This is the place to find anything to do with computers, hardware or software. It's a great place to violate copyright laws and get bootleg versions of software for PC and Macintosh, games for consoles, MP3's, VCD's, and DVD's. It is a large building in the Pratunam area of the city. You can find other gadgets (cameras and electronic doo-dads) and food too (S&P, KFC, and a small food court). It can get crowded and beware of the guys approaching you saying "sexy movie" and motion you to follow them. Could be a sting operation.
What to buy: Software CD's go for around 100-200 baht per disc. Some of these discs are crammed with thousands of dollars of software. There's no guarantee they will work, but most usually do (I've heard). Also, be careful about the movie DVD's. Some recent releases are actually videotaped in movie theaters and recorded on disc as a VCD (some customers report), so if it has not yet been officially released on DVD, beware.
There was a crackdown on pirated media, so Panthip, for a while, was not what it used to be. It is reverting back to normal now. The police make occasional busts on a vendor once in a while to show that they are working. Therefore, the software vendors do not keep their stock in the stores. Customers must wait 10-15 minutes after they pay, so that a runner can go down to a van or other secret storage area to retrieve the discs (so they say).
The Fortune Town IT Mall near the corner of Ratchadaphisek Road and Rama IX is a newer center for computer-related goods. There is a subway station nearby (Phra Ram IX). Service seems to be nicer here, it is not as crowded as Panthip, and it is cleaner too.
MBK Center also has a few software and game shops. It is also cell-phone heaven.
Check out the informative website below. Note the different types of movie-DVD's. Don't hate me for not sending you to this site in the first place.
What to pay: 100 or 200 baht per software CD.
Known for the thai computer lovers as a place you can buy cheap pirated softwares, Pantip Plaza is also the ultimate source for electronics.
Five-story mall with floor after floor of computers and electronic gear.
If you cannot find any computer product you want here, it probably didn't exist.
If I am not mistaken on the name, this is the place where you can shop for any electronic components you might need. This 5 floors shopping center focus on only computer and electronics.
What to buy: Computer, DVD, mobile phones, ink cartridge, etc.
What to pay: You can negotiate... but not as much as in the street for other products!
The best place to go for any type of computer shopping is the multistory Panthip Plaza on Phetburi / Petchburi Rd in Pratunam district (not far from the Amari Watergate hotel). Prices are very cheap and the range extensive, but not all the vendors speak a lot of English.
Panthip Plaza is the place in Bangkok that is most similar to some of the places in Singapore such as Sim Lim Square. It is big and full of shops selling computers, cameras and other electronic equipment.
There is also lots of pirated software, CDs, DVDs, etc.
What to buy: Computers, cameras etc.
What to pay: Do your research and make sure that what you want really is cheaper than what you can buy it for at home.
Panthip Plaza is opposite the Amari Watergate Hotel on Petchburi Road.
Absolutely everything computer related can be found here over seven floors of computer buff's heaven.
The majority of computer software, Play Station games and DVD's are copies and prices range from 100 - 200 baht per disc.
You can buy legitimate software here as well though it can be very expensive and you also must be very careful that you are actually buying the real thing.
On Petchburi Road,
near the Indonesian Consulate
Stands a building 5 stories high
filled with computer items,
from cables up to the latest laptop,
video games and software.
This is a place for the digital enthusiasts.
Bangkok may not rank in the same position
as it’s other sister countries in Asia
as far as being the inexpensive place to
buy computers and other digital items,
but it can definitely be an option
to scout out a very much needed accessory
while traveling or living in Asia.
Make sure that you know what you are looking for,
since most of the people working in the shops
only speak Thai and if you start asking them
questions about an item and it’s compatibility to
what you are looking for,
they will just respond…..Yes.
And it won’t be until after you have bought the item,
that you will actually realize that
the item may not be what you were looking for.
Also, always check the plug.
Most items comes with an electrical cable
which, functions in the US.
Depending on how passionate you are,
it is easy to spend most of the day here.
A yummy food court is located on the 3rd floor,
if you get hungry half way through,
or just want to rest you feet.
There are other stores dedicated to computer items such as:
IT Center in Seri Center;
IT City Lard Prao;
IT City Seacon Square;
IT Square Vibhavadi Rangist;
Fortune Town IT Mall
It is a mall of computers, software and accessories. Floor upon floor. Those who enjoy shopping for this kind of stuff will go apeshit over this mall. One of the best places to find Mac equipment in the city.
What to buy: Hardware - in Thailand, it isn't much cheaper than in N. Am. i think it is on par or actually a little more expensive, esp name brands like HP and Compaq. Laptops are definitely more as they are not assembled in Thailand, therefore must be imported. The only equipment that is cheaper is locally assembled local brands, and i wouldn't trust them. Good technical support can be difficult to come by in Thailand.
Software - man, you will die when you see it all. There are vendors on top of vendors in this mall. Almost all of it is bootleg but there is licensed software for sale too (very pricey). CDs loaded with software sell for 100-200 baht - cheap. Some of the software is shareware, but sometimes you can find hundreds, even thousands of dollars of software on one CD.
Movies (VCDs) cost 100 baht. but are somtimes poor quality (shot by someone with a camcorder in a theatre). Some of the movies have not even been released in Thailand (or western countries) yet.
Lots of games available too. Sometimes you need to ask about patches that you must physically copy and paste after you have installed the game or your computer will constantly ask for the CD - and it is in the CD player! About 100-200 baht per CD.
Plus language programmes, MP3 compilations, - almost anything you can imagine is available there. DVDs were not widely available when i was there last (Nov 2000) but might be now.
Accessories like scanners, printers, ink, etc are all a bit more expensive in Thailand than in the west.
What to pay: Bootleg software is illegal of course, even in Thailand. There have been crackdowns on Panthip in the past, but someone high up in the govt must be making money on this business because it keeps on functioning. Post offices in the vicinity were watched for a time to see if anything suspiciously CD-like was being mailed out of the country, and it was confiscated. Not sure how tough it is today.
What to buy:
The mother of them all. Walking through the main entrance of this multi-storey IT complex, u'll be greeted with the latest copy software for sale (100B - 150B), along with DVD's, MP3 CD's, and anything else that can be put on disk. If u're looking for a new wireless mouse, USB stick, CD-Rom drive, latest toys, or whatever u can think of, sift ur way through as many vendors as possible to compare prices and find the best deal.
What to pay: Most IT brands are well-represented, and the safest places to buy from are credible and established outlets. The secret is to take ur time, and to compare prices. To put it simply, Pantip is a must, especially if u' e shopping on a budget. Even just for the experience, it's well worth ur time to explore the sheer variety of IT products on offer, packed from floor to ceiling.
Pantip Plaza, IT City, located on the 7th floor, is an excellent place to sort out all your electronic needs and all goods come with a manufacturer’s warranty.
What to buy: The remaining six floors feature everything from computer parts to software, mp3 players, laptops and desktop computers.
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