Chinatown in Bangkok is one of the world’s biggest and best of its kind. Lots of stuff you were not even aware that you needed is for sale at the stalls down the small alleys, and you can often haggle your way to a really good price. Many of Bangkok’s smaller shop owners also fill up their stock in Chinatown, which means that many things are sold in multi-item packages only.
As an example, I had found a pencil case decorated with Japanese cartoons, which had a 60THB ($2) price tag. I thought it was a bit pricey, but since I had already decided that I wanted it, I found the money and paid. It then turns out that the price was not for a single pencil case, but for a batch with 9 pencil cases!
In Chinatown quantity precedes quality and so one should not expect any lifelong warranties on all the goods (some might call it junk), which is for sale. I usually schedule a visit in Chinatown at one of my last days in Bangkok. At that time I know approximately how much space is left in my suitcase and thus the allowed volume of my purchases. Otherwise the Chinatown impulse buys easily adds up and leaves no space available in the suitcase for the silk scarves, tailor made clothing and spa products, which you intended to bring home in the first place.
A good place to start a Chnatown shopping spree is Yaowarat Rd., which is one of the larger streets in the area. Yaowarat is famous for all the goldsmiths, which lines the streets and where Thais and Chinese go to buy and sell their gold. The gold is yellow bling-bling style Thai gold and is often only found as 23 carat, and not the usual western carat numbers.
You pay the day price per gram, and the price is low compared to Denmark. White gold is not especially popular in Thailand and during my hour-long walk up and down Yaowarat, I only found two shops selling 18 carat white gold jewelry. If you cannot find anything you like in the shops, both shops offer made-to-order services, and the final deal is settled in a traditional way with a nice cup of tea.