Pratunam travel guide

What to buy in Pratunam, Thailand

Most visitors know about the Chatuchak Weekend Market for cheap deals on clothing, shoes and accessories, but they miss out on Pratunam's daily sales. Pratunam is an excellent shopping area that can easily be reached on foot from Ratchaprasong. Most of the products available are on wholesale, so this is the place to go for some cheap bargains. Haggling is more important here than in other shopping malls, and things get considerably cheaper if you buy in bulk. Just don't forget about your baggage limit! Chatuchak has been serving a more diverse audience over the years, but Pratunam has kept a strict no frills approach. Everything looks cheap and is cheap, even cheaper than at Chatuchak.

The place to head out for is the Pratunam Market, a jam-packed maze of alleys where tiny stalls are offering t-shirts, jackets, dresses, jeans, shorts, shoes and accessories, including many fakes. You also cannot miss the City Complex, a fashionable shopping mall marketed towards female teenagers and students, and Indra Square that has a more diverse audience. Shopping in Pratunam is not for the faint-hearted, as it is an unappealing area with massive crowds, pushy pedestrians and no air-conditioning. You can take a breather at the cooled Platinum Fashion Mall, that also has an excellent food court.

There is lots of commercial activity going on around Victory Monument as well, although the malls are not as inspiring. Every evening, a night market is set up along Ratchawithi Road that is mostly frequented by working-class locals and students.

Krungthong Plaza

Krungthong Plaza is another big shopping mall with apparel sold at wholesale prices. The mall has more than 600 shops inside, almost all of them about clothing, shoes, bags, cosmetics and accessories. There is an excellent food court on the fourth floor.

Metro Fashion Mall

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This brand new wholesale shopping mall opened its doors in 2009. Its seven floors accommodate 370 wholesale vendors selling fashion apparel, bags, footwear, cosmetics and accessories. There is a food centre on the third floor and a branch of McDonald's on the ground floor outside.

Pantip Plaza

A six-floor shopping mall devoted to computer gear, famous for its pirated media. The bootleg trade is much more low-key than it used to be, but software and DVDs are still widely available. It is also a good place for digital cameras, gadgets, printers, MP3-players, etc. Test out whatever you are buying as there are lots of flaky goods here. If you want to be safe, buy at the official brand stores, though prices are similar as in Western countries (or even higher!). And keep in mind that warranty is only valid within Thailand.

Platinum Fashion Mall

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A great place for fashion shopping if you don't mind that fact that the mall (or at least the men's floor) has a rather stupid, no try on, no return, no refund policy. In fact there are no fitting rooms anywhere. If you don't find this appealing, might as well avoid this mall as the fact that there is huge selection of good quality clothes at bargain basement prices that you are not allowed to try on can be a frustrating experience. If you don't mind the risk, quality looking T-shirts starts from 150 baht and are better than usual street market quality. Many of the 1,300 shops here are also at the Chatuchak Market on weekends. It is particularly interesting for women as the shops mostly sell clothing, handbags, shoes, accessories, gifts and make-up. Most shops give a "wholesale" discount for even 2-3 pieces. The mall is air conditioned, modern, and there's a huge and very good food court at the sixth floor of the mall. It can get very busy, especially around noon and dinnertime.

Pratunam Market

  • Phetchaburi Soi 21
  • 09:00-18:00 daily

The Pratunam Market is an immense open-air garment market, and although it is geared towards exporters, anyone can shop here. Most of the items for sale are t-shirts, dresses, shorts, jeans, shoes and accessories. You could easily spend half a day here if you wish, as the area has a stunning amount of more than 4,000 shops. While the market is officially open till 18:00, many shops already close around 16:00. The market spread out on the streets around Baiyoke Tower I, and the ground floor of that tower also has a few clothing shops. In the beginning of the evening, a night market is set-up in the streets along Baiyoke Tower I that stays open until after 02:00.

City Complex

  • 831 Phetchaburi Rd
  • +66 2 254-1999
  • M-F 11:00-21:00, Sa-Su 10:00-21:00

While walking along Phetchaburi Road, you definitely cannot miss the enormous six-storey City Complex. It is one of the most popular malls in Pratunam that is specifically marketed towards teenage girls and 20-somethings. Most of the shops are selling fashionable clothing, shoes and accessories, but there are also a few of them dedicated to cosmetics, jewellery and crafts. The fifth floor has a modest food court.

Indra Square

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Indra Square is an indoor shopping mall with more than 300 retail and wholesale outlets. The first floor is mostly about fashion, silk and accessories, and has some fast-food outlets. The clothes here are remarkably cheaper than elsewhere in the city, and unlike City Complex, there is a decent supply for men and children as well. The second floor has a more diverse set of products, including arts, crafts, toys and mobile phones. If you're getting hungry, there's a food centre on the second floor. There are some clothing shops at the ground level of the nearby Baiyoke Tower II as well.

Pratunam Center

The shiny new Pratunam Center has four floors of textiles and jewellery on offer for retail and wholesale. The first two floors are taken up by OTOP (one tambon, one product) that sells handicrafts from every township of Thailand. The basement floor mostly offers silverwares and house decoration items. For now, a large part of the mall is unoccupied. Surrounding the mall are a bunch of clothing stalls.