Here is my “top ten” with a short explanation where appropriate. I’ve lived in Pattaya for ten years this year… and I’ve done my fair share of shopping believe me! It hasn’t always been a good shopping experience but it certainly has got better in the last few years. With the new wave of destination malls, the whole experience is a more glitzy one where going shopping could last the whole day.
- Central Beach Festival.
It’s not the newest but it is the best in my opinion. It has high end stores, such as Armani Exchange and Furla as well as international high street stores such as Zara and Mango.
With the added draw of a the Central Department Store that sells everything from lightbulbs, designers watches and diamonds to a leg of lamb in its supermarket.
- Terminal 21.
Pattaya’s newest shopping mall. It has all the usual shops that are in all Thai shopping malls, with some super restaurants and a fabulous cinema. It also has a floor dedicated to boutique type shops, the likes of which Thailand does so well. Some gorgeous shopping finds are to be had, from shoes to handbags and jewellery. All the things a tourist would want !
But lacks a department store… a mistake in my opinion. But it does have a super market.
- Royal Garden Plaza.
One of the old ones. It has been through many changes over the years. With the better quality of shops sadly no longer within it. But it still has appeal as it has the usual Thai brands, and some international brands, Aldo shoes for example. Some good independent stores and stalls and those special Japanese stores. It also has a very good array of restaurants attached to it, Including the Coffee Club and the wonderful Wine Connection.
- Mike’s Shopping Mall.
This mall has been around for years. Its recently had a facelift, a very nice one. With a gym added to it and a hotel is being built alongside it. The malls front half is full of independent stalls selling the type of goods Thailand is renowned for…. copy handbags and clothing tourists love.
The back end of the ground floor has a more department store feel to it, it’s basic but good for certain things such as luggage and shoes/active wear.
- Outlet Mall.
This is exactly that. The mall is full of Thai and international stores selling clothing at hugely discounted prices. Think Mango, Converse and Pena House. Some sportswear as well as equipment and children’s wear. Ample parking, you could easily spend the whole day here
- Central Marina
Another big mall from Central. Some Thai usual stores inside, along with Japanese stores. The big attraction I would say is the discount Nike store and the Big C supermarket. Loads of dining options with an outdoor market/eating area with a super vibe in the evenings. Great for tourists or expats to sit and people watch.
- Tesco North Pattaya.
As you know a shopping mall here in Thailand is never just one store. Tesco is on the upper floor.
The ground floor has local independent stores and some Thai brands. Think Bata shoes.
The best thing about this mall is the sports store it has within it, Decathlon, it’s changed the lives of so many! And I am not exaggerating….good quality, affordable sports wear and equipment. Everyone has been raving about it !
- Big C complex South Pattaya
A huge complex with the supermarket in the middle, with the usual stalls and stores but around it there is a go to place for home improvements. Baan and Beyond opened a couple of years ago. And along with that we have a Swedish kitchen store, Jim Thompson outlet store, an international branded homewares store, and the more upscale supermarket “Tops”. A super destination mall to while away hours !
The last two from my ten are outdoor markets.
- Thepprasit Road Weekend Market.
The smaller version is open Friday evenings, with the full market functioning on the weekend. They’ve recently added an “upstairs”, accessed by an escalator. Possibly for food. The market is amazing. It sells everything. It’s frequented by locals, expats and tourists. The quality is the same as you would get in any market here in Thailand, which I think is quite good. You can shop for whatever clothing you may need. It’s mainly that, with jewellery and shoes. The food is very good too and it’s always busy.
- Soi Buakhao Market
Held on Tuesday and Fridays. A market for locals but frequented by local expats and tourists in the know. Clothes, shoes, fresh fruit and vegetables. This is in the open air but partially covered. Opposite you will find a concrete structure housing a large number of stalls selling secondhand clothes, shoes and accessories. An amazing place to wander around. If you are into finding a special vintage piece, it’s the place for you.
There are of course a few more I could add to the list. Pattaya is actually a shoppers paradise. You can spend thousands of Baht or indeed very little. We have designer brands and small boutique stores. Shopping for expat needs are now so much more easier, you can get whatever you need. From clothing, shoes, accessories, OTOP (One Tambon one product) – local Thai arts and crafts, and a huge array of international foods.
Next time you visit Pattaya bring your own shopping bags and a full wallet.