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Sukhumvit: Shopping


Sukhumvit Road is one of Bangkok's best known and eclectic shopping streets. Easily accessible thanks to the Skytrain, its air-conditioned malls, department stores, myriad shops and sidewalk vendors offer an overwhelming variety of goods that ranges from cheap imitation tat to the latest fashion trends.

The most visible and vibrant form of commerce are the street stalls peddling souvenirs, knock-off clothing and pirate DVDs. These open in the afternoon and operate all along lower Sukhumvit road around the main hotels. Many don't close until late into the night. Shops, meanwhile, sell everything from hair-cuts and antiques to tailored suits and happy-ending massages.

Upmarket shopping is almost as easily found. Connected by elevated walkway to BTS Asok is Robinsons Department Store, and to BTS Phrom Phong the massive Emporium complex. This is without doubt one of Bangkok's swankiest malls, a place to be seen as much as to shop.

The department store here stocks pretty much every status-enhancing brand known to mankind. Those it doesn't can be found in the upscale luxury stores seen throughout (think Louis Vuitton, Prada, Greyhound etc). Popular with the hi-so set here there are also book stores, gadget and lifestyle shops, food courts, cafes and beauty salons.

With funky boutique department stores like Playground, the swanky street of Thonglor (Soi 55) - the 'Beverley Hills of Asia' according to the New York Times - is perfect for those wanting trendy clothes, gadgets or home wares crafted by homegrown and overseas designers. Many fine interior and home d-cor stores in this area celebrate the creativity and craftsmanship of the Thai people.

Robinson Department Store Bangkok


Location: Silom Road, Sukhumvit between Sois 17 and 19, Ratchadapisek Road, various other locations

Expect to find: Travelers, 'home executives' doing monthly shopping, good quality tomato sauce, reasonably-priced merchandise and some great bargains (from time to time).

Value: Best value for money to be had in the supermarket.

Verdict: A good place for certain items, and easy to access.

Robinsons Department Store, a franchise, has branches all over Thailand. Compared to other offerings in Bangkok, Robinsons is probably the easiest and quickest to access. All the usual things can be found here, relating to life's necessities. Some good bargains can be had in the clothing department, especially with regular sales promotions. The quality and prices are fair, and they seem to have a substantial variety of whatever you might be seeking. Usually, there is a Western-style supermarket on the premises, where you can stock up on groceries to your heart's content.





The Emporium Bangkok

The Emporium is like a glossy magazine come to life. Behold the seven layers of shopper's paradise, where the first three floors are dedicated solely to fashion. Exclusive world-class brand names dominate the ground floor, hot international designer items, leather and jewellery the first floor, and glamorous garb for the young and trendy, the second. Fashionistas, this is your playground.

Those more concerned with gadgetry and gear need not feel left out. 'Pleasure & Leisure' is the name of the third floor, as it has everything you could dream of to maximise the experience of the audio, visual and digital lifestyle. On this level you can also satisfy all your golf and sporting needs at the 'Global Sports Mall'.


Bangkok Funky Shopping Places

If funky, edgy designer goodies give you a thrill, and price is not an option, get ready for a real treat. Places like ZEN, Playground, Manga, Flow Now and Q Concept have all the latest design trends in the world covered. This is where all the coolest, hippest and stylish in the know head to for that sought-after look or lifestyle.

ZEN

ZEN at CentralWorld is a funkadelic, six-level lifestyle trend megastore. Claiming around 50,000 square meters of prime space, and more to come, it is targeted at the trendy young at heart, affluent Thais, expatriates and tourists who appreciate good design. Visual merchandising here is enfolded in an eye-catching and theatrical setting so as to completely reel the shopper into a thrilling shopping experience.

Priding itself on its industrial edge, mod furnishings and the pop-graphic cool backdrop of wall-papered panels, ZEN probes into new realms of creativity. Each stage appeals to a different audience, or shall we say, constellation of about-to-be-born stars - all the while flowing quite seamlessly from space to space.

1 comment:

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Sukhumvit Road is one of Bangkok's best known and eclectic shopping streets. Easily accessible thanks to the Skytrain, its air-conditioned malls, department stores, myriad shops and sidewalk vendors offer an overwhelming variety of goods that ranges from cheap imitation tat to the latest fashion trends as well.

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