>Q: I am planning a trip to Bangkok this Christmas and would like to know where I can find clothes and food at a bargain. Also, where can I find massage parlours?
A: The best places to shop for bargain goods in Bangkok are at the local markets.
The largest in Thailand and one of the most popular is the Chatuchak weekend market, which is open every weekend from 8am to 6pm. It offers a wide array of products including household items, clothing, Thai handicraft, collectibles, food and even live animals at its over 15,000 stalls. It is also gaining popularity as a breeding ground for young Thai designers and artists.
Or go to the Don Wai riverside market on the banks of the Nakhon Chai Si river in the Nakhon Pathom province, 30km from Bangkok. Food vendors travel by boat to sell their goods there, and visitors can take boat rides for 60 baht (S$2.41). It is open from 7am to 6pm daily.
For air-conditioned comfort, Mahboonkrong Centre at the National Stadium Station along the Sky Train line, one of the biggest shopping malls in Asia, has over 2,000 shops selling clothes, cosmetics, jewellery, leather items and electronics, and over 150 eating establishments.
According to Chan Brothers Travel, massage parlours can be found on almost every corner. They charge 300 baht upwards for an hour-long massage. If you are looking for something more high-end, try a hotel spa, where rates start from 1,500 baht for a massage.
This article was first published in Life, The Straits Times on July 15, 2008.