Pratunam, which means ‘water gate’ in Thai, gets its name after the water gate that was needed for the nearby Saen Saep canal, made to connect with the Chaopraya River in the 1960’s.
A name fitting to this day, Pratunam is still that vibrant market place that used to flourish with fields of rice paddies and fresh food markets, but has evolved into a sea of endless retailers and shopping complexes flooded with the people that work and shop there.
Today, the area has become best known for buying clothes, garments, fashion accessories bags, shoes and jewelry pieces in bulk for wholesale prices in mazes of stocked and colorful vendor stalls ready to give you a discount - very popular with tourists on shopping sprees, small business owners and exporters.
Host of Outlet and Fashion Shopping Malls
The Platinum Fashion Mall is the most popular outlet mall in the area that sells A-grade fashion apparel. The large fashion mall is 6 floors and contains over 2,500 retailers, sells in bulk or pieces, and is attached to the Novotel Bangkok Hotel thankfully so, as covering everything here is a multiple day excursion of shopping.
The Palladium World is another large wholesale and retail shopping outlet in Pratunam that is 5-floors and larger than Platinum. The Palladium offers merchandise at varying scales of quality and on a wider range of items, not just clothes but appliances, IT products and food. Just beside it is the Palladium Hall and luxury Berkeley Hotel.
Pantip Plaza is Bangkok’s most well-known IT and electronics shopping mall for obtaining any electronics equipment TVs, mobile devices, computers and software available in Thailand. If Pantip Plaza doesn’t have the electronic gadget you seek on any of its 5 floors, nowhere else in Thailand will. Whether its budget or high-end, you can create any system from here.
Grand Diamond Plaza is another fashion mall, smaller in size, 4 levels but shares the common trait of offering loads of fashion clothes and accessories for low prices and being attached to a hotel, the Grand Diamond Suites Hotel.
On the opposite side of Platinum are too, a number of smaller shopping complexes, similar to their larger counterparts but offer varying grades and styles of clothes and fabrics. Across the street you’ll find shopping complexes Krung Thong Plaza, City Complex and Shibuya 19 which is attached to Glow, a chic hotel.
The Blocks of Pratunam
Down the Ratchaprarop part of Pratunam, you’ll pass by dozens of Thai handicraft shops and Indian restaurants until reaching the Indra Regent Hotel and Indra Square, another well-known and established wholesale apparel shopping complex. Beside it is the outdoor Pratunam Market, an experience of urban fashion and bargaining with vendors in crowded alleyways, images of what tourists shopping in Thailand come to find.
Other shopping centers exist here of course. The B-Gallery Fashion Mall geared towards the fashion of youths and the Garment Center at the base of Baiyoke Tower I.
It is Baiyoke Tower II or Baiyoke Sky Hotel which is the major landmark here and symbol of prosperity. The Baiyoke Sky Hotel is the tallest building in Thailand standing 304 meters, 85-storeys high and features hotel, 360 observation deck, international sky buffet, Rooftop Bar & Music Lounge, and the iconic BMW advertisement that can’t be missed from any expressway in Bangkok.
Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel is also located opposite Indra Square with yet another shopping complex attached downstairs, the Watergate Pavillion Mall.
Noteworthy is the reputable Amari Watergate Hotel with a perfect location across from the Platinum Fashion Mall and features the famous American Henry J Beans Bar and Grill along with other fine options to choose from.
Condominiums in Pratunam
Besides all the hotels, Pratunam has some quality condominiums with great front facing street location at the less busier edges of the locale.
At the Phayathai entrance of Pratunam are the multi-complex low-rise condominiums The Address Pathumwan and multi-complex high-rises Baan Klang Krung Siam-Pathumwan, both just short walks to BTS Ratchathewi as well.
Making your way nearer to the center of Pratunam is the Address Siam, a modernized contemporary condominium with spacious rooms. Alongside it is the new luxury project the Wish Signature.
Enclosing the Pratunam area on its opposite end is Chidlom road where you’ll find new project 'Q Chidlom-Petchaburi' and the New York inspired Manhattan Chidlom condominium for amazing views of Pratunam and Central World, and it’s also pet-friendly.
Pratunam can still be accessed by the Saen Saep canal on boat, or by the many buses enroute in the area. The Ratchathewi BTS skytrain station heads the entrance of Pratunam at the Ratchathewi-Petchaburi intersection. Pratunam stretches across the Petchaburi-Ratchaprarop intersection (which leads you right to Central World) and extends up to the Chidlom-Petchaburi intersection for backdoor access to downtown Bangkok.