With over 50 shopping malls in the city, it’s clear that we and our 30 million annual visitors just can’t get enough retail therapy. Here’s the low-down on Bangkok’s biggest players.
 

 

Siam Paragon


Bangkok’s original ultra-luxury mall has yet to fade from the spotlight, thanks to its prime location in the city’s biggest shopping hub. The towering glass facade houses a huge selection of high-end clothing stores—from Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent to trendy high-street favorites like Zara, H&M, Uniqlo and COS—as well as a wide array of restaurants and a huge, if rammed, food court. Entertainment spots include a bowling alley, an IMAX cinema, a multi-purpose hall for concerts and exhibitions, and Siam Ocean World, Southeast Asia’s biggest aquarium.
What we like: Kinokuniya—hands down the biggest and best English bookstore in Bangkok. Although the books aren’t cheap, the store offers a huge range of genres and new releases.
Who goes there: Everyone—elephant pant-clad tourists, luxe shoppers, university students, your aunts and uncles, and that high school friend you never thought you’d bump into again.
 


Siam Center 


Built in 1973, Siam Center is one of Bangkok’s first shopping malls. Thanks to its revamp in 2013, the four-story mall boasts a very young and fashion-forward vibe, with a high-low mix of hip boutiques that cater to on-trend shoppers. It’s home to some of the very best Thai fashion, from big names like Greyhound Original, Fly Now, Rotsaniyom and Milin to streetwear favorites like Leisure Projects, P.Mith and Q Design and Play. Other international brands worth checking out include Lush, Korean multi-label store Aland and Japanese beauty megastore @cosme.
What we like: The number of snazzy multi-label stores offering cutting-edge Thai design—think The Selected, Absolute Siam Store and The Wander Room.
Who goes there: Uni students and aspiring fashion ’grammers.
 

Siam Discovery


This mall reopened in mid-2016 with a bright, futuristic look, courtesy of Japanese designer Oki Sato. The uber-hip mall offers shoppers a more fluid, interactive experience, whether through its co-working space, mobile shopping app or two-floor Virgin Active. Retail options run the gamut from Thai fashion designers to of-the-moment global brands: on top of Japanese cult labels like Suicoke and Issey Miyake, expect niche European names like French eyewear Izipizi, Belgian clothing brand Essentiel Antwerp and Danish womenswear label Ganni. The mall also boasts tons of tech and gadgets.
What we like: This is the place to check up on the city’s latest fashion and lifestyle trends, thanks to cool pop-ups (Acne Studios, Marni, Rally Movement, Atmos Lab) and “Ecotopia,” an eco-friendly zone where you can check out the hottest green products by Thai designers.
Who goes there: Gadget geeks and thirty-something urbanites.
 


CentralWorld


Offering 550,000-sq-meters of retail space, CentralWorld is Bangkok’s second largest shopping mall, behind IconSiam. It’s home to more than 400 shops (mainly international high-street brands), an upscale movie theater offering 15 screens courtesy of SF World Cinema and scores of restaurants. It's attached to Isetan, a Japanese department store; Groove, a dining and nightlife spot that gathers together some of the city’s best-known restaurants, gastro bars and patisseries (HOBS, Greyhound Cafe, Jones the Grocer and 1881 by Water Library); and Centara Grand, a luxury hotel with a rooftop bar.
What we like: We dig the second floor’s well-curated labels, including Pomelo, Pull & Bear, Sephora and Panpuri, as well as shops for sneakerheads like Atmos, 24 Kilates and Upperground. 
Who goes there: High school kids, young couples and busloads of Chinese tourists.
 
 

Central Embassy


Phloen Chit’s luxury space dedicates eight floors to world-leading fashion brands, including Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Louboutin and Paul Smith, as well as high-street names like Zara, Topshop and Muji. Food-wise, you’ll find high-end eateries like Le Salon de L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York-based dessert bar Chikalicious and French patisserie Paul. There’s also a deluxe cinema, where you can lie down under a duvet and enjoy a glass of wine, as well as Open House, a “co-living” space boasting even more dining options, a co-working area and a library lookalike with some 20,000 rare art books.
What we like: Eathai—probably the most unique food court-slash-market in any Bangkok shopping mall. Head there for regional delicacies and street food favorites like northern-style sausages, kanom jeen nam ya poo (rice vermicelli with spicy crab curry) and som tam.
Who goes there: A-list celebrities and models.
 
 

Samyan Mitrtown


Part of Chulalongkorn University’s reinvention of the Sam Yan neighborhood, the 222,000-sq-meter Samyan Mitrtown caters almost solely to students and local residents. Highlights include Bangkok’s biggest Muji to date, minimal pampering spot Namm Spa, sprawling arts and crafts store Medium and More, and arthouse cinema House Samyan, relocated from RCA to the mall’s fifth floor. The complex also features an array of mid-range restaurants (think Coffee Club, Bon Chon and, yes, Taco Bell), an MBK-operated food court featuring street food vendors from the surrounding communities and Samyan Co-Op, a student-baiting multi-story co-working space.
What we like: House Samyan. Period.
Who goes there: Sam Yan residents and Chula students. Who else did you expect?
 
 

IconSiam


“Paragon by the River” is home to over 500 shops—including super-luxury icons like Hermes, Versace and Fendi—100 restaurants and two posh apartment buildings. Several brands made their Thailand debut here. See: the giant Japanese department store Siam Takashimaya and the two-story Apple Store, as well as the Nike Kicks Lounge and Adidas Originals store, both said to be the largest in Southeast Asia. All 15,000 sq meters of the ground floor belong to Sook Siam, where you can explore regional Thai food and shop for traditional arts and crafts.
What we like: Go for the Apple Store and Icon Cineconic—a lustworthy VIP cinema—or the “Iconic Multimedia Water Feature,” which turns into a sound and light show every evening, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Who goes there: IG boyfriends faithfully capturing their girlfriends posing beside water features.
 


The EmQuartier


Built in 2015, this is part of The Mall Group’s B20 billion restyling of Phrom Phong as the Em District, a cluster of luxury hotels, offices, residences and entertainment facilities. Inside, you’ll find flagship stores from Jimmy Choo, Stella McCartney, 3.1 Phillip Lim and A Bathing Ape, plus cult Asian brands like Japan’s Beams and South Korea’s Stylenanda. The mall houses numerous upscale restaurants and local cafe chains (D’Ark, Dean & Deluca, Roast), plus Southeast Asia’s tallest manmade waterfall. It’s also home to a posh Virgin Active, which features a club lounge, indoor pool and spa.
What we like: We’re suckers for multi-label shops, and here you’ll find both Another Story, which deals largely in stationery and home decor, and men’s lifestyle brand Another Man Story. The mall also strikes a nice balance between luxury designer brands and high-street labels.
Who goes there: Expat families, international school teens and Eurasian models.
 
 

Emporium


Emporium, one of Bangkok’s first luxury shopping malls, combines upscale fashion, dining, entertainment and supermarket shopping. Thanks to the Em District overhaul in 2013, the mall has a contemporary vibe now, with finger-on-the-pulse Thai boutiques (Janesuda, Disaya, Vickteerut) alongside luxury fashion names like Loewe, Chloe, Dior Homme and Gucci. Eating options span everything from Another Hound Cafe and Ros’Niyom to Le Dalat and Paul. Head up to the fifth floor to catch the latest blockbuster flicks at luxe Emprivé Cineclub. Opt for First Class (from B800) and gain access to an exclusive bar and lounge.
What we like: It’s easy to navigate and blissfully quieter and less crowded than its counterparts.
Who goes there: Interracial couples, deep-pocketed Chinese tourists and hi-so khun nai.

Step outside the mega malls and shop at some of Bangkok’s best community spaces

 

 
The Commons
Good food takes center stage at this hip, loft-like community mall, with highlights including Peppina, Roast, Soul Food 555 and Fowlmouth.
Neighborhood: Thonglor
335 Thonglor Soi 17, 089-152-2677. Open Mon-Thu 8am-noon; Fri-Sun 8am-1am
 
 
Gump’s Ari Community Space
Located in the same leafy soi as Bar Storia del Caffe and Josh Hotel, Ari’s ultra-hip community space boasts what must be a 4:1 ratio of cafes to everything else. All that’s missing? Bars.
Neighborhood: Ari
25 Ari Soi 4 Nua. Open daily 8am-9pm
 

Summer Hill
From the developers of Sukhumvit Soi 47’s Rain Hill comes this mall, home to Japanese second-hand store Treasure Factory and Spaces, a co-working hub from international group Regus.
Neighborhood: Phra Khanong
1106 Sukhumvit Rd., 02-392-6811. Open daily 9am-9pm
 

Velaa Sindhorn Village
This new high-end space is home to cocktail bar Crimson Room, Peace Oriental Teahouse, the first branch of Hong Kong coffee chain The Coffee Academics and German eyewear label Mykita.
Neighborhood: Langsuan
87 Langsuan Rd., 02-253-8999. Open daily 8am-2am
 

K Village
One of Bangkok’s best-known community malls, this pet-friendly hangout spot is big on hosting markets and fairs—think farmers markets and vintage yard sales.
Neighborhood: Phrom Phong
93/95 Sukhumvit Soi 26, 02-258-9919. Open daily 10am-10pm