Clothing for Bangkok

Shop in MBK Center

Clothing in Bangkok is so cheap you should consider packing light and buying after arrival. Some travelers fly to Bangkok with no more than a carry-on. Then they buy luggage, bulky toiletries, and clothing after getting settled into their hotel.

An afternoon shopping trip is a good way to ease into the the Bangkok experience. It also introduces you the fine art of bargaining. Also, Bangkok rainy season clothing.

Bangkok is Cotton Country

  • Cotton is cheap and very common in Thailand - especially cotton / polyester blends
  • Light-weight cotton is easy to launder and dries quickly
  • Wide-body underwear is not so common

Street markets around Bangkok will have shirts, shorts, blouses, sarongs, trousers at affordable prices. The Pratunam market is probably the best known after Chatuchak Weekend Market. MBK is another great shopping venue.

A number of areas on Sukhumvit have stalls that mostly cater to westerners. Patpong has a thriving night market amongst all those girlie bars.

Shoes in Bangkok

Flip-flops are not recommended for public wear around Bangkok. As the foot is the lowest part and least respected part of the body, showing most of your foot can be considered rude. Also, flip-flops are easy to lose, and a Bangkok sidewalk is the last place a barefoot westerner wans to be.

Buying Shoes

Shoes up to size 9 / 43 are widely available in Bangkok. Larger sizes are around, but more difficult to find. If you are a real shoe person, Bangkok has a number of shoe-makers that do excellent dress shoes in real leather as well as some exotic skins.

Buying pricey athletic shoes can be a mistake unless you are a real expert. Lots of knock offs around.

Get a Hat

If you don't like hats get a cap for your time in Bangkok. Buying one when you arrive is an option. They shade your face and neck or keep the rain out of your eyes. Bangkok's hot season can be heat-stroke weather for travelers from cooler climates.


Bring along or buy. In Bangkok, sunglasses reduce more than glare.

  • Hiding your eye reactions helps with bargaining
  • In Bangkok, staring can be considered rude or a challenge
  • Sunglasses also help hide fear or trepidation
  • and that all-important “cool” factor