Jeans are the fashion statement in Bangkok, Thailand. Worn by everyone from kids to trendy Thai teenagers, Thai rock musicians to middle-aged moms, ladyboys and beautiful Thai actresses, jeans range from ultra-expensive designer styles to $5 a pair and everything in between. Cheap jeans are de rigeur for much of Thai society though – you can even buy a pair of cheap jeans then dress them up with fabric paint, Swarovski crystal or stencils and suddenly have a pair that looks like a thousand bucks. There are many places to buy cheap jeans in Bangkok, these are just my favorites.
Chatuchak Weekend Market – Just about the best place in Bangkok to buy cheap jeans is Chatuchak Weekend Market. Open on Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday, Chatuchak Weekend Market has 15,000 stalls with about 250 of them selling cheap jeans. For new jeans, you’ll find stalls scattered throughout the market selling skinny, low-rise, high-waist, overalls, boot cut, capris, baggies – any style of jeans you’re looking for. Stalls range from western jeans stalls to punk, trendy to hundreds-of-pairs-thrown-in-a-pile jeans, but all at cheap prices. If you’re interested in vintage jeans, Chatuchak also has an amazing vintage section with vintage Levis and Wranglers for that urban chic look. Get to Chatuchak Weekend Market for a cheap pair of jeans by taking the sky train to Mo Chit station and following the crowd. The market opens at 9am and closes around 6:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays.
Mahboonkrong (MBK) Mall – A popular mall with teenagers and fashion hunters, MBK has hundreds of stalls and shops selling clothing, with at least 30 jeans shops. You’ll find two or three of the larger jeans shops on the cell phone floor (fourth floor), and many smaller jeans shops on the sixth floor. You’ll find jeans in brands you’ve never heard of, knock-off Levis, Wranglers, all styles, all colors, all sizes, and starting at only 200 baht ($5.50) for a pair of stylish, if not brand-name, jeans, you could end up like me with nine pairs at one go.
Platinum Fashion Mall – One of the most popular places in Bangkok to buy cheap clothing, Platinum Fashion Mall is also wonderful for buying jeans. With around 1,300 shops, Platinum is huge, but you’ll definitely find cheap jeans here. Just remember the Platinum system, as it’s mostly wholesale – if you buy one pair or one of anything, then the price isn’t that cheap, if you buy three or more of each item or at one shop (and you can mix and match), then the price comes down around 40-50% per piece. Jeans can even be bought as cheap as 100 baht per pair ($3) if you buy a few pairs at the same shop.
Pratunam Market – Around the same area as Platinum Fashion Mall is Pratunam Market, another wholesale market place. This one is outside but also undercover, and can be very hot especially in the summer. But with tons of stalls all selling trendy urban chic fashion, and many ultra fashionable jeans stalls (these jeans sell in western department stores for upwards of $50 a pair), you can buy an urban chic pair of jeans for $4-$5 and, again, the more pairs you buy the cheaper they are per pair.
You cannot beat shopping for jeans in Bangkok as markets, malls and shops sell them everywhere. These four places are the cheapest four places in Bangkok though for good quality, or brand name jeans and are fun to shop at too.