Tips for Steemfest attendees: Visit MBK on your last day

in thailand •  15 days ago 

It is extremely likely that you will be flying into and out of Thailand in Bangkok and if you are attending SF4 there are a few things that I think you shouldn't miss while traveling in Thailand. MBK is one of them.

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What is MBK? Well, MBK is a massive shopping mall. I generally hate shopping and shopping malls for the most part but MBK is different because a lot of the merchandise on certain floors are of questionable legality. It's not drugs or weapons or anything silly like that, but for the most part there is an awful lot of less-than-authentic merchandise. This part of the world is relatively "famous" for making copies of famous brands and although they are sold on the streets, you can get them at the source in MBK for even less.

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I'm not a fashion guy, nor do i particularly care for labels but I know a lot of people that do like that sort of thing. I am not really up to speed on these kind of things but I think Supreme is a hot brand right now because that is what a lot of the MBK stores focus on.


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When you arrive at MBK it can be a bit overwhelming. It is relatively well-known that this mall is the "cheapest" shopping mall in all of Bangkok, if not the entire country. Tens of thousands of people come to this building every day. I have seen some estimates as high as 100,000 per day. If you are not a fan of crowds, this will likely not be a very comfortable experience for you... nor will a vast majority of anything else in Bangkok.

Since the place is massive, I'll give you some tips so that you don't have to spend the entire day in there. Some of these may seem obvious.

  • Head to the higher floors: The rent on the bottom floors is obviously more expensive and this is reflected in their prices. Since this a mall of "copies" you can expect to see the same shirt / watch / handbag / whatever at many different shops
  • Unless the store is the official store of whatever brand you are looking at, assume it is a fake. There are around 2,000 shops in MBK and most of it is either no-name or knock-off merch
  • If there is a price written on an item, this is not really the price and negotiation is expected in most situations. This can make many foreigners nervous but it is kind of the only method one can employ to insure you aren't paying too much. For example: I have seen a Supreme knock-off shirt with a price tag that says 600 baht on it... which seems like a great price compared to the legit thing... However, I know for a fact that you can get that shirt for 200 or even 150 baht.
  • It is a profoundly stupid idea to get any electronics here other than a "burner phone" - the manufacturer will almost certainly not honor the warranty and there is also a very good chance it is fake also. Do not believe any "certificates of authenticity" or any other such paper proof.... Some factory is capable of making a convincing copy of a MacBook Pro.... do you really think they can't make a copy of a certificate?
  • Stay away from any software bundles: In my experience a lot of the packages simply don't work or come pre-loaded with malware.

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Watches are one of my favorite things to look at, plus some of these copies are actually quite good quality

If you are staying at the Prince Palace Hotel (the official hotel of Steemfest) you are actually very close to MBK anyway. It is only one stop down the disgusting "river" using the canal ferry. For the love of everything holy, do not touch that water :P

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I suggested going to this place on your last day in the country because you don't want to be lugging all this crap around the rest of the Thailand do you?

In the event that you arrive at MBK and the entire situation ends up not being your cuppa tea the day is not lost. This part of the city is filled with loads of other things to do including a giant aquarium that is right across the street. It is also the location of National Stadium BTS (skytrain) and this will connect you to the rest of the city.

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Nice write up, If I'm not mistaken there are many jewellery shop too selling gold & diamond.

well, this can be a dangerous decision in a mall of fakes. I think that it is probably a good idea to stay away from precious metals and stones unless you are an expert in that field. The "Gem Scam" is a really old one in Thailand but still a few people get suckered into it every now and then.

Excellent recommendation, it's a little scary but you have to take the risk haha!

I am not going to the Steemfest but mahn ain't I jealous of those who are... They are going to one place I badly want to visit ~or live if possible.~ But I think I would avoid that mall... 100k people would definitely suffocate me. I don't do very well with crowds...

Up country? Most probably :) Thanks for the visual tour.

are you attending sf?

unless something terrible happens with my ability to legally stay in Thailand, yes.

Why is the dodgiest stuff always on the top floor?! Same in Manila at the Glorietta shipping centre in Makati... hehe.., I will be staying at the Prince Palace Hotel, so thanks for the info!

I think it is on the top floor for 2 reasons. The rent is the cheapest and also (and this is just a rumor) the mall has "spotters" on the lower levels, so if the cops come in to do their annual pretending to care about counterfeit merchandise, the spotters let the top floors know and give them a chance to close the shop doors or hide all the spurious stuff :)

the mall has "spotters" on the lower levels, so if the cops come in to do their annual pretending to care about counterfeit merchandise, the spotters let the top floors know and give them a chance to close the shop doors or hide all the spurious stuff

Haha, hilarious... some things in the west like this no longer happens.. though it did when I was a lot younger.

You should come to Ireland and see similar things happen @slobberchops! Unless, of course, you don't view Ireland as the West... ;)

My wife, @bingbabe wants badly to go to Ireland, the Giant Causeway is a huge attraction for both of us.

The Giant Causeway and surrounding area is stunning. I'm working on starting up my own Ireland travel company, so let me know when you're coming this way :) I can tell you about the main attractions but also about beautiful spots off the beaten track that the tourists never hear about. There are sooo many places people don't even know about, even the Irish.

Anyone going to steemfest and not taking a several week journey via boat is a pussy boi. Planes are for turbo virgins, real men travel the seas and get scurvy and shit.

that does sound like the manliest method of getting there. Since I am already in the country i suppose i need to ride my buffalo the 800 km or so.

I guess, but only if the buffalo is covered in bees and hopped up on meth. Maybe wear an edgy skull mask bandanna over your face with a black coat as well so you look like a 14 year old school shooter.

Nice work! Very good guide!
They should give you a commission or a bottle of wine!

Have a nice weekend!

Interesting mall, thanks for the info. See you in Bangkok I guess

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Great write up my friend!
When I was in Bangkok last time I got a burrner phone from a mall like that. Lol, what an adventure that was.
I hope to make it back this year for the SteemFest.

Some factory is capable of making a convincing copy of a MacBook Pro.... do you really think they can't make a copy of a certificate?

Hahahaha. That is a great bit of logic. :D

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Great info! I really wish I was going to be able to attend. It sounds like there are plenty of great things to see an do around there. I am not a huge fan of crowds, but I would probably visit the mall at least once just to say I did it. I am horrible at negotiating though. I'd probably need to have my wife do all of that :)

Looking closer at the itinerary for SF it appears as though there is a bowling night.... it may actually take place at MBK because there is a bowling alley on the top of the building.

Oh wow, that is pretty cool. Bowling is always a great social activity. I used to be on a league. We were horrible, but we had fun.

Are you going to the steemfest?