There are two places to do your duty free shopping in Bangkok:
Both places offer the same kind of goods but at the large King Power Duty free shop in the center of Bangkok, you can do all your duty free shopping in Thailand before you even get to the airport. There are a few issues with this, such as you can't take the goods away with you. You order your goods and collect them at the airport just before you leave the country, which doesn't sound so great. Imagine ordering an Omega watch or Coach Handbag and then arrive at the airport to find it's not available or something is wrong and you've got minutes to catch your flight.
King Power Bangkok
King Power duty free shops have a complete monopoly in the duty free stakes within Thailand. Almost all alcohol, perfume, chocolate and so on is sold within a King Power duty free shop. This applies to the Bangkok International Airport and the Pullman Hotel Duty Free Shopping. Prices are a little steep for chocolates and candy but for wine, spirits and cigarettes, the prices are quite competitive although you won't find Marlboro's on sale
Getting To King Power at Pullman HotelTake the BTS to Victory Monument and then walk slightly down Rang Nam Road and on the left you will see golf cart type buggies parked on the left. Maybe just one or two depending on how busy they are, but just tell the driver you want to go to King Power and he will drive you there for free.
The drive is just a few seconds down the road and you can easily walk it but why walk when you can ride for free ?
Click Here for a map to King Power Duty Free
Suvanabhumi Airport Duty FreeWith all the same shops as King Power at Pullman Hotel, the duty free at Bangkok's International Airport hosts a large number of duty free shops by top brands such as Coach, Mulberry, Gucci and so on.
The airport is split a bit like a "T" shape so when you have passed through passport control, you either turn left or right depending on your departure gate but this does not prevent you from venturing around the opposite direction if you want, but to make allowance for the fact that people might only go to their part, the duty free shops are in both sections although the top brand name shops are centralised and there is only one of each.
We've often heard that duty free is a bit of a scam, especially when many, many items are on sale at hugely increased prices.
Take chocolate for example. A small bag of mini Cadbury's chocolates is on sale for 650 Baht, up 100 Baht from 550 Baht. This is 12 UK pounds !! for a small bag of mini milk chocolates, whereas 12 UK pounds, in the UK would probably quite easily buy you 5 times the amount of the exact same chocolate; just in bigger bars.
Images used are courtesy of King Power Duty Free which can be found at King Power Duty Free
Suvanabhumi Airport Duty Free Shopping
The duty free shops within the international airport at Bangkok are scattered around liberally and so where ever you are within the duty free area, you will find some duty free shops selling common items such as alcohol, chocolates and other similar items.
Duty free alcohol is probably the best buy at Bangkok duty free. Wines that cost 1,500 baht in supermarkets can be bought for 550 Baht in duty free.
1 liter of either Gordon's or Bombay gin is about 500 Baht and other alcoholic drinks are also similarly cheaper than in standard shops.
Taking over 100 ml of liquids onto a plane that has not been purchased within the duty free section is not permitted. In London, you declare all liquids before going into duty free or boarding areas and you can then buy bottles on water, soft drinks etc and then take them onto the plane, BUT NOT IN BANGKOK. If you buy duty free alcohol, it will be sealed into a special duty free bag which proves you have bought it from a secure area.
You can open the bag once on the plane, but at Bangkok's International Airport, you are checked for liquids just before going to the boarding gate and once past that check point, there is no more access to liquids or drinks, so grab your drinks before going to the security check.This is true for perfumes and any other liquids.
Strangely enough, you can't buy Marlboros at the duty free in Bangkok. You can buy many other brands, but Marlboro is one that you won't find anywhere. A carton of 200 will set you back in the region of 450 Baht with the price increasing only slightly for more superior brands.
Perfumes & Cosmetics
There is plenty to choose from in this category and you can make some decent savings compared to regular shops.
The cosmetics and perfume counters are very large and very easy to find and there is usually plenty of staff on hand to assist with your purchases. Most brands are readily available and there is a good selection.
This is not a good section within the duty free shopping area. There is a small dedicated electronics shop but it's not very good and prices are high. Electrical goods are much cheaper in places like Pantip Plaza, MBK or Fortune Tower Arcade.
Places To Eat
There are a number of places to eat around the duty free section, but they are not easy to find as they are tucked away around a corner and headed towards Gates G & F where you can find Burger King, Pizza Company, a Thai restaurant as well as a Chinese restaurant some sandwhich bars and various other places to get something to eat but it can be expensive. A bottle of water which normally costs 10 Baht is as high as 70 Baht, so be prepared.
Rather than paying a lot of money to eat at Bangkok's international airport, why not prepare some sandwiches of your own ? If you can, prepare your own sandwiches and take them with you. You can even take them on the plane to compensate for the pretty awful food that is being served these days.
Hotels Near The Airport