Downtown Bangkok hosted the Thailand Happiness Street Festival over the weekend of the 26th of July. Thailand is back and what better way to have celebrated this occasion than with one huge party!
At this extravaganza – that have never been held before in Thailand the entire Ratchaprasong area came alive with colourful parades, great shopping, fashion shows, concerts and culinary delights. The theme, Thailand Happiness (#thailandhappiness) was lived up to on this warm summer evening.
The central business and shopping district of Bangkok was converted into a giant festival of happiness – there were nothing less than joy, fun and Thai-smiles. TAT governor, Thawatchai Arunyik, described the event as ‘unmatched in the annals of Thai tourism’ with Thailand keen to prove to the world that this kingdom is still a welcoming destination for tourists. Acknowledging the difficult political times Thailand has been through recently, the TAT governor described the street festival as ‘the mother of all bounce-back parties!’
Of course, shopping was one of my favourite activities at this busy festival. Shopping in Bangkok is an experience to thrill and delight the most discerning of shoppers - whatever it is you're looking for. From the gleaming chrome and towering size of modern, air-conditioned malls, to the hustle and bustle of its famously buzzing street markets, Bangkok has all kinds of places to blow your Baht. With everything from antiquities and the latest pair of trainers to designer jewellery available, Bangkok has an equally exhaustive, and potentially exhausting, variety of things to buy.
The street markets are of course one of the cheapest option – it’s really hop, unorganised and busy – I had an absolute blast.
Tip: Learn about bargaining and asking for a discount. ONLY if you want to buy it. Do not bargain for the sake of it.
Here is what I spent at the street market in Bangkok:
- Ferrari watch – the cost before bargaining was 1800 baht (approximately R600)– I started the bargaining and only paid 600 baht (+/- R200)
- Maxi dresses for as little as R100 (300 baht)
- Pashminas from R20 (50-60 baht)
- Shirt from R50 (150 baht)
- Designer handbags – good quality from R300 (800-900 baht)
If you are going to Bangkok enjoy the shopping, culture and food of this eccentric city – you will be amazed. It’s truly a shopper’s paradise.