4D3N in Bangkok: An Itinerary for Shopaholics

Bangkok, the city of angels and Thailand’s capital city that needs no introduction. My last trip to Bangkok was over a decade ago, back when I was just a kid. Although memories of that time have faded, I could still remember how big of a city it was. 

Thanks to the invitation from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, I had the opportunity to revisit Bangkok last month. Our agenda for this Bangkok trip centred around exploring popular food spots and bustling shopping havens in the city that even some avid travellers don’t know about. 

Keep reading for a detailed Muslim-friendly itinerary in Bangkok, tailored to Muslim travellers and perfect for those who love to shop!

Also read: 10 Muslim-Friendly Destinations for a Romantic Long Weekend Getaway

A Muslim-friendly Bangkok travel guide for shopaholics

Day 1: Arriving at Conrad Bangkok and enjoying the evening at Asiatique The Riverfront 

Upon landing at the airport, we headed straight to our hotel for the trip, Conrad Bangkok. This five-star hotel totally impressed me with its elegant and magnificent design throughout. Our rooms boasted floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic city views, along with a private bathtub that provided a similar stunning vista!

Beyond its gorgeous interior, Conrad Bangkok also features an array of facilities, including an executive lounge, a spa, a fitness centre, tennis and pickleball courts, and an outdoor swimming pool. The price per night here starts from only ฿5,490 (~US$150 or ~S$203), which is pretty reasonable for its standard, in my opinion.

TripZilla Tip: I suggest buying pre-paid SIM cards from the airport. There are many booths selling the package for similar prices right opposite of the baggage pick-up area. Alternatively, for added convenience, opt for an eSIM before your departure and activate it using the airport WiFi.

In the evening, we finally arrived at the popular open-air shopping mall and iconic landmark in the city — Asiatique The Riverfront. Here, you get to shop at both the mall and the night market, as well as revel in fun attractions such as the 60-metre-high Ferris wheel Sky Asiatique, and The Haunted House of Mystery Mansion. 

We had the pleasure of meeting Ms Thapanee Kiatphaibool, the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Apart from us, there were creators from other parts of Southeast Asia present as well. As the sun set, we enjoyed the mesmerising view of Chao Phraya River

Dinner on the cruise was an absolute delight! My favourite was the mango sticky rice, a Thai classic. The sweetness of the perfectly ripe mango paired complemented the fragrant and creamy coconut rice so well. 

Then, the Tourism Authority of Thailand prepared an incredible drone show that left me awestruck! It was genuinely an unforgettable experience and the perfect way to end the night.

Day 2: Indulging in retail therapy at Bangkok’s top shopping paradises

After having breakfast at the hotel, we began Day 2 by visiting Big C, one of Thailand’s largest supermarket chains. Offering a wide range of products, from cosmetics to local snacks, Big C is well-loved by both locals and tourists. It's also particularly popular for its affordability and variety of goods.

If you’re adding Big C to your Bangkok itinerary, remember to allocate more time, as you'll find yourself engrossed in shopping here! Some of the must-buys here include Snake Brand’s collection of cooling powder and cooling body spray, Tao Kae Noi seaweed, adorable Care Bears plushies, kaffir lime shampoo from Falles, and much more.

Next, we proceeded to centralwOrld, one of the most renowned shopping malls in the city and the ninth-largest shopping complex in the world. We decided to dine at Kiew Kai Ka, a Thai restaurant featured in the Michelin Guide. The meals here are quite distinctive, with some dishes boasting a subtle hint of sweetness.

Note: The restaurant also offers vegetarian options.

At centralwOrld, we attended Thai AirAsia’s press conference regarding the AirAsia Boarding Pass Privileges campaign. As announced, foreign visitors with an AirAsia international boarding pass can now enjoy exclusive discounts on activities, shopping, food, and services in Thailand by showing their pass and passport at participating stores. The offer is valid until 31 December 2024, with terms and conditions. Read more about it here.

Our next stop was EmSphere, another shopping paradise in the city. This mall, recently opened on 1 December 2023 is already buzzing, and for good reason. It truly is the most beautiful mall I've ever been in. The vibrant decor instantly captured my heart.

We satisfied our sweet tooth at Coffee Beans by Dao. Both the hot chocolate and their signature: Milk Cream Maple Croissant Cup, which consists of a flaky croissant, creamy filling, and sweet maple syrup were so divine! 

What’s a trip to Thailand without a stop at one of the country’s most renowned fashion brands, GENTLEWOMAN? Surprisingly, their iconic canvas tote bags are quite affordable, priced at only around ฿590 (~US$16 or ~S$21)! And of course, I couldn't resist getting one for myself.

For dinner, we visited Sala Rattanakosin Eatery and Bar, an exquisite fine-dining Thai restaurant nestled within a four-star hotel featuring scenic vistas of the Chao Phraya River and Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn). Whether you're craving a romantic evening or simply eager to indulge in authentic Thai cuisine, this restaurant is the perfect place to be. 

Accompanied by the picturesque view, we savoured delicious Thai cuisine that includes pla sam rod (fried fish), tom yam goong (spicy and sour soup), and sticky mango rice. Good view and good food — it doesn’t get much better than this!

Note: Sala Rattanakosin Eatery and Bar serves vegetarian dishes.

Day 3: Visiting a wellness centre and exploring the shopping scene at King Power Rangnam and Jodd Fairs DanNeramit

Picture yourself waking up to this breathtaking view in the morning! That's exactly what I experienced during my stay at the Conrad Bangkok hotel. Following a simple breakfast at the executive lounge (that offers an equally stunning view!), we kicked off Day 3 with a fulfilled tummy.

Together with my travel mates, Wilbeur, Gai, Josh, and Dennis, we arrived at our first destination of the day: RXV Wellness Sampran. Situated just a 45-minute drive from Bangkok city centre, this family-friendly wellness centre hosts an array of workshops and classes dedicated to promoting health and wellbeing.

This massive wellness centre boasts a multitude of amenities, including Bor Naam, a Hydrotherapy Zone equipped with a Vitality Pool, Oxygen Bath, Soda Pool, Cold Pool, Steam Room, and Experience Shower, a wellness clinic, a meeting hall, and fitness rooms where guests can engage in neuromuscular exercises.

For an extra dose of relaxation, RXV Wellness offers traditional Thai massages, too.

Additionally, there’s also an RXV hotel here, with select rooms directly looking over the Tha Chin River. How beautiful!

Afterwards, we delved into a unique experience: a Mandala art therapy workshop. Using vibrant fresh flowers, we each built a personal wheel of flowers, reflecting our inner selves, emotions, and feelings. This creative process was said to be a window into our personalities, fostering self-discovery. Can you tell what my personality is from these flowers?

Before heading to our next destination, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at RXV Wellness. The food choices were truly indulgent, and my personal favourite was the pad thai

Note: Vegetarian options are available here.

Afterwards, we visited King Power Rangnam, a massive duty-free shop in the heart of Bangkok’s business district. Unlike normal shopping malls in the city, it features a traveller’s lounge and free shuttle service to and from the airport (Suvarnabhumi Airport). In short, visitors can head to King Power Rangnam immediately after landing, drop off their luggage in the lounge, and embark on a delightful shopping spree!

What’s more, the shop houses numerous high-end brands, ranging from fashion to cosmetics. When in Thailand, don’t miss out on famous local brands like Jim Thompson, Rally, and Mitr, all conveniently available at King Power Rangnam. And since they’re duty-free, expect to pay less for your goods too!

Note: Majority of the purchases here will have to be collected at your designated airport.

Once done shopping, how about indulging in some of the best and most famous Thai street food? On the third floor of King Power Rangnam, you'll find a wide array of dining choices, featuring delectable local street delicacies such as kanom krok (Thai coconut pancakes) and fried bananas. Personally, I highly recommend the former — it's my absolute favourite and a definite must-try when you’re here!

Besides that, the renowned pad thai stall Thipsamai can also be found here! While Thipsamai specialises in pad thai (Thai stir-fry rice noodle), I would recommend getting the fresh orange juice — it’s the freshest and pulpiest orange juice I’ve ever tried!

We saved some room for dinner and headed to Jodd Fairs DanNeramit, a pretty well-known night market in Bangkok. To my surprise, this night market boasts a stunning castle, ample seating, and numerous photo opportunities! It's unlike any night market I've experienced back home! 

Escaping the throngs of crowds, we found a hidden gem in the market.  Each bite of these Thai delicacies was an explosion of flavour. Seafood mango salad, pla pao (authentic Thai grilled fish), fresh fruit smoothies…you name it! 

Out of everything, the grilled fish was my favourite. I also recommend the local way of eating the fish — wrapping it together with the vegetables and rice noodles, then dipping it in the tangy dipping sauce! It’s truly aroi mak (delicious).

After dinner, we returned to the hotel and were surprised to find live music being played at the cafe adjacent to the entrance. Before calling it a day, I took a quick stroll to the nearby 7-Eleven store, just a three-minute walk from the hotel. They always say that shopping at 7-Eleven is a must when in Thailand! In addition to local snacks, I also picked up some skincare samples.

Day 4: Donning Chut Thai at Wat Arun, and last-minute shopping spree!

The final day of our trip to Bangkok started with a visit to the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun. But what made it even more special was that we were adorned in Chut Thai, the elegant traditional Thai attire. There are many Chut Thai rental stores in front of the temple offering a wide variety of Chut Thai selections. The staff here assisted me in donning the beautiful dress and jewellery, completing the traditional Thai attire.

TripZilla Tip: Fret not if you’ve come unprepared, as there are packages available that include hair styling and makeup services, too.

Sawasdee ka! Although the weather was extremely hot that day, we thoroughly enjoyed photo-taking and walking around Wat Arun. 

We cooled off by treating ourselves to coconut water and fresh mangoes. Somehow, the fruits in Thailand just taste extra sweet and refreshing.

Next, we made our way to Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok, the first premium outlet in the country. With over 300 local and international brands offering high discounts, including luxury brands from around the world, it's undoubtedly a shopping gem worth exploring.

Note: There are Muslim-friendly eateries available in Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok.

My last meal of this Bangkok trip was at S&P Siam Premium Outlets, a modern restaurant and bakery specialising in local cuisine. I recommend the juices and smoothies, as well as the flavourful pad thai here.

After fulfilling our tummies, it was time to shop once more. I was overwhelmed by the dazzling array of discounted items and famous brands at the mall! It’s a world-class shopping destination indeed. Alas, I managed to score a windbreaker from The North Face at a slightly lower price. 

TripZilla Tip: Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok also provides shuttle service to and from the  Suvarnabhumi Airport, for only ฿100 (~US$2.70 or ~S$3.70) per trip. Get more information on the departure times and boarding place here.

Also read: Muslim-Friendly Chiang Mai Guide: Halal Eateries & Places to Go for Muslim Travellers

Here you have it, a Muslim-friendly Bangkok itinerary along with some helpful travel tips. I hope this article offers some valuable insights for your future Bangkok adventures, especially if you’re a dedicated shopaholic! Wishing you safe and joyful travels ahead.

A special thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, AirAsia and Big C Supermarket for inviting me on such a wonderful trip!  All images credited to Cecelia Chang. 

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