|Pharaoh - Best Bag Shop in BKK!|
Along with cowboy boots, handbags are my other weakness - and Bangkok has enough handbags to make even the most hard core shopper happy.
When we lived in Bangkok I had a favourite place for bags, Penny's, in the basement of a local mall, but that mall has now been demolished to build a newer and better mall. One thing you'll notice about Bangkok is that it just oozes malls. There are malls and shopping strips everywhere. Even if you're not crazy about shopping, you'll find you gravitate to the malls purely because of the air-conditioning - it's cool inside!
After I discovered that Penny's was no more, I asked around our friends who still lived in Bangkok to find out where they went for bags and they all recommended Pharaoh in MBK - and that's where I've been going ever since.
Bangkok is a mecca for copy/faux goods. You can see faux Lacoste, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger clothes everywhere. You can see faux Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Hermes bags everywhere - but Pharaoh does the best copies. They seem to favour Mulberry, Hermes and Todd bags in good leather that are well made - they don't do Louis Vuitton or Gucci. Their bags are not dirt cheap like you can get at the markets on the sides of the road, but their bags don't look like copy bags - they look like the real thing. The copies you buy on the side of the road LOOK like they're copies.
MBK is a huge, vast, giant, enormous (big, it's really, really big) multi storey shopping mall - not as fancy as some of the new ones, but it's a fantastic place to explore. Pharaoh might be a bit hard to find as MBK can be a bit confronting on your first visit, so here's how to find it ...
- Catch the Skytrain (BTS) to National Stadium stop
- After you exit through the ticket barrier, enter MBK through Tokyu department store, direct from the Skytrain platform - there is no need to go to street level
- Walk straight ahead until you hit the escalators
- Turn left and exit Tokyu through the doors opposite Bata shoe store
- Turn right and keep walking past the autobanks
- Keep to the right of the mall and keep walking
- You will walk past a bunch of handbag shops and you can stop if you see something you like and see what their price is, but don't buy until you've been to Pharaoh - if Pharaoh don't have what you want, go back to the other place
- You might think you've walked too far, as Pharaoh is a fair way down, but you'll get there, and once you do you'll find a store so crammed with handbags and purses that you have to shimmy along to get inside and see what's what
- If you can't reach what you're looking for in Pharaoh, just ask, the staff are really friendly and helpful
- The initial price they give you (which they will probably type into a calculator and show you) can be bargained down, but, as with everything in Thailand, do it politely and with a smile
- If you buy more than one thing, you can negotiate the prices down again
- If you're the first purchaser of the day, they might take your cash (cash only, no cards please) and touch it onto a lot of other goods in the store to bring them good luck - this is normal
|Bangkok Skytrain (BTS) Map - get off at National Stadium!|
Now you've got your bags, go and explore MBK - it's fantastic! If you're hungry, head up to the 6th floor food hall for a meal, it's so yummy (and clean, safe and cheap). One tip for the food hall - the stall owners don't take cash, you have to buy vouchers at the voucher stall at the entry of the food hall first. Any vouchers you don't use can be taken back to the voucher stall and they will give you your money back on the same day.
|Pharaoh's business card with all the info - they don't have a website|