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It is not an unusual sight to spot tourists heaping snacks they deliberately hoard from Bangkok on their homeward-bound journey. Here are the top 10 most-coveted items, edible and not, but all sensational, people usually buy when they are in Bangkok and want the best souvenirs of all. 😀
1. Mama Tom Yum Goong
Like everywhere else in the world, instant noodles are a delicious supplement as a late-night snack, and sometimes a savoury alternative to satisfy sinful yet tasty cravings. Among the most popular flavours of local instant noodle are ‘Moo Sab’ (minced pork) and ‘Tom Yum’ – and the latter resonates more with the famous national bowl.
Places to buy: Any supermarkets in town usually carry an aisle-packed of these Thai-style flavoursome instant noodles.
2. Tiger Balms
A traditional herbal balm that has become a global brand of cure-all soothing ointment. Although most people use it to ease muscle tensions, the balm is also great to soothe insect bites.
Places to buy: Grocery stores, convenience stores and supermarkets are the best places to buy the products.
3. Herbal Inhaler
We call it ‘Ya Dom’ – the inhaler or inhalant – that ranges from the traditional herbal concoctions in cream form to ointment or liquid forms. Good for a wake-me-up sniff, motion sickness, or boredom curing.
Places to buy: Eathai Supermarket at the Central Embassy (BTS: Phloen Chit), or many city supermarkets with sections dedicated to Thai products, such as the one at Siam Paragon (BTS: Siam). Or if you happen to see ones that you like near Wat Pho area (MRT: Sanam Chai – where traditional Thai medicine was deemed to be founded), buy some and try it out.
4. Crispy SQUIDDY & Seafood bites
A popular sweet and savoury snack, Thai-style crispy, savoury and sweet squid is made from sun-dried squids, pounded to paper-thin, slow-roasted and soaked in spicy, sweet, and savoury dressing. A delicious snack on its own, this delicious squid is also a great company with a cold beer.
Places to buy: Or Tor Kor Market sells these squiddy snacks in heaps, great for a hoarding purpose. For a smaller amount of purchases, any supermarkets will do. (MRT: Kamphaeng Phet)
5. Thai Fruit Chips
Green young durians are sliced, dried and deep-fried to make an unstoppable and crunchy snack. Also available and equally awesome are jackfruit and mango chips. The latter suits an afternoon tea set.
Places to buy: Most supermarkets in the city carry these specialities. Or Tor Kor also sells them in larger amounts. (MRT: Kamphaeng Phet)
6. Silk Scarfs and Shawls
You cannot come to Thailand and miss out on our traditional silk products. While the main producers are in the North and Northeast, Bangkok is the centre of all choices.
Places to buy: Chatuchak Weekend Market (MRT: Kamphaeng Phet). But then, you can scout for whatever you like at the main department stores in the city. Just look out for their souvenir or Thai designers sections.
7. Thai Curry Pastes
Browsing the supermarkets and fresh markets in Bangkok, one will immediately notice the wide variety of curry pastes. This is an opportunity to explore new local tastes. From the generic green and red curries, there are also pastes for Massaman, or Panaeng.
Places to buy: Supermarkets in the city are most likely to be the best place to shop. The packaged curries are meant to be stored for a longer time. However, if you like curry pastes rather fresh, you can buy some at the fresh markets, too. At Or Tor Kor where tourists usually go, curry paste shops are willing to pack your purchases for travels. (MRT: Kamphaeng Phet)
8. Coconut Oil Products
From virgin coconut oil to coconut oil, body and facial cream, shampoo, and lip balms, we have them all. Cold-pressed coconut oil, in particular, is great for your hair and skin.
Places to buy: City supermarkets usually have a wide selection. Or you can try many of the available health and organic product shops in Bangkok.
9. Thai Milk Tea
Want to bring a refreshing Thai taste back? Thai milk tea, the one that is a staple from street vendors to proper and chic restaurants, is now available in instant form. Just add water and you get yourself a sweet Thai treat. But then, for those sticklers for orthodox tea-making, the loose-leave version which you can brew to your own liking and add your own milk is also a great idea.
Places to buy: City supermarkets such as Tops and Gourmet Markets at Central Chidlom and Siam Paragon. (BTS: Phloen Chit, Chit Lom, Siam)
10. Thai Herbal Teas
Oh, we know we’ve got you at our lemongrass or tamarind teas served chilled as the ubiquitous, refreshing, and tropical welcome drinks. But then, there are also butterfly pea tea, bael fruit tea and so on – all from the local herbs and fruits.
Places to buy: While city supermarkets are very likely to carry those herbal teas, you can also buy these teas at fresh markets, or speciality stores, too.
Good Shopping Day, enjoy!
Read more about Top Places to Shop in Bangkok, Where to Shop.
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