Bangkok Shopping Guide – What to buy?

Bangkok Shopping Guide - What to buy

Bangkok is a great shopping destination, and almost everything is cheaper than back home, that is, if home is Europe or the US. Just steer clear of international brands and look for locally made instead. Get ready to shop ‘til you drop!  Here are some of the things you should bring back from Thailand:

Remember to check the import regulations for your home country. Some countries have very strict regulations for imports, and certain items mentioned below might not be allowed for import.

Dehydrated fruit

If you like dehydrated fruit, Bangkok is your lucky city. Edible souvenirs are the best, so bring home some long-lasting versions of tasty, exotic fruit. Try to buy the fruit at the supermarkets in the city, as it is cheaper than buying at the airport shops.


Asian beauty products are really big all over the world, and most of the biggest brands have branches in Bangkok. The Thai beauty chain Beauty Buffet makes nice products at very affordable prices, and if you like Korean skin care, Etude House and The Face Shop have several stores throughout the city.


At the airport, many shops are selling beautiful orchids, packed, and ready for a long flight. They are pricey but oh so beautiful, so I usually buy them anyway, and if you take good care of them, they will last 2 weeks or more.


Platinum Mall has a great shoes department, and a pair of flats are typically 300THB or less. Terminal 21 also has a good selection of stylish, affordable shoe stores, though most of them are more expensive than the ones in Platinum Mall. The shoes from brands Made in Thailand tend to be of a better quality and a nicer design than the ones from China.

Thai silk

This beautiful fabric is very affordable but watch out and use your common sense. Many market vendors are also selling cheaper polyester scarves from China, so if in doubt, ask if it’s really Thai silk. Most of the vendors will be honest enough to tell you if it’s not the real deal. Real Thai silk scarves of a good size and quality will typically be around 1000THB and up.

Tiger balm

This world famous menthol balm is said to help relieve muscle ache and all sorts of other sufferings. You will find it at most pharmacies and in the airport.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is the cure for anything from mosquito bites to sun burns. You can also smother a thick layer on your face and use it as a facial mask. In Thailand, aloe vera gel is available everywhere, but the pharmacies tend to have somewhat better products.

Soap, diffusers and room fragrances

If you just can’t get enough of the smell of lime and lemongrass, make sure to buy diffusers, soap and essential oils. Look for organic, natural products. They are more expensive, but also much nicer to use.

Regarding counterfeit goods

Yes, they are everywhere, but unless you want to support an industry known for child labor and slave labor, run by criminal organizations, don’t buy counterfeit products. Fakes are tacky, end of discussion.

Posted by Pilots + Cabin Crew

A travel site for airline crew and other frequent flyers. Travel advice and recommendations from real travel pros.

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