Unfortunately the King Power Duty Free Shops in the World Trade Centre and at the Airport ARE NOT GOOD VALUE compared to what you expect of a Duty Free. Okay, so you may not pay Duty, but the price must have been jacked up as it is very doubtful you will get a bargain on regular store prices. There are a good many Bangkok whingers on this... here's one from today's Bangkok Post. He does it better than me...
"..for example, I can buy a litre bottle of Irish whisky 84 baht cheaper at my local store (Big C) than the airport. ...a promotion for hilltribe coffee, was 470 baht, at my local supermarket the same pack is 298 baht. ...and the camera? The airport price for the model I wanted was 17,690 baht with an additional 2,690 baht for the SD card. Three quotes at downtown camera stores were the same. Where is the "free" in duty free?" .W. Lawrence. Bangkok Post 18th August 2005
My experience is that the books are marked up too. Asia Books at the airport definitely does this, with a price sticker plonked ovr the rec'd publisher's price. In their same fascia downtown store the same books are 30% cheaper. ( Duh, do they think we are that daft ? ) ...the proof of the pudding. How many people do you see at Don Muang Airport with Duty Free bags of booze, cigs, perfume, etc ... compared to those you would see at Schipol, Heathrow, Hong Kong etc. ?
I rest my case my lud.
What to buy: What? What? I've just ranted at you... I do not buy anything at the King Power Duty Frees at Don Muang or elsewhere in Thailand. And I recommend you don't either, not if you are looking for a real saving that is. (If you are in a last minute panic, well go on then.).
Your own Duty Free is more likely to provide you with better bargains. The best Duty Free in Asia is Changi, Singapore. One more moan... The Power King range of items is pants. And the staff not too interested or knowledgeable. (Not surprising if you only get paid US$130 a month. One day off a week. On your feet all day. Nearest lav 957 metres away. Bring your own paper. Enough Ian ! Enough ! - editor))
What to pay: Any further coment would be superfluous...
Bangkok Duty Free shops are certainly one of the best in the whole world as they offer very wide range of duty free goods such as Liquor, Watches, leather goods, Chocolates, Cigarettes, toys, Cosmetics, Perfumes, Cameras, at a very reasonable price. This year in 2012, I had the chance of visiting Bangkok airport twice in March and in October, I found there is a difference in prices. During my Bali trip , I had bought a Tissot watch as they were offering discounts of 30% on certain models but during this time in October, the offer was not there. The same was for liquor there was no promotional offer. Last time , we had bought 12 , 1 liter bottles of the same brand at 25% discount in a group of 6 people as you are allowed only 2 liters per person. I asked them the reason, they said the new Thai government which came to the power in May'12 has stopped all kinds of promotional offers as they want to generate more tax.
We found except for the few watch shops, the staffs are very very courteous and go all out to select your choice of goods. I bought 9 bottles of Single Malts for me such as Talisker, Belveline, Glenfiddich, Arbelor, The Glenlivet, and so on. Munu and Rakhi bought Perfumes, clothes, Chocolates, United Colors of Benetton bags etc.
What to buy: Liquors, Perfumes, Watches, Cameras etc. The shops are located in all three floors of the entire airport. There are about 100 or more shops spread all over.
The King Power Duty Free Shops are the number one duty free Shop in Thailand with branches everywhere, even in Downtown Bangkok!
It Dominates Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport duty free, with branches at both departure and arrival areas of both domestic and international parts (King Power International Group is the largest of Duty Free and Tax Free service in Thailand with 72 outlets at the domestic and international terminal in Thailand ’s major international airports including 3 downtown outlets and King Power Complex) .
King Power also promotes OTOP (one tambon one product, an idea originated in japan) which is a scheme that encourages each village in Thailand to produce its own product, drawing on folk wisdom and local character. You can find a large assortment of art, crafts and goods at the several outlets of these OTOP Shops inside the Huge Suvarnabhumi Airport!
they also give you free carry on bags if your purchases exceed 1,500 baht.
What to buy: the usual foreign brands like dunhill, marlboro, la coste, nike, etc. arts and handicrafts of northern hill tribe peoples, thai handicraft made by disabled people, Sai Yai Rak or thai modern art designs, OTOP products like assorted thai dessert (400 Baht a pack), Thai Coconut flavored wafer sticks at 160-200 baht a pack, Thai Butter Cookies at 200 Baht a pack, Dried Mangoes at 160 Baht (expensive! only cost 90 baht in MBK), Dried Tamarinds at 150 Baht (again expensive)
What to pay: almost double the price of native goods than in bangkok.
It has plenty of flowers to choose. Either fresh or artificial ones. The Thai orchids are amazing.
There are so many types. Flower magnet is also great. Many of them is just a very memorable gift from Thailand.
What to buy: I would recommend the orchid box in purple color .. called wild orchid something. I bought it last time I visited Thailand. I couldn't believe that the orchid did last for more than a week.
That meant they are very fresh. Everyone who visited my home said so. We are amazed.
Highly recommended gift from the Flower SHop.
What to pay: I bought it around 500 baht. not that expensive. worth it to buy as a gift.
A duty free city branch that allows to do shopping at the same prices as at the airport, but you don't have to rush and there are less people. Just posted a story about it http://arco-iris-anastasia.blogspot.com/2011/04/king-power-complex-in-bangkok.html
What to buy: Cosmetics, coconut waffles, Tom Yum and curry sets, silk, watches.
What to pay: Apart from cosmetics, nothing is really cheaper than elsewhere.
it was a nice surpise to be able to bump inside the chocolate store of one of the most expensive and luxe chocolates of the world (better than my favorite godiva chocolates) here at the King Power Duty Free Shops at Suvarnavhumi Airport, as this luxe chocolate brand has no branches in Thailand. Valrhona focuses mainly on high-grade luxury chocolate marketed for professional (such as chocolatiers and bakers) as well as for private consumption. Though considered one of the foremost chocolate makers in the world, Valrhona is in roughly the same price range as Godiva and Neuhaus and the price is expensive since they only use chocolate beans from a single year harvest of one of their contract plantations mainly in the south america and carribbean areas. The cacao beans they used are sourced from the rare Criollo Cacao, which is only 2 to 3% of all cacao production, hence the very expensive price.
What to buy: the Grand Cru Collection Chocolates like the Guanaja which is 75% dark chocolate, the Jivral which is 40% chocolate, the Abinao at 85% dark chocolate and others. a box of a grand cru collection with 54 small pieces of assorted grand crus is 1,550 baht and for a tin box with 18 pieces at 650 baht and the regular packed single origin chocolates like abinao or tainori at 550 baht a pack.
What to pay: much more than the regular chocolates like cadburys or ferrero roche or hershey's