If you’re a shopaholic who also loves traveling, it’s highly likely that one way for you to get a feel for a city or culture is to immerse yourself in each place’s unique marketplaces so you know what’s local and good. There’s nothing quite like really getting down and dirty in those bazaars or night markets, haggling your way down to a great bargain with a must-have souvenir or artifact in your hand, no?
But it can get tiring when you’re in a new city and want to get shopping but don’t know where the best and on-the-ground shops are—if you ask local transportation, it’s likely that they’ll take you to a shop that gives them a commission if they get a tourist to shop there, which means inflated prices and a bad deal for you. This kind of set-up is especially common in cities like Bangkok, if you ask a tuk-tuk driver to take you shopping, nine times out of ten you will find yourself in a store where haggling is virtually impossible.
Plus, just the thought of having to figure out where the shops are, getting all those things, then riding a series of public transportation just to get back to your hotel with all your finds (imagine carrying all those bags into trains, tuk-tuks, while walking), it’s enough to discourage even the most zealous shopper!
Luckily, there are quick tours that take you to the meatiest, most genuine shopping centers in Bangkok. For simply about 42 USD per head, these tours will drive you around these places in an air-conditioned vehicle with an English-speaking guide, allowing you to shop with ease without having to worry about getting back to your hotel room.
The tour will likely bring you to Or Tor Kor Farmer’s Market first. If you want to cook your own food (or have food freshly cooked), this is the best place to be picking goods out. The freshest vegetables, meats, seafood, Thai sweets and snacks as well as flowers are all available here, all of them taken from the best suppliers across Thailand. If you go shopping on a weekend, you’ll also be taken to Chatuchak or JJ Market, which is at its best during night time—here’s where you can test out your haggling skills for souvenirs. If you get tired of the street stalls, just beside the night market is JJ Mall, air-conditioned and full of upscale shops to catch the eye of even the most deliberate shopper.
When you’re done, all you have to do is hop back into your ride and get whisked back to your hotel, ready for a good night’s sleep or a longer night out in the town.