Some of the most beautiful (and cheap) products to buy in Bangkok, Thailand include photograph frames and photo albums. Thais are famous for their handmade mulberry paper photograph frames and photograph albums, as well as for the many hand-carved and hand-crafted styles they produce.
Unlike in the west, where photograph frames and albums are expensive, in Thailand they are cheap. If you’re looking for a unique, hand-crafted frame or album, look no further than one of these Bangkok shopping areas.
Chatuchak Weekend Market – Just like most other things in Bangkok, if you’ are looking for inexpensive yet beautiful quality hand-crafted items, then Chatuchak Weekend Market is always the first place to look. Open every Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday, Chatuchak has literally hundreds of stalls selling photograph frames and albums.
You’ll find everything from hand-made mulberry paper frames and albums, to those covered in hand-wovenThai silk, those carved out of dark or pine woods, frames that are hand-painted, frames made of rice paper, and even frames and albums in the shape of elephants.
How to survive Chatuchak Weekend Market — it’s hot, crowded and a bit crazy, but so much fun!
Starting as cheap as 20 baht (60 cents) for a hand-made mulberry paper frame and going all the way up to $30 (1,000 baht) for a large frame or album covered in hand-dyed Thai silk, you’ll find everything you want here.
Chatuchak also has many frame stalls where you can get prints, photographs and art items professionally framed. Prices are low, the finished product is stunning and, with most of the stalls, if you’re a tourist they’ll get something framed for you in less than 48 hours. Some will even deliver to your hotel room.
You can get to Chatuchak Weekend Market on the sky train. Just get off at the last stop on the northern line – Mo Chit – and follow the crowds.
Mahboonkrong (MBK) Mall – Situated right next to National Stadium sky train station, MBK Mall is one of the busiest in Bangkok. With a couple thousand stalls and shops, and a fair few selling photograph accessories, you’ll find some beautiful albums and frames here. Try one of the photography studios for a more traditional style frame or album or mass-produced styles.
If you are looking for something hand-carved or hand-crafted, shop on the sixth floor as this is where all the Thai handicrafts are sold. For leather frames, there’s a handmade leather shop on the first floor that sells gorgeous hand-made leather products. Expensive, but the quality is lovely.
How to get to MBK and what to buy when you get there
Central Department Stores – Central is a chain of department stores all over Bangkok, which has a fairly decent housewares department. The taste at Central for things like photograph frames is a bit more traditional but, if that’s your style, they have a good selection of silver frames, gold-plated frames, pottery frames and some great choices of frames for engagements, weddings and anniversaries.
Prices are typical western price, but they do have good sales often and you will find unusual items here. They also have a selection of photo albums both handmade and with styles like Hello Kitty, Betty Boop and Disney.
Siam Paragon and Central World Plaza – For very high end Thai handicrafts, shop at the exclusive Siam Paragon and Central World Plaza malls. Here, you will find both Thai and imported photography accessories that are high-priced but truly lovely.
Is it worth shopping at Siam Paragon? — Oh yes, it definitely is
There are also Jim Thompson Silk shops at both malls (Jim Thompson creates the best quality silk in Thailand) and they do a stunning array of silk and hand-painted silk frames. Siam Paragon is next to Siam sky train station and Central World Plaza is a five minute walk from there on the sky bridge.
If you like photograph frames and albums, you will be amazed at the selection in Thailand and, at many places, the cheap prices too. A pretty frame is a wonderful keepsake from an amazing vacation and you will end up with both in Thailand.