With that being said, throw in some delicious street food, all the bubble tea you can dream of and ridiculously cheap prices and I could maybe deal with the s-word. Scratch that, I could happily go on a full day shopping spree!
My shopping threashhold is just about enough to visit one market in each country I travel to. For me, its not about Visiting markets in a foreign country is always an experience. The smells, unique goods and funky vendors always make for a good cultural encounter. For me, it's not about buying things, but rather a way to experience the local way of life by meeting street vendors and learning about unique foods and crafts. However, there is always a tourist element to each market and eventually they all mix together in a blur of "I heart (insert city)" shirts.
Bangkok markets have set a new standard for street shopping. Everything from trendy women's boutiques, hand designed and screen printed shirts, chandeliers and stationary shops can be found here. And all for 10-20% of the price you would pay in the United States.
My first day in Bangkok I woke up Dreary and smothered by the heat and humidity. I was tempted not to venture out of the air conditioning at all, but I read about a weekend market and figured it could fill an afternoon and be a fun way to see some of the city. After a heaping bowl of Thai noodle soup for lunch, I hopped on the sky train which took me directly to the market. I was immediately greeted with a boba stand (flavored tea with tapioca balls at the bottom) and had to indulge.
With boba in hand I was ready to tackle the alleyways of Bangkok's favorite weekend market. As I admired the local artwork and fingered through boxes of exotic Thai gadgets, I quickly realized I needed a wardrobe adjustment. My bermuda shorts and cotton tee shirt would not cut it. First of all I was producing enough sweat to fill a small kiddie pool and second, all the Thai women looked amazing in their sun dresses and perfectly put together outfits.
I found the styling women's clothes section of the market (actually about 80% of the market was women's clothes) and got to work. Each boutique I visited sported all hand made clothing being sold by the designer herself. The Thais were happy to see me and extremely relaxed which was a nice change from pushy street vendors in almost every country I have visited prior.
In the end, I came home with two new dresses and a new tee shirt all for under $20. No complaints here! If it weren't for my tiny backpack, let's just say it wouldn't be hard to develop a bit of a shopping problem.