MBK Center: the legendary Bangkok’s shopping mall

Aerial view of skywalk in MBK Center

The MBK Center, also known as Mah Boon Khrong ( มาบุญครอง) , is one of the largest legendary shopping malls in Bangkok, which holds the secret sauce to satiate all your wants and needs.

When you think about Bangkok, few things pop up into our head without fail: extravagant shopping, yum-yum food, heavenly spas, and the like. And many of them you can find in MBK.

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MBK center interior view. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The giant eight storied mall houses a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and exceptional service outlets. The mall entertains a daily footfall of more than 100,000. It’s a one-stop paradise for a bargain hunter and hearty food lovers. It attracts a young crowd, both local and International.

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Entrance to Tokyu departmental store. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

An entire 4-story Tokyu department store fits inside the mall. It’s a Japanese department store chain owned by the Tokyu Group.

A Bargains galore

Fashion outlets in MBK include everything from jeans, shoes, handbags, accessories, jewelry, trendy apparel, and some of the most popular brands. There is also an extensive offer of Thai handicrafts and souvenirs.

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Outlets zone. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Many of the goods that may be found here are much like the ones at street markets. However, the comfort of shopping in an air-conditioned environment makes the shopping experience more pleasant, mostly in the hot season (which is almost throughout the year).

And, much like the markets, all prices are negotiable. MBK might be the only shopping mall in Bangkok in which you can test your negotiation abilities. You will be amazed at how much the asking price can drop.

Location

MBK Center finds its spot in Pathum Wan District (  เขตปทุมวัน). It’s majestically located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Rama I Road ( ถนนพระรามที่ 1) and Phaya Thai Road ( ถนนพญาไท).

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MBK Center on the southwest corner of the intersection of Rama I Road and Phaya Thai Road. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The second floor is connected to Siam Square (  สยามสแควร์) via a covered pedestrian bridge. The mall is in close vicinity to the National Stadium ( สนามกีฬาแห่งชาติ) and the Bangkok Art and Culture Center ( หอศิลปวัฒนธรรมแห่งกรุงเทพมหานคร).

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Bangkok Art and Culture Center on the covered pedestrian bridge connecting MBK Center. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

One can conveniently get here by BTS Skytrain service through National Stadium BTS station ( สถานีสนามกีฬาแห่งชาติ). It’s also within walking distance from the Hua Chang pier ( ท่าเรือหัวช้าง).

History

MBK was opened to the public in 1985 and then was the largest shopping mall in entire Asia. It stands tall on leased land from Chulalongkorn University ( จุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย).

It’s located on an area of over 36,000 square meters at Pathumwan Intersection ( สี่แยกปทุมวัน), which consists of the 20-story office building, 29-story Pathumwan Princess Hotel and 8-story shopping complex with more than 2,300 shops categorized by different zones to support all customers’ needs.

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Entrance to Pathumwan Princess Hotel. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Since MBK opened, the place is a hive of activity, particularly on weekends, when half of Bangkok converges to buy bargains. It’s not as upmarket or trendy as close Siam Discovery, Siam Centre, or the glamorous Siam Paragon, however, it provides an amazing offer of products, set out over 89,000 square meters, and is significantly less costly.

Getting around

Visitors are welcomed by two landmark sculptures: Makrub and Maja. The two 7m high adorable animal sculptures represent the Thai concept of friendship. Selfie-lovers don’t miss this spot by any chance.

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Makrub sculpture welcoming vistors at the entrance of MBK . Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Save enough time and energy aside before you plan to explore this massive shopping experience of so many shops. The gigantic mall puts up a display of all kinds of retail merchandise to easily draw you in.

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So many stalls selling clothes on the 3rd floor. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Up to the 3rd floor, you’ll find a broad variety of shops and stalls offering all kinds of fashion accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, organic products, and much more. The jewelry section overwhelms you with a wide collection of both modern and contemporary precious stones. If you’re good at bargaining, you can have a real good time here and return home with some extremely affordable purchases.

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One of the shops with gold and jewelry items on the 3rd floor. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

On the 2nd floor, you’ll come across an extensive collection of high-quality packaged dried foods. Whatever can be dried and stored, you’ll find it here. From fruits to seafood, you name it.

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Shop with packaged dried foods on the 2nd floor. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Thai tea powder and leaf sellers line up the G floor. It’s hard to miss the whiff of vibrant flavors as you approach them. It doesn’t harm to bag a few packets of delicious sip-worthy drinks for your loved ones.

The Image Fashion Zone at 3D zone, 3rd floor displays fancy street-style wardrobe to spice up your personality. Moreover, they make perfect Thai souvenirs as well.

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Craft Village. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The 4th floor is dedicated to mobile phones, news and second-hand items, wireless communication devices, and all kinds of related gadgets and accessories, with stalls piled high into every available space, under the name Mobile Mania, where you can also sell or exchange your own old phone.

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Mobile Mania on the 4th floor. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Money Park, also on the 4th floor is a center of financial institutions.

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Partial view of Money Park on 4th floor. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Camera Master Zone on the 5th floor is the center of Digital cameras and accessories, one of the better places to stock up on camera gear.

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Camera Master zone on the 5th floor. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Are you starving already? Well, you’ll be delighted to discover an abundance of contiguous food vendors on Fifth Food Avenue, and the Food Fan Zone, the center of great food from famous restaurants. Being a trusted choice of dining venue, they serve anything ranging from local Thai delicacies to International cuisines. Get comfy in their spacious seating, and warm yourself up with fresh drinks to start with.

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Food Avenue. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

On the last floors (7th and 8th) you can find a world-class entertainment venue that combines all lifestyles in one place.

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Entertainment zone on upper floors. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

SF Cinema City located on more than 25,000 square meters is considered as a One Floor Entertainment which includes a world-class cinema, bowling, karaoke, and prominent restaurants and miscellaneous shops.

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SF Cinema City on the 7th floor. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

MBK offers an impressive shopping experience. The incredible range of products at a reasonable price tag directly competes with outdoor street markets. Shop and feast to your heart’s content while you’re there next time!