When it comes to shopping in Bangkok, you wouldn’t want to miss the Pratunam market. It is a wholesale market that offers a plethora of products but mainly specialises in clothing, shoes and fashion accessories.
Besides the main Pratunam Market on Ratchaprarop Road, there are a number of other shopping centres located around the market in the Pratunam area that are also worth checking out.
I have plotted the locations of these shopping centres on the above map which include Shibuya, Krung Thong Plaza (good for plus size clothing), City Complex, Maruay Plaza, Indra Square and more.
And on the opposite side of the road, you have Pantip Plaza (IT mall) and the popular Platinum Fashion Mall too.
The heart of Pratunam shopping lies within the perimeter of these malls and it can possibly take you at least 2 days to comb through the thousands of shops in search of good bargains.
The Pratunam market springs into action as early as 6am along the streets near Baiyoke Sky Hotel. You’ll see rows of white gazebo tents like these.
While there may be locals and tourists showing up early to scour for bargains, this morning market is more for people who want to buy goods in bulk.
Watch out for loaded carts and trolleys coming from different directions. They always seem to be in a rush probably because they have to quickly return to open shop so if you’re taking a leisurely walk during this time, they will likely ask you to get out of their way.
Some of these wholesalers and retailers do sell by per piece but the price will not be the same if you buy like 3 pieces and above. The more you buy, the cheaper you can get. Some will reject your business if you can’t find enough pieces to make up the minimum purchase.
I must say the shopping scene in Bangkok now is very different from years ago. Last time, if you bargain nicely, I would say most retailers would entertain you – well, for a win-win situation, why not. Because of inflated costs now, every cent or dollar matters a lot. Many would fix their prices and some would just ignore you (and not do your business) if you try to bargain. So don’t be disappointed if you can’t get an item at the price you want – you may just find the same or another similar item elsewhere.
The morning market vendors will start packing up around 8am+ so if you want to come here, make sure it’s between 6am to 8am.
While here at the morning market, don’t forget to check out some breakfast street eats and grab a cuppa to power you ahead for the rest of the day. You’ll definitely need it. Shopping can be a tiring task!
By about 10am to 11am, most of the vendors at the main Pratunam market and along the sidewalks will open for business.
The market is always crowded with people regardless of the time of the day but it’s worth doing your shopping here because it does have a good range of trendy clothing and accessories that you can pick up at really cheap prices. I bought tops for like 100 baht each and the material was better than I expected.
Along the main human traffic routes, there are also little aisles in between on the left and right hand sides with more shops buried deep inside. Check those out too if you like.
The Pratunam market closes around 8pm. Best time to visit would be between 11am to 7pm. 8 hours enough for you?
When night falls, you will see night markets sprouting up along walkways in 3 areas of Pratunam. This is the one outside Palladium World Shopping Mall (it stretches a longer way down on the right hand side).
The second one is the Watergate Night Market at Watergate Pavillion. It closes at midnight.
And lastly, on Ratchaprarop Road near Baiyoke Sky Hotel and Indra Square. There are a lot of interesting stalls that sell hand-crafted items and plenty of cheap bargains too. I bought several make-up pouches (nice quality, good sizes, pretty colours) for only 20 baht each.
After a whole day of shopping, head to the Pratunam food street for street food supper before you retire for the night. ?
Yes, you can easily spend a whole day here if you’re a shopaholic. It’s retail therapy at its best. Without burning a hole in your pocket, haha.
But again, you get what you pay for. You really have to spend time to dig for the good stuffs. While a lot of clothing material is of so-so quality, you can get better ones at inexpensive prices too.
By the way, I find it quite challenging to find clothing of my size. I’m a UK 14 and stands at under 1.7m. The local L is too small for me in the shoulder area and those big/plus sizes are too big. Not easy to find something in between. Also, the tops can be too short for me too.
If you’re UK 12 & below and UK 16 & above, you shouldn’t have a big problem finding clothing suitable for your build. Krung Thong Plaza is good for plus size clothing – so all you plus size ladies, make sure you don’t miss out this place.