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Pattaya Shopping, Markets, Shopping Malls

Pattaya nowadays is truly a shoppers paradise with such a wide range of products and places to buy them. From the latest addition to the Pattaya Skyline the multi-storey Central Festival Shopping Mall and Mike's Department Store both located on Pattaya beach road to the hundreds of smaller shops and street vendors. Or if you are really lazy just sit on the beach for an hour or so and the beach sellers will bring most of them to you again and again and again.

Years ago, in fact more years than I dare admit to, shopping was quite limited to a small variety of cheap local products and cheap copies of fake brand name labels. These can still be had but now there is much much more to choose from and a much wider choice of shopping venue.

I used to buy most of my holiday purchases at the Thailand Shopping Arcade on Second road near Pattaya Klang (Central Pattaya Road) I would travel to Thailand with a suitcase devoid of clothes except immediate necessities. On arrival I would stock up with t-shirts, shorts and flip flops which would serve me well for the duration of my stay be it a couple of weeks holiday or if I was lucky maybe a months respite from the cold and bustle of my home in London.

My suitcase however would be well stocked with Tetley teabags, pork pies, Branston Pickle and other expat necessities that could not be obtained locally. These would be distributed amongst a handful of bar owners who would of course go out of their way to make my stay just that little bit more special.

Then I would buy a much larger suitcase - yes there are still many shops that sell only bags, luggage of every shape, size and price. I would then cram in a motley assortment of football shirts, Lacoste golf shirts, tailor made silk shirts, a couple of suits made in Pattaya and umpteen yuppie gory coloured tracksuits (all the rage in the late eighties) Some guys would forgoe the garments and just cram their bags with fake Rolexes and a multitude of fake watch brands that I had only ever seen the likes of in posh jeweller's windows.

All these things can still be had. Although it is perhaps not politically correct and certainly can be very dodgy to carry these items across international boundaries. Such is the change in the shopping scene here in Pattaya that there are places that, if you have the money, you can actually buy the REAL items not just the fakes. Addidas, Reabok, Lois Vuiton et al can all be bought at what seams to be extortionate prices compared to the local stuff but I am sure by the way they are snapped up by tourists at a premium compared to western prices.

Everyone likes to buy a souvenir or two of their holiday travels. Thailand especially Pattaya is a souvenir hunters paradise. From cheap wooden croaking frogs and wooden elephants, a little more expensive as generally elephants are bigger than frogs to more expensive keepsakes like fine Thai silk cloth and Thai silk garments.

Jewelry is popular. Heaps of dirt cheap silver jewelry items as well as more expensive fine jewelry and gemstones. There seems to be as many gold shops selling 24 carat Thai gold as there are 7/11 stores and believe me there are many convenience stores now.

Pattaya Floating Market

So the moral of this story is bring a full wallet and an empty suitcase. Or even better leave the suitcase at home, waltz through baggage reclaim and buy a good quality suitcase at half price here to take home your Thai trasures.




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