Bangkok is a great shopping destination, and almost everything is cheaper than back home, that is, if home is Europe or the US. Just steer clear of international brands and look for locally made instead. Get ready to shop ‘til you drop! Here are some of the things you should bring back from Thailand:
Remember to check the import regulations for your home country. Some countries have very strict regulations for imports, and certain items mentioned below may not be allowed for import.
If you like dehydrated fruit, Bangkok is your lucky city. Edible souvenirs are the best, so bring home some long-lasting versions of tasty, exotic fruit. Try to buy the fruit at the supermarkets in the city, as it is cheaper than buying at the airport shops.
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Asian beauty products are really big all over the world, and most of the biggest brands have branches in Bangkok. The Thai beauty chain Beauty Buffet makes nice products at very affordable prices, and if you like Korean skin care, Etude House and The Face Shop have several stores throughout the city.
At the airport, many shops are selling beautiful orchids, packed, and ready for a long flight. They are pricey but oh so beautiful, so I usually buy them anyway, and if you take good care of them, they will last 2 weeks or more.
Platinum Mall has a great shoes department, and a pair of flats are typically 300THB or less. Terminal 21 also has a good selection of stylish, affordable shoe stores, though most of them are more expensive than the ones in Platinum Mall. The shoes from brands Made in Thailand tend to be of a better quality and a nicer design than the ones from China.
Read my guide to Platinum Mall >>
Read my guide to Terminal 21 >>
This beautiful fabric is very affordable but watch out and use your common sense. Many market vendors are also selling cheaper polyester scarves from China, so if in doubt, ask if it’s really Thai silk. Most of the vendors will be honest enough to tell you if it’s not the real deal. Real Thai silk scarves of a good size and quality will typically be around 1000THB and up.
I don’t have any first-hand experience with the famous menthol balm myself, but my dad and my sister are both raving about how great it is against muscle pain. You’ll find it at pharmacies and in the airport.
Aloe Vera Gel
My mom and I are crazy about aloe vera gel. It’s amazing for anything from mosquito bites to sun burns. You can also smother a thick layer on your face and use it as a facial mask. In Thailand, especially the gel with a high content of aloe vera sells for much less than in Denmark. Buy it at the pharmacies.
Soap, diffusers and room fragrances
I love the smell of lime and lemongrass, so I buy as much as I can carry from diffusers, soap and essential oils.
Regarding counterfeit goods
Yes, they’re everywhere, but unless you want to support an industry known for child labor and run by criminal organizations, don’t buy counterfeit products. Fakes are tacky, end of discussion.
Come prepared when you go shopping in Bangkok. Read my blog post about the things I always have in my handbag when I am out exploring Bangkok >>