Just a month before I go home from Thailand, I noticed that I need to buy more pasalubong. I already visited Chatuchak Weekend Market but I failed to find some items in my list. The critical item would be the elephant stuffed toys for my godchildren.
A Myanmese friend told me that Mahboonkrong (MBK) has everything. Because of his recommendation and the fact that MBK is Bangkok's most popular shopping destinatination, I decided to go there to find the other items in my pasalubong list.
How to Go to Mahboonkrong
Mahboonkrong is located on the land owned by the nearby Chulalongkorn University. It is just a short walk from the National Stadium and Siam Center Stations of the BTS (Skytrain). So, the fastest and easiest way to reach Mahboongkron is by riding the BTS trains.
You can also choose to ride taxi if your hotel is far away from any BTS station. Buses can also take you to this shopping mall but you have to know what bus can take you there.
What to See in Mahboonkrong
Mahboonkrong is really big. It has 8 floors and around 2,000 shops plus restaurants and other service outlets.* Many tourists visit this mall to buy souvenirs that they can take back to their countries. I was one of those tourists and I'm glad to say that I was not disappointed with MBK.
I consider Mahboonkrong as a better organized and air conditioned version of Chatuchak Weekend Market. The items that I saw in the weekend market were also present in MBK at almost the same price.
I was busy looking for the elephant stuffed toys that I took very few photos of the shops inside MBK. Another reason for the few photos is that I didn't want to get reprimanded by vendors from taking photos of their wares.
Of the many souvenir items that I found in Mahboonkrong, the most weird would be from this shop:
This shop sells ghostly-version of your face inside a piece of glass cube. The souvenir item is creepy because it made me think that the camera captures souls and imprison them inside the glass.
The first item that I bought in Mahboonkrong were the baseball caps that I will give to my father and future father-in-law. The vendor gave me a better price as compared to that vendor of a shop near the Grand Palace.
I kept on walking and searching for the toy elephants but it proved to be so hard to find. I saw clothes, toys, plastic fruits, fake flowers, gadgets, key chains, ref magnets ad all other things that I didn't need.
I almost gave up the search until I saw a small stall selling elephant stuffed toys that, as the vendor said, are made of silk. It would not be the kind of stuffed toys for little children but I think it would be OK because it is a unique item from Thailand.
The original price of the elephant is 399 Baht but the vendor agreed to lower it to 350 Baht. So, I shelled out 700 Baht for these elephants.
I walked a little more to a shop that sells real stuffed toys. I finally saw a small green elephant, which would be perfect for my godson who is still a baby.
I got the three elephants that I wanted so I was contented when I left Mahboonkrong.
All in all, I say that my hunt in Mahboonkrong is a good experience. I was a little tired though because I searched every floor to find the elephant that I wanted.
Mahboonkrong is the best mall in Bangkok when it comes to bargain items. Tourists who don't want hot and crowded places should go to this mall instead of the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Both places have the same selection of items but shopping is more comfortable in Mahboonkrong.
*Information from Mahboonkrong page of Wikipedia.