Courtesy of www.tourismthailand.org:
Thailand is a shopper’s paradise – there are so many products to buy in Thailand including Antiques, Arts & Crafts, Paintings, Wood Carvings, Handicrafts, Lacquerware, Nielloware, Pewterware, Thai dolls & toys; Artificial Flowers and Live Orchids; Rattan & Wickerwork accessories as well as furniture; Apparel & Accessories, such as Jewelry, Gems, Gold & Silverware; clothing and leather goods; and various fabrics, such as the world famous Thai silk.
In addition to shopping malls filled with international brand name products, there are many boutiques featuring the works of Thai designers who have created some distinctly Thai fashion.
If you are looking for where to shop for souvenirs, clothing, or Thai handicrafts, such as silk, this Thailand shopping guide will help you find the nearest market or mall for you to purchase the products you desire:
Most shops, including those in malls and departments store complexes, are generally open from 10 am to 10 pm, though opening hours are typically longer in tourist areas than in smaller local towns. Furthermore, some shops close on Sundays, though most major stores in Bangkok and those in tourist towns are normally open seven days a week. Night markets typically begin at dusk and close around midnight. Wet markets, where local Thais purchase food, open around 4 am and close around 9 am.
Usually, fixed prices are the norm in department stores, while bargaining is expected at most other places, particularly at night markets and local central markets. Generally, the price in Thailand is variable and you can obtain a final figure of between 10-40% lower than the original asking price. Much depends on your skills and the shopkeeper’s mood. But remember, Thais appreciate good manners and a sense of humour. With patience and a broad smile, you will not only get a better price, you will also enjoy shopping as an art. A good strategy is to casually inquire about an item the first time you see it in order to get a ballpark estimate of the price. Also, you will learn that walking away will often be met by a lower figure shouted at you to lure you back. Also, you are more likely to get a good price if you shop just as a market is opening, as vendors believe an early sale is “lucky” and will help them have a prosperous day.
Buyer beware: There are many counterfeit goods in Thailand of varying quality, some more convincing than others. Unless you purchase a handbag at a Louis Vuitton store in one of Bangkok’s finer shopping malls, you are undoubtedly buying a fake, the quality of which cannot be guaranteed. Just as obvious as that sounds, all goods purchased in Thailand, such as gems or electronic items, should be examined closely before purchase.