Khao San Road ShoppingKirsty Turner
Khao San Road is a great place for shopping as there is so much to choose from. It seems that just about anything and everything is bought and sold here, including a large number of second hand goods. Market stalls line the sides of the street, while there are also dozens of small shops to be found here as well as larger specialist shops.
The best time to go shopping is in the morning, just when the stalls are setting up for the day. Most traders believe that the first sale of the day is lucky and will drop prices dramatically rather than lose their first customer.
One of the great things about shopping on Khao San Road is that most prices are negotiable and it is possible to get a great discount, especially if you speak a little bit of Thai. To ask the price, simply say “tow-li”. The seller will often put the price into a calculator and hand it too you. If the price is too high, simply enter the price you want to pay in the calculator and continue from there until a deal is struck.
There are a good number of jewellery shops on Khao San Road and in the surrounded area that specialise in quality wholesale jewellery. These shops offer some of the best bargains in the area as the jewellery here is available for a fraction of the price of many Western countries and even other parts of Bangkok.
Those who are looking for a unique souvenir to take home with them should visit one of the area’s many tailor’s shops. The talent tailors here are able to recreate virtually any design and offer customers a selection of the latest fashion catalogues to choose their garment from. Customers can also choose the fabric that will be used from a large selection of rolls on display inside the shop. The best bargain here is sets of suits, shirts and ties and it is possible to get a specially made Savile Row-style suit and all the trimming for just a remarkably low price.
The market on Khao San Road has gained quite a reputation in recent years for its counterfeit goods. Just about anything that can be copied convincingly is sold here, from Billabong shorts and Levi jeans to CDs, DVDs and even driving licences.
As you wander along Khao San Road you may be approached by one of the people who wander the streets selling a colourful collection of goods such as bags, bracelets and hammocks, most of which have been made by the Hill Tribes in the north of Thailand. While friendly, these merchants can be extremely persistent and it is best to only ask the price of an item if you are seriously interested.
Those who are short on cash can sell their surplice items at one of the stalls on nearby Soi Rambhutri. Just look for one of the sighs announcing “We buy everything”. This is a great place to trade items such as books, tents, backpacks and boots for a few baht.