Some of the best shopping in Bangkok is at MBK, formally known as Mahboonkrong Mall. Though the mall is in the same neighborhood as some of the city’s expensive shopping centers, it caters to mid-market shoppers and has plenty of affordable clothes, shoes, accessories, electronics and souvenirs. It’s one of the best places in the city to buy mobile phones, has lots of clothing and shoes, and is also quite well know for its shops selling knock-off bags and watches. They even sell fake iPods!
- Be prepared for big crowds if you visit in the evening or on the weekend. MBK can get 100,000 visitors on a good day.
- Negotiate. MBK is one of those places where you've got to do a little bargaining. If you're buying many items, ask for a discount.
- Don't get lost! MBK is notoriously confusing, even for locals who've been shopping there for years. Get the lay of the land and pick a meeting place if you get separated.
What to Buy?:
MBK is best known for new and used mobile phones and accessories, clothing, shoes and accessories and souvenirs. There are also some excellent photographic equipment shops selling Nikon and Canon products and two full supermarkets.
Taking a Break:
There are restaurants and cafes on every floor of the mall and you'll find Thai chains, McDonalds, Starbucks, Dairy Queen and lots of Japanese restaurants. On the 5th and 6th floors there are food courts, too.
How to Get There:
MBK is at the National Stadium stop on the BTS, just one stop (and a short walk) from Siam Square station. Traffic can be a nightmare, especially on the weekends, so if you can take the BTS, you'll save a lot of time.
The mall is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., though some shops and stalls will open earlier or close later.