Get set to shop in THAI­LAND

From quirky lit­tle hand­i­craft stalls to mega shop­ping malls, shop­ping in Thai­land is a must to help all trav­ellers un­wind

Micetalk - - Shopping -

SHOP­PING HOURS

Most shops, in­clud­ing those in malls and de­part­ments store com­plexes, are gen­er­ally open from 10 am to 10 pm, though open­ing hours are typ­i­cally longer in tourist ar­eas than in smaller lo­cal towns. Fur­ther­more, some shops close on Sun­days, though most ma­jor stores in Bangkok and those in tourist towns are nor­mally open seven days a week. Night mar­kets typ­i­cally be­gin at dusk and close around mid­night. Wet mar­kets, where lo­cal Thais pur­chase food, open around 4 am and close around 9 am.

PRICES AND BARGAINS

Usu­ally, fixed prices are the norm in depart­ment stores, while bar­gain­ing is ex­pected at most other places, par­tic­u­larly at night mar­kets and lo­cal cen­tral mar­kets. Gen­er­ally, the price in Thai­land is vari­able and you can ob­tain a fi­nal fig­ure of be­tween 10-40 per cent lower than the orig­i­nal ask­ing price. Much de­pends on your skills and the shop­keeper's mood. A good strat­egy is to ca­su­ally in­quire about an item the first time you see it in or­der to get a ball­park es­ti­mate of the price.

VAT RE­FUND

Vis­i­tors en­ter­ing the King­dom on a tourist visa are en­ti­tled to a 7 per cent VAT re­fund on goods pur­chased at reg­is­tered re­tail out­lets and Thai­land duty free stores. The VAT re­fund may be claimed on a min­i­mum to­tal of pur­chases worth 5000 Baht from re­ceipts to­tal­ing no less than 2000 Baht/ re­ceipt/day. At the air­port, pa­per­work must be pre­sented to cus­toms of­fi­cers be­fore pass­ing through im­mi­gra­tion at the VAT re­fund of­fice; at Su­varn­ab­humi air­port, the VAT re­fund of­fice is near the en­trance to Do­mes­tic De­par­tures.

BUY­ERS BE­WARE

There are many coun­ter­feit goods in Thai­land of vary­ing qual­ity, some more con­vinc­ing than oth­ers. Un­less you pur­chase a hand­bag at a Louis Vuit­ton store in one of Bangkok's finer shop­ping malls, you are un­doubt­edly buy­ing a fake, the qual­ity of which can­not be guar­an­teed. Just as ob­vi­ous as that sounds, all goods pur­chased in Thai­land, such as gems or elec­tronic items, should be ex­am­ined closely be­fore pur­chase. Be wary of pur­chas­ing ex­pen­sive items from a new “friend” that hap­pens to know some­one who can get you a great deal. Ask stores for re­turn poli­cies and al­ways ask for a re­ceipt. And if things ever get frus­trat­ing, just main­tain com­po­sure and re­alise in the end, you are on a hol­i­day, so, just chill!!!

Vis­i­tors on a tourist visa are en­ti­tled to a 7 per cent VAT re­fund at reg­is­tered re­tail out­lets

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