Narai Phand, Bangkok
Tel: 66 2 252 4670
Concierge.com's insider take:
An excellent alternative to the madness of Chatuchak Market, this handicrafts center across the street from the Central World Plaza is backed by the Thai government and provides one-stop souvenir shopping in an air-conditioned, modern department store environment. Over several floors you'll find all variety of neatly organized stations; a few sell the same touristy baubles you'll find in every other bazaar, but with patience and a discerning eye, you'll also find items that are hipper, more sophisticated, and of higher quality. The first floor has textiles, clothing, and home accessories like silk pillowcases. The second floor is a bonanza of lacquerware, celadon, elaborately decorated tea sets, Thai dancing dolls, and figurines of all materials; a small selection of traditional Thai musical instruments and a stock of crystal ship models of Thai dragon boats are worth a look even if you're not in the mood to buy. On the third floor you can invest in an enormous wooden elephant statue or marvel at the stock of furniture made from recycled wood—most of the pieces look like they still belong in the forest from which they came. This is not the type of store where you can bargain, but don't despair—prices are reasonable.
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