Shopping in Southeast Asia

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Siem Reap

    Artisans Angkor

    On the premises of Les Chantiers Écoles is this beautiful shop, which sells everything from stone and wood reproductions of Angkorian-era statues to household furnishings. It also has a second shop opposite Angkor Wat in the Angkor Cafe building, and outlets at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap international airports. All profits from sales go back into funding the school and bringing more young Cambodians into the training programme, which is 20% owned by the artisans themselves.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Singapore

    Jewel

    Located at Changi airport, and directly connected to Terminals 1, 2 and 3, Jewel is a multi-dimensional lifestyle destination jam-packed with food outlets, retail stores and entertainment options – kids will go crazy for the numerous mazes and suspended sky net. However, it's the central 40m indoor waterfall surrounded by a mythical garden that will leave your jaw on the floor.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Yangon

    Bogyoke Aung San Market

    Several hours can easily be spent at this historic covered market, with over 2000 stalls selling everything from gold and diamond jewellery to tattoos. It also offers the largest selection of Myanmar handicrafts and souvenirs you’ll find in one location and is a good place to find tailors. Sometimes called by its old British name, Scott Market, this is an ideal place to pick up some nice slippers, convenient for all the on-and-off demanded by paya protocol, and a longyi (sarong-style lower garment); U Maung Maung has a good selection ranging from ones made of cotton (from K4000) to silk mix (from K9500) and best-quality silk (K30,000). Also look out for Myanmar Yanant Textile selling hand-woven and naturally dyed cotton from Meikhtila made into traditional clothes and accessories such as scarves, caps and bags. At the rear northwest corner England Vision Optical has good-value prescription glasses in a multitude of frames. Upstairs in the market's southeast Yo Ya May and Chin Chili are both excellent for hill-tribe textiles including the colourful works of Chin State, such as blankets and shawls embroidered with scenes of village life. Also in this section, Heritage Gallery offers a good selection of authentic and reproduction antiques and retro items with an emphasis on lacquerware. There are some local-interest books, too. By the central entrance is the art gallery Taw Win with a wide range of colourful, locally produced art, and a branch of the retro-themed fashion and homeware accessories brand Yangoods. There are plenty of places in the centre of the market to grab a drink and snack including juice vendors and tea and coffee shops.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Phnom Penh

    Russian Market

    This sweltering bazaar is the one market all visitors should come to at least once during a trip to Phnom Penh. It is the place to shop for souvenirs and discounted name-brand clothing. We can’t vouch for the authenticity of everything, but, along with plenty of knock-offs, you'll find genuine articles stitched in local factories. Brands you're likely to see include Banana Republic, Billabong, Calvin Klein, Colombia Sportswear, Gap and Next. The Russian Market, so called by foreigners because the predominantly Russian expat population shopped here in the 1980s, also has a large range of handicrafts and antiquities (many fake), including miniature Buddhas, woodcarvings, betel-nut boxes, silks, silver jewellery, musical instruments and so on. Bargain hard, as hundreds of tourists pass through here every day. There are some good food stalls in the Russian Market if you are feeling peckish.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Chiang Mai

    Sunday Walking Street

    On Sunday afternoon Th Ratchadamnoen is taken over by the boisterous Sunday Walking Street, which feels even more animated than Th Wualai's Saturday Walking Street because of the energetic food markets that open up in wát courtyards along the route, in addition to the usual selection of handmade items and northern Thai–themed souvenirs. If you went to Th Wualai on Saturday, you'll recognise many of the same sellers and buskers that you spotted the night before. The markets are a major source of income for local families and many traders spend the whole week handmaking merchandise to sell on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Kuala Lumpur

    Pavilion KL

    Pavilion sets the gold standard in KL's shopping scene. Amid the many familiar international luxury brands, there are branches of chains including COS, Muji and Zara. For a quick trip to Japan, head to the Tokyo Street of stalls on the 6th floor. There's an excellent food court in the basement, and a huge array of cafes and restaurants scattered throughout the building. Note that when you enter the mall from Jln Bukit Bintang, you are already on level 3. The mall is connected to its new extension Pavilion Elite.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Siam Square, Pratunam, Phloen Chit & Ratchathewi

    MBK Center

    This eight-storey market in a mall has emerged as one of Bangkok’s top attractions. On any given weekend half of Bangkok's residents (and most of its tourists) can be found here combing through a seemingly inexhaustible range of small stalls, shops and merchandise. MBK is Bangkok's cheapest place to buy mobile phones and accessories (4th floor). It's also one of the better places to stock up on camera gear (ground floor and 5th floor), and the expansive food court (6th floor) is one of the best in town.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Chiang Mai

    Saturday Walking Street

    The Saturday Walking Street takes over Th Wualai, running southwest from Pratu Chiang Mai at the southern entrance to the old city. There is barely space to move as locals and tourists from across the world haggle vigorously for carved soaps, novelty dog collars, woodcarvings, Buddha paintings, hill-tribe trinkets, Thai musical instruments, T-shirts, paper lanterns and umbrellas, silver jewellery and herbal remedies.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Siem Reap

    Angkor Night Market

    Siem Reap's original night market near Sivatha St has sprung countless copycats, but it remains the best and is well worth a browse. It's packed with stalls selling a variety of handicrafts, souvenirs and silks. Island Bar offers regular live music and Sombai offers infused organic rice wines for those who want to make a night of it.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Chinatown & the CBD

    BooksActually

    Arguably Singapore's coolest bookshop, BooksActually has a refreshing selection of fiction and nonfiction titles, including works by Singaporean authors, and no shortage of beautiful tomes spanning art, architecture, photography and more. Scour the back for vintage photographs, signage, Chinese crockery and curios.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Holland Village, Dempsey Hill & the Botanic Gardens

    Bynd Artisan

    Connoisseurs of bespoke stationery and leather will love this sublime store that prides itself on artisanal excellence. Select from the range of handmade journals or spend time customising your own; don't forget to deboss your name. Other items include leather travel accessories and jewellery pieces. For the complete artist experience, sign up for a course (from S$78) in leather crafting or bookbinding. Due to the store's popularity a number of new outlets have cropped up in ION Orchard Mall, Takashimaya and Raffles City.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Singapore

    Design Orchard

    Like a breath of retail fresh air, Design Orchard pays homage to local talent and Singaporean design compared to the big-name brands dotting Orchard Rd. The spacious first level retail space, operated by Naiise, showcases curated tiny tastes of over 60 local designers and includes everything from skincare to clothing, accessories to chocolate. Pattern lovers should not miss Onlewo's iconic designs. The 2.5-storey development is designed by famed local award-winning architecture firm WOHA Architects, and houses designer incubation spaces on the second level and an events space on the rooftop.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Luang Prabang

    Handicraft Night Market

    Every evening this tourist-oriented but highly appealing market assembles along Th Sisavangvong and is deservedly one of Luang Prabang’s biggest tourist lures. Low-lit, quiet and devoid of hard selling, it has myriad traders hawking silk scarves and wall hangings, plus Hmong appliqué blankets, T-shirts, clothing, shoes, paper, silver, bags, ceramics, bamboo lamps and more. Prices are remarkably fair but cheaper 'local' creations sometimes originate from China, Thailand or Vietnam – as a rule of thumb, if it's a scarf or bed runner, those with perfectly smooth edges are factory-made copies.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Ipoh

    Kong Heng Square Artisan Market

    During the colonial era, these walls formed the city's large single shop block. Today a cluster of craft stalls has sprung up around this light-flooded atrium in Ipoh's old town. Don't miss pausing to slurp an ice ball at Bits & Bobs (RM5) or browsing the cutesy pachyderm-themed purses and trinkets at Why Not Elephants. Other colourful independent sellers here include Ipoh Craftnerds and Living Art, peddling everything from quirky jewellery and handmade postcards to antique suitcases and crockery.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Hua Hin

    Seenspace

    Seenspace is Thailand's first beachfront mall and word is still getting out. A trendy layout of concrete walls and open-air areas comprise food stands and air-conditioned havens, like Isan eatery Der. Most visitors are drawn in by the beach club Oasis, with its photogenic beanbags and infinity pool. There's much more food than shopping at the moment, with the exception being the slick designer store Seek35. There is also a boutique hotel upstairs.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Canggu

    Love Anchor

    Built in a traditional joglo style, this wood- and palm-tree-laden Canggu village is the trifecta of hipster retail, food and shopping. You can kick back with a Bintang or fuel up on everything from pizzas and burgers to smoothies and vegan-friendly fare before browsing boutiques and surf shops. The open-air weekend bazaar (9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday) is a one-stop shop for everything from Balinese souvenir essentials (circular rattan purse, anyone?) to chic custom leather goods and delicate jewellery hand-made by local artisans.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Yangon

    Turquoise Mountain

    Reviving traditional crafts, including jewellery making and textile weaving, is the mission of this NGO which occupies a beautifully restored, heritage Chinese shophouse. It's possible to watch the artisans trained to produce pieces using gold and semiprecious stones, designed by ethical jeweller Pippa Small among others. Turquoise Mountain has also been involved in several high-profile architectural restoration projects around the city.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Yangon

    Hla Day

    Meaning 'beautiful' in Burmese, Hla Day is a superb example of a social-enterprise shop. It offers quality contemporary and traditional handicrafts sourced from local producers often struggling to overcome disability, exclusion and poverty. You'll find colourful adult and kids' clothing, soft toys, stationery, jewellery, homewares and more. New items include a selection of top-quality lacquerware by Bagan-based Black Elephant, and a small coffee and juice bar.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Bangkok

    ICONSIAM

    This megamall on the Chao Phraya River has six floors dedicated to luxury shopping, encompassing everything from high-end to high street. It also rolls in two food courts to suit all palates and budgets. Adding to its diversity are speciality restaurants, a conjoined multilevel Japanese department store, the much-touted River Museum on the 8th floor, and a 12-theatre cinema. To get here, hop onto the free shuttle boat that operates from Sathorn/Central Pier during the mall's business hours.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in South Jakarta

    Aksara

    A wide selection of books (many in English) plus fine stationery and writing accessories make this hip hang-out a must-stop for anyone interested in words on paper. There's a small cafe serving coffee and cakes, plus a workshop offering various creative classes including sessions in pottery and art (enquire within about schedules). Straight through the shop is a hidden mini courtyard with a retro photography store and independent cinema.