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Aug 12

Bangkok Take-Homes – Homegrown Gifts from Thailand

When it comes to shopping for souvenirs, Bangkok has some terrific shops where you can buy Thai made gifts. Most guidebooks will head you to budget shopping mall MBK or Jim Thompson for Thai Silk (which is stunning), but I also like to go to Chatuchak Markets and a handful of other shops where I know I’m guaranteed to find some unique, locally made souvenirs.

EXOTIQUE THAI 
This big beautiful store is the spot to head for exquisite Thai-made handicrafts, souvenirs and gifts, including aromatic Thann and Harnn home spa and beauty products, incenses, and essential oils; Tichaa organic teas and tea sets made from Thai herbs; Vuudh interior fragrances and aromatic candles, charms and sachets; vibrant Rapeeleela placemats made from sea-grass, hyacinth and palm leaves; silk scarves, colourful baskets, and plenty of contemporary crafts and accessories. Exotique is colossal so if you love to shop be prepared to spend some time here – and if you don’t, there’s so much variety it makes souvenir-shopping a cinch.
4th Floor, Siam Paragon Department Store, Skytrain/BTS: Siam

PROPAGANDA 
At the Thai version of French store Pylones, you can expect quirky, colourful Philippe Starck-like knick-knacks and accessories for the home and office. The iconic Propaganda piece is the Mr P Table Lamp by Propaganda’s key designer Chaiyuth Plypetch, but there’s a whole line of (smaller) Mr P products including lightweight bottle openers, cork screws and swizzle sticks that will more easily fit in the carry-on. Want to know why he’s called Mr P? Take a look here or zoom in on the pic above.
4th Floor, Siam Discovery Mall, Skytrain/BTS: Siam or National Stadium

LOFT 
Another one-stop-shop where you can find yourself fooling around for hours is LOFT. Tokyo-born, the Bangkok branch stocks all kinds of kooky, kitschy gifts, gizmos and gadgets, made all over Asia, with plenty of Japanese toys, trinkets and stationery, including whacky iPhone cases and laptop bags, lots of Thai made stuff, and products exclusive to LOFT like the Sparrow serving sets and Tea Shirts – tea-bag dunking apparatuses of course!
4th Floor, Siam Discovery Mall, Skytrain/BTS: Siam or National Stadium

SPICE STORY 
This Thai-owned spice shop stocks an array of spice and pepper products – around 200 apparently! – primarily from Thailand (70%) with a small amount grown in Burma, Laos and Vietnam. You’ll find every conceivable kind of spice and pepper, packaged in jars and bottles that are handy for travelling, but what we really love are their packaged sets of spices that can be used for specific dishes, such as Tom Yum, for example. Once located amidst the eateries and fast food places in the basement, there was a temporary shop on the ground floor when we last checked, while a new store was being fitted out. Ask at one of the information desks before you go looking.
Siam Paragon Mall, Skytrain/BTS: Siam

SINGHA LIFE 
Forget the cheap Singha beer t-shirts sold at the tacky tourist stalls on Kao San Road and Sukhumvit and head to this sleek Singha Life store instead, where you’ll find far cooler, original Singha t-shirts, created by young Thai designers, fresh out of fashion school, along with jeans, polo shirts, cotton shirts, shoes, sneakers, and loafers (such as the purple suede pair above), and accessories, from leather belts and bags. The brand is an initiative by the Singha beer corporation to support the development of young Thai designers. 
Siam Centre, Skytrain/BTS: Siam

6 comments

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  1. Liv

    Am keen to get to Bangkok & hit the shops – thanks for the tips!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Liv – I’ve only just spotted this one – sorry to have missed it – wondering if you got to Bangkok and what you bought :)

  2. monique co

    Hi! What is the name of the store that sells the Propaganda Mr. P Lamp and would you know the price? Thank you!

    1. Lara Dunston

      The name of the store is Propaganda but I don’t know the price, sorry.

  3. Nick

    Thanks for the tip on exotic thai, some nice unique local stuff which I purchased today. Spice story no longer exists… Saw it on the map but information stand advised me it moved out.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Nick – so pleased you found some lovely stuff at Exotique. I thought Spice Story had just moved into the gourmet supermarket, actually? It was there about 3 months ago, but I haven’t had a chance to update this unfortunately. I’ll be back in Bangkok in a few weeks so I’ll investigate. Thanks for dropping by and for the info re Spice Story.

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