|Words: Thea Easterby|
I enter the centre via the Siam Skytrain platform which has me walking through a metal detector to get in.
As I wander around I can’t help noticing how quiet the store is, some of the stores are not even open. Don’t head to the shops early. Many stores don’t open till ten or later and stay open late into the evening.
This shopping centre oozes luxury, so if you are looking for designer labels, this is the place to be. There are shops for Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Dolce and Gabbana, Versace as well as many more designers (including quite a few I have never heard of).
If you are feeling cashed up, you could always head to the auto gallery on the 2nd floor. You could buy a BMW, Lamborghini or Porsche Spider. While a couple of men stare longingly through the shop front windows at their objects of desire, all I can wonder is how they drove the cars in there in the first place?
|Siam Paragon Shopping Centre (bangkok.com)|
This complex is not all luxury shopping, there is also a fantastic range of stores for moderate budgets.
Don’t leave this shopping centre without visiting the Food Hall on the lower level. Besides the fact that you will be hungry and thirsty after all that shopping, this hall has to be seen to be believed. As I step off the escalator there is food of every type, in every direction as far as the eye can see. This area is part traditional food hall, part small restaurant quality stalls, a gourmet food market, fast food outlets and traditional restaurants. The hardest part about this place is making a decision on what to buy and eat.
By the way, did I mention Siam Ocean World with a four million litre water aquarium in the basement of this shopping complex?
The one thing I do love shopping for is books. Being a writer, I love a good read. Bookstores are where I go to relax; my oasis of calm. The moment I walk into a bookstore, I instantly feel comfortable and at ease.
The great thing about shopping for books overseas is that you always come across ones that you have never seen before. There is always a new discovery. For obvious reasons, I always check out the Writers Reference section to see what their collection of books on writing is like.
Kinokuniya Bookstore is situated on the 3rd floor of the Siam Paragon Centre. This bookstore has a large selection of English books. Other nationalities with a great selection are Chinese, Japanese and naturally Thai. Some of the books are covered in plastic, so you can’t flip and read through all of your options. There is also an extensive art and design section, a decent selection of cookbooks and a wide selection of comics and graphic novels. For music fans, check out their selection of sheet music.
Another bookstore option is B2S, a massive two-level store in the CentralWorld complex. It sells books, stationary and music. There is an extensive collection of books in English in this store, though by picking up a couple of books I notice the prices for a new hardcover non-fiction are slightly higher than Kinokuniya.
If you prefer your books second hand, head over to the Dasa Book Café on Sukhumvit between Soi 26 and 28. This quaint store has three levels of books, a small café and low prices. There is a great assortment of fiction books to choose from as well as some unusual and collectable books. The March special had fiction books on sale out front of the store for 9 baht each, so check as these specials change each month. They have novels in a range of different nationalities including French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German and Russian. They exchange and sell books for cash.
You are bound to find some rare gems in this store. Grab a coffee, a cookie and pull up one of the chairs at the front window and get stuck into your new purchase.