Shopping Paradise Thailand
Thailand is a paradise for shoppers and offers amazing shopping experience, ranging from international and local luxurious goods to traditional and royal project handicraft products. Gemstones, electronic gadgets, Thai silk, made-to-measure suits, glasses, sports and leisure clothes, furniture, pearls and craftwork are highly desirable.
Thanks to the infrastructure in the main cities of Thailand, such like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket or Pattaya, you will find many big shopping malls such as Central Festivals, Emporium, Siam Center etc. Department Stores are open daily between 10.00 -11.00 (10 am – 11 pm) and close between 20.00 – 22.00 (8– 10 pm). The prices at these department stores are fixed but they have always special promotions. Just note, ‘outlet’ does not mean that there are reduced prices.
Do not forget the overall favorite nighttime and weekend markets are been found all over the country. In Asian countries including Thailand, bargaining is still an art long practiced, so do not forget to ask for a proper discount as bartering is an integral part of the shopping experience. First offer half the quoted price and then try to come to a suitable compromise. There are no hard and fast rules and the result depends on the skill of the buyer and the mood of the trader. Being stubborn, arrogant or loudly demanding a certain price is unlikely a success, so it is important to deal politely and with a smile or compliment.
Be careful with fake designer labels as they are not legal and importing them in your home country may be prohibited.
‘Made-to-measure’ tailors are widely found. A tailor-made shirt, blouse or suits is often more reasonable than one ready-made from a department store. With so many tailors around the competition is high and everybody will tell you there are the best. Many of them will stop you on the street to offer you free tie or kimono, but do not be fooled by cheap offers as nothing is coming for free. And remember ‘Cashmere’ is not always what it purports to be, and the same goes for ‘silk’ and ‘wool’. Let us know if you are interested in a ‘Made-to-measure’, we can push you in the right direction.
Gemstores in Thailand
In Thailand there are rich deposits of precious stones, Rubies, sapphires, zircon, jade, opal and onyx are mined, and cut to beautiful gemstones. Thailand is one of the largest jewelry producers in the world, and the best jewelry manufacturers are found in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket. Unfortunately, surrounding the genuine gemstone industry there are many shady dealers, and it is surprising how many tourists have spent a fortune on colored glass. It is therefore important to follow certain safeguards, for example, never go with any person who approaches you I the street or in a shop, no matter how friendly, or even if h tells you he is a lawyer, accountant, government officer, a policeman on his day off, helpful student or whatever else they say they are.
Our advice is not getting your finger burnt. Quality always has its price. Buying jewelry is a matter of some discretion and it is important to go to a reputable firm. Keep an eye on the logo display of the “Tourist Authority of Thailand” (TAT), these firms provide a proper detailed receipt with a description of the article bought, a certificate of authenticity and a moneyback guarantee as such firms are regulates such firms.
Local Products and Souvenirs
The SUPPORT Foundation, initiated by H.M. Queen Sirikit, was developed to maintain the traditional art skills of the country as well as providing a better quality of life for local communities.
Each region of Thailand specializes in its own exquisite arts and crafts and features different types of products. Each province has an OTOP Centre which presents the local OTOP products, and you can also find OTOP products at major shopping malls in the country.
Amongst the most famous local handicraft products are
- Wicker ware, Khon mask models, Bencharong hand-painted porcelain, and molded court dolls from the center region,
- Matmi silk, Khit (raised embroidered) patterned cotton, and bamboo basketry from the Northeast,
- hill-tribe craft, silverware, lacquer ware, Mo Hom fabric and clothes, hand-woven Chok embroidery-bordered textiles, and woodcarving products from the North, and
- Nang Talung (Shadow play puppets), hand-woven Yan Liphao basketry, and a variety of practical and decorative items using coconut shells and rubber tree products from the South as well as Batik crafted by the islands numerous artists into T-Shirts, dresses, wall hangings, and bed covers affordable made-to-measure cotton, linen and silk clothing.
Fine picture of the untypical handicraft mentioned here
Packing and Shipping Service
Thanks to the ever-increasing number of tourists coming to Thailand, most shops are experienced at shopping abroad and are happy to all required documents, such as insurance, customs, and necessary permits. The Central Post Offices in the provinces also offers a parcel-wrapping service for those who want to make small shipment themselves. For larger shipment, there are variety of international shipping companies.
A Value Added Tax (VAT) refund can be claimed by any non-Thai visitor who has been in Thailand less than 180 days in a calendar year, is not a crew member of an airline, and departs Thailand by air carrier from the international airports in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai or Phuket. Rules and conditions apply. For more information, please visit below the Revenue Department WebSite