it specializes in imported and luxury products you won’t find elsewhere in Bangkok. Prices are western prices and above though, so it can get expensive shopping here.
But, it is a fabulous store if you’re looking for designer children’s clothing, high-end writing and art supplies, Japanese toys, designer clothing and make-up and perfumes. The store also has a large electronics department that sells the most cutting edge products, perfect if you’re a bit of a technology geek.
Siam Paragon Restaurants and Cafes – Siam Paragon is a great place for breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and everything in between. With more than 150 restaurants and cafes, you’ll find everything from the Japanese Mos Burgers, Fuji and Ootoya to American cafes like Au Bon Pain, Subway and Starbucks.
There’s a huge selection of quick eateries in the basement, as well as a large Thai food court where you can buy traditional Thai food at less expensive prices than elsewhere in the mall. For me though, I think the food court is overpriced and the food barely edible, particularly as MBK Mall is just across the street with the best food court in Bangkok.
If you like coffee shops and cafes, head up to the third, fourth and fifth floors where you’ll find many cute cafes, ice cream shops, creperies, dessert shops, and pattisseries. Prices here are just the same as anywhere else in Bangkok for similar items so, if you like to sit and be seen but not spend a ton of money, here’s where you can do that.
Overall, most of the food I’ve eaten at Siam Paragon is good and with a new emphasis on opening restaurants that are beautifully designed and gorgeous to sit in, it’s no wonder Siam Paragon is more popular by the year.
Movie Theatre – Siam Paragon has one of Bangkok’s best movie theaters although, again, it’s higher priced than most other theaters in Bangkok. But it does have 14 screens with top-notch surroundings and an IMAX theater second to none.
Siam Ocean World – One thing I hate about Siam Paragon, and will never visit, is Siam Ocean World in the mall’s basement floor. Billed as the largest indoor aquarium in south east Asia, it has all the usual (and unusual) fish and marine mammals in it. However, it’s had a reputation since opening of not taking care of the fish properly with many dying frequently.
It also has a two-tier pricing system, where Thais are admitted for one price and everyone else is admitted for almost double. So, where a Thai pays 450 baht for admission ($13.85), a westerner has to pay 850 baht ($26.20) to get in. Even at $13.85, the aquarium is too expensive but at $26.20 it’s ridiculous and not a price I would ever pay.
Overall, Siam Paragon is an upscale mall where high-society Thais like to go to see and be seen. The stores are expensive, but interesting to window shop at and the restaurants and cafes are cool and pretty.
I tend to frequent Siam Paragon for the Kinokuniya bookstore, the restaurants and for the upscale grocery store in the basement, Gourmet Market, which has a great selection of imported foods.
If you want to experience Siam Paragon, it’s located right next to Siam sky train station in downtown Bangkok. You can’t miss it.
Photo copyright – Siam Paragon by jbremer57, Creative Commons