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Bangkok - Thailand

There are numerous cheap shopping centers around Bangkok, but MBK is an easy one to get to from Sukhumvit road, where most tourists stay. Here is how to get there on the Sky Train (BTS):
Go to any of the Sky Train stations on Sukhumvit (Nana, Asok etc) and buy a ticket to the ‘National Stadium’ train stop. MBK is right next to the National Stadium station, with a short walkway directly into the shopping center.
Sky Train ticket machines each have a number next to the station name (like 23, 31). This is the amount in baht you need to pay to get to that station. Most machines only accept coins but only the bigger ticket machines handle notes as well.
You will need to change trains once, at ‘Siam’ station, but don’t be put off by this. You will literally step off the first train and walk 10 meters straight ahead to the opposite platform for the train to ‘National Stadium’. The platform will be clearly signposted as going to National Stadium. It is only one stop away from ‘Siam’ and also the end of the line, so you can’t go wrong.
Once you arrive at National Stadium just follow the signs for MBK Center. You’ll walk through one proper store at the entrance to the shopping center, then it becomes more of a market style layout. Things like handbags, purses, belts, shoes, clothes and toys are cheap here.
By the way, the Siam train stop is where the flash shopping centers are, so if you feel like a look around the top end places like Siam Paragon that is where they are.
MBK Shopping Center
Thailand - All
Thai mobile operator AIS offers a SIM card especially for travellers. Details and prices can be found here:
There seem to be more packages than listed on website - ranging from 1 week to 1 month plus. An AIS shop is located just outside arrivals on ground floor at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. Can't miss it - big banners advertising tourist SIM at the moment. All you need is your passport, the money and your phone. They will set it all up and make sure SIM is working before you leave. Easy! You also get free access to the nationwide AIS WiFi network (available in most major shopping malls). Good way to avoid roaming costs and have internet access for apps while in Thailand.

Various The post about the Samsung region lock has me worried. I want to get a Galaxy S4 next time in Thailand. (18,000 baht in Suv. Airport duty free). I’ve looked into it and I think the way around it is to make sure there is a local SIM in the phone the first time it is turned it on. After that the region lock is removed forever and any SIM will work. So I’m going to get the people in the shop to turn it on and activate it for me with one of their SIMs. Either that or buy a local SIM to take with me when I buy the phone to check it works. (Scooby) Samsung region lock solution?
Word of caution for anyone thinking of buying one of the latest Samsung phones such as the new Note 3 and the S4 for a cheaper price in Asia. They are now region locked which means they can only be activated with a SIM from the same region as the where the phone was bought.
Read these links for for more:
Don't pay for a new Samsung that won't work
Thailand I’m in the process of moving into my new house in Thailand. Here are three stores to check out for anyone needing white goods on a tight budget.
1. “Makro” is a good discount superstore with branches across Thailand. They are hardtop beat on prices for electrical goods such as TVs, Air Con, Fridges and Washing Machines. They also sell food and smaller consumables in bulk. They are no frills, just big warehouses. Their website, where you can find the nearest store by changing the zone box, is
2. “Big C” is another alternative to try for cheap goods. It’s more of traditional Supermarket than Makro, but also stocks electrical goods and clothes.
3. For electronics and white goods, “Power Buy” is worth a look and has better reputation than the others for after sales service. (Stevie Preston).
Best prices
Bali - Indonesia Sellers start their prices crazily high. 3 x plus. Shorts, Shoes they will ask for 150,000 but happily accept 50,000. (Luke) Prices
Bali - Indonesia Beach chair on its own 20-30,000. 50k for two. Best negotiating tactic is to say you only want an hour or two, or that it is already the afternoon so half the price. (Luke) Prices
Chiang Mai If you are planning to travel around Thailand, north and south, save the majority of your shopping for the northern areas (such as Chiang Mai).
Prices are much lower in the north than the south and the goods for sale, such as beach clothes - branded t-shirts and shorts - are exactly the same as in Phuket and Koh Samui, but the prices are 30-50% lower.
In fact, pretty much everything is cheaper in the north.
 Bangkok - Thailand If you are looking for shopping bargains in Bangkok and especially if you have a business you need stock for the place to go is “Chatuchak weekend market” (see
This is where many businesses in Thailand bulk buy their stock to sell in Bangkok and other parts of the country, not to mention Malaysia and other neighbours.
If you are into import and export this is also the place to look for products you could send to your home country.
Beware the place is huge (200,000 visitors per day!) so plan ahead or you will feel overwhelmed. (Dao).
Best Shopping Market in Bangkok
 Thailand The sure-fire way to get the best price in Thailand is to send a local to ask how much!
Most shops never have prices displayed as they price by (your) appearance. If you are a 'farang' (foreigner) that can mean paying double.
Even if you negotiate the price down you'll still be above what the starting price for a local would be.
So send a Thai person that you trust to ask the price while remaining out of sight. When the price has been stated and a bit of bargaining done they can call you over to pay.
If you don't know anyone you can ask the price yourself and then ask the staff from your hotel or a taxi driver to try and get the same thing for less, and offer them a decent tip if they can do it. Just make sure they understand what you want!
 Bangkok - Thailand This is a time saver rather than a money saver. Many Taxis in Bangkok get paid to bring tourists to certain shops, usually things like Jewelry shops. The driver either gets paid a commission on any sale or gets a petrol voucher for bringing you.
This is why you will often hear a driver pressure you to visit a certain shop. It is also why when you tell a driver you want to go shopping and expect to end up at one of the big shopping malls he 'misunderstands' and takes you to one of these smaller outlets first. Then after you've had a look (and he's got his money for bringing you) he will suddenly understand where you want to go.
Some drivers will be upfront about it when you get in and some will actually refuse to take you if you are not prepared to stop off at one of these places along the way. Best tactic is just to say you have no time and be really clear 'no shopping' if they start bringing the subject up.
Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia Best shopping centres, for bargains, can be found on the Bukit Bintang road and also Times Square is worth a look. The Pavillion nearby is a massive shopping mall but like KLCC it is aimed at the top end.
Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia There's a store called 'Mydin" located near the Maybank Tower/China Town/Pudu area. Opposite Nandos. Use to find exact location.
It's like a discount superstore. It's good if you don't care about brand names and just about the quality of the material etc. I buy shirts, boxers and socks. They last really well and price is best I've seen. You can also pick up big bargains on childrens clothes and toys. It's always packed with local people. (Christian)
Shopping / Bargains
 Various This probably applies to other Asian countries, but I heard it in Vietnam so I'll put it here.
Local shops place a lot of superstition around getting the first sale of the day - it's seen as lucky to sell something early. It means they will have a good day in terms of business.
Because of this shops and salespeople will often offer lower prices - or be prepared to give bigger discounts - first thing in the morning, to secure a sale.
So get up early!
 Saigon - Vietnam Ben Thanh market is the main tourist market in the city centre. Reasonable value and some items have prices displayed, although these may be inflated anyway. Be careful with your wallet, phone, handbag.
 Best tourist market in Saigon 
 Various This is an extension of an idea I read on the Malaysia page re. Apple goods. As the guy pointed out, you can buy official Apple products (in official Apple stores) much cheaper in Asia than in the west.
He recommended the Apple shop in the KLCC shopping centre and I second that.But I would also add that if you travel regularly in Asia you can guarantee the absolute best (official product) price by getting a heads up on all the local prices from the apple website!
This is how you do it:Go to and then use the 'choose your country or region' option at the bottom of the homepage to select an Asian country you will visiting.Once in the homepage for that country, click on the 'store' link or a 'shop in the apple online store' link.
That will take you to a page such as this (for Thailand): where the prices of all official apple products for sale in Thailand can be seen. Use a currency converter to work out the price in your currency.Because Apple is quite strict on setting prices, the price you see will be an almost exact match for an in-store price at an official apple shop in that country.
Now change the country to another location, click on the store link and convert the currency again to see how much you would pay for the same product. It is rarely exactly the same.Due to differences in currency, import tax and shipping it is possible to easily save $100 USD (versus Western price) on a new iPad, iPhone, Mac by price-checking in this way.
The price difference between west/asia means I usually get an Apple shopping list from friends each time I'm coming back home. If you want to do that don't bring more than one of the same item and get rid of the packaging, so you can claim they are not new and personal use, or you could get hit with import tax at the airport.
Happy saving! (KL Mike).
Up to $100 on official Apple goods
 Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia Attention fellow Apple Fanatics! The store in KLCC has prices much better for most Apple products than we can get in Europe. Not sure if its the exchange rate, tax or cheaper shipping costs (everything Apple is made in nearby china) but the prices are notably lower for Ipads and Macbooks.
Example. As soon as Ipad 3 ('new ipad') came out price in KLCC store was 1499rm and the ipad 2 dropped to 1199rm. Use the currency converter below to see what that would be for your country.
 Cheap Apple Goods
 Bali - Indonesia If you are in Bali and business minded have a look at things like local wood carvings. I know people that go to Bali each year and import back a container full of them to sell in a furniture shop in Canada.
Profit margins are so large that they work 6 months and then when the Canadian winter arrives they travel in Asia for 6 months looking for new stock to send back when the snow is gone. They also buy stock in Vietnam. Hope that helps.
 Various If you buy products which have a factory in the country you are visiting then that's about the cheapest you can normally get them anywhere.
That's because they are not subject to any import tax or shipping fees.
Samsung, LG, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Sharp are a few of the brands with factories in Thailand.
Exporting goods from Thailand is easy enough... It's importing them that is difficult.
 Thailand If you are buying something electrical or mechanical check it works as much as possible before you leave the shop. So test drives/rides for cars/bikes or getting them to turn the product on in the case of TVs and Phones (this is often done by 'customer service').
Many places will do this without you asking, but if not ask them to do so because, even with a receipt, after sales service in Thailand is poor.
If you bring something back which does not work the best you will get is an offer to fix it, which could mean waiting for parts that never arrive... getting your money back is rare even for expensive items.
The poor after sales service is part of the reason why so many people borrow to buy brand new trucks and motorcycles and there is such a small second hand market. People just don't want to risk a big purchase going bad.
My neighbor paid 500,000 baht for a second hand truck that developed a fault a few days later, but the garage they purchased from still refused to fix it for free.
 Shopping goods