Very conveniently the best shopping malls in Bangkok are all located by the BTS stations of Siam, National Stadium, Chit Lom, Asoke, and Phrom Phong. Whilst based along a similar theme offering designer and western shopping labels, cinemas, restaurants, food courts and a supermarket each mall has something unique that will make it your favourite go-to mall for everything you need.
Here Bangkok Best Friend provides you with a summary of what each mall has to offer with links to websites where available, starting from Phrom Phong BTS station to National Stadium:
BTS Phrom Phong, Exit 2
A favourite amongst Expats because of its smaller size, convenience and selection of shops, Emporium has direct access from the BTS which brings you into the mall on the 2nd Floor. Stay on this floor for High Street brands such as Zara, Mango and Jaspal, go down for two floors of designer shopping, jewellery, watches, TWG and Whittards and up to Boots, Technology, Sports, Jim Thompson, Home and Kitchenware, The Mandarin Oriental shop, Restaurants, Cinemas and Gourmet supermarket. At one end of Emporium is the Paragon Department store with floors dedicated to Beauty, Ladies fashion, shoes and bags, Mens clothing and shoes, Kids and Gifts.
*BBF Tip – get the ‘M card’ for Expats at the information desk on the Ground floor to collect points and receive discounts in Emporium and Siam Paragon.
2. Terminal 21
BTS Asoke, Exit 1 | MRT Sukhumvit, Exit 3
With 9 floors of shopping, restaurants and cinemas, Terminal 21 is a unique concept that combines a market-style shopping experience with cities of the world. Each floor takes you to a different city that includes London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo and San Francisco. Unfortunately the shops on each floor don’t reflect the city they’re in, but the design of the floors includes life-size models of a London Bus, San Francisco tram and Sumo Wrestlers. Undoubtedly a fun shopping experience combined with High Street labels including Jaspal, Charles and Keith and Promod.
3. Central Chidlom
BTS Chit Lom, Exit 5
With direct access from the BTS you arrive on the 3rd floor of this mall and straight into UK High Street favourites such as Top Shop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Accessorize. Go down to the 2nd floor and you’ll find Marks & Spencer with a limited dry-food selection and lingerie, Karen Millen, Shoes, Bags and designers including Vivienne Tam and Red Valentino. There are floors dedicated to Mens’ clothing and shoes, Home and Kitchenware, Kids, Toys, Lingerie with the 7th floor dedicated to gifts, stationary, Asia Books, Starbucks and the specialist Food Loft dining area with views across Sukhumvit. On the 1st floor there is the Central Food Hall and The Mandarin Oriental.
4. Amarin Plaza
BTS Chit Lom, Exit 6
A personal favourite of Bangkok Best Friend due to the Thai Craft Market on the 3rd floor which has 4 ‘sois’ of market-style shops which sell everything from bags, clothes, quality souvenirs, jewellery, furniture and antiques. Must visit shops include ‘Tou Shop’ which sell handmade silver items from Ayutthaya and ‘On Hand’, a Mum and daughter team who make bags from northern Thai clothing and embroidery. On the 1st floor you will often find a big brand sale taking place and on the 2nd floor there are dressmakers, tailors and material shops. Amarin is often overlooked and as such is the quietest mall in Bangkok which makes for a relaxing shopping experience away from the hustle and bustle.
*BBF Tip: From Amarin you can walk to Gaysorn, Central World, Zen and onto Siam Paragon via an elevated walkway that connects the BTS stations. A pleasant walk that allows you to avoid the traffic and busy streets below whilst passing by the Erawan Shine and Wat Pathumwanaram.
BTS Chit Lom, Exit 6
Gaysorn claims itself as “Your Luxury Moment” where the “runway is in your hands”. I agree. To a point. But the usual designer labels of Dior, Celine, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and Pucci, to name a few, are no more unusual here than in either Emporium or Siam Paragon. It is certainly much quieter than most with an air of refinement missing from many and there is certainly no danger of your newly purchased Louis Vuitton bag being damaged by other bustling shoppers. And when shopping gets too much there is a luxurious Thann Sanctuary and Spa waiting to soothe away your shopping woes. Gaysorn is undoubtedly an oasis of calm on the corner of Bangkoks’ busiest intersection with some unique jewellers and home ware designer Alexander Lamont also in residence.
6. Zen and Central World
BTS Chit Lom, Exit 6 | Siam, Exit 6
Zen and Central World are interlinked and in my opinion can leave you feeling totally confused as you work your way through a maze of shops that merge into one huge mall! You need a plan of attack for them both and my advice would be to tackle them individually unless you want to feel dizzy with fear of missing something!
Zen is to Central World what Paragon is to Emporium; a department store with its own design and entire floors dedicated to ladies, men, shoes, beauty, home furnishings, kids etc. Same, Same, but Different, Zen has an unfinished warehouse feel and is definitely funkier than Paragon with far more to offer. A total of 20 floors in fact including TRUE Fitness, TRUE Spa, Nomad Office space and 4 floors of unique dining experiences; ZENSE, Shintori, HORIZONS and Heaven all offering fabulous views across the city.
Despite its size Central World has a comfortable feel about it, which is a strange thing to say about a big shopping mall I know. I don’t know if it’s because the shops are familiar from the UK High Street – NEXT, Dorothy Perkins, Top Shop, Ted Baker, Clarks – but there’s also plenty of Bangkok favourites including Zara, H&M and GAP too. Also if you stay in one section each floor layout is relatively common of most malls and dominated by one particular theme of product which makes it easier to negotiate. I loved the atrium and the skywalk (which has a link to the BTS) as it allows you to experience a bit of the outdoors which no other mall offers.
7. Siam Paragon
BTS Siam, Exit 5
Siam Paragon claims itself as ‘The Pride of Bangkok’ and with their shops being the biggest and the best that Bangkok has to offer, seeing really is believing, especially on the floor where cars for sale include Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Rolls Royce. Siam Paragon is definitely the busiest of all the malls with tourists impressed with its sheer size and locals knowing it as the place in which to be seen. The basement of Siam Paragon is home to Siam Ocean World one of the largest aquariums in South-East Asia spread over 10,000 square meters. The ground floor is dedicated solely to food and restaurants, and there are 5 floors of designer labels, fashion and technology surrounding the Paragon department store at its centre with the top floor focused on fun with cinemas, bowling and KidZania. Siam Paragon offers something for everyone in the family and is a perfect place to entertain yourselves on a rainy day.
8. Siam Center
BTS Siam, Exit 1
Siam Center is next to Siam Paragon but couldn’t be more different in size or what it has to offer. A young and very funky place to hang out, there are 3 floors of one-off unique boutiques and local designer labels with the inclusion of Greyhound and Forever 21. The 4th floor is dedicated to all things food with a link to neighbouring mall Siam Discovery.
If you are coming direct from the direction of Siam Paragon, take the escalator from the outside into Siam Center and you will be greeted with the treats of Mr. Jones’ Orphanage immediately as you enter.
BTS Siam, Exit 1 via Siam Center | BTS National Stadium, Exit 4
Another alternative mall, Siam Discovery still offers the designer brands but only those that are more unique in their design approach, for example Marc by Marc Jacob, DKNY Jeans, ck Calvin Klein, FCUK and Pleats Please by Issy Miyake. For the hip photographers who want to take photography back to basic, there’s a Lomography store on the 4th floor and the 5th floor is predominantly occupied by Loft a Japanese concept store that seems to sell everything that you’ve ever looked for and can never find, whether it is stationary, computer accessories or a something different as a gift.
From the 3rd floor there is a link to BTS National Stadium, MBK and the BACC.
BTS National Stadium, Exit 3
For me MBK is a must-visit mall in Bangkok! With 7 floors packed full of tiny stalls, I always refer to MBK as the ‘market in the mall’ because you can find everything here that you would normally find in the local markets but with the ability to barter and the luxury of air conditioning. However, this place gets busy and the vendors are used to dealing with tourists, so prices start really high, especially in high season (November – March) so bartering and the willpower to walk away are essential to getting what you want at a reasonable price. However, if you become a regular here and visit the same stalls, the vendors will start to recognise you, realise you’re not a tourist and will get repeat business from you if treated right. A little bit of Thai also helps, but is not essential. MBK is the perfect place for handbags, watches, clothing, gifts, electricals, DVDs’ and music.