If you have the opportunity to visit Bangkok, there is no doubt that shopping for Muay Thai stuff is going to be a definite feature on your to-do list. Hordes of tourists fly into the Thai capital daily to indulge in shopping. The prices are ridiculously cheap compared to what you get back home (even when compared to online prices) and for us Nak Muays, there’s nothing like trying the gear or testing the equipment out in person before you hand over the money. The sexy allure of holding Muay Thai gear in your hands is a pure and ecstatic feeling.
I have consolidated a list of Muay Thai shops that I frequent every time I visit Bangkok. The list is not definitive as I have opted to highlight the more centralised and accessible shops in this article for convenience. You will be able to find all the common and popular brands in the shops I have featured, but if you have a particular gear/apparel model in mind, you may go away empty-handed and disappointed. This is because a lot of the shops, even the official stores, do not carry the full catalog of their products. But come with no expectations, and be prepared to be blown away by the prices, friendly service and seemingly unlimited options.
Super Export Shop
If you only have time for one shop to get your Muay Thai gear, this is the one to go to. Everything is priced reasonably and sometimes on par with the official brand shops. Best of all, they stock gear from Twins Special, Fairtex, Top King, Yokkao, Raja, foreign brands Booster, Danger Equipment and even authentic items from the (Buakaw) Banchamek Gym. This really saves a lot of trouble from having to shop-hop. Service is personable and friendly, and you are welcome to take your time to try out the gear and equipment. There’s also a clean toilet in the back you can use for trying out the apparel.
How to get there: I usually base myself around Sukhumvit area so this shop is just a few minutes by motorbike taxi. If you are going by the subway, the nearest station is Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. It is about ½ a mile (1 km) walk or alternatively, hop on a motorbike taxi and ask to be taken to “Rompo Mansion” which is a hotel located right beside the building where the shop reside. The shop sits on the ground level and face the road so you should be able to spot it easily. While you are there, head down the road for an exquisitely Asian experience of the fascinating Khlong Toey Market.
This is the official Top King store in Bangkok but I can’t say they are very well-stocked. I had always hope to get something there but I always walk away empty-handed the last 3 times I visited the store. The service is almost non-existent and the staff don’t look particularly happy working there either. Still, there is a wide selection of TKB stuff for sale and the store is quite accessible so don’t miss it.
How to get there: By subway, the nearest MRT station is Lumphini. Take exit 1, turn right and head down the road with Lumpini Park View apartment on your right. It’s about 5 minutes walk till you hit an overhead bridge. After the bridge, make the first right at the alley and you should see the shop.
Everything they have is laid out systematically in the spacious shop so you will have no trouble looking for what you want. They stock the standard Muay Thai goods such as gloves, shin guards, headgear, shorts and training gear as well. I’m particularly fond of their t-shirt designs as the prints are very “Thai”. They also offer shorts customization service but will take 2-3 weeks. The staff was friendly and I was left to browse around the store but she attended to my queries promptly. Certainly a shop worth checking out.
How to get there: The best way to go is to take the skytrain to On Nut BTS station. When you reached the station, head to exit 4, you will see Tesco Lotus on your right but take the flight of steps on your left. As always, you can hop on a motorbike taxi ride and ask to be taken to “Boon” or “Muay Thai” which is a quick 2 minutes away. As of writing, the ride should cost you 20baht. Otherwise it’s a 10 minutes walk.
The store is small but stocks a good selection of their training gear, including their popular carbon shorts. More importantly, the retail store is located in the same premise as the gym where Muay Thai legend, Saenchai, trains daily. (Read my review here: “Gym Review: Yokkao Training Center Bangkok”) So even if you don’t buy anything, you can drop by for a training session or just ogle at a Muay Thai master training.
How to get there: Take the BTS train to Asok station and then head for the Citibank exit. You can either take a 5 minutes walk along the busy Soi 16 traffic or a speedy ride on one of the many motorbike taxis at near the entrance to Soi 16 to reach the gym. Just tell the rider to take you to “Muay Thai”. As of writing, the bike ride costs 10baht. There are a few ways to get there and I’m familiar with the Asok route. Alternatively, you can take the subway to Queen Sirikit National Convention Center MRT station and change to a motorbike taxi.
There are several Fairtex Pro shops in Bangkok and I visited 2 of the more centralised ones at IM Park and luxury mall, EmQuartier. The IM Park outlet is a proper, bigger store front and stocks more items than the outlet at Q Stadium Zone within EmQuartier shopping mall. However, EmQuartier is a lot more accessible and has a very good selection of Fairtex gear to choose from. The service is prompt at both locations and you should be able to find what you need at either stores. Fairtex Pro takes pride in their products and it seems this extends towards their store operations.
How to get there: To get to EmQuartier, simply take the skytrain to Phrom Phong BTS station which is located right at its door steps. To get to IM Park, first take the skytrain to National Stadium. From there, it’s at least a 20-minute walk under the sun to the mall. I recommend the motorbike taxi as usual which costs 30baht as of writing.
(Updated this section on 9th May 2017)
Where to Stay in Bangkok
Whenever I travel to Bangkok, gear-shopping is always one of my top priorities. I tend to base myself in a more centralized and accessible location near to a BTS or MRT station, as the metro is the best way to get to around central Bangkok. If you are planning a trip to Bangkok but haven’t decided on your accommodation, there is one area I most highly recommend:
In my opinion, the Asok junction with Sukhumvit road is the best place to stay in Bangkok. It does not get any more accessible than this prime area. Four reasons to base yourself here: 1) With Sukhumvit MRT and Asok BTS stations in the vicinity, you can get to practically anywhere in central Bangkok easily. 2) Super Export Shop, Yokkao Shop and Emquartier are a short walk or motorbike-taxi ride away. 3) There are tonnes of massage places and eateries. 4) The whole stretch of Sukhumvit road is a shopper’s paradise and there are loads of activities you can busy yourself with here. If you are looking to eat, drink, shop and be merry, search no further. This is the place for you.
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I hope this guide will be helpful for planning your next trip to Bangkok. If there is a shop guide/review you would like to see featured on this site, please leave me a comment or message and I will do my best to accommodate to the request.