Pratunam Market is always on the list of places to visit for a tourist looking to shop in Bangkok. Its a lot of shopping, on the street and also inside some air-conditioned shopping malls. This area is not very upmarket though, and hence ideal for a budget shopper. People come here looking for bargains. In particulars, one can find really cheap ready made clothes on the side walks here. Those looking to buy bulk quantities of garments for business can also find enough stocks in the markets around Indra Square. The market can be accessed through BTS Skytrain but getting there will take a bit of walking too. One can get down either at Siam (Central) or Chit Lom Stations. From Chit Lom, take Exit 1, get down and walk in the direction of Siam Station under the skywalk. Soon you come to Ratchadamri Road from where you need to turn right. If you are coming from Siam Station, take the skywalk coming towards Chit Lom / Erawan Shrine. Once you come to the road intersection, get down and turn left on the main road along the Central World Mall. You will cross Central World on the left, Big C on the right, and then a river bridge. After the bridge, a left turn takes you to Platinum Fashion Mall / Pantip Plaza. If you do not take that left turn, keep walking straight, you will eventually come to Pratunam Market. Its a long walk so be prepared. Otherwise try taking a taxi from Siam or Chit Lom Stations. A tuk tuk is another option but certainly more expensive than the taxi. Keep reading...
|Pratunam Market Bangkok|
The signboard announcing the entry to Pratunam Market is not very promising (see picture above) and can be a little discouraging if one has walked to this area after seeing Siam Paragon and Central World. But then, its budget shopping and a place to haggle and find bargains. The general rule is, if you buy three pieces or more of the same item you get a 30-40% discount. It is not wise to enter a wholesale shop when you wish to buy only one or two pieces because those vendors get irritated very fast.
|Indra Square Shopping Mall Pratunam Bangkok|
Indra Square (adjoining Pratunam Market) is an air conditioned mall with shops selling almost everything that you can find in the street shops outside. The prices are a bit higher and the bargaining a bit limited but almost nothing sells at marked prices, so do bargain. Burmese-Nepali girls work as sales girls at many of the shops and can surprise a tourist from India by speaking fluent Hindi.
|Indra Square Shops Pratunam Bangkok|
|Indra Square Shopping Mall Food Court Pratunam Bangkok|
There a food court on the 3rd floor of the shopping mall where one can find international food including vegetarian and Indian food. There a few ATMs on the ground floor of Indra Square but those are better avoided. This is considered a high risk area by the banks and if you use your ATM card here, your bank may just cancel your card and issue a new one for the future.
|Money Exchange Shops in Pratunam Area Bangkok|
There are a few money changers around, and offer good rates particularly for Indian Rupee. I saw this display offering 0.52 THB for an Indian Rupee which was a very good rate. In general I like Super Rich (Thailand) Money Exchange in this area but for Indian Rupee, the shops around Indra Square may offer a better rate. The area is scam-prone too and hence do not chase impossible bargains. Do not follow anyone taking you to a side road for a special deal for exchange or shopping.
|Posted by Narinder Singh|