MBK Center is probably Bangkok’s most legendary shopping mall, popular with both tourists and locals, and busy with shoppers every day. There are eight floors packed with 2,000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs. Launched in 1986, MBK Center is a beehive of activity, especially on weekends, when half of Bangkok converges to shop for bargains. It’s not as up-market or stylish as neighbouring Siam Discovery, Siam Centre and the glitzy Siam Paragon, but it offers a mind-boggling range of goods spread over 89,000 square metres and is considerably less expensive.
MBK Center is particularly easy to reach thanks to a direct walkway linking to National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station. Literally every taxi driver knows this most famous of shopping malls in Bangkok too, so you can hail a cab from anywhere but traffic can be intense.
On the ground floor of MBK you will find lines of stalls selling fashion, shoes and handbags, fast food outlets and a Tops Supermarket, with an open space dedicated to sales offering prices discounted by 30% to 50%. As you move up the levels you will find enclaves of products almost-randomly placed. Part of the fun of MBK is exploring the long straight paths looking out for things that take your fancy. As a rough guide, fashion can be found on the lower floors, a mass of electronics on the third and fourth floors, with home furnishings and souvenirs on the fifth and sixth.
Like every shopping complex in Bangkok, there are plenty of options when you get hungry. There are two food courts – one local (sixth floor), one international (fifth floor) – with lots of choice. The top floor comprises of an entertainment complex boasting a multi-screen cinema, karaoke, a computer games arcade and plenty of other restaurants. MBK have also added a 3D Trick Art Museum, which is a fun family activity just perfect for a rainy day.