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
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.
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.
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