What to buy in Bangkok

I totally get the appeal of conquesting. Not the raping and pillaging part, but bringing home the spoils, is one satisfactory feeling. One of the best aspects of travel is being exposed to different products, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love to shop overseas. I’m off to Bangkok and other parts of Thailand this week, and while I don’t have a massive shopping list, there are a few items I hope to procure. Here’s a look at what I hope to buy in Bangkok.

Heading to Thailand? Here's what to buy in Bangkok
Floating markets are one of the appeals of shopping in Thailand.

What to buy in Bangkok

Bangkok’s Chatuchak weekend market is the largest market in Thailand.

Shopping in Bangkok

Let’s be real for a moment. There’s a lot of fun things to do in Bangkok, but none so fun as shopping in my books. Shopping in Bangkok, however, is not for the faint of heart.

It’s crowded. It’s humid. There will be a lot of haggling. Expect it. Have fun with it. While there are several shopping malls in Bangkok, most fun are the outdoor stalls and markets you’ll find in dozen upon dozens of neighbourhoods in the city.

Some are hyper specific – like Pak Klong Talad – Bangkok Flower Market (best visited early morning when the blooms are still fresh) and Aor Tor Kor market, known as the market for the rich.

Approximately 80 km outside of Bangkok lies the famous Floating Market: Damnoen Saduak. And there’s a ton of goodies to be found among the warren-like labyrinth of stalls at Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown district. Wherever you go, these are some of the best souvenirs to buy in Thailand. However, my personal faves are highlighted below. 

Asian BB Cream

Since I’m at the source (BB creams originated in Asia), I want to get the good stuff. Beauty balms are the ultimate all-in-one-product. Too many companies have jumped on the BB bandwagon and haven’t done it right. I was disappointed Origins BB Cream doesn’t contain any oil fighting properties. A traditional BB cream is part tinted moisturizer, part sunscreen and part pore minimizer. My skin is a blotchy mess of age spots and clogged pores. I need this cream like nobody’s business and I know I’ll be able to find a few good Asian made products in Bangkok.

shopping thailand
Thai silk is so gorgeous! Have something custom made there or bring several yards home with you.

Things to Buy in Bangkok

One of the best things to buy in Bangkok is Thai silk. It’s sturdy, beautiful and relatively cheap. I love the vibrant colours and how sleek it looks, especially when used in decorating. I plan to pick up a couple different swathes and a few more for my besties. I’ve made skirts and pillow cases out of it before. It’s the easiest, lightest gift and definitely should be at the top of your shopping list.

Khao San Road Night Market

If you’re a traveller, it’s almost impossible to visit Bangkok without a trip down Khao San Road. And if you’re just visiting and not staying here, you’ll definitely want to come for their night market. Last time I was on Khao San Road (a long, long time ago), there were no American chains like 7-11 and KFC, so I suspect much has changed. Back then, I bought a fake press pass that helped me wrangle my way backstage to some pretty decent concerts. Since I now have my own press badge and I suspect I look far too old to pull off Student ID, I’m going to have to get creative.

Khao san road night market
So much protein, so little time.

You’ll want to spend some time on Khao San Road though even if it is backpacker central. As mentioned, they have an amazing night market, where you can find lots of cool items, like clothing, souvenirs and even crickets for a treat!

Buddha sculpture
Can one have too many Buddha heads and sculptures in their house? Yes!

Don’t buy this in Thailand

I’m not into handicrafts, ceramics, lacquerware and the like. I’ve lived in Asia and have travelled to every country in this continent except Laos and the four that begin with the letter B. Meaning: I can’t be tempted by buddha sculptures, indigenous masks or anything made out of reeds.

I’ll let you know what I end up with next week.

Pin for future reference:


What are some of your favourite treasures brought back from overseas?

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About The Author

2 thoughts on “What to buy in Bangkok”

  1. I bought way too much as usual. I’ll soon do a post on all my spoils. I can reveal, however, that I’m now the proud owner of BB cream. Disappointingly, it’s from Boots, but I did buy it in Bangkok. Boots and Tesco are everywhere in Thailand now.

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