Even if you haven’t come to Bangkok to take home an antique stone elephant or some modern art from the northern tribes of Thailand, OP Place (Oriental Plaza) is still a fantastic place to visit. This shopping centre is more like an art gallery or museum than a department store with 50 boutiques displaying a host of fantastic pieces to admire, or if you are lucky, take home. As well as fine arts shops there are also some well-known tailors and jewellers. OP Place has a reputation for luxury and all antiques have been issued with certificates from Thailand’s Fine Arts Department, so you can shop without worry.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
Oriental Plaza was completed in 1908 and was once the centre for trade in the early 20th century. It is very fitting that this used to be the European neighbourhood as OP Place’s facade is neoclassical, standing out amongst the ramshackle shops and houses that border the lanes around it. These days the district is no longer the meeting point for western residents, but a colourful community with the famous State Tower and its gold domes rising above the neighbourhood. Inside a double staircase curves round the lifts – some of the first installed in Thailand. The wooden panelling, polished marble floors and impressive chandelier in the lobby take you back in time. Be sure to check out the old photographs that line the walls, making it easier to imagine Bangkok in a time gone by.
On the first two floors you will find a variety of different shops selling paintings, clothes, jewellery and antiques. For most some of the boutiques are great for a browse, as the 3ft Buddha head will probably not fit in a suitcase. Both sapphires and rubies are mined in Thailand, and there are plenty of these gems for sale, in both classical and contemporary settings. Thai artisans have created some beautiful ornaments that would be a perfect memento of your trip here, such as elephants carved from teak and modern brass water lilies. The first floor also has a small cafe, take a seat at any of the quirky vintage chairs and tables that look out over the atrium and enjoy drinks or a light snack.
On the top floor of OP Place you will find The Ashwood Gallery – where the lighting is low and people speak in hushed tones. This is where those in the know come to buy the best in Thai, Burmese and Chinese antiques. On display are paintings from the Ching Dynasty, large ceremonial drums and polished teak desks. Even if you are not looking to buy, staff members are very passionate and knowledgeable and happy to share the history of the objects with you.
It is easy to spend an hour or so walking around Oriental Plaza Place, checking out the curios and lusting after beautiful works of art. Easy to find, it is a 10-minute walk along Charoen Krung (New Road), just turn left when you see the sign.
- Opening Hours: 10:30 – 18:30 every day (some stores close on Sundays)
- Location: 30/1 Soi Charoen Krung 38 (behind the Oriental Hotel)
- BTS: Saphan Taksin
- Tel: +66 (0)2 266 0186