I really love Bangkok’s Siam Square – a grid of short streets packed with a mixture of chain and one-off shops and cafes, with interconnecting mazes of stalls and stores in-between. It’s crowded, colourful, young and fun, and a great place to literally shop til you drop (into a plush sofa for a cup of well-deserved coffee). Here are some of my favourite Siam Square places to shop, then drop:
1. It’s happened to be a closet
It’s not a typo, it’s a nonsensical name! Inside the store (on Soi 3) is a treasure trove of weird and wonderful clothing and accessories with a vintage vibe piled haphazardly into every available space. There’s lots of decorative eye candy too – I love the little wallpapered alcove under the stairs. On the second floor is more of the same, with the addition of tiny nail and hair salons tucked away in the corners and a gorgeous cafe with comfy sofas and mismatched china (like a crazy granny’s attic). With the clothes a bit beyond the budget (think $300 dresses and clutch bags) I settled instead for an Illy coffee, allowing me to lounge around and soak up the inspirational surrounds for future dwellings I may decorate.
2. Arty shopfronts
The sois of Siam Square are home to some very unique and eye-catching shopfronts – there’s even one shop with an entrance like a front yard, complete with astroturf, a picket fence and a swing! One of my favourites was a handbag shop called Money Clip (on Soi 3) bordered by this colourful collage of wood, tiles and buttons:
An arty, crafty little shop on Siam Square’s Soi 4 (upstairs from accessories purveyor Nana Coco, another cool stop), Applique specialises in iron-on transfers. In the form of fruits, animals, teapots and more, the appliques can be ironed onto clothes, tote bags, cosmetic bags and anything else you can think of. I went a little overboard here and bought many different pieces, with the idea of customising some baby clothes in mind. Here’s the end result:
4. Cheap and cheerful finds in the arcades
Connecting each of Siam Square’s streets are labyrinth-like arcades, packed to the brim with bargains. It’s almost like being at Chatuchak Market. Particularly good are the cheap shoe shops with many pairs selling for around 200 baht (around US$6). Unfortunately they were always out of my size (38-39) whenever I found a pair I loved (like the yellow peep toe wedges…or the black and white striped canvas ballet slippers…). And the too-small display pair was often the last available – ‘Sorry miss, last size!’ was heard way too many times. If you’re around a size 36 you’re likely to fare a lot better. Also worth a look are some of the clothing stalls with tops for as low as 100 baht.
5. Cup B Cafe
You need more than one cafe stop on any Siam Square shopping expedition, and a good place for coffee, ice-cream or a snack is Cup B Cafe. It’s upstairs above the Lido Cinema (next to Soi 3) and is yet another place with retro/cute/kitschy decor.
There’s alot more to seek out in Siam Square, including unique, tiny clothing shops that are literally the size of wardrobes, a 60 baht shop for fun junk (like Australia’s $2 shops, or Beijing’s 10 yuan shops!), a huge Boots (the mecca of all things cosmetic and another Bangkok obsession of mine) and much, much more!