Speak to any local in Bangkok and they will most likely direct you to MBK to get the best shopping deals in Bangkok.  MBK may pale in comparison to the glitzy malls in Siam Square, their goods may appear less fashionable than Platinum Mall, but it is still a treasure trove that you can plough through to find cheap deals.

Near to National Stadium BTS

The nearest BTS station is National Stadium BTS, but is also within walking distance from Siam station. From our lodgings at the Ibis Bangkok Siam, MBK was just a short walk away.


There are 8 floors in MBK that houses more than 2000 shops, each floor sorted by the category of products that the shops are selling.  If you are in a hurry, then you will just need to concentrate on the product you are after.

Floors 1-3:  Clothing, Shoes, Leather Goods, Luggage and Bags, Jewellery, Ladies’ Accessories, Restaurants, Local snacks and delicacies.

Tip: Concentrate your efforts on these 3 floors if you are in a hurry because they would have most of what you are after.  Clothing (especially T-shirts) are cheap although they will not be as stylish as what you would find at Platinum Mall.

Imitations Galore

Men’s shoes and sandals are good buys at selected shops (don’t go to the big shops), while the fashion for ladies’ shoes are a bit lacking.  As for leather products (ladies and men’s bags  and belts especially), many of them are imitations of the real branded ones.  Some of them such as the Michael Kors ladies’ handbags look quite close to the real deal and would cost typically about SGD $30-50, while others such as the Burberry imitations can look quite fake.

Haggling is a must at the MBK.  Prices can go down by half if you start walking away, but unless you are sincere about buying the stuff, don’t engage the stall owner in bargaining.  Most of the time, you will also be able to find similar stuff in other shops at the same level.

Recommended Shops

We can’t remember which floor this was located at, but they sell stylish organizers of various sizes, configurations and materials to suit your needs. Either use them at the TV consoles to sort out your remote controls, or at the bedside to store your small personal belongings.

Some of the more expensive ones come with a rotating base.  I personally bought one for my bedside to contain my electronic gadgets and accessories.  Prices are not too expensive – we paid about SGD $20 for a medium sized one.


Recommended – buy towels at MBK!  They are about half the price at Singapore and comes with good quality.

Not Recommended Items

Gold and jewellery shops are quite abundant at floors 1-3, but we won’t invest time in looking at them, mainly because we couldn’t afford it, and also because we can never be sure that they are the real thing.

One of those things that are sold everywhere in Bangkok are the spa and aromatherapy oils.  We personally are users of essential oils, but we find that prices are actually not that cheap anymore in Bangkok, plus the quality are not good compared to the ones we bought in Singapore.  So unless you are able to come across a reliable source in Bangkok, our advice – skip this.

Tokyu Department Store

The only department store at MBK is Tokyu, which occupies parts of floors 1 to 4.  Things at Tokyu are very much more stylish than the rest of MBK, but they are also correspondingly much more expensive.  We didn’t spend any money at Tokyu, but we did go in to use their restrooms which are a lot cleaner than those at the rest of MBK.

Perhaps the best part of MBK is the presence of my favorite Bangkok store, Naraya – Level 1, just beside Tokyu and MacDonalds.



Floor 4: Electronics, mobile phones, CD and MP3.

Skip this floor if possible. We couldn’t find any electronics nor accessories to buy despite walking through the entire floor.


Ironically, although this is the electronics floor, the only shops that were worth visiting were the few selling local snacks and delicacies.  They are not exactly cheap, we actually bought ours at a shop at the first floor with better variety and prices.


Floor 5: International Food Court, Restaurants, Furniture

Go to the 5th floor to dine at Fifth Avenue, the Thai’s version of an international food court.  Other than that, the 5th floor is filled with shops selling home and office furniture.

Floor 6, 7 and 8: Cinema, bowling, karaoke, Food court, Souvenir shops

Unless you want some Thai entertainment, otherwise, skip these floors.

Summary

MBK can be covered in one day or less, if you take a targeted approach to zoom in on the products that you hope to buy.

Join us next as we explore the rest of Bangkok.

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