Our second day in Bangkok was lazy . In fact, we slept until 2pm. Wearily rolling out of bed like we do in London, we planned to see New Bangkok – the malls and streets around them.
We walked to the EmQuartier – a huge, fancy mall with jazzy music pumping from speakers outside.
Siam Paragon was enormous and just as fancy/boring as EmQuartier, but Siam Centre felt a bit more fun. We took some snacks (in the form of delicious dutch pancakes, fluffy poffertjes) and strolled around the Sephora (!) and departments selling only jelly shoes and only cars.
From there, we walked the 40 minutes home enjoying the walk along the sky passages between Siam and Chit Lom and the entirely Arabic oriented shopping complexes by the seedier Nana. Our home turf of Asok was paradise to see after a long and diverse walk, so we stopped for a beer before heading home to bed.
The second shopping day followed a sleepless night and our check out. Our enormous tortoise shell bags fixed to our backs as we made our way to Mo Chit, we knew the visit to Chatuchak market would be hard work.
After meandering through a few stalls, labouring with the weight on our backs, we took a new technique. One of us would stroll and the other would stay with the bags. Only that way could we find any treasure in this market.
I went first. My mission was food and a look around. The web of stalls beckoned you left, right, forward and behind, with the only real way to discover the right way is to guess. My favourite stalls were the flower stalls, bright with petals or thick with ferns.
As I exited the main part of the market, I made for the food stalls outside. I was hoping to find the popular Hello Garlic, but after searching for an hour and finding only similar style vendors, I opted for streaky pork (50bht) and the popular honey roast pork skewers (80bht), as well as a large cup of iced lemon juice (25bht), all to share. 155bht in two is around £1.50 each. Not bad for a filling brunch! My favourites were the pork and juice – the streaky pork would have been yummier if it were warmer.
Unlike the neat, pristine departments of EmQuartier and Siam Paragon, Chatuchak was disorderly, dark and with every metre packed with something different. The character, noise and lack of global chains in the market was so much more preferable and fascinating.
From Mo Chit, the A1 bus or taxis head to Don Muang, where we take an onward plane to Chiang Mai!
Bangkok shopping tips!
– The large malls really do have similar prices to Western malls, and for that reason, going there is only worth it to look around.
– Another mistake I made was buying cream at a Boots. I chose the cheapest one – not realising they contain skin lightening cream!
– The shopping malls in Siam are a lot more interesting than EmQuartier, they are great for strolling around – and there’s a Sephora!
– Also great about Siam is if you are into Japanese fashion, there are a few kitschy/kawaii shops and restaurants in the area near Siam BTS station
– Chatuchak Weekend Market is incredible, both in quality and quantity. Get there for about 9am to get your bearings. There are maps in the outside quarters, and once you know your way around it’s easier to find the items you like. You could easily spend a day there, so prepared to shop and walk a lot! That’s what we did wrong! It is a weekend market, so whilst I think it is open on other days, it’s at its best on Saturdays and Sundays.