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Pattaya Part 3 :: Article 8

    

Pattaya Travel Guide - Buy

You're in Thailand, so you know shopping is never far away. There are numerous large malls, small malls, supermarkets, bazaar-style markets, and thousands of other shops. Sadly, you'll be seeing a lot of the same stuff over and over again - there's no endless variety here.

Pattaya is not a good place to go shopping for hi-tech products such as cameras, computers, etc - as a very rough guide, expect to see prices around 50% higher than the best prices advertised in the west. For Pattaya's best selection of electronics under one roof, see the Tuk.Com (Com City, South Pattaya Road) listing below.

Foreign currency can easily be exchanged for Thai baht at the many exchange booths which can be found in all areas popular with tourists - there are even mobile exchanges/ATMs in specially adapted minivans that are set up as and when and where the need arises. Note that the majority of exchange booths will buy foreign currency but will not sell it - if you need to obtain USD (for example if you're going to Cambodia) use one of the larger branches of a major bank, such as the Bangkok Bank branch on Second Road (almost opposite Soi 6).

Beware of buying fake branded and designer goods, since these are likely to be confiscated by customs officers at the airport. Five tons of counterfeit designer perfume was crushed by a bulldozer in front of press cameras at the airport in 2007.

Local Product

Local products in Pattaya consist of:

  • Chaeng Lon is a local dish. Coconut is made into small buns, attached to a stick and grilled.
  • Hoi Cho, the areas most well-known dish, is originally a Chon Buri Chinese delicacy made from a special kind of crab.
  • Khao Lam is a specialty made with sticky rice, sugar and coconut cream which is cooked in bamboo rods.

Malls

  • Central Festival is one of the largest malls in Asia. Just opened in mid January of 2009, this sprawling complex has really put Pattaya on the map for grand scale shopping and dining. It is the best shopping mall in the region and now attracts customers from all over, adding to the traffic chaos of Beach Road. Fashion, electronics, health & beauty, kids activities and food are all here. Zara from Spain and Next from the U.K. are set to open in February '09. With the obligatory cinema complex and bowling alley on the top floor, this mega-mall is styled on the big Bangkok destination shopping areas like Siam Paragon. The Food Loft has the best view of the bay and great variety at reasonable prices. The anchor store is Central Department Store itself, offering high-end designer labels from abroad and Thailand. A supermarket and budget food hall is in the basement. Enter from Soi 9, Pattaya Beach Road or on Second Road after the new View Talay complex. Easy to find, just look for the traffic jams.
  • Central Festival Centre is a large mall on Second Road across from Soi 2. It includes the Big-C department store, and an IT Corner with mobile phones and accessories but no computers.
  • Mike Shopping Mall is on Beach Road between Soi 11 and Soi 12, with another entrance on Second Road, and opens 11:00-23:00. The ground floor has many small stalls selling clothing, tourist souvenirs and many other inexpensive items; above that there's a department store; on the 5th floor there's a food court; and up on the roof (10th floor) there's a public swimming pool.
  • P.S. Plaza is at the junction of Second Road and Central Pattaya Road - Tops supermarket occupies most of the ground floor; billiards, books, massage, and a handful of other shops on the first floor; and P.S. Bowling on the second floor.
  • Royal Garden Plaza is a large upscale mall adjacent to the Pattaya Marriott Hotel on Beach Road between Soi Post Office (Soi 13/2) and Soi Pattayaland 1 (Soi 13/3), with another entrance on Second Road (just look for Ripley's aeroplane).
  • Tuk.Com (Com City) on South Pattaya Road is a new and predominantly IT mall. In the basement is a Tops supermarket, a food court, and various other (mostly clothes) shops as well as a spare parts department that sells a variety of electronic (e.g. transistors) and other parts (e.g. clothes washing machine lint filters), and the ground floor hosts an assortment of regular shops. However the upper floors are almost exclusively mobile phones (1st floor), computer software and MP3/video CDs (4th floor), and computers and handheld electronics (2nd/3rd/5th floors). Prices are significantly higher than in Bangkok.

Supermarkets

Pattaya has a veritable trolley-load of supermarkets, including:

  • Carrefour , Central Pattaya Road ( between Third Road and Sukhumvit Road ), [100]. 9AM-midnight . Also contains Subway for tasty sandwich  edit
  • Big-C , South Pattaya Road ( at the junction with Sukhumvit Road ), [101]. 9AM-midnight . Another branch at Central Festival Center (opposite Soi 2).  edit
  • Foodland , Central Pattaya Road ( near the junction with Sukhumvit Road ). 24 hours .  edit
  • Foodmart , Thaphraya Road ( near the junction with Theprasit Road ). 24 hours .  edit
  • Friendship , South Pattaya Road . 7AM-2AM . The most westerner-oriented and has large selections of cheese, bread, wine etc.  edit
  • Tesco-Lotus , North Pattaya Road (just east of the Dolphin Roundabout ), [102]. 9AM-11PM . Has another branch on Sukhumvit Road in South Pattaya.  edit
  • Tops , at the junction of Second Road and Central Pattaya Road , [103]. 24 hours .  edit
  • Villa Market , The Avenue Shopping Mall, 2nd Road (right opposite soi 13 ), [104]. 24 hours .  edit

Markets

There are many bazaar-style markets in Pattaya where you can haggle 'till you drop, including...

  • Thepprasit Market on Thepprasit Road near the junction with Sukhumvit Road - Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
  • Soi Buakhao Market on the corner of South Pattaya Road and Soi Buakhao, across from the Friendship supermarket - daytime, Tuesday and Friday; plus an evening market further along the same road.
  • Made In Thailand Night Plazar (sic) on Second Road near Soi 10 - daily 8AM-11PM (despite the name).
  • The Market Pattaya on Second Road near Soi 5 is a little lonely but some evenings has students giving music or dance performances on a small stage.

...any many more, including one on Second Road near Soi 2, next to Tiffany's Show.

Shops

Books

  • Bookazine : Central Festival Centre; Royal Garden Plaza; The Avenue; plus Dongtan Road, Jomtien
  • Book Variety : Big C, South Pattaya Road; Carrefour, Central Pattaya Road; Tuk.Com (Com City)
  • D.K. Book Mart, corner of Beach Road and Central Pattaya Road; tel. +66-38429359 - medium-size bookshop with lots of English titles, including a sizeable cookery book section, and a worthwhile selection of second-hand paperbacks at 99 baht - open 09:00-00:00.
  • Jeremy's Bookshop, 383/111 Soi Chaiyaphum (which connects Soi Buakhao Road and Third Road); tel. +66-38411266 - an immaculate library-style English language paperback exchange, large selection, mostly priced ~100~250 baht. If you buy a book here and then return it in good condition, you'll get a credit of 50% of the original price towards your next purchase - open daily 09:00-22:00.
  • Pattaya Beach Books has two locations: 1st floor, P.S. Plaza (junction of Second Road and Central Pattaya Road); tel+fax. +66-38362175 / pattayabeachbooks@yahoo.com and also at 316/137 Moo 10 Soi Buakhao. Both shops are open daily 10:00-20:00 and have a huge selection of "pre-owned" English language books and magazines - mags ~50~60 baht, paperbacks ~140~160 baht, hardbacks ~180 baht plus. If you buy a book here and then return it in good condition, you'll get a credit of 50% of the original price towards your next purchase.
  • SE-ED, [105] Big C, South Pattaya Road; Carrefour, Central Pattaya Road; Tesco-Lotus, North Pattaya Road; Tesco-Lotus, Sukhumvit Road
  • Swan Book Shop, 210/6 Soi Buakhao - large selection of second-hand foreign language paperbacks, mostly priced 100-180 baht - open M-Sa 9AM-9PM.
  • Cheapest books can be found on Thepprasit Night Market open Friday-Sunday, 6PM till midnight.

Convenience stores are everywhere, especially 7-Eleven and Family Mart shops (all open 24/7), plus countless independents. If you use the family run shops the prices aren't always marked but should be the same, or just a baht or two higher, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing your money isn't flowing back to the USA or Japan.

Gold shops abound, with concentrations around the market on South Pattaya Road and around Central Pattaya Road near Second Road, plus numerous jewelry shops towards the south end of Beach Road.

Art Galleries are also considered to be rising business in Pattaya, most of the places will offer variety works and services including custom orders and art reproductions. These galleries in Pattaya have reputations in affordable prices and fine quality artist skills. The best and biggest is KC Gallery, located on Walking Street. Also worth mentioning is Narai Art Gallery (local crafts) on Soi 6, Phratamnak Road, which doubles as a nice restaurant.

Tailor shops are everywhere, but quality is variable. Ideally, make sure you get two fittings before buying.


    


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