Where to go Shopping in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is a shopper's paradise.  There are department store chains, shopping malls, wholesale shopping areas, roadside stalls, weekend shopping markets, night bazaars, second-hand shops, and what nots.  If you are visiting Bangkok for few days, apart from places to see and things to do in Bangkok if you still have some time left on your hands to go shopping, then you might want to hit one of these malls or markets.

Pattaya City, Thailand

Pattaya City
- by the day, by the night
My sister from UK and I were in Thailand simultaneously, so a trip to some place nearby was a must.

We chose Pattaya given the lack of time (I was in Bangkok only for a week; thanks to Alok for forcing me to stay longer in India instead).  Just 2 hours away from Bangkok made Pattaya worth going for a day. 

Once we parked the car at the pier, we took the next boat to island.  This boat has capacity for 100 persons easily, I think.  From there, you have options to take the songthaew (passenger pick up taxi) or motorbike taxi to one of the islands nearby.  It was 10 of us, so we took songthaew.  Besides, the amount of food Indians carry to a beach requires a bigger vehicle  =)

You can see a map of different beaches there and choose your destination depending on how long it will take you to get there, how much time you will be able to spend at the beach, and when will the last boat take all the passengers back.

Terminal 21 Shopping Complex, Bangkok

With every new shopping mall or department store that was built in Bangkok over the past decade, a lot of us went - "ANOTHER mall?!  Aren't there enough already?!?!"

I had the same reaction again when I recently visited Bangkok after two years and heard Gateway at Ekamai, Terminal 21 at Asok, and couple of other new shopping malls have developed since I left.

Nevertheless, I still went to Terminal 21 out to see if they made it any different from the rest.  Especially after I was told, "when you go to Terminal 21, at least go check out the restrooms on every floor."

Weird suggestion, right?  I know.  But I went in and came out AMAZED.

Trip to India: Experiences, Discoveries, Stories - My Diary

After I moved out of India to Thailand in 1997, a trip to India once every two years in our summer vacations was most looked forward to.  Despite having been in India for so long and so many times as I grew up, it was just in the last couple of years that I started observing more, understanding a little more, and realizing many things even more about the place and the people.

Of my three and a half month vacation to Asia recently, which was my first trip back home ever since I moved to US after marriage, I was at my in-laws' in India for two months from October to December 2012.  My visit was especially for my devar's (bro-in-law's) wedding. 

With my habit of writing a diary, as I went through each day, I used to record at least something from the day what I did, observed, heard, visited, felt, or learned. 

gifts from USA for family back home

Booked my tickets first from California to Indonesia, and left the rest of the flights and dates to Thailand and India for later.  Now it was time to go shopping.  Last time, several readers gave great ideas for gifts to carry from USA for families and friends back home.

{{{ UPDATE - March 2016 {new post} Gifts for family to carry from USA }}}

Alas, I'm a "last-minute expert", so most of the shopping was pending until the last day, which always turns out hectic and more expensive.  It is smart to start shopping and collecting items to gift over the year - whenever you find a good deal, a useful coupon, or during the main sale days (Thanksgiving, Labor Day, etc).

Anyway, here are some gift ideas I am sharing with you (stuff I really took) in case you are looking for ideas and things to take from America for your families and friends.

Chatuchak Market, Jatujak, JJ Market - same thing

Forget the shopping malls in bangkok, go to chatuchak market instead.

Bangkok's Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the biggest, largest, hugest, grandest weekend shopping markets in the world, comprising of more than 5,000 shops and stalls altogether.  If you plan a trip to Bangkok and if your vacation falls on one of the weekends, don't miss shopping here.  Chatuchak Market is THE place to go for some amazing variety of products and reasonably priced shopping in Bangkok.

Here is a virtual shopping treat for your eyes ...

Spusht | Chatuchak Weekend Market
Makes for great Thai souvenirs - cups, vases, etc

Taman Safari, Indonesia

My parents and I visited the Taman Safari in Cisarua-Bogor district in West Java.  On the way we bought a few bunches of carrots and bananas to feed animals.  First drove around the free range wildlife in our car for almost two hours, seeing the animals up close and feeding them.  Thousands of animals could be seen, living and walking around freely in their natural habitat.  The long drive in the safari park was great.  If I loved it so much, I can imagine how much more excited little children would be!

Bandung, Indonesia

My mom and I left at 8AM from Jakarta to Bandung (about 190 kms away) and reached in about 3 hours.  You must actually leave at 6 or 7 in the morning if you plan to return the same day like we did.  However, a trip to Bandung is only worth it if you stay there for a couple of days.  When you see the green fields, feel the cool temperatures, and drive over hilly areas, you will forget the hot and sweaty, populated and polluted, traffic-jammed and building-packed Jakarta.

Dunia Fantasi, Indonesia

In Hindi, 'dunia' (दुनिया) means world and 'fantasi' in English translates to fantasy.  That is exactly what this theme park is: Dunia Fantasi - Fantasy World.  Located at Ancol (pronounced: aan-chol) in Indonesia (about 1-2 hour drive from Jakarta), it is part of the Ancol Dreamland - which is a huge, huge, huge, huge place - a city in itself and a great family getaway.