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Monday, August 15, 2011

Thai Airways Market or ตลาดการบินไทย

The Perks of Working at Thai Airways

I was an intern at Thai Airways a few years back. I answered emails, telephones, worked in ticket sales, hunted down mysteriously lost mileage points, gave input for advertising slogans, edited newsletters and even sat in on a few press conferences. Oh what did I learn, you ask? Well! Did you know there's this really great market behind Thai Airways?!

I Fly Thai, and I Buy, Behind Thai 

In Thai it's ตลาดการบินไทย (Thai Airways market), officially known as ตลาดลุงเพิ่ม (talad lung puem)

The front area, closest to the Thai Airways headquarters, is non-aircon, narrow sois with lots of children's toys, clothes, imported Japanese snacks, and older Thai lady outfits. There's also some cute stalls interspersed that sell Zara and Topshop knockoffs, and of course lots of cold weather clothes for all those Thai Airways employees jetting off to God knows where.

The back area, connected to the non-aircon, but further from the main building, is open air but each shop is air-con. Here you will find the H&M and Topshop ferried in from overseas flights and even Thai brands like Sretsis and Kloset. And not the obvi fake Kloset that's been popping up left and right, but real pieces a few thousand cheaper than Paragon.  Real, first hand pieces, bought for a discount by the shop owner. Goes without saying that selection is very limited.

I found a couple cute skirts and a 'Fendi' dress. Fendi straight from the sweatshops of Guangzhou more like it. Things are even more pricey than Siam here, with mostly imported and branded goods. Lots of Class A bags to turn your coworkers green with envy, and curiosity as to how you can afford them, if that's your thing. 

How to Shop There

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 10am-4pm, Closed on Sunday [Caution: Mon-Fri from 12-1pm you will be engulfed in a moshpit of office ladies]
How to get there: Enter from Viphavadee Rangsit Soi 22 or from the back of the Thai Airways headquarters, on the main Viphavadee Rangsit Rd. MRT Ladprao is closest, or BTS Mor Chit/MRT Chatuchak Park are a bit farther away but still convenient. Take a motorcycle (no more than 60Baht from BTS Mor Chit, less from MRT Ladprao) or taxi from there. Don't ask me about buses.

The air-con shop section of Thai Airways Market:

The non-air-con section, cheaper, non-branded, non-imported and more likely to be seen in Siam too:

Sunday, August 7, 2011


After a work event yesterday, which had me on my feet for about 12 hours, my legs just aren't up for a shopping trip around Siam. So time for some virtual browsing...

I just learned about the Remake/Remodel project which took place earlier this month in London. 4 next generation Thai designers, Sorada Thaiwaranon, Boat Khajeenikorn, Pun Sarasas and accessories designer, Rudi Joti, rework the most iconic of Thai textiles - Thai silk.

You know Thai silk. You've seen it on countless purple-haired Khun Yings, stiffly covering the modesty of female public officials at formal events and on almost every other Thai female over the age of 45 at one point or another. It's a beautiful fabric, but if anyone's in need of a facelift and some PR, it's Thai silk.

These Thai designers, each enrolled in design institutes in London, presented a commissioned collection featuring their interpretation of Thai silk. 

Although I love a bargain as much as the next girl, I want to see Thailand known for innovative fashion and design not just cheap Red Bull t-shirts. Hope these designers set up a flagship store in Siam Discovery soon! And hey, maybe one day Yingluck will be the Michelle Obama to their Thakoon.