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Shopping: Thai Style

Shopping: Thai Style

They say that Bangkok has something for everyone, and never is that more apparent than on a shopping trip. The city has shops to suit every budget – from the bargain stalls at JJ market (aka Chatuchak), to the ritzy Thong Lo shopping area.

Sure, there’s the air conditioned malls that populate Ratchaprasong like Siam Paragon and Central World. They’re full of Western designer stores (complete with Western designer prices, slightly inflated due to Thailand’s luxury import tax), but don’t you want something a little more local?

Thong Lo is an area famous for its’ unique, indigenous shops that are frequented by Bangkok’s high society, both Thais and expats. Walking along just a few blocks of Thong Lo’s main street, it’s possible to find enough shops to furnish your entire home and wardrobe.

So here’s my favorite Thong Lo outing.

Start off with the Park Thonglor Tower, a type of high-end department store chocked full of designer and imported home furnishings, from Armani Casa, to Fendi, to Ralph Lauren furniture.

Continue north along Thong Lo until you hit the Lighting House, a place full of glittering, weighty chandeliers who’s price-tags are almost as heavy.

Cross the street and walk southwards until you hit a shop called Metta. Metta is a women’s clothing store, in which dresses have crisp lines and thick, luxurious fabrics, all in a variety of rich colors. Perfect for anywhere in the world, not just the heat of Thai society.

Continuing in the same direction, you’ll come across a shop with a rather unique concept – Scarlett Dress & Dessert serves up delicious, sugary treats alongside its’ gorgeous dresses. Patrons can sit and enjoy their dessert, while also looking at the dresses displayed around the shop.

Not a far walk from Scarlett is a lovely boutique full of sparkly wonder, called Lifestyle. This three-level store is jam-packed with all kinds of high-end goodies that you don’t necessarily need, but will definitely want. These are the kinds of things that add the extra wow-factor to your favorite room.

Exhausted from all your shopping? Take a break and grab a posh cappuccino in the newly-opened Ducati Cafe, just opposite the Ducati store. If you’re hungry, you can choose from a nice selection of mixed cold cuts, pastas, burgers, salads, and sandwiches.

And then once you’re refreshed again explore the rest of Thong Lo. Venture down the small side streets (called sois) and discover hidden secrets and great finds that you can show off to your friends back home. It’s a full-on shopping adventure. Just remember to take frequent breaks as shopping in this heat can be exhausting!

How to get there:
It’s simple enough to take a taxi to Thong Lo. Simply get in, and tell the driver Thong Lo (pronounced Tong Law). He should take you along the main road, called Sukhumvit, and turn onto Sukhumvit Soi 55 (aka Thong Lo street). It is a good idea to let him drive you about two or three minutes down the street before getting out and beginning your stroll, as there are not many shops of interest at the start of the street.

For more insider tips on shopping, fashion and design be sure to check out our TV series Let’s Shop and Host Cheryll Gillespie’s Designer Blog.

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