Overwhelmed By the Sights, Sounds and Markets of Thailand? Here is a Shopping Guide to What to Buy in Thailand as Souvenirs and Gifts (2019)

Overwhelmed By the Sights, Sounds and Markets of Thailand? Here is a Shopping Guide to What to Buy in Thailand as Souvenirs and Gifts (2019)

Not every time you get the chance to visit a country like Thailand. Thailand is the land of beautiful beaches, watersports, half moon parties, luxury resorts, delicious food and much more. Your trip can be with anyone like your family or friends or a honeymoon trip, Thailand has a lot for everyone to see and for buying too. Located in southern Asia it is known for great eats, martial arts, beaches, and many temples. Thailand also has many islands that are well known that have numerous resorts for tourists. Thailand is famous for many things from its beauty to its handmade things. So don't visit Thailand with half knowledge. Here is a quick BP-Guide for your help.

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Thailand: A Charming Holiday Destination with Much to Offer

Known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand tops the list of budget-friendly tourist destinations with economic accommodations, myriad of shopping lanes and markets to explore, and world-class street food on offer. However, Thailand cannot be covered in its entirety in one go given its 1430 islands, nestled between Cambodia, Lao and Myanmar. With pristine beaches in the South, tropical forest in the North and Bangkok’s urban concrete jungle in the centre, Thailand gives you a variety of getaway spots to choose from.

Things to Do in Thailand

Given Bangkok’s uniqueness, you could plan your trip to this city for a few days to soak it all in. While Bangkok has a million things to offer during the day, the night is when the city truly comes alive. Thailand is also a land of temples, given its rich Buddhist history. Make sure to visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, the white temples in Chiang Rai and Ayutthaya. 150 kilometres up north of Bangkok you will find the 92 meters tall Buddha at Wat Muang.

Thailand is also famous for cultural festivals all-round the year. Plan your trip around Songkran, Thai New Year, or the lantern festival in Chiang Mai, or even to watch people bring offerings to the river for Loi Krathong. Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park, consisting of 42 islands, is also a must-visit.

Thai Culture and Heritage

The influence of Buddhism on Thai locals is evident with their way of life, architecture and customs, although, a confluence of Thai-Indo-Burmese-Chinese lifestyles makes Thailand a melting pot of cultures. The northern region of Thailand is separated by large mountains and is host to a vast number of agricultural communities, whereas the southern region is home to tranquil beaches and fishing villages/towns. Central Thailand is where tradition meets modernity and people from world overcome down to work or settle here, truly making Bangkok a Metropolitan city.

Best Time to Visit Thailand

Thailand is one of the few places that is viable to travel year-round if you don’t mind some rain and sun. Although the perfect time to visit is from December to April, you may visit between July to October to enjoy some tropical showers.

Given the great spread of markets and shopping malls across the country, make sure to include shopping within your itinerary, for Thailand, has a lot to offer. Thailand offers a wide range of goods and gift that range from textiles, handlooms, silk, antiques, ornaments, essential oils, spices and food products. To help narrow down the essentials, here is a comprehensive list of must-have items and visit-worth shopping areas to give you the wholesome Thai shopping experience.

Buying Textile and Handicraft in Thailand

Visting a country like Thailand can become a pain for your wallet if you don't have proper idea about the right things and right place and moreover when you will reach the market, the market has so much to offer that your mind will get confused and you want to all the things available. To make your decision easier and buying better we are here with some recommended items and tips which you can trust blindly.

Authentic Boutique and Shopping for Clothes in Thailand

If you are looking to shop for clothes in Thailand, you have an abundance of options. Local markets, night markets, malls, boutiques, etc., sell various clothes that are locally made and imported from other countries. You can visit local markets to buy branded refurbished clothes at a steal price or plan at a day at any of the high-end malls to pick up branded and luxurious clothes.


  • If you are looking to pick up cheap T-shirts, visit AIIZ at Huai Khwang District in Bangkok, a cheaper version for GAP.

  • For workwear and accessories, you can visit Pomelo at Siam Centre.

  • Local Boutiques at Central Festival Mall across Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui.

Handwoven Authentic Silk

Handwoven silk by Thai women from the north-eastern parts of Thailand is globally sought after in the fashion industry. Authentic Thai silk is not expensive to buy but many stores sell lower quality silk as authentic, so make sure to buy from recommended sellers only. Not all famous markets in Thailand sell 100% silk products, as they might be mixed with polyester.


  • If you are in Bangkok, you can pick up silk material from Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles at the Grand Palace complex, Prayer Textile Gallery at Phayathai Road, silk shop at Jim Thompson House on Soi Kasemsong 2, Silk Zone on 2nd floor of Old Siam Plaza.

  • You can also pick up silk from Lampoon Thai Silk store if you are visiting the town of Chiang Mai.

Tribal Handicraft of Thailand

The Hill Tribe of Thailand living in the mountain region of Hmong, Karen and Akha are famous for their handmade Thai handicrafts such as tribal clothes, purses, home goods, tribal beads, tassels, and silver jewellery to name a few. Originally made from hand-embroidered clothing, these colourful handicrafts can be worn as is or given as gifts. You can find these handicrafts throughout all the markets of Thailand.


  • Head to Chiang Mai’s textile district and ask for stalls by hill tribe women.

  • You can also drive to the hillside to the tribal communities to directly pick it up from the villages.

  • Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat), Silom Village, Chatuchak Market.

Do remember that most of these women do not speak English, so take a guide with you or keep your Google Translate handy.

Authentic Thai Food Products to Shop

Thai Snacks

Local grocery stores sell instant pad Thai, Tom Yum flavoured Mama noodles, fried shallots, bento squid - a snack for seafood lovers, Koh-Kae peanuts, Royal Chitralada Milk Candy, Instant Thai Milk Tea, Oishi Thai Black Tea, Pad Thai stir fry sauce, Wang Wang rice crackers, Tao Kae Noi Seaweed and dried fruits. For those willing to challenge their pallets and stomach, do try edible insects, Jing Leed, Maeng Kee Noon, Non-Mai Non, Non-Pai and Tak Ga Tan, as chips, fried or raw sold in packs. These local snacks offer amazing and diverse flavours - try once and you will never stop wanting for more.


  • Big C Supermarket 7 Eleven, Gourmet outlets, Chinatown.


For coffee lovers, Thailand grows both arabica and robusta coffee in the northern and southern regions of the country, respectively. You can arrange a coffee tour around the estates as part of your travel to see how coffee is locally ground and also take back a few bags of fresh beans. If you don't have time to go on a coffee tour, worry not, the country is filled with coffee roasters that sell all sorts of locally grown coffee. Head up to your nearest store and seek help from the barista to get the flavour of your choice.


  • Ristr8to in Nimman, Chiang Mai
  • Casa Lapin, Wonderwall The Kaffebar, Ceresia at Bangkok.

Thai Spices

Food shopping is incomplete without buying Thai spices. Pack some locally made spices to recreate the dish at any time later. Particularly look out for different flavours of curry pastes, kaffir leaves, galangal, lemongrass, pandan leaves, and different types of chillies. These spices come well packed so you can easily carry it while travelling without any hassles. You can pick up Thai spices from any grocery store across Thailand.


  • Market Khlong To, Little India (Phahurat), Chatuchak Market, Makro, Gourmet Market and Puharat.

Best Aromatic Oils and Spa Products to Buy in Thailand

Healing Balms

Source erawadee.com

Suffering from cough, cold or fever when in Thailand? Worry not as locally made Thai healing products are God sent from heaven. Products like Tiger Balm, Takabb Anti-Cough Pill, Siang Pure Oil, Pim Saen Nam – Balm Oil Roll-on and Yellow Turmeric Oil are available across all supermarkets and medical stores. They are strong but super effective. They are available across all supermarkets and medical stores.

Essential Oils and Spa Scrubs

Thai massages are world-famous. You can pick up a wide range of locally made essential oils and spa scrubs that will always take you back to Thailand with every use. The essential oils are multi-purpose. In addition to soothing you, these essential oils are also healthy for the skin and body. Herbal massage packs, body scrubs, carved soaps, foot soaks, and body scrubs are also among the top favourites.


  • Bath and Bloom outlets, Supermarket Chains like Top, Big C and Rimping Harnn outlets.

Coconut Oil

Coconut is the essence of Thai life. Universally as well, the benefits of using coconut in food and health products are gaining popularity. It is widely consumed raw or used in food products, essential oils, bathing lotions, sunscreen and beauty products. Make sure to pick one up.


  • Swanson Food and Beverages
  • Bangkok Farmers Market
  • Klongsan Market
  • Chatuchak Market

Shopping for Beauty Products in Thailand

Thai beauty products are available in the markets and malls. Unlike Korean or Japanese products, Thai beauty products are not very popular but are known to be good for the skin. All the local markets and malls sell local and global beauty products. If you are looking to buy local Thai beauty products, make sure you get the right products as the labels will all be in Thai.

Local jewellery is also one of a kind. While buying jewellery, look for authentic silver with a stamp that indicates the number 0.925 or 0.99 that indicates purity percentage. You can find a wide range of silver jewellery in the form of rings, chains, ear studs, anklets, etc.


  • Boots and Watsons, Beauty Buffet, Eveandboy, Beautrium, Oriental Princess and stories at malls like MBK Centre and Siam Centres sells a wide range of local and international beauty products.

  • Khao San Road, Charoen Krung Road, Silom Road, Chatuchak Market.

Best Markets to Visit in Thailand

Thailand has various local markets and night markets across the country. Some of them are open 24 hours so you can visit them at any time of the day (or night)!

Rod Fai Market

Also known as Talad Road Fai Train Night Market located in Bangkok is Thailand’s most authentic night market. A huge open-air bazaar that literally has everything under its roof! From antiques and vintage collections to modern fashion and furniture, Rod Fai lures tourists from all over the world.

It is divided into three zones – Warehouse Zone, Market Zone and Rod’s Antiques. At Warehouse Zone you will find vintage style household goods, cheap electronics, auto-parts, clothes and shoes. Market Zone on the hand has up to 2000 stalls that sell up-trend fashion clothes, home appliances, children’s toys and shoes. Rod’s Antiques as the name suggests has a wide display of vintage motorbikes, cars, auto parts, kitchen and home furniture.

Address: 51 Srinagarindra Road, Nong Bon, Prawet, Bangkok 10250, Thailand.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

With over 15000 stalls, Chatuchak is one of the largest markets in Bangkok. An attraction to both locals and tourists alike, Chatuchak offers a wide range of products and delicious street-food. Even if you aren’t one for shopping, this weekend market is definitely worth a visit to check out the sheer diversity of items on sale. Divided into 27 sections, you can find products ranging from wood carvings, furniture, Buddha amulets, silk, household appliances, high-tribe outfits, handbags, shoes, jewellery, clothes and electronics; you name it, you will find it!

Address: Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand.

Icon Siam

Known as the ‘Mother of all Malls’ in Thailand, the grand Icon Siam sits on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and runs through the city of Bangkok. At Icon Siam, every floor has something unique to offer. The ground floor is a food market that sells authentic Thai food products. The small restaurants and street-vendors sell different local cuisines. The floating market is located on the river Chao Phraya with small boats that sell fresh seafood and products. The floors above have high-street global fashion brands, electronics and home décor.

Address: 299 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khlong Ton Sai, Khlong San, Bangkok 10600, Thailand.

Asiatique Riverside Arena

Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Asiatique offers products from America, Europe and Asia. Divided into four districts, Asiatique’s grandeur can be intimidating. Charoenkrung District is home to 1000 stalls selling authentic Thai souvenirs and gifts. Town Square District has street food stalls from the Western and Asian countries. Factory District, a 100-year-old sawmill, has about 500 stalls of clothes and accessories. Lastly, the Waterfront District has rows of international gourmet restaurants and wine bars.

Address: 2194 Charoen Krung Rd, Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10600, Thailand.

Thailand is a shopper’s paradise. The above mentioned are a few iconic tourist shopping destinations. If you are revisiting Thailand, you can also check out other popular malls like Siam Centre, MKB Siam Arena, EmQuartier, Pantip Plaza and Emporium. Similar such visit-worthy markets are Weekend Market and Walking Street in Phuket, Chinatown and Neon Night Market in Bangkok, Town Walking Street and Maharaja Market in Krabi, and Floating Market and Night Bazaar in Pattaya.

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Always Keep Moving with Internet

If the trip to Thailand is the first time or you rarely visit, then we suggest you to always have the internet on your phone. Because it will help you in many ways like finding a cab, finding ways and routes, public transport and many more. Since you will be foreigner for them and there will be a local language barrier too. To avoid any problem like these, Internet and local guides will be the best solution. Happy Journey to you.