A Quick Expat Plane Ride to Bangkok
Imagine catching a one-hour plane flight to Bangkok just to do a day’s shopping and stop in for a tasty curry for lunch.
Such is the life of an expat living in Thailand. Living overseas is a continuous calendar of joys!
My plane landed at Don Mueang Airport at 9 am. My mission was to take my mother on a shopping spree.
Bangkok – An Expat’s Shopping Paradise
You see, Bangkok is a fabulous place to buy handbags, shoes, blouses, jeans, T-shirts, dresses and sunglasses.
And that is certainly not an exhaustive list! There are also electronics, tech items and, of course, gold and silver jewelry.
My mother adores a good shopping session, and she wanted to buy all the things on the list above. Ha! I am not joking.
Bangkok Insider Scoop: Pratunam
So for the ultimate shopping mission, there is only one place to go, and that is the Pratunam district. Pratunam is Thai for Watergate because a King built a famous water gate that supplied the city with water.
A once crowded and bustling city now seems to breathe again – post COVID. The shopping malls are open, but there are few people. It is the perfect time to get around.
The best feature of Pratunam is that malls and markets are pretty close together, so you can walk to and around them with relative ease.
One essential piece of information is that Bangkok wakes up slowly. You don’t want to land at 5 am because the shopping malls don’t open until 10 or 11 am.
A taxi from the airport should take about 40 mins depending on the traffic and should cost around $10. My shopaholic mother and I like to swing by a swanky hotel for a cup of tea and brunch and watch the city wake up. Our favorite is the Amari Watergate Hotel.
A great place to buy a range of clothes and accessories is Platinum Fashion Mall, just opposite the Amari.
This place has at least 6 floors of garments and much of the stock is between $5 and $10 dollars. It is a mall and has more of a market feel. Just jumbled racks of clothing waiting to be bought.
That it is a wholesale means not only are you paying at a fair price, but if you buy multiple items, it becomes even cheaper. It is also worth trying to ask for a discount. No harm in being cheeky, is there?
Below the Indra Regent hotel is also an interesting market stuffed with clothes and costume jewelry. But this is more catering for tourists.
If you walk from the Indra Regent Hotel to the famous Bayoke Hotel (it was once the tallest building in Bangkok), there is a labyrinth of street markets for your perusal. My mother also loves the crush and endless opportunities to bag a bargain. In fact, her mantra is the more you buy, the more you save!
Hot Bangkok Tip: Indian Restaurants
There aren’t many restaurants in this area, but you can find a few delightful Indian places on the main street. It’s Ratchaprarop Road. Alternatively, you could take a stroll up to the more sophisticated Siam Paragon plaza with many name-brand shops with discounts. It also has a varied food court if you are up for that type of adventure.
I always find Lumpini Park a nice place for respite from the shopping mania of the first two-thirds of the day. It has a walking track around an enormous lake once, and it is famous for the wild and rather frightening monitor lizards that laze near the lake, bathing themselves in the sun.
And Now for a Perfect End of the Day in Bangkok
Towards the end of my time in Bangkok, I like to stop in at any of the many massage shops to get a leg massage. It is the best revitalization I know of and costs around $8 per hour.
Bangkok is so affordable that you can afford to buy many of your family and friend’s presents. So I particularly like to visit before the Christmas season.
Have you been to Thailand? Would you consider Thailand as a potential expat destination? Perhaps you already live in Bangkok? Share your experience with us here on TCI.
by: Rachel Devlin