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26 Jun 2011

Fashion Travelogue: Bangkok Lovin'

The last few years, I've had to fly to Bangkok, the beautiful capital of Thailand, for work-related projects. Being part of a multinational advertising agency has allowed me to brainstorm with other like-minded creatives in the region and work on foreign TV productions over there.

Last month, I went back for an editing job and during my downtime, I was able to go around the city and do some window- and actual shopping.

Bangkok is famous in Asia for carrying fashionable items at dirt cheap prices. And I say this as a Filipino (to think that the prices of clothes, shoes and accessories in general over here are very affordable compared to those of our Asian neighbors). Whenever I'm in Bangkok, I can't help but mentally compute the price differences of various items. Their clothes cost a fraction of ours here, their gadgets are significantly cheaper and to fill one's stomach with food won't cost you more than a few baht.

The thing with Bangkok is that you need to know where to look. To shop at high-end brands, you would go to malls such as Siam Paragon and CentralWorld. 

To get style-eco friendly looks, you would hit the night markets of Bangkok (they're on every street and pedestrian overpass starting 8 pm), malls such as Platinum (floor after floor of really fashionable but more than affordable clothes), MBK (which I will write about in a bit) and the Chatuchak Weekend Market (famous for its really wide range of items at bargain prices).

Here are some of my photos from my last trip.

 A typical street market scene. You can find almost anything under the sun from dresses, tops, skirts, shorts, trousers, leggings, jewelry, shoes, bags and sunglasses in these street markets. Don't forget to haggle, too. Chances are that cheap item you're eyeing will be sold to you for much cheaper. The Thai vendors are generous like that.

Printed trousers on sale at 179 baht (PhP 250 or USD 5). Did I mention that stylish clothes were really affordable in Bangkok? 

One of the many tables selling sunnies for just 69 baht (PhP 95 or USD 2).

This is one of their high-end malls, CentralWorld.

A couple of hundred meters away from CentralWorld via the walkway system is my most favorite shopping place, MBK. It's one huge mall (eight floors) that sells the most varied things from gadgets to clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and everything else you can possibly think of.

A shot from one of the many intersecting escalators. MBK's interiors are something to look at. If you haven't been inside long and frequently enough, you might get confused because of how big it is.

 Printed tops priced at 299 baht (roughly PhP 400 or USD 8.50).

Whenever I shop for my brothers, I always make sure to pass by this particular stall. It carries branded sportswear for a fraction of what they would buy here in Manila. I was able to buy a pair of the latest Adidas basketball shoes for our brother Chuck for roughly PhP 2,500.

At Loft (located in Siam Discovery), one can find this wall of make-up accessories. Because of how the items were stocked, you leave the place wishing you could've bought every single one of them.

Thailand is famous for their silk. So, men, you should seriously stock up on neckties whenever you visit Bangkok. I always make sure to get several for my dad, a necktie fanatic. You can buy affordable ties at MBK for 100 baht (PhP 140 or USD 3) or pricier ones at 500 baht (PhP 700 or USD 15). This shot was taken inside Tokyu, in the department store within MBK.

According to my Filipino friend who now works in our Bangkok office, OPI is the staple nail polish brand used in salons across Bangkok. A far cry, I daresay, from our salons here which usually carry local brands. Not that I have anything against local brands (in fact, our blog aims to promote brands whose quality and styles are at par with foreign ones) but I've yet to encounter a local nail polish brand that doesn't chip easily and has a wide range of options in terms of colors and texture.

A shot of the night market across the street from my hotel, which was Arnoma.

The Thai have a very unique sense of fashion. I'm not quite sure if this girl was trying to pull off a Kate Middleton-esque look.

Even bunnies there are fashionable. Buy one bunny, get a bunny outfit for free!

Rings are everywhere in Bangkok. These were sold on a blanket laid out on a pedestrian overpass. You can get silver and brass rings for as low as 30 baht (PhP 45 or US 95 cents), 50 baht (PhP 75 or USD 1.60) and 80 baht (PhP 112 or USD 2.40) depending on the style and size.

Really cheap belts of every color and every style can be bought from the night markets for only 50 baht (PhP 70 or USD 1.50). I regret not hoarding. Imagine how many of these I can pair with different kinds of shorts or jeans? Failure on my end.

To end this photo-heavy post, here's a shot of me with one of my unique finds there: an iPhone case in the form of an old school casette tape. 

It would be great to take Cooky with me the next time I go. I'm pretty sure she'll go wild when she sees all the things she can buy there. The last time we were there as a family (it was a girls' bonding trip with our mom after I graduated from college) was seven years ago. It'd be great to go there purely for leisure and for sightseeing.

♥, Tina


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