We're approaching rainy season in Bangkok, Thailand. And while that may put a damper on your suntan plans, it makes for the perfect excuse to go shopping. Sasha Dennig, founder of Callixto, an online accessories boutique that sells unique items made by local artisans from around the globe, sent us a list of her favorite shopping resources in Thailand's capital city. Considering Dennig has lived in Paraguay, Austria, Switzerland, and the UK, we're pretty certain she knows how to patrol like a local.
Siam center, 3rd flr., no. 319, Rama 1 Rd., Patumwan
An amazing Thai brand that caters to the proverbial IPG (International Party Girl). They have adorable little dresses, shorts, and tops. It's a little bit body concious with a touch of structured asymmetry. Resign yourself to wearing a medium to large as the Thai “small” is the rest of the world’s XXS.
Gaysorn Shopping Center, 2F-28, Ploenchit Rd., Patumwan
A local Thai brand that was started by three sisters (the name is "sisters" spelled backward). The pieces are super feminine and slightly retro.
Gaysorn Shopping Center, B-10, Ploenchit Rd., Patumwan
Matina is a local designer (and one of the Sretsis sisters) who has an incredibly chic line of jewelry that is eclectic, dreamy, and whimsical, with collection names like “Midnight Under the Stars” and “Puppy Love."
Gaysorn Shopping Center, 3F, Unit 4/1, Ploenchit Rd., Patumwan
Studio 21 is Thai jewelry at its best. Handmade with raw stones, the pieces here are absolutely stunning. The best part? Prices are reasonable. That's saying a lot for items that mostly silver- and gold-plated.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Plaza, Payolhothin Rd., Chatuchak
You cannot go to Bangkok and not go to the Chatuchak Market. It is probably the best market in the world. You can get anything from clothes to ceramics to a live pet. However, it is very easy to get very lost, and you do not want to end up in the live snake section. Avoid snakes by planning ahead and strategically mapping sections that do interest you: clothing and accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26); handicrafts (sections 8-11); ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25); furniture and home decoration (sections 1, 3, 4, 7).
Ko Ratanakosin, several small sois (side streets) off Maharat, near Wat Mahathat
Another huge market, but this one showcases a fantastic array of religious amulets, charms, talismans, and traditional medicine. Every Sunday, hundreds of the faithful squat on the ground, studying tiny images of Buddha with magnifying glasses, hoping to find one that will bring good fortune or ward off evil. Even if you are not superstitious, it’s an interesting experience to try at least once.
222 Phetchaburi Rd., Pratunam Pier
Loved by the locals, it is the indoor version of Chatuchak, specializing in wholesale clothing and accessories. The four floors are packed with some 1000 shops. Come here if you’re looking for a good deal and/or want to buy in bulk.
116/4 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Sukhumvit Rd., Watthana
Stuffed to the brim with antique tribal urns and necklaces, wooden carvings and statues, ostrich eggs, animal shells, resin skulls, hand-painted screens ceramics and lanterns. This is the place to find original and unique Bangkok keepsakes.
266/10 Siam Sq., Soi 3 Rama 1 Rd., Patumwan
Issue sells gorgeous clothes and accessories inspired by Tibetan and Nepalese prints. If ethnic-chic is your thing, then this is the shop for it.