I am very excited about my trip to Bangkok and want to come up with a shopping list. I want to buy things that are either unavailable or expensive in the US. I would appreciate all suggestions for additions to this list! Thank you in advance.
Spice mixes–not just curries, but all sorts of spices that are local. I once bought cinnamon in Chiang Mai and it’s far more aromatic that the stuff we have in the US.
Cooking sauces–I need to buy some Thai bean pastes, oyster sauces, and other sauces with lemongrass. I love Thai roast chicken marinades!!! Again, amazing local products, ideally organic or non-GMO.
Coffee–about 2-3 bags of beans from local coffee roasters. Some special coffee gear such as mugs and filters.
Tea–I once had peach tea and passion fruit tea in Vietnam. They were awesome!! Are they available in Thailand too? Where should I go to get them?
Kitchenware–dishwasher washable utensils and silverware, esp. those for Asian cooking.
Housewares–funky products from stores such as Daiso and Muji
Other household items–such as packable raincoats/ponchos
HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Mosquito bite remedies
Aromatic oils–mainly lemongrass ones for relaxation and others (such as mint) for bug/pest repellence.
Uniqlo–practical, warm weather clothing.
Wacoal–quality underwear that lasts for years.
I know these aren’t Thai brands. Are there local brands/stores that I should pay attention to?
Overall, I would like to avoid shops like Gourmet Market in, say, luxury malls. These are not places where most middle-class locals shop.
Thank you very much for your time and help! Pls let me know your thoughts and suggestions. Have a great day!
Wow, you have a long list already. Not sure what else to suggest. Kiwi kitchen chefs knives are good, but you can get them in the USA. The one thing I always bring from Thailand that is hard to find elsewhere, is aromatic oils. You wrote it down yourself. They handmake them and the quality is just unsurpassed. I buy them at a small shop in Phuket but they have a shop in Bangkok too. https://www.lemongrasshouse.com/
Enjoy your trip!
Thank you. Any suggestions for spices and sauces?
Does Thailand produce its own peach and passion fruit teas?
I’m not sure if they have their own peach and passion fruit teas, but you will be able to find artisan tea shops - perhaps with teas from neighbouring countries.
Your best bet is either to go to a fancy shopping mall like Icon Siam (see youtube below) or some local market. The latter also for man made curries and sauces.
Household items probably best bet to go to Chinatown (‘yaowarat’ as the Thai call this area).
How long will you be there? Any other destinations? So jealous!
Thank you for your fast response.
For fruit teas, can I buy dried fruits and use them to infuse them in water? Are salt, sugar, and/or chemicals typically added to these dried fruit products?
Are there organic stores that you recommend?
Khap kun ka!
I haven’t been to Bangkok in a few years, but your best best will be visiting the big malls. I’ve just found this website of Thailand’s first organic tea producer and they sell amongst others in Paragon mall.
"The first premium organic tea brand of Thailand**
Available at Paragon, Emporium, Emquartier, Central Food Hall, Isetan and UFM Fuji
Perhaps before committing to anything. Scope out Chatuchak market to get a lay of the land. It’s literally the largest friggin market I’ve ever visited. Words cannot express the immensity of this bazaar.
Bangkok seems to have developed a hardcore coffee culture. My local serious coffee dude - endorffeine was recently in Thailand to source beans among other things.
I will try at least 2, if not 3, cafes daily. I have marked the following places:
Hario Cafe (not a copycat; it’s run by Hario Company)
Kurasu (another Japanese cafe; their coffee and mugs are excellent)
POUR OVER LAB @ EKKAMAI
Kaizen in Ekkamai
Roots at theCOMMONS cafe
Ceresia Coffee Roasters
Tea shops (not chains)
TEALILY CAFE EKKAMAI
Seems like great coffee choices - my other coffee nerd visited joints. A few others that might be of interest
Gallery กาแฟดริป (diagonally across Siam Sq)
Peace oriental tea house
I have not been to Bangkok since the start of the Pandemic, however have been a frequent flyer there in the past. I think others have covered it very well, but I wish to echo the 2 great sources for every day ware and food items at the Chatuchak market…with its nearby Or Tor Kor food market. The streets of Chinatown are also a great source of these things. They are great sources of food items, as well as dishes, cookwares, and utensils. In our every day use, we have countless small dishes, plates, bowls for serving purposes, as well as a whole drawer full of wooden kitchen utensils that are still used. Another is chopsticks and placemats…which are very inexpensive there. One purpose served going to the markets like that is that you can see, feel, and handle those things that you cant do from looking at a picture on Amazon. I do load up on every day jasmine, green teas, and Thai Iced tea leaves when I am there. I am a tea drinker, and certainly love every day teas for daily drinking, vs high end teas from tea shops. I have also brought home white and black pepper corns in bulk from Thailand and Vietnam, as well as some pre made curry pastes from small vendors at the Or Tor Kor market.
I say bring an extra suitcase and go to town while you’re there. So many items we have purchased in Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia have ended up in our house being used daily.
I can think of TEAorganique, Mae Salong (2022) (foodbevg.com) - it’s produced in Mae Salong, the hilly tribal areas of North-west Thailand, but they do have distributors in Chiangmai and Bangkok.
Thanks. I will check them out.
I have also marked the Royal Project shop and Doi Kham shops for local products.
@wabi : By the way, do you know of any dishwasher washable chopsticks?
Yes! And they are all over the place… Made for every day usage, most are made of palm wood…and so are so many kitchen utensils there not made of metal. They are very cheap, I think we have a life time supply of them at our house. We use them almost daily, as well as the wooden spoons, spatulas and rice paddles. Another thing of the same wood that we use a lot are small forks, I guess they are cocktail forks…about 3 inches long with 2 tines on them… they are wonderful for spearing and lifting condiments, pickles, sparing your fingers. We have a large number of these wooden utensils, and use them daily in our house.