MBK is a head-spinning, 7-storey mix of stores selling everything from clothes and gadgets to gold and souvenirs. It might look rather chaotic at a first glance, but the different floors are subdivided into different sections making mall surprisingly easy to navigate.
Authentic products are displayed right next to counterfeit goods, so watch out and use your common sense. International brands are not particularly cheaper in Thailand than in Europe or the States, so if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If asked, the vendors are usually honest regarding whether it’s a fake or the real deal.
Regarding bargaining, most of the shops that look like proper shops (glass fronts, air conditioning etc.) operate with fixed prices, whereas you’ll often need some serious haggling skills when dealing with the smaller vendors in order not to pay too much.
Even though MBK is far from the best place to go shopping for clothes and fashion items, it’s worth mentioning that there’s a decent selection of shops with clothes that won’t just fit petite size 0 Thais.
Because MBK is popular among tourists, things are more expensive than at similar, more fashionable places such as Terminal 21 and Asiatique. The main reason why I’ve included MBK in my guide anyway, is that it’s so easily accessible. From National Stadium BTS station, you turn right and walk through Tokyu Department store for direct access to the 2nd floor in MBK.
There’s a really good food court on the 6th floor (not to be mistaken by the more expensive Fifth Food Avenue on the 5th floor) with stalls selling tasty and inexpensive food.
There are also a number of massage shops and hair salons in MBK, and especially the hair salons are infamous for insisting upselling. Maybe the haircut is only 300THB, but you will most likely be asked to buy a much more expensive hair treatment on top of that. Personally I find that really annoying.
MBK Center is open each day from 10:00 to 22:00, but the individual shops may have different hours of operation and on less busy days, most of the shops will start closing down before 21:00.
MBK, 444 Phayathai Rd, Pathumwan Bangkok 10330, Tel: +66 (0) 2620 9000, Hours: Mon-Sun 10:00-22:00, Nearest BTS: National Stadium
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