Bangkok MBK Shopping Mall
MBK Shopping Mall - Bangkok's Budget Shopping Center
Mahboonkrong or simply MBK Mall is one of Bangkok's busiest shopping centers for budget travelers seeking counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags, pirated DVD movies and computer games. But it's not just a place in Bangkok to buy fake luxury wallets and watches. MBK is a shopping center with stores selling all types of authentic quality items such as jeans, t-shirts, cell phones, and even gold jewelry. It's also a place to purchase the newest iPad or iPhone before its official release in Thailand. Though you'll be paying a much higher price since it's imported elsewhere.
Even though MBK is labeled as a cheap place to buy Thai souvenirs and gifts it is not entirely true. Some shops you are able to bargain with and some store prices are set in stone. If you prefer to haggle to save on your hard earned dollars read how to bargain in Thai.
Like any budget shopping center in Bangkok, MBK is a place where friends meet, eat, go bowling, watch a movie and sing karaoke at a reasonable price. And every day the mall is full of local Thais and foreign tourists rubbing shoulders and shopping, especially during weekends.
How To Get To MBK Mall
MBK is located in Siam Square where you can find a cluster of popular shopping centers such as Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery and Center. The area is very popular particularly with Thai teens who make their way through all the shopping hot spots around the area and usually end up back in MBK.
The nearest BTS Sky Train station is National Stadium. The station leads right to a walkway connecting to MBK by entering the Tokyu Department store on the 2nd floor. There is another Sky Train station just one stop away called Siam and it is in walkable distance to the shopping center.
I do not recommend taking a taxi to MBK. Traffic around the area at all times of the day, especially during weekends is a real madhouse.
Besides all the shopping that can be done in the area there are a couple of tourist attractions in the area such as Jim Thompson House and Bangkok Museum.
There are many hotels near MBK. There is even a very popular 4 star hotel attached to MBK mall at the south end called Pathumwan Princess.
What I recommend is use a hotel reservation agency called Agoda.com to find unpublished discount rates for hotels near MBK. Because a lot of hotels within Siam Square are kind of expensive. With Agoda you can find cheaper rates than booking directly with the hotels.
Reviews of hotels Near MBK Mall
- Best Hotels Near MBK Mall in Bangkok
There are many locations in Bangkok where you can choose a budget hotel or an affordable 4 to 5 star hotel. But if you're looking for a family friendly hotel in the heart of Bangkok, or most importantly near one of Bangkok's best shopping centers - l
MBK opens at 10am and closes at 10pm, 7 days a week.
Shops and services
- Floors 1-3: Clothing and shoes, leather goods, cosmetics and hairstyling, toys, gold and jewelry
- Floor 4: Electronics, mobile phones, CD and MP3
- Floor 5: International food hall, restaurants, furniture, photography, computing
- Floor 6: Food center, souvenir shops
- Floor 7: Movie theaters, bowling, karaoke
- Floor 8: Movie theater
Things to Buy in MBK
With over 2000 shops inside MBK it is no surprise that it is a major shopping complex at Siam Square. As I mentioned earlier not everything inside is priced cheap but you can still find many items to buy on a budget. And there are shops selling authentic products and shops that do sell authentic "like" products of dubious quality.
Of all the things worth spending money on inside MBK I would recommend buying clothes. Don't worry, the shops in MBK know that tourists go there to shop for clothing items so a lot of the sizes will fit Westerners. I recommend a shop called XL Import on the 3rd floor. I'm 6 foot tall and 190lbs. So finding clothes that fits me at a very good price in Bangkok is not so easy.
XL Import is exactly what it sounds like. They import western sized brand name albeit slightly defective clothing from neighboring countries into their shops and sell them at least half or more off. For example I bought a GAP long sleeve shirt for $10USD. A GAP store in Bangkok or in the States sell it for $45USD. I didn't see any defect at all on the clothes they sell inside though they do sort of remove the clothing labels. It's a small store with a wide selection of shirts and pants. Inside is also a fitting room to try before you buy.
Another store selling western fitting clothes at very good prices is the Tokyu Department Store located on the north end of MBK. Tokyu is a popular name from Japan and inside you can find dress shirts, slacks and shoes with lots of discounts.
And if you need travel luggage to pack all the goodies you have bought back home then MBK is the place to find them. There are many shops selling luggage on the first floor. Some are really cheap in quality and there are many higher quality luggage to purchase, but prepare to haggle for a good price.
MBK Mall is one of the few shopping centers in Bangkok charging for the use of their toilets which can be found on every floor. It cost 2 baht per person and bring your own tissues. If for whatever reason you don't want to pay head to Tokyu Department Store's 3rd floor free toilet.
MBK Food Court
Bangkok's food courts are the best places to sample Thai cuisine in a clean environment. And MBK shopping center is no exception with one of the most popular and biggest food court.
There are lots of dining choices inside MBK. Western fast food restaurants like Burger King, McDonald, Pizza Hut and KFC are very successful inside. Compared to Thai food eating at a Western restaurant is expensive. So what do you do if you've shopped hard and only have 50 baht left in your wallet.
Head over to MBK's food court on the 6th floor where you can pick up a plate of chicken rice or a bowl of beef noodle soup for 40 baht. And there are plenty of other cheap dishes of food too. On weekends the food court is crammed with Thais and tourists walking up and down the stalls serving Thai, Chinese, Indian and Halal food. It's a good source of quality cheap eats.
MBK also has an upscale food court on the 5th Floor called the 5th Food Avenue. Inside has more international food choices from around the world and last time I checked if you present your passport you can get a free glass of Thai iced tea. To be honest I've never eaten at the 5th Food Avenue because it's a bit more expensive and the 6th floor food court is good enough for me.
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