Shopping in Pattaya is a wonderful experience that will leave you wanting for little. There are modern retail outlets all over town, alongside more traditional Thai style markets. The new and the old have found a harmony here to make shopping in Pattaya a paradise for those who enjoy serious retail therapy.
International hypermarkets like Tesco's and Big C are conveniently located for all your primary household needs, including food, clothing and electronic goods. Almost any major brands you can buy back home, you can find here, and often at better prices.
There is also plenty of choice for high end shopping malls for example the Pattaya Central Beach Complex which is a modern shopping centre incorporating a Central department store, Tops supermarket and an impressive selection of international brand shops. The centre also provides numerous entertainment options including movie theatres and a large bowling alley, making it a great one-stop shopping option, especially with the kids. Central Pattaya is currently the largest beachside shopping mall in South East Asia.
Shopping in Pattaya for hardware is easy with a range of specialised international chain stores like Home Pro and Index offer everything from top end power tools to imported designer furniture. For more personal items, Boots and Watson’s handle the retailing of care products you have become used to in your home country.
For the more traditional lifestyle experience, there are many open air farmer's markets around the city, where you can do a bit of haggling, and get very fresh produce for fantastic prices in a local environment.
Traditional handicrafts are everywhere, with a lot of wood and silk goods being sold from street and market stalls - be sure to get into the swing of things and bargain hard. In amongst these are many vendors selling copies of watches and designer clothing (some of them of surprisingly good quality).
Tailors are everywhere, and it is best to get a good word of mouth recommendation to find the best one. You can have perfectly fitting clothes made to order (very convenient for the larger-sized foreigner), out of just about any material. Fabric shops can also be a great bargain for quality, offering the famous Thai silk and other locally produced materials, since Thailand is a major producer of textiles for export.
Antique shops are common, many with some excellent pieces, but make sure you know a little about what you are buying. There are also a lot of Thai and Chinese style independent shops producing some beautiful new but traditionally-styled furniture, mainly from teak and other tropical woods. Also in the traditional line is a lot of Buddhist art, from carved jade, bronze and wood statues to jewellery in a broad range of designs and at very good prices. Thailand is one of the world’s major gem polishing centres and producers of finished jewellery, but shop around for a reputable retailer and be sure to do a little research before buying.
For your daily needs, there is always a 7-11 or Family Mart within a stone's throw of wherever you might happen to be.
For even more shopping malls, Bangkok offers some of the biggest super malls in Asia as well as a range of designer shops to compete with any city in the world.