Shopping in Pattaya city is very different from shopping in the country’s capital. In fact, shopping is not as popular an activity in Pattaya as it is in Bangkok. Perhaps visitors of Pattaya have the beaches of the city in mind, or they have already exhausted all their shopping appetite in Bangkok. Nonetheless, Pattaya has many shopping centers scattered throughout the city. Furthermore, shopping stalls line its famous beaches. But whether you have shopping in mind when you go to Pattaya or not, it’s quite difficult to leave with a bag empty of souvenirs and everything else you’ll find interesting in Pattaya. So, should you decide to hit the streets of Pattaya or its beaches and look around for something to bring back with you, here’s a quick guide of what you might find worthy of your money and where you can go look for it:
WHAT TO BUY
You can buy virtually everything in Pattaya. You can buy clothes, accessories, videos CDs, electronic gadgets, home decors, handicrafts, souvenirs and many others. What distinguishes the Pattaya shopping experience from others is that the products and merchandise being sold are all ridiculously cheap. Not all products, though, are high-quality. You can also find pirated Music and Video CDs at bargain-basement prices.
On the other hand, if you prefer to bring home Pattaya delicacies with you, Pattaya is famous for the following foods: Chaeng Lon, Hoi Cho and Khao Lam.
- Chaeng Lon is a charcoal-grilled bun on a stick with coconut as filling.
- Hoi Cho is the most popular dish not just in Pattaya City but the whole of Chonburi province. It has a special and rare kind of sea crab as its main ingredient.
- Khao Lam is a sticky rice, sugar and coconut cream cooked inside bamboo rods.
WHERE TO BUY
Along the coastline of Pattaya beaches, you’ll find stalls selling beachwear, beadwork jewelry and special souvenirs of the island like printed tees and all kinds of knick-knacks. The busy shops are located in Beach Road and the Parallel Road. You can also find numerous small shops in Central and South Pattaya.
There are also several shopping malls in Pattaya, even though the items you would find there are generally the same as those you would find in any other country. The most popular shopping centers are the following: Central Festival Pattaya (located in Pattaya 2nd Road), Mike Department Store (located in downtown South Pattaya), Mike Shopping Center (in Pattaya Beach Road), Royal Garden Plaza (in Beach Road) and The Avenue (located in Shopping Road).
GENERAL SHOPPING TIPS
- Haggle. Bargaining is expected in stalls and stores in beaches and shopping hubs. The price in shopping malls, however, is fixed and haggling is not possible. Products in the bargain shops are usually priced double. At half the original price of the product is generally a good amount to start haggling with. And don’t forget to bargain with a local friend.
- You get what you pay for. Good quality products don’t always come with a steep tag, but as a rule, you’ll get exactly what you pay for. So watch out for inexpensive products with cheap quality.
- Pay cash. You can use credit cards in malls but plastics are typically not accepted in shopping stores and stalls.
- Warranty. Money-back guarantee is not practiced in the night markets, street stalls and beach shops. So, when you’re shopping in Pattaya, be sure to check the product thoroughly before paying for it.