If you are in Bangkok, Thailand or will be arriving there soon, and are worried about either the coronavirus or the city’s appalling air pollution, you may be wondering where to buy face masks in Bangkok.
Once something that was as easy as running into a local hardware store, buying face masks in Bangkok has become much more difficult since the coronavirus arrived in the city.
Face masks are sold out all over Bangkok and, as factories that produce them are working overtime to try to get more on store shelves, Bangkokians and visitors alike are finding masks difficult to buy.
Do not despair, though, as it is still possible to buy face masks in Bangkok. You just may need to spend a little longer looking for them than you would have a month ago.
7-Elevens — Start your search at 7-Elevens in your area of the city as many of them are selling masks nowadays when, a month ago, they would not have bothered.
Be aware, though, as fast as they come in they are selling out.
So, if you do find masks at a 7-Eleven, buy more than a couple at a time. (Although don’t be like some people who are stockpiling them, as that’s not only unnecessary, it’s also incredibly rude).
Hardware stores — Bangkok has some excellent hardware stores, and you will find branches of them in many local shopping malls.
They also sell everything from furniture and paint, to washing machines and face masks.
Look for HomePro, which is the largest hardware store chain in Bangkok and has many branches around the city. You will find all of them on their website here (Just be sure to click the English option at the top right of the page, or you will only be able to see the locations in Thai).
You can also head to a hardware store called Baan & Beyond if you are in northern Bangkok, as there is a large branch of that store at 111 Ratchaphruek Rd in Nonthaburi.
Pharmacies — The third place to look for face masks in Bangkok is at a pharmacy.
As masks are sold in pharmacies even when coronavirus and air pollution isn’t affecting people, you may have a little more luck. Especially as some of them seem to be able to stock up more frequently than other stores in the city due to already having a good existing supply chain.
Boots (store locator here) and Watsons (store locations here — again, click the English option at the top of the page) are the two large pharmacy chains in Thailand, and they have branches in just about every shopping mall as well as many stand-alone stores.
You can also check independent Thai pharmacies, of which there are many. You will usually find these away from shopping mall areas and in local areas.
Face masks in Bangkok are a controlled product
Finally, be aware face masks in Bangkok, and in the rest of Thailand, are now a controlled product. That is because the government is trying to clamp down on stockpiling as Thais begin to panic due to the coronavirus.
That means you may only be able to buy 2-5 masks wherever you find them, so be prepared to go to several stores if you think you will need more.
And, of course, if you still have not arrived in Thailand and face masks are plentiful where where you are, bring them with you. You might even bring some extra for friendly Thais you will meet along the way.
Finally, if you are looking for face masks as protection against Bangkok air pollution, there are specific masks you will need to look for if you want them to be effective.