Shopping in Bangkok

Shopping is a very popular pastime in Bangkok, particularly in the Siam Square area where I stayed. Of the four corners of the nearest major intersection to my guest house, three are purely dedicated to shopping and the fourth is under construction - possibly another mall, I don't know. Siam Square is a rabbit warren of roads and alleys with hundreds of tiny stores selling all kinds of interesting stuff - tailors, hair dressers, restaurants, places selling watches, shoes, DVDs (legit and not-so-legit), music (ditto), watches (legit and knock-off), etc. MBK ("Mahboonkrong") occupies another corner, and it is a truly massive seven storey mall with about 10,000 square meters per floor occupied by stalls very similar to the stores in the Siam Square area. It's incredibly chaotic and endlessly entertaining. The third corner has three malls, of which only two were present during my last visit: Siam Paragon was just a bunch of girders sticking into the sky four months ago. Siam Discovery Center and Siam Center are both fairly traditional malls that Westerners would recognize (unlike MBK). Siam Paragon is a line-up of expensive names: Hermes, Prada, Cartier, Gucci, Chanel, Boss - I couldn't afford to shop in most of their stores. Every corner of this intersection has a cinema, usually several. As I mentioned before, assigned seating, $3 to get in to most shows, with big screens and good sound.

One of MBK's two huge atriums