With its plethora of mega malls, central Bangkok might not at first seem to offer much in the way of independent shopping. But dive inside these gleaming towers of retail and you’ll find an abundance of top-notch Thai brands, from local fashion stars and vintage boutiques to heirloom-worthy decor.
With an enviable situ, slap-bang in central Bangkok Gaysorn Shopping Centre, is home to all the usual high-end labels, but also has a stellar offering of homegrown brands. Aim first for the 2nd floor to browse the pedigree cache at Labellist Vintage Vibes, a trove of mint-condition, pre-worn fashion by the likes of Valentino, Armani, Chanel and Hermès, plus a vault of costume bling that would make Iris Apfel weep. Each and every piece is a one-off: ensure you buy when you spy.
Closet expanded, zip up to the 3F where Alexander Lamont’s showroom of opulent decor pays homage to traditional Siamese skills and early C.20th good looks via shagreen, silverware, straw marquetry, lacquer and bronze. Bangkok-based Brit Alex has carved a niche for polished Thai interior objets, and is a collector of antiques too: check out his stash for wallet-busting investments.
Also on the 3F is glam handbag boutique Phya. Using fine Italian hides and working with Thai artisans, founder Jirayong Anuman-Rajadhon’s collection of statement-making totes, clutches and crossbody bags demonstrates meticulous attention to detail. Bag one now before word gets out.
Time for a mid-retail flop? THANN Sanctuary is your honeypot. This established Thai brand has a loyal following at home and overseas for its heavenly scented, all-natural skin and body products. At the Sanctuary you can experience them via one of its sensual treatments; book in for a Thai or aroma massage and that shopper’s shoulder will be gone in a jiffy.
Read more: Bangkok for Returning Travellers
From Gaysorn, it’s a 10-minute shuffle to Central Embassy – though when it’s sweltering outside, you might want to take a cab. Opened a few years ago on the former grounds of the British Embassy (geddit?) this gleaming retailvarna is home to a number of made-in-Thailand brands. Fashion stalwarts Disayaand Sretsis are on the 2F with gorgeous girly clobber – see also Matina Amanita’s whimsical jewels available at the latter, while Hardcover: The Art Bookshop (3F) does what it says on the tin: peruse the collection of coffee-table tomes, many of which are rare or limited edition.
Up on the 5th floor is Thai concept shop Siwilai, which shelves a cultivated edit of homegrown designer garb as well as cutting-edge int’l names. Meanwhile, the cruisey Siwilai City Club offers day-to-night drink, dine and lounge options amid laidback n’ chic surrounds.
Alternatively, for a street food fix (in the comfort of air con), beeline to the basement where upscale food court Eathai tickles tastebuds with regional Thai bites. Graze from the many food stalls, shop for the ingredients at the grocery, and for skills to take home with you, book a class at Ian Kittichai’s excellent Issaya Cooking Studio. Aroy!
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Planning to shop your way around the City of Angels? Book Club InterContinental at InterContinental Bangkok and the dedicated Club InterContinental team can help devise a tailor-made shopping guide to the city’s best designer studios, showrooms and ateliers.
Skip the blah and max out your shopping, dining and exploring in the Big Mango with a LUXE Bangkok Guide…