Mah Boon Krong (MBK)

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Mah Boon Krong or MBK as it is known among regulars is one of the large shopping malls in Bangkok. When you visit here you will see a mix of both locals as well as tourists who are looking for good deals and wide choices. Bangkok has been experiencing a mall building boom of late but many of these new malls are typically more upmarket and cater less to the ordinary tourist. Mah Boon Krong is one of the older malls (opened in the mid 1980s) and hence the target audience is not at the top end of the shopping spectrum.

It is very close to Siam Square and you can get there by BTS Skytrain at the National Stadium. It is also apparently within walking distance of Siam station but I have never gone from there so I can’t really say. At National Stadium BTS, you need to take Exit 4 to MBK Center.

I generally make a small side trip here every trip, but my most recent trip was Singapore Airlines SQ978  staying at Grand Mercure Asoke Residence.

There is also a previous post on places to visit in and around Bangkok which will give readers a bit more of an idea of things to do.

TOP TIP: EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE (except the food)

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MBK really needs a whole day to wander around, there are shops, restaurants, massage shops, electronic vendors and trinket sellers. There are the standard shops and also there is a bazaar.

I realise that this is not a comprehensive review of MBK, so I apologise to everyone for not going into detail for you.

This is in a warren of shops which is set up in a bazaar type layout. I said before everything in MBK can be bargained for, and especially here. Bear in mind that 25% reduction is the price you should be targeting. For those of you who hate bargaining, this is really a bad place for you. The mark ups are high because they expect you to bargain. Having been raised in the West where bargaining is of the “what’s your best price? oh ok” type. The attitude here is to really go for it.

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For those who tell you that there are hard and fast rules about bargaining, the only rule I would say is “if you are comfortable and happy with the price, then accept it”. For example, I wanted to buy something, so I went to the first shop, and asked how much. They give me a price. I then ask for their best price. Usually it’s cut by 10%, that means I know I can probably take it down another 10% easy. I left the shop and wandered around looking for other places selling a similar product (and there are lots of those) and basically did what they call in financial markets “price discovery”. Basically trying to find where every shops price range is.

It turns out the first shop was the one offered the best price and I returned there, to complete the deal. Now my own method is to look for something else in the shop I want and then negotiate the package price. So I might get a 20% discount on one thing, but could get a 25-30% discount on the product I really want.

My best shop is this one call Thai Fruit which basically sells dried fruit and also dried meat. Really worth taking a look at.

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Food being served at random locations

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While the above places serve snacks, the main deal is at the food court on level 5. They call it The Fifth food avenue.

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There are plenty of places to sit so don’t worry about finding somewhere if you are travelling alone. However, if you are travelling in a group, my best piece of advice, is to find a table with the right number of empty seats and then have on person sit there while everyone else gets their food.

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Here’s a selection of the food from my times visiting MBK

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There is also a department store called Tokyu covering 4 (?) floors which has a wide variety of the normal department store wares.

 

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