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An insider tips on bargain hunting.

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As you probably already know, the Airport Plaza offers variety of products and prices from the most affordable to the very expensive. Me? I love myself good bargain hunting, so you won’t find me in the most exclusive boutiques trying on Prada, Gucci, Versace & Co.

Instead, I can give you few tips you need to know if you hunting, pardon, shopping in this massive shopping centre.

First of all,

The ground floor is your shopping Mecca – most of the shops here are small individual vendors, who are happy to give you all sorts of discounts to ensure well needed sale. It is a hybrid of Sunday Market versus Warorot Market minus the heat.

A huge advantage is a big Thai food area with street food prices. You find a million and one fruit shakes for 20 baht, most of the meals are 25-30 baht, plus do try an absolutely delicious Kao soi. Again minus the heat.

The higher you are up, the higher are the prices as a rule in The Airport Plaza. First floor is a mix of Thai brands and well known global brands, a plenty of small shops with the prices which are still affordable. You’re looking at mostly clothes, shoes, few hairdressers and restaurants and coffee shops. There are few cheap shoe shops on this floor, worth looking at.

shoe shop airport,-chiang mai

Second floor for me holds the advantage of Roberto – a medium size shoe shop.

It’s not Clarks, but their shoes are very comfy, well made, fashionable and affordable. The price range is about 300-400 baht, and less if they are on sale. Beats the Warorot Market for me every time.

Otherwise, the formula is the same again – shoes, clothes, cosmetics, coffee shops etc.

Third floor is full of electronics and mobile phones. Personally I think you’ll get better prices at Icon Plaza and Electronic Plaza.

Forth floor is a mish mash of clothes, books, and beauty shops and plus the cinema of course. Do check out an outlet for Export 71 shop if you know what I’m talking about. Their prices are quite low, although the assortment is not the best, but western sizes available.

If you are on the tight budget –  stay away from the big supermarket – Robinsons, unless you are prepared to pay European prices. The same applies to The Northern Village – I do not blame the vendors for the prices, as they have to pay an excruciatingly high rent for their shops plus about 30% from the sales on top of it to the Airport Plaza. But as a result, the products here are 4-5 times more expensive than in Sankampaeng or the Night Bazaar.  You’re better of going hunting for souvenirs to Saturday Walking Street or Sunday Market – more fun and easier on the pocket prices.

Monday is the quietest day for shopping with the parking lots being half empty, and Sunday is the craziest accordingly. Although Sunday shopping has its charms – there are few stages in the shopping centre with the talent competitions and all sorts of strange local promotions from baby crawling to beauty transvestite contests. If you’ve never seen it you should check it out for pure Asian shopping experience.

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