You're never far away from a supermarket of some description in Bangkok - sometimes you have to look down to find one, though!
Tops supermarkets are at the smaller end of the supermarket scale, but there are lots of branches (over 30 in Bangkok), so there's likely to be one reasonably near wherever you are if you're in need of some groceries, toiletries, or perhaps a bottle of wine. Some of the stores are branded "MarketPlace" and have a wider range of imported goods.
The Tops supermarket pictured is below street level on Silom Road and there's another convenient one underneath the Robinson department store on Sukhumvit Soi 19.
If you're feeling peckish, this 24-hour supermarket on Sukhumvit Soi 5 has a noodle-bar that may well satisfy your cravings. It's also a very handy place to pick up cold drinks, confectionery and toiletries. If you are desperate for a bottle of wine (expensive in Bangkok) you'll be able to find one here, as well as assorted local and foreign newspapers and magazines.
Not quite as convenient as the central Big C I've mentioned elsewhere, the Tesco-Lotus hypermarket at Sukhumvit Soi 50 is still very easy to get to. It's directly connected to the last stop on the Skytrain going east, via a covered walkway. Cheap clothes (no fakes), a pharmacy and even mobile phones are on offer here as well as the usual vast array of food-stuffs. Credit cards are accepted.
In front of the main store is a large food court (where you buy vouchers first and exchange them for food), and several fast-food type places including a Dunkin Donuts and a McDonalds.
Open from 6am until midnight daily.
Incidentally, these Tescos are big enough to be easily visible on satellite photographs - take a look at:
(you can see this Tesco store next to the Skytrain, and just north of it is another hypermarket - a branch of Carrefour).
What to pay: I got an umbrella here for 119 baht...
Thai-style hypermarket shopping has recently arrived in inner-city Bangkok with the opening of a huge Big C store on Ratchadamri Road, opposite the World Trade Center. The layout is a little different to most Big C stores - there are small shops on the ground floor, then the Big C retail area covers most of the next 2 floors up, and the next floor up from that is a food court.
Fixed, generally low prices, and credit cards accepted should you want to buy a whole load of stuff. There's a parking lot and taxi stand in the basement should you need to transport your purchases away. It's also airconditioned, of course, and is currently open daily from 9am until 11pm.
A 10-screen multiplex cinema is located on the top floor; in its first week it had The Matrix Revolutions showing on all 10 screens!
What to buy: Big C is an excellent place to buy good quality cheap clothing, toiletries, cosmetics, and any manner of food and drink. This is especially so if you don't like bargaining or want to avoid fake goods (Thai hypermarkets are generally fake-free - if you see a brand name here, it's almost certainly genuine).
What to pay: Depends what you're buying - T-Shirts, for example can go as low as 77 baht, or you might pay 800 baht for a good-quality pair of jeans...
Tescos have demolished a whole block of central Bangkok for their store on Rama 1 road to create what's probably their most centrally located Bangkok hypermarket. Unlike the Big C on Rachadamri, though, it feels on the edge of things rather than the middle, and the walk there from Siam Square is a bit on the dull side. If you're staying close to the MBK mall, it could be convenient if you're in need of supplies, though, and it's fairly handy for the National Stadium Skytrain station.
The usual vast range of goods are there, of course, and as well as the main store there are a few fast food outlets and small shops out at the front, including a branch of Boots Pharmacy. It's open from 9am until 11pm.
What to buy: Lots of stuff at low fixed prices - anything from a bottle of nam pla to a DVD player.
Two other products it's worth buying in Thailand is Eno (to relieve your stomach after over-eating) and sore-troat lozenges.
At flu season time I went to see my doctor and she prescribed me some lozenges. For my surprise the lozenges were imported from Thailand.
You can buy them at most of the shopping malls or outside in any local pharmacy.
What to buy: Eno and sore throat lozenges (good for sore throats, vincent's angina, tonsillitis, gingivitis, seasonal mouth and throat infections, treatment of germ carriers, etc.).
What to pay: Very, very cheap.
Bangkok is plenty of huge shopping malls and supermarkets. Most of the tourists who come to Bangkok wind up by buying local crafts, dried fruits, fake watches and t-shirts.
However, they don't realize that Thailand is home of some of the most exotic fruits you can find in this planet. Therefore, from these fruits Thailand also produces a wide range of high-quality shampoos, spa foam, bathing soaps, creams, conditioners, etc. Of course most of the tourists have not notice this but for those who come here once in a while they know very well what I am talking about.
What to buy: So, next time you come to Thailand (either Bangkok or other big city) pay a little more attention to the products I have just mentioned, it is without doubt worth-while buying (myself every time I come to Bangkok besides local food I also buy a reasonable bunch of shampoos and bath foam).
What to pay: These products are very cheap.
Foodlands is located close to the Bel Air Princess Hotel off Sukhumvit Rd. They serve cheap breakfast in the mornings, and its a great place to pick up cosmetics, snacks, food and maps to keep you going for the next part of your journey.
There are plenty of supermarkets in Bangkok that sell almost everything from alcohol to toiletries at cheap prices. We also bought loads of sports geat ie Adidas & Ellesse at various shopping centres such as World Trade Centre and MBK
What to buy: Just about anything
Big C is the department store where the locals go. There are several branches in Bangkok (and throughout the country) but the most accessible for most tourists is opposite Central World on Rajdamri Rd, adjacent to the Arnoma Hotel. Big C is a big store, well-lit, fully airconditioned, and prices are clearly marked. You can get everything from mosquito bats to mangoes, clothes to cutlery, suitcases to sandals and everything in between. Big C stays open until late and is open every day of the week including national holidays. For full details and a map, have a look at their website. www.bigc.co.th/en/branch/bangkok.asp
What to buy: Mosquito bats to mangoes, clothes to cutlery, suitcases to sandals and everything in between.
What to pay: Prices are fixed, clearly marked and very competitive.
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