Mah Boon Krong - MBK, Bangkok
Lots of local stuff and electronics. Good place to shop and spend your afternoon at. You can also get your shirts tailored for USD20 and get it on the same day. It is also connected to Siam Paragon and Central where you can get higher end shopping.
What to buy: Clothes and local souvenirs
this is my all time favorite store to buy assorted thai and chinese dried food stuffs like spicy dried mangoes, spicy dried tamarind, assorted dried squids, fish crackers, rice crackers, pork floss, seafood crackers and more. this favorite stall of mine is located at the second floor of MBK, at the level of the elevated walkway from the BTS Skytrain National Stadium, again, I don't know the name of the store as it is written in thai, but they sell the best dried food stuffs in bangkok at cheap prices.
Opens: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm everyday
What to buy: assorted dried food stuffs, like 100 grams of dried squid rings at 120 baht, 100 grams of spicy tamarind at 40 baht, assorted rice crackers, thai style and spicy at 40 to 60 baht per pack and depending on the seasoning, plus a lot more food stuffs.
What to pay: not a dent on your wallet
MBK is located on Phayathai Road, near Siam Tower and Hard Rock Cafe .... The multi-storey MBK is probably Bangkok's most legendary shopping mall, popular with both tourists and locals. Eight floors packed with 2,000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs. As u r exhousted of shop till drop, there is a huge food court where u can have several kinds of food and refreshments ....
Compared to European Countries most things are seen as more cheaper, depending on the quality and where they are produced ... But for sure many things to buy for very reasonable prices ... :)
What to buy: First of all, bargain for anything and everything ... All the salesman have some small calculaters in their hands showing u the price and u start up writing down the half of it, and then he / she writes down the double and so goes on the story ... he hee ... Fashion outlets cover everything from jeans, outsized clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories, jewellery, trendy apparel and famous-name brands. The bargain prices of many of these items mean that merchandise is often copy products or from questionable origin. It's important to take a closer look at the quality and craftsmanship. Also new phones, second-hand phones, the latest (copy) DVDs, PC games and games consoles, MP3 players and this and that electronics ....
What to pay: A lot ... :)
The few camera shops on the fifth floor or MBK has huge collection in their shop but are very expensive in their pricing. I checked almost all the shops for their competitive price for many good like Camera body, Lenses, filters, Camera stands, SD Cards. But they were all highly priced , even higher than our Kolkata city.
I did buy one 16GB SD Card Transend, Xtreme 45MB at Bhat 850/- or say Rs.1600/- without VAT paid bill. The same thing, I had bought in Kolkata for Rs.1250/- or say about Baht 650/- . I had to buy one after long bargaining as I had no choice but to buy since, I had carried only one SD card of 16 GB and two 4GB with me. I thought, I shall do a killing in Bangkok. But I had no time to go to Pantip Plaza!
Bangkok is supposed to be shopper's paradise, but for us , we just could not explore as we had very little time for shopping. We also had no idea where to go for shopping where the locals do their shopping. There was also one more problem, Bangkok shopping centers close by 8.30PM. We usually got free at around 6.30 pm , the two nights we stayed in Bangkok and our hotel was in far off location.
It's very large shopping mall with 9 floors offering various good, for electronic items this is not the correct market as it has few shops. For electronic good there is Pantip Plaza, where they have many shops selling electronic good at competitive price. There are fake camera products also , you will be able to know that by their price, which is usually very cheap. Make sure you get the guarantee card filled and stamped, though it is Thailand guarantee card, but a guarantee card once stamped is valid!
What to buy: However, I managed to do some shopping at MBK though we found it was very expensive than Kolkata! I bought a Camera lens Tamron 10-20 with Thailand guarantee for Baht 14000.00 . The international guarantee for the same lens was for Baht 20500.00! What a difference! I made a saving of Baht 6000 or say Rs.11500 in Indian currency. it's performing well!
This will be my MBK Shopping Tips, I will have a separate things to do tips for it.
MBK Center, also known as Mah boon krong, is an enormous marble shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand. MBK is about eight stories high and 330 metres long, with 2,500 shops using a total selling area of 89,000 square metres. MBK Center has an average of 105,000 customers daily, and is considered to be the most visited mall in the country.
In MBK, fashion outlets cover everything from jeans, outsized clothing (for the 'larger' Western frame), shoes, handbags, accessories, jewellery, trendy apparel and famous-name brands. The bargain prices of many of these items mean that merchandise is often copy products or from questionable origin. Many of the products that can be found here are similar to that at markets, but with the convenience of shopping in an air-conditioned space plus like in the markets, haggling here is allowed and is a must!
What to buy: for dried fruit (or what thai's call dehydrated fruit) THAI FRUIT Location: Zone B,Floor 3 Tel:026209338, dried mangoes 500 grams for 90 baht (Off course philippine dried mangoes are sweeter and tastier but are more expensive at about roughly 64 baht for 200 grams), dried jackfruit, dried tamarind, 3 100 gram packs for 100 baht. chinese sausages 3 packs for 100 baht, longkong (lansones in philippines) is 90 baht a kilo. There are other dizzying varietes of dried fruit and thai snacks!
for eating, I ate at sizzlers at level 7, it is near the cinemas. they have at large hotplate wherein you use porkfat to cook a variety of meats, vegetables, etc and eat them with rice and sauce and a kind of thai Hot Pot soup. Very good and the price was ok at about 150 baht for 2 person.
at the ground floor, they have a food center selling all kind of thai foods like thai iced tea, Kao niao Durian (sticky rice with durian), Kah-Feh Yen (thai iced tea), Gluay buad chee (banana w/ coconut milk) a variety of thai noodles and coolers. more expenive than in chatuchak but is cleaner.
What to pay: Shopping Tip: Tourists can apply for a special MBK Tourist Discount Card at the information kiosks on the first and second levels (remember to take your passport along). Armed with this card you will be entitled of discounts between 5 and 30% on selected merchandise and at some restaurants - a list of participating stores will be provided when you apply for the card.
If you are in Bangkok, then you must go to MBK, it is an extremely popular shopping centre with tourists and locals, you will probably find yourself back there quite a few times as well! There are over 2,000 shops and 130 eating establishments over eight floors selling everything from clothes to electronics. Depending on your bartering skills, great bargains can be had.
Fake handbags and clothes are also available here but you may need to ask a shop owner as they are not always on display. A luggage shop might have their suitcases on display filled with lots of good value fake handbags! Make sure you get your Tourist Discount Card from one of the information desks on the first and second floors. You will receive from 5% to 30% discount at participating stores.
The food court called Fifth Avenue on the 5th floor is also something to see and the food is great, if you are after something a bit cheaper there is also a food centre on the 6th floor. You can also give the husband a break to have a beer here!
There are also plenty of massage shops to give your tired feet a rest before you start on the next floor.
There is also a huge department store called Tokyu which is definitely worth a look. On the 8th floor there is an Entertainment Complex with bowling alley's, arcade games and movie theatres.
No matter what you are looking for you will find it at MBK.
It's cheap and fake and shop-keepers are rude.
What to buy: AVOID MBK unless you are a discerning buyer. Also if you are prepared to face rude and indifferent shop-keepers. I am not saying they are rude when you bargain. I am saying they are rude even if you enter their shop and touch anything. They will not allow you to sit down on their stools either, not even for a minute.
What to pay: Don't spend any money in MBK. There are better places to go to, like Indra Square.
While MBK is indeed huge it's mostly full of touristy tat at inflated prices, especially when you compare it to shopping in the outer suburbs of BKK. The 16yrs of it's operation has taught the stall holders that fools and their money are soon parted. After a day of shopping in the predominantly Thai areas of BKK I went to MBK with a thai friend. The stall holders were mostly disinterested, I couldn't even get one to allow me try a shoe on in my size. He insisted I could try the shelf model which was 3 sizes too big! As if I am going to purchase a very overpriced shoe ($3,000 baht) without actually trying one on in my size. A browse of the other stalls particularly the famed leather goods, revealed extremely poor copies of brand names at ridiculous prices. For what they charge you for a copy you could buy the real thing, secondhand in excellent condition in your own country. You can pick up convincing and high quality copies in the outer areas for a lot less, if that is your thing. It isn't my thing and consequently I purchased a very high quality local brand handbag for an absolute song in a department store with a returns policy and no fear that my credit card is about to be duped.
Don't waste your time at MBK, too many tourists with more money than sense have turned the area into a ripoff merchants paradise.
What to buy: In my experience the best Shopping in Thailand is the local brand products sold in the high end department stores. They are priced about the same as cheaper products in the west but the quality of workmanship and design is very high. All the local brand pieces I have bought, people have commented on as being especially nice and they wanted to know where I got them from. These products are quite expensive for Thai people so they are high end. The bonus is they are often on sale and its quite easy to score 20-30% off in the department stores.
Go to level 6, go directly to level 6, do not stop at the food hall on level 5. Open your wallet and go for it. Level 6 is home of the Thai Handicrafts - every souvenir you could think off. Some prices are set, but most are barter worthy.
Open daily from 10am to 10pm.
What to buy: DVD's, jewellery, clothing, toys, hair accesseries, bags, lighters, watches, shoes. You name it, it's here at MBK.
What to pay: Whatever you can barter.
MBK Center , an enormous 8-storey marble mall opened in 1985, is one of the biggest shopping malls in Asia . The center provides over 2,000 stores and services, over 150 eating establishments and a large cinema city. Shopping here, you'll find a variety of negotiable products including clothes, cosmetics, leathered items, jewelry, electronics, information technology products, furniture, restaurants, supermarket, theaters, karaoke and 4-storey department store (Tokyu).
If you've come to Bangkok looking for some great shopping, but can't stand the heat of the outdoor markets, then come to MBK to shop in the comfort of air-conditioning. This is a huge shopping mall with plenty of independent retailers selling allsorts of goods. It's so big and vast, that I overheard a pair of lady shoppers express tiredness from shopping - can you imagine ladies complaining about shopping tiredness!?!
You can pick up a tourists' discount card at the information kiosks on the 1st and 2nd floors (show your passport), giving you 5 - 30% on selected merchandise and at some restaurants.
If you haven't seen one of the huge Asian shopping malls then you should go here. MBK Center, an enormous 8-storey marble mall that opened in 1985, is one of the biggest shopping malls in Asia . The center provides over 2,000 stores and services, over 150 eating establishments and a large cinema city. Shopping here, you'll find a variety of negotiable products including clothes, cosmetics, leathered items, jewelry, electronics, information technology products, furniture, restaurants, supermarket, theaters, karaoke and 4-storey department store (Tokyu). Go up to the floor with the cel phones and check it out. I don't think I've seen so many phones in one place before.
This is the other shopping heaven - mercifully with air-conditioning! I enjoyed this better than Chatuchak, though only marginally as the sheer amount of human (shopper) traffic here is mind-boggingly choking.
8 floors worth of shopping trail (including a cinema), each floor decked to the full with items needed and unneeded for you. Shop, stop, look, buy, shop. That's the sequence I believed.
Interspaced in between every small and big boutiques and stalls on every floor (as well as the big Tokyo Departmental Store and Tops Supermarket), you will get restaurants & eateries squeezed in for sustenance, and if you feel economical as you are fast running out of money after a hard day of spending money, there are 2 food courts: An upmarket one on the 5th and a more economical one on the 6th.
What to buy: There are many shops selling 2nd hand genuine (as well as fake) jeans and bags of all kinds and designs in the basement, the 3rd (The Image Shopping Center) and the 6th floors.
There is also an entire floor (the 4th) dedicated to electronic gadgetry for folks trying to get the latest handphones, web-cams and spy cameras.
If you are not into fake couture, there are plenty of boutiques selling local branded apparels. Cheap, good and real. AIIZ is one such boutique and it can found in the basement.
It is also a place where many folks (well, at least folks from my country) come to grab packets of the ever popular local snacks such as pork floss rice crackers, durian chips, durian candies, spicy shrimp paste etc to drag home for family, friends and colleagues.
What to pay: You can certainly bargain in some stores, but quite a number are fixed-price outlets.
The MBK centre is a huge shopping mall 8vstories high. I went here to buy a Thai sim card but obviously being a shopping mall it is full of clothes shops, restaurants etc etc.
I asked a couple of tuk tuk drivers to take me there and they didnt now where i meant but it is well known amongst Thai's
What to buy: MBK centre is especially good for electronic good - mobile phones in aprticular and also has good prices on fake designer goods.
What to pay: The clothes are inexpensive in relation to western prices but i didnt really have a great look