Bangkok is no stranger to holiday-makers looking for a quick weekend getaway from Singapore.
When I'm not stuffing my face with papaya salad, basil pork and my favourite moo ping (grilled pork skewers) at hole-in-the-wall eateries, or squeezing through throngs of tourists at night markets, you'll find me seeking refuge from the hot sun in shopping malls.
Don't get me wrong, I love the malls not only to enjoy the aircon — more shopping can be done and you can find some really good cafes too.
But I've lost count of the number of times I've been to Siam Paragon, CentralWorld, Platinum Fashion Mall and other frequently-visited malls along the sky bridge.
So, if you're like me and need a breath of fresh air, here are some alternative malls in Bangkok to explore.
CENTRAL VILLAGE MALL
Central Village Mall is Bangkok's first luxury outlet mall, and if you're thinking of making a quick pitstop to and from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, the new mall is just a 10-minute drive away.
It has over 235 local and international shops, offering up to 75 per cent discounts on bags and luxury items. Occasionally, the mall also hosts contemporary art fairs promoting local products.
For travellers waiting for their connecting flights and require an overnight stay, Central Village Mall has a connecting hotel to put up at while getting your shopping done.
Where: 98,98/1, Moo 5, Bang Chalong, Bang Phli District, Samut Prakan Thailand 10540
THE MARKET BANGKOK
Newly opened in early 2019, The Market Bangkok is located beside CentralWorld.
You'll find six levels of apparel shops, cafes, restaurants, massage parlours, hair salons and more.
It is a great alternative to the ever-bustling Platinum Fashion Mall, which is just a short five-minute walk away.
Hop by Lhong Tou Cafe for a meal where you can sit at the double-decked seat booths, which are popular among customers who are there to not just fill their tummies but also their Instagram Stories.
The cafe is known for its dim sum and contemporary twist on Chinese dishes.
Where: 111 Ratchadamri Rd, Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand
The Commons is not just incredibly IG-worthy but also chock-full of cafes and restaurants to fill your tummy before a day of shopping and exploring.
At night, the space offers a laid-back vibe where you can wind down at its semi-outdoor space, complete with live music.
I cannot rave enough about Roast which is located at the highest floor of the mall, for its hearty plate of Truffle Alfredo made with al dente tagliatelle, bacon and mushroom.
Trust me, it's to-die-for and I'm salivating at the thought of it.
Where: 335 ถนน สุขุมวิท Thong Lo 17 Alley, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Warehouse 30 is a row of refurbished abandoned World War II warehouses turned into an art and retail space that will please every hipster.
Here's where you can bag locally designed items, nick-nacks, vintage cameras and clothes.
There's even a co-working space in the premises of warehouse one and two. If you're looking to grab some grub, warehouse four is dedicated to cafes and restaurants.
Where: 52 60 Captain Bush Ln, Khwaeng Bang Rak, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand
MEGA BANGNA SHOPPING CENTRE
Located a little further away from the central area of Bangkok and 30 minutes away from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Mega Bangna Shopping Centre can be reached via the free shuttle bus service from Udom Suk BTS station.
It's an all-encompassing mega mall with over 400 stores, housing an Ikea store, Big C, cinema, ice-rink and lots of eateries.
Singaporeans stepping into Mega Bangna will be hit by a wave of familiarity, as the mall is home to familiar brands by the BreadTalk Group, like ToastBox, BreadTalk and Food Republic.
Drop off kiddo at Haborland, a mega playground that will keep them occupied all-day-long when you shop. They'll be begging you to extend your retail therapy. A win-win situation.
If you've yet to check out Mr. Jones' Orphanage, a teddy bear and toys-themed cafe, there's an outlet in Mega Bangna too.
Where: 39 หมู่ที่ 6 ถนน บางนา-ตราด Tambon Bang Kaeo, Amphoe Bang Phli, Chang Wat Samut Prakan 10540, Thailand
CENTRAL FESTIVAL EASTVILLE
Central Festival Eastville is located in Lad Phrao, and it's unlike any other shopping mall in Bangkok.
Beyond shops and eateries, the Sky Run on the rooftop features a running track and fitness space where workout sessions are conducted.
There's also a dog run where pet owners can gather together and have their furkids bond with other dogs.
Where: 69/4 Pradit Manutham Road, Khwaeng Lat Phrao, Khet Lat Phrao, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10230, Thailand
Ever since I discovered Union Mall, I try to avoid the tourist-filled Platinum Fashion Mall because here's where you can shop at ease without having to elbow through the crowd.
The mall offers a wide range of apparel and a couple of shops selling handphone cases.
It's also located near Chatuchak Weekend Market so it's a great option if you're thinking of continuing your shopping spree when the market closes.
Where: 54 ซอย ลาดพร้าว 1 Khwaeng Chom Phon, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand