Pratunam Market is a major market selling clothes, shoes, and fashion accessories at wholesale prices. Enter the small alleys and jam-packed small streets and you will find yourself in the middle of a clothes-maze. Prices are very cheap, and most shops offer retail prices for single pieces.
More than a shopping experience, the market offers an immersion in the local way of life – vendors working their sewing machines, packing and unpacking orders, carting trolleys up and down the narrow aisles, and shouting gossip at each other for lack of a better thing to do. It offers a stark glimpse into what shopping used to be like before air-conditioned malls.
Shops and vendor stalls at Pratunam Market display all kinds of clothes, from shorts, T-shirts, formal evening dresses, suits, winter jackets to bizarre outfits and costumes. The section closer to Petchaburi Road has a large concentration of fancy dress and embroidered costumes (think sequins, feathers and beads).
Good to know about Pratunam Market
Pratunam Market – and wholesalers who come to get their supplies – targets lower- to lower-middle income buyers, and as with other outdoor markets in Bangkok, price reflects quality. Shops offer wholesale prices when you buy three pieces or more, although buying single pieces won’t cost you that much more. On top of that, bargaining is acceptable, though you barely need to – items are already very cheap.
Some rules of thumb: No exchange, no trying on and no refund. When you see brand-name items, expect, at best, copies.
The market itself is open 24 hours, but the dynamic is different throughout the day. Retail shops open at about 10:00 until 21:00, but again this may vary. For visitors and shoppers, the best time to go is between 11:00 and 20:00.