Bangkok Pratunam Market
Pratunam Market stands out on its own amongst Bangkok's best shopping mall and markets for buying cheap clothes and accessories. It is a bustling bargain shopping district in Bangkok filled with budget cheap hotel rooms. One of the most famous hotel and city landmark is the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the tallest hotel and building in Thailand. If you're looking for something to wear, eat, and stay on the cheap you'll find it all at Pratunam Market.
Originally Pratunam Market was meant as a clothing wholesale market for resellers. Now, everyday the market is opened to tourists who are welcomed to shop for shoes, shirts, pant and jeans at cheap prices. It is also a market where tourists from all over the world come to look for quality fake luxury hand bags, wallets and watches if there is ever such a thing. Fake Guccis, Coach and Louis Vuitton merchandise can be found at Pratunam's chaotic market.
Pratunam is a very good place to visit even if you are not a die hard shopper. The neighborhood is a melting pot of sorts with many Indian and Pakistani businesses including hotels and restaurants so it is a good area to stroll around and explore another side of Bangkok.
Pratunam Market is not an area condensed into one central location. The clothing market encompasses a large portion of Pratunam district. The majority of the market is packed into a warren of stalls and it even extend out to the city's side walk, covered in tarp protecting the merchandise from sun and rain.
Then you have shopping complexes such as Indra Square. Even the ground level of Bangkok's famed Baiyoke Sky Hotel inside Pratunam has a mall filled with cheap clothes, women's handbags and electronics such as cameras, iPods and cell phones.
It is also one of the most best areas in Bangkok with cheaper budget hotels. And since it is such a busy area it is a popular choice for tourists looking for affordable quality hotels that is close to the city's hub of activity.
How to Get to Pratunam Market
Pratunam is a really busy neighborhood in Bangkok during the early morning to late evening. And vehicle traffic is a real nightmare because there are two major roads that intersect the market called Ratchapraop Road and Petechburi Road.
If you ask a taxi to take you to Pratunam Market they will most likely decline your fare since they do not want to be stuck in traffic. Your best solution is a tuk tuk because it is able to maneuver and weave through non-moving traffic. Expect to be charged a bit more as a tourist but the price you pay is still manageable especially if you are not riding the tuk tuk alone.
The other option is riding the BTS Sky Train which has several stations not quite so near Pratunam Market and requires a bit of a hike however.
There are quite a lot of budget hotels near Pratunam so you won't even have to walk to far to get there and Pratunam is an ideal location for shopping in Bangkok because it is close to Siam and Chidlom, an area filled with high end shopping malls.
Shopping in Pratunam Bangkok
There are lots to buy in Pratunam from tourist trinkets to t-shirts with funny designs. Need tailored shirts and pants? No problem, you can find many tailors inside with all kinds of fabrics to choose from for that custom fit and comfort. Women can also find places to make custom dresses inside the market too. Many are talented seamstresses who are able to reproduce a dress you'd see on fashion magazines. Just make sure to settle on a price above all else and try to get in as much fittings as possible.
This is a wholesale market and though prices are relatively cheap for buying one clothing item you will often get a better discount if you buy several pieces. And it doesn't even have to be the same item. Don't be shy about haggling and bargaining for clothes in Bangkok. In a way, it's kind of expected. Just be respectful and remind yourself not to haggle too aggressively. For example if a shirt that you want to buy is 30 Baht more than you wanted to pay it's probably best to just pay since it really is not a huge amount.
I wouldn't worry about the language barrier either. Most vendors inside Pratunam Market are able to communicate in basic English. Though learning to speak Thai and conversing with a vendor may put you in a favorable light for extra discount.