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Thailand: Shopping Utopia!

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When you think ‘Thailand,’ the first image that pops into your head is that of white sandy beaches along an aquamarine sea, and the blue, blue sky. Ah, but the country has this – and so much more to offer.When female visitors come to Thailand, their focus is more on relaxing, luxurious spa treatments and incredible shopping deals. Therefore, in August 2016, to commemorate the Queen Mother’s 84th birthday, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) launched some unique initiatives for the month, which include spa, wellness and beauty treatments, and shopping excursions.

Thai women like to maintain their complexion, dress well and look attractive at all times and therefore, beauty regimens here are the norm rather than the exception. Massages, facials, hair colouring, nail art, eyebrow tattoo-ing…since looking good is part of the daily routine, there are plenty of spas and beauty salons in Thailand, from the really upscale to the budget, home-run ones and a huge advantage for female tourists is that the procedures are definitely less expensive than their home countries.

Not for nothing is Thailand called a shoppers’ paradise! From high-end and upscale malls that feature the Who’s Who in international brands, to local markets such as the weekend-only Chatuchak, China Town, Amphawa floating market or Talat Rot Fai (Railway market) to the night bazaars in every major city from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Hua Hin to Pattaya, Phuket to Krabi – there’s never a dull moment. The Thais love shopping almost as much as they love eating, and so there is streetside shopping to be had on virtually any soi! Handbags, textiles and ready-made clothes are what the ladies usually head for in Bangkok, while tribal art and handicrafts have a deservedly well-earned reputation in Chiang Mai. In Chiang Rai, delicate silver and jade ornaments that come across from neighbouring Myanmar are very popular.

And speaking of clothes, Bangkok is justly famed for its many bespoke tailoring shops that do a fantastic job of taking exact measurements, stitching the clothes to perfection and delivering it to your hotel, all within 6-8 hours of the first order! The fabrics are all of superior quality and laid out for you to choose from, while the tailors are familiar with the latest cuts and styles. It would be a rare woman indeed who does not get a suit or two or perhaps, a coat, made to order, while she enjoys a spa treatment in the Land of Smiles!

In support of TAT’s project, Mrs Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the Honourable Minister for Tourism and Sports, said that August 2016 in particular would hold special offers and privileges for lady travellers; apart from shopping, these promotions also apply to airlines, hotels, hospitals and sports clubs. Further, the ‘Amazing Thailand Grand Sale’ dateline has been extended until the 31st August 2016.

What are you waiting for? Let’s hit the stores already!

Written by : Punam Mohandas