Thailand is one of the best destinations in Southeast Asia for shopping. Its wide variety of markets, products, imitations of brands and the fact that prices are quite low are some of the factors that will make the traveller end up with a full suitcase. The city’s markets are one of the liveliest parts of Thai society, a reflection of their culture and their true essence. Thailand has hundreds of markets: floating, night, weekend or train track markets. These coexist with shopping centres, larger and more luxurious, where you can find Western brands at a great price.
Thailand has some of the best imitations of clothing from designer brands. Most of them can be found in their markets, although the quality of the garments is not very good. To buy branded clothing, it is best to do so in the shopping centres, since they are original items and the price is cheaper than in Europe
Thai craftsmanship has a millenary tradition. In fact, many of its articles have been exported to other countries for their value. In addition to clothing items such as dresses and handbags, other of the most popular handicrafts are ceramics and basketry of different styles.
Thailand is a good country to buy electronics such as cameras, videos, phones or computers. Although not all brands have great discounts, some brands like Apple are at a great price and items can be purchased for less than in other countries. In the cities, you will find specialized stores, but electronics can also be bought in the shopping centres.
Many Thai cities have colourful flower markets. They are one of the liveliest places to visit and have a long tradition, as flowers are often given as offerings to Buddha. The most beautiful flowers to buy at the markets are orchids and lotus flowers, both symbols of the country.
Thailand is known for its gems and its jewellery, which is often made with precious metals. There are many shops where you can buy these luxury items, however, you have to be careful, since many items belong to the black market and are sold by scammers. To avoid this, it is necessary to ensure that the establishment has the JFC quality label, endorsed by the government sector.
The manufacture of silk in Thailand dates back to the thirteenth century, from the time of the Kingdom of Siam. Throughout the years, this material was used by many different populations to make their costumes. Its popularity outside the country, however, is due to the American Jim Thompson, who created an important company dedicated to the manufacture of silk called Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company. Today, many tailors in the country create costumes with this fabric at a very good price.
Most of the souvenirs sold in the markets of Thailand are made by hand. Although there are a variety of different products, crafts are the most sought-after souvenirs. Some of the most original are the tuk tuk models made from tin cans, lucky charms and figures of Buddha.
Thai cuisine is one of the richest in Southeast Asia. Many of the country's markets are dedicated exclusively to their unique cuisine. You can buy Thai ingredients and delicacies to take home with you, such as sweets, seeds, alcohol, teas and dried fruits.