The Platinum Fashion Mall in Bangkok! 2000+ stalls of clothes and accessories. A woman’s dream, and a man’s nightmare. Nothing could really prepare me for what transpired on our first real visit to this “mall”. I’ve been working myself up for the last month since we first discovered it, as Katherine insisted that she needed a FULL DAY to shop ‘til she dropped for a new back to school wardrobe. I had been dreading it….and I mean dreading it. A FULL DAY to shop for clothes?! Seriously!
It wasn’t long after we stepped foot inside that we became totally immersed and lost in Bangkok’s top fashion mall. At first glance, one would ask them self how this could possibly be the number one stop for clothing. Once we started roaming though, it became quite obvious. It’s CHEAP! Real cheap! Almost all of the shops sell wholesale product straight from the manufacturers. Whether these items are being brought in and sold legitimately or not, I’m not sure, but my bet would be against it.
The Platinum Fashion Mall appears to have a “one size fits most” motto, as over and over again we were told “no can try”. No can try??!! I was so confused. What did they mean, “no can try”? How do we know if we want to buy something if we can’t try it on? In Canada, we try on clothes. If we like it we buy it, and if we don’t, we leave it. After our first encounter with asking if Katherine could try something on, and getting a response of “no can try”, we were so miffed. Our confusion lead us into a bit of an argument and me leaving saying, “no can try, no can buy”. I was quite upset, and really just thought that the woman was being picky with the clothes she was selling.
It wasn’t until after this encounter that we started noticing the signs. Some of the shops had signs up saying “Do not try”, “No fitting”, “No can try”. This was so weird, but now I had a mission! I was going to find out what this nonsense was about, and we were going to get Katherine to try on some clothes.
At every shop we visited, when Katherine picked up a garment, I would ask if she could try it on. Every time we were shut down with, “no can try”. What do you mean, no can try??!! I needed an answer. I started asking the shop owners why we couldn’t try. All I could get from them is, “wholesale, cheap price”. What does wholesale have to do with not being able to try on the clothes? Shop after shop after shop, we couldn’t try on the clothes. Nobody would budge. I’d sweet talk them, flirt a little, play the stupid tourist card…nothing.
Out of about 50 shop owners, only 1 let Katherine try something on….as long as she was quick so nobody else would see. After all of my short conversations in broken English with shop owners, the best explanation that I could come up with for such craziness is this:
The items are wholesale. They’re cheap. Because they’re so cheap, you can’t try them on. You can look, but you can’t try. Once you buy, no refunds or exchanges because they’re already very cheap. If you try on, it’s too slow. If you try on, maybe you won’t buy it. If you try on, other people won’t want to buy the garment. If you try on, other people may also want to try on.
Five hours in the fashion mall and I walked away with one purchase – a man purse. Katherine on the other hand, walked away with more than her fair share, not knowing exactly if they’d fit or not because, “no can try”.
*Note* While shooting video for this Travel Tale, our project was shut down by an arm grabbing security guard demanding we put our camera away. Apparently, photography is not allowed at The Platinum Fashion Mall. Who knew??!!