Ok so I’m sure there are only a small percentage of men that enjoy shopping so most men consider shopping to be a cruel and unusual punishment by their wife or girlfriend. Bangkok shopping is on a different level. I am married to a woman who has worked as a professional shopper and as a purchasing agent for a few companies so she has some serious experience shopping but after day two in Bangkok, she was done and suffering from shopping overload.
Impromptu dress shop, not in Bangkok! This is normal.
Bangkok is very much a business hub for no only Asia but for most of the Eastern hemisphere and no only are there a million hotels, restaurants and taxis but there are three to four times as many shops selling everything from art to zebra striped underwear. There are a few areas in which street vendors are not allowed to set up shop but honestly those are few and far between. When they do set up they are side by side and take up nearly every bit of the sidewalk, leaving just enough space for tourists to squeeze through nearly forcing each person to turn left or right and look at the wares each vendor has for sell. This isn’t limited to clothing or trinkets, no that would be to easy. They sell everything under the sun to include herbs, food, car parts, computer parts, phones, cleaning supplies, furniture and whatever they can get their hands on.
If you are the type of shopper that like to find the cheapest item in the city and refuse to stop looking until you’ve gone to every booth selling what ever item you are looking for, then Bangkok is shopping hell! Your best bet and the best advice I can give about shopping in Bangkok would be to visit two different shopping areas as far away from Khaosan (backpackers and budget travelers area) road as possible, and if the price is close between the two, haggle. If you aren’t any good at haggling, then your money will go twice as fast in Thailand. Haggling is a way of life for these people and they pretty much expect it. If you don’t haggle, you will pay to much. You will realize this when you walk around the corner and find the same item being sold by someone who’s willing to haggle for you and as you walk away you hear her drop the price as you walk away.
Ronald showing respect in Thailand
So what makes Bangkok shopping hell, you ask? Just the fact that there is so many shops selling so many things and if you are there in hopes to find a deal then you will have a headache in hours. From the moment you step out of your taxi you are greeted with a host of people offering their wares, services or any host of things. You will be asked a million times if you want a suit, see a ping pong show or if you need a taxi. If it wasn’t bad enough with all the booths haggling with you over price, the taxi drivers will do the same thing. I don’t know how many taxi’s I waved off because they wanted to charge a flat fee instead of using the meter. So if thinking about money gives you a headache, if haggling wears you out or if you have to know you paid the least you can pay for any given item, Bangkok will be hell.