A luxury day in the world’s largest shopping street

People within the shopping mall going from top to bottom

Bangkok is sometimes assimilated to amazing shopping and wonderful malls and the so-called shopping mile in Pathum Wan District ( เขตปทุมวัน) is considered the largest shopping street in the world. It’s one of the most visited sites in Bangkok and probably in the world because millions of people come here every year for different purposes such as shopping, sight-seeing, eating, and many others. People from all over the world, visiting Bangkok, deem it necessary to visit this place or else their visit will go in vain.

It really is not a single street but it receives two different names as we move from west to east: Rama I Road ( ถนนพระรามที่ 1) and Phloen Chit Road ( ถนนเพลินจิต).

This area extends from National Stadium BTS station ( สถานีสนามกีฬาแห่งชาติ) to the area surrounding Phloen Chit BTS station ( สถานีเพลินจิต). The area is organized into three sections, each with its own distinctive identity:

  • Siam: a shopping hotspot encircling BTS Siam.
  • Ratchaprasong: a high-end shopping district house to shopping malls and hotels.
  • Phloen Chit: a blended shopping and business area near the beginning of Sukhumvit Road acting as an extension of the shopping mile and therefore usually included in Ratchaprasong

Shopping is a worldwide phenomenon and people from everywhere love to shop and what could be better than shopping in the district of shopping: Pathum Wan District, having more than 4,500 shops and stalls and a surface around 1.2 square kilometers.

Siam Shopping District

Siam ( สยาม) hosts several shopping zones on each side of Rama I Road. This area covers from the National Stadium BTS station ( สถานีสนามกีฬาแห่งชาติ) to Ratchaprasong Shopping District, close to Ratchadamri Road ( ถนนราชดำริ).

Whereas in Bangkok there is no district formally known as “Siam”, local Thais refer to this place with this name and consider it to be the real heart of Bangkok.

Bangkok Art and Cultural Center
Bangkok Art and Cultural center. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The National Stadium BTS Station has direct access to the MBK and Bangkok Art and Culture Center ( หอศิลปวัฒนธรรมแห่งกรุงเทพมหานคร) across a skywalk that faces the busy Pathumwan intersection. The National Stadium of Thailand ( สนามกีฬาแห่งชาติ), which was used to host the Asian Games on three different times (1966, 1970 and 1978), can be seen from the BTS station and is now regularly used for football matches and athletics events.

MBK Center
MBK Center, opened in 1986

MBK Center, where MBK stands for Mah Boon Khrong ( ศูนย์การค้ามาบุญครอง), opened in 1986, is one of the largest and probably the most legendary shopping mall in this gigantic shopping street. Having more than 2000 shops spread over 8 floors it has a daily rate of more than 45,000 foreign visitors spending, on average, 4,000 baht per person, according to the company’s statistics.

Shoppers with different needs come here and leave satisfied with their shopping because they can find everything that they want in a single visit. Everything such as from clothes to electronics such as mobile phones is available here and everything is always on sale and there is always an option of a bargain here.

Shopping malls by the name of Siam are more than one and they have a history that connects them to the 20th century which increases their prestige.

Siam Square Bangkok
One of the sois at Siam Square Bangkok facing Rama I Road. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Siam Square ( สยามสแควร์) which has more than 500 shops spread has one of the most famous collections of boutiques and different brands are sold here with great cutting edge rates.

Siam Square is an area of contrast, likewise the city in which it is situated. It is virtually the center of all cool stuff, an individual communicative point where styles emerge both in appearance and surface.

Siam also carries the title to be Bangkok’s most costly location to rent. In terms of high-priced location what Bond Street is to London and Fifth Avenue to New York, Siam is to Bangkok; while retaining the innovative and unconventional atmosphere of London’s Camden Town or New York’s Soho. Siam Square is essentially a source of inspiration in Bangkok where trends both arise and are created.

Siam Square One
Siam Square One, opened on December 2014

Siam Square One is the latest shopping mall opened in Siam Square. It has 7 floors and is located in front of Siam Paragon and focuses on in-trend fashion, lifestyle, and outlets for digital technology, with a huge area reserved on the upper floors for restaurants and cafes.

Scala cinema
Scala cinema. View from the front

If you are visiting Siam Square then you need to visit Scala Cinema ( โรงภาพยนตร์สกาล่า) which is a beautiful addition to this street and it has its roots connecting to the 20th century in the 1960s.

Siam Discovery ( สยามค้นพบ), Siam Paragon ( สยามพารากอน), and Siam Center ( สยามเซนเตอร์) are 3 of the most relevant shopping mall in this area, all of them under the umbrella of One Siam brand.

Siam Discovery
Siam Discovery opened in 1997, reopened in 2016 after a major renovation. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Thanks to the advancing idea of how they display the products, Siam Discovery provides one of the most pleasant and relaxing shopping experiences in any significant mall in Bangkok. There are regularly trendy boutiques and anchor shops from Issey Miyake, Diesel and Comme des Garcons, on the ground floor but, as you proceed to higher floors, you will notice a clear shortage of shops.

Instead, products are set out naturally, as you expect to see them in somebody’s house. This trend has been common in Japan and Korea for several years, but Siam Discovery was the first in implementing this new shopping experience in Bangkok.

Madame Tussauds Bangkok
Entrance to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Siam Discovery. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Also, on the 4th Floor of Siam Discovery, you ‘ll find a branch of the world-famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

Siam Center
Siam Center built in 1973, was re-launched in January 2013. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

When Siam Center’ was re-launched in January 2013 brought an unconventional kind of shopping experience to Siam including more than 200 foreign and Thai brands pertaining to some brilliant aspiring local designers and prestigious Thai creators.

In addition, the renovations have taken their new paradigm away from shops and corridors with an extraordinary balance of nature and technology. Sculpted wooden animals welcome tourists to the front and interactive screens show how the clothes look without going into a changing room. Though Siam Center has been around for over 40 years, the newest and uncommon style still enlightens and surprises its clients.

Sea Life
Entrance to Siam Ocean World in Siam Paragon. The Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Siam Paragon is the huge famous shopping mall that shelters a selection of global fashion brands; Siam Ocean World, the biggest aquarium in Southeast Asia; Cineplex with 16 screens; and a wide choice of international cuisine. Situated noticeably in front of Siam BTS station ( สถานีสยาม), the interchange of the two BTS lines, no wonder why many people consider it to be the Bangkok center.

Siam Paragon
Siam Paragon, opened in 2005. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Siam Paragon Mall contains over 250 shops; the arrangement is logical and quite compact, particularly when compared to the neighboring Central World. This mall offers luxurious products, indeed, primarily for well-run Thais and international tourists. Siam Paragon is certainly the place to explore it when you look for something extra special.

When you enter Entering through the amazing glass and steel atria, flagship stores of designer brands such as Prada, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Paul Smith, Balenciaga, Fendi, Valentino, Chanel, Armani, Versace, Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana, Celine, Cartier as well as other famous jewelry and perfumes brands, are grouped around the principal escalators in prime positions with elaborate window exhibits each competing for exposure.

The exclusive products on display in Siam Paragon contend anything available in Bangkok, and this is the reason why when comes the time a new product launches, It is not rare to see people queuing waiting for the opportunity to look at the new line in the season.

Café Amazon
Café Amazon in Siam Square One. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

People that come here, can also find good, branded and quality food (there are plenty of restaurants of different kinds of food to choose from) and an amazing place to sit down and enjoy the weather while eating. There is nothing like having a cup of coffee in the most famous coffee shops like Starbucks and Café Amazon.

European Dance in Festival of Lights at Siam Paragon

And if you are lucky enough visiting these places at Christmas Season, you can catch a street show in Siam Paragon and Siam Square, and then you will go back and tell tales about this place.

Ratchaprasong Shopping District

Ratchaprasong ( ราชประสงค์), despite that you can see in many posting signs as Ratchaprasong District, it’s really the name of an intersection, and a shopping district named after it, adjacent to Siam area.

It’s located around the Chit Lom BTS station ( สถานีชิดลม) and the intersection of Phloen Chit ( ถนนเพลินจิต), Rama I ( ถนนพระรามที่ 1), and Ratchadamri ( ถนนราชดำริ) roads.

The Ratchaprasong area is a long time deemed one of Bangkok’s most dynamic shopping, cultural and lifestyle landmarks and has a rich history dating back over 50 years. You can easily explore this area by jumping off Chit Lom BTS station directly onto the footpath over the busy roads at the intersection of Ratchaprasong. The skywalk facilitates visitors to explore the many attractions of the district, including the renowned Erawan Shrine and many world-class shopping malls.

This area, also known as a spotlight along Bangkok’s “shopping high street,” that runs from Siam to the Emporium, is home to the official New Year’s countdown party that takes place in front of the CentralWorld mall.

CentralWorld Bangkok
CentralWorld. Entrance at Ratchadamri Road. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

One of Bangkok’s greatest shopping experiences can be enjoyed at CentralWorld ( เซ็นทรัลเวิลด์) mega-store complex. It has everything about brand name clothing stores, funky fashion, high-tech gadgets, book stores, stylist furniture, imported groceries, a full spectrum of banks, beauties stores, gourmet food markets, and even an ice skating piste.

You can effortlessly spend half a day here without noticing it with so many exciting possibilities to explore. Nobody who has experienced CentralWorld’s incredible size can be surprised to learn that this is actually Thailand’s largest shopping center and one of the biggest in the world. With a total area of around 550,000 square meters of retail space and a total surface area of 830,000 square meters, it’s a 30 percent bigger than any other shopping center of central Bangkok.

CentralWorld has over 500 shops, 100 restaurants and cafes, 15 movie theatres, the Kids ‘ Zone, the Genius Planet Zone, two docking department stores, and a trendy dining area, an expansive supermarket and an outside square to host wide-scale activities like the official Bangkok New Year Count down.

SuperSports, PowerBuy, B2S, Central Food Hall, SB Furniture and Toys ‘ R ‘ us are specialized tied mega stores, measuring between 2000 and 8200 square meters. More than 30 flagship retailers such as Zara, Miss Sixty, Timberland, Uniqlo, and Next are among the 500 world-class stores that CentralWorld hosts.

The flagship hotel of Centara Grand, a chain hotel, at CentralWorld, is attached to both the CentralWorld mall and the offices at CentralWorld.

Zen at CentralWorld Bangkok
Zen at CentralWorld. Entrance at Rama I Road. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

ZEN at CentralWorld is a seven-floor lifestyle department store, for trendy and young buyers, and for people who like world-class fashion and style. It’s located in a fascinating spot at Ratchaprasong Intersection, occupying a whole side of CentralWorld. This mall carries a full range of products including beauty and cosmetics, fashion and clothing, homeware, toys for children, and even an international dining area.

The elevated walkway connecting Chit Lom with Siam BTS stations to Central World makes it easy to reach it. 

Gaysorn Village Bangkok
Gaysorn Village. Entrance at Ploen Chit Road. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Gaysorn is an exclusive high-end luxury mall embellished with luxurious marble and chromium. A very exclusive shopping experience comes from its modern architecture and an innovative retail assumption. It offers a broad spectrum of international brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Hugo Boss, just to mention a few of them, as well as a variety of Thailand’s most innovative creators such as Fly Now, Senada Theory, Disaya, and Kloset Red Carpet.

The UK designer bag brand Emden has launched its first shop in Asia at Gaysorn Shopping Mall, giving it an air of exclusiveness. You can also watch some astonishing custom pieces at the collection of jewelry stores situated on the third floor.

In order to provide a full lifestyle shopping experience including the greatest quality of service, Gayorn recently introduced Lifestyle Consultant staff, reinforcing its position as a shopping center aiming for premium lifestyle services.

To access Gaysorn there is a direct path to the skywalk heading to Chit Lom BTS station and also the InterContinental Bangkok Hotel is accessible from the second floor to travelers who stay there.

The Peninsula Plaza Bangkok
The Peninsula Plaza Bangkok at Ratchadamri Road. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Peninsula Plaza is an exclusive shopping center that covers four floors dedicated to boutique fashion, jewelry and home decor. There is a big L’Occitane outlet here along with some excellent independent designers who specialize in evening and wedding dresses.

In the middle of this somewhat small mall, there is a beautiful cafe and restaurant called Provence which serves both Thai and European meals. It makes the ideal place to stop for lunch or just a fast coffee when you return to your hotel in this area. The cafe is equipped with big sunshades opened under the fall season vegetation.

Erawan Shrine
Erawan Shrine at the Ratchaprasong intersection. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

While touring this area you cannot miss visiting The Erawan Shrine, formally the San Thao Maha Phrom ( ศาลท้าวมหาพรหม), that can be translated by “Shrine of Lord Brahma the Great”. This place houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.

Erawan Shrine
Representations of Thai Dance at Erawan. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

You can also watch here representations of Thai Dance or Ram Thai ( รำไทย). The troupes who performance these representations are usually hired by devotees that seek to see their prayers at the shrine answered.

Erawan Bangkok
Erawan Bangkok at Ploen Chit Road. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The majestic mall Erawan Bangkok has an air of exclusivity with a space of around 13,000 square meters in five floors, it is a shop that only offers a selection of the most elegant retailers such as Burberry, Blackjack (a multi-brand store highlighting brands like Helmut Lang, D2 by DSquared2, and Comme des Garcons) and Club 21 that serves as an umbrella of world-class creators including from Paul Smith to Issey Miyake.

Amarin Plaza Bangkok
Amarin Plaza at Ploen Chit Road. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The trendy Amarin Plaza, a 5-floor shopping mall, is connected by a sky bridge to Erawan Bangkok. it attracts diverse people, from wealthy Thais to expats and business travelers, offering them a set of alluring brands like Valentino, Guy Laroche, and Crocodile.

On the fourth floor, there is a casual and inexpensive food court offering an assorted Thai and Asian menu. Also a spa and health center, and a branch of the Absolute Yoga Studio chain, which is available throughout Bangkok and Thailand. It is now the country’s biggest yoga center and the first to introduce hot yoga in Bangkok.

Central Chitlom Bangkok
Show-window at Central Chitlom Bangkok. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Central Chidlom is an elegant seven-floor mall with a contemporary and friendly atmosphere. Every floor has a stylish, minimalist design, which includes beauty products, shoes, handbags, ladies’ and men’s mode, home interior design, travel goods, gifts, electronic devices, books, and more. Central Chidlom runs the practical “one-stop-shop” principle for branded products and gifs as the opposite of “bigger is better”. If you need something special and don’t like being distracted along the way, this is one of the best locations to go.

The Central Department Store has multiple branches in Bangkok, but the one in Chidlom, the Central Group’s original flagship property opened in 1973, is very popular among wealthy Thais, expats, and frequent tourists because it is consistently experiencing a continuous revival to keep up with contemporary fashion and current trends. Moreover, its location at a short distance of Chit Lom BTS station provides straightforward access from any place in downtown Bangkok.

Central Embassy Shopping Mall
Central Embassy Shopping Mall at Phloen Chit Road. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Central Embassy, opened in 2014, is one of the latest luxury malls in Bangkok. It’s situated at the intersection where Phloen Chit Road meets the exclusive Witthayu Road ( ถนนวิทยุ), known in English as Wireless Road. Its magnificence is awesome, with modern architecture showing Thai Art and Culture influences while expressing the country’s capital’s cosmopolitan characteristics.

Central Embassy  Bangkok is a superb luxury mall with a huge collection of top-quality designer stores, gourmet restaurants, luxurious cinema, and the amazing hotel Park Hyatt Bangkok. When you step in the mall, the collection of brands that welcome you like Gucci, Prada, Versace, Chanel, and Givenchy, helps you to realize that this is not in any way a conventional Bangkok shopping mall.

The place is also gigantic. Every one of the six main floors has broad open hallways, which means that the atmosphere does not seem to be impracticable or grueling even when it is busy. This mega-mall, built on the premises of the former UK embassy (hence its name) emphasizes Bangkok’s status as one of the major shopping destinations in the world.

This may be the most convenient mall in the city, aside from being Bangkok’s most luxurious mall, since you can access directly from both Phloen Chit and Chit Lom BTS stations.

Eathai food court in Central Embassy Bangkok
Eathai food court in Central Embassy. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Eathai (which stands for Eat Thai), occupying a huge space on the basement floor of Central Embassy Shopping Mall, is a high-quality food court that has a smooth concept of bringing traditional Thai cuisine from just about every region of the country, including many renowned restaurants and stalls in Bangkok.

It provides a fun and affordable way of savoring regional kinds of Thai food. Cooking stations are divided into northern, southern, Isaan ( อีสาน) -in northeastern Thailand-, vegetarian, seafood and a display area of street food. As each dish is properly laid out as an example with comprehensive English descriptions, ordering meals is made straightforward.

Mercury Ville Bangkok
Mercury Ville at Phloen Chit Road. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Mercury Ville Mall is an asymmetrical shiny red building, five-floor mall, at the junction of Lang Suan Road ( ถนนหลังสวน) and Phloen Chit Road just across from Central Chidlom.

The mall is mainly oriented to urban people and its offer includes over 50 delicious Thai and international hip restaurants and, in addition, the Lifestyle Wellness & Beauty zone consists of clinics, fitness centers, hair salons, manicure and so on.

The mall has been launched under the concept of “A Perfect Hangout for All Things Delicious” and with this new arrival, Bangkok’s shopping mile is expanding a little longer and the recent but definitely not the last addition to Bangkok’s shopping mania is a nice one.

Pathum Wan District is not only restricted to shopping but it is all about providing people with an unforgettable experience by providing them all the luxuries in a single visit and places which are located within walking distance from each other. So, in addition to shopping, you can also have a cool and amazing tourist experience if you visit here.