When I first came to Bangok, Thailand I used to buy vitamins at GNC, the American company. Not knowing any better, I used to spend more than double what I would spend in the US for vitamins. But, after a few months, several Thai friends told me to stop buying vitamins there and to start buying them at shops that have the same quality but are much cheaper. As I spend over $50 a month on vitamins (even at the cheaper shops), finding places that sold inexpensive vitamins in Bangkok was a godsend.
If you’re living in Bangkok and needing to find cheap but good quality vitamins, or, you’re going to be here for a while and don’t want to carry bottles of vitamins into Thailand with you, check out the following vitamin places – you’ll save money but still get exactly what you need.
Chulalongkorn Pharmacy – This pharmacy is very popular with students from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok as the prices are good and the selection is great. I buy Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) for my skin and, because I take more than 20 tablets a day, I needed to find a cheap place to buy it. At this pharmacy, I can buy a Thai brand (Nopparat) for only 200 baht (around $5) for one hundred 200mg tablets. They also carry several imported brands that are more expensive, but still much cheaper than the GNC brand of vitamin. The staff is also quite knowledgeable and speaks enough English to be helpful if you have questions and, of course, you can buy other medications here too. Chulalongkorn Pharmacy is directly opposite MBK Mall on Phaya Thai Road. It is not open on Sundays.
MBK Mall – there are several places at MBK Mall that sell cheap vitamins. You can buy some of the Thai brands at Boots Chemist or Watsons Chemist here, as well as imported brands, but the best place to buy them is at one of the little stalls on the 2nd floor. These stalls sell only vitamins (and are next to a lot of little stalls selling beaty products and fake watches) and most of the vitamins they sell are imported, but at much cheaper prices than in the department stores or GNC-type places. I buy Pantothenic Acid there for 1,200 baht ($34) but that is for two hundred 500 mg tablets and these last me for a month. At GNC for a similar product and number of tablets, the prices is more than $70. MBK Mall is right next to National Stadium sky train station in Bangkok.
Nopparat Pharmaceutical Company – Nopparat is a company that sells many types of vitamin. It’s a Thai company but the quality is good (apparently they’ve been around for years). What I love about Nopparat though, if you have a Thai friend who doesnt’ mind ordering for you, you can order a larger quantity of vitamins and they will deliver them to you for free. I sometimes get one of my Thai co-workers to order 10 bottles of Pantothenic Acid, they are delivered for free the next day to my office and for usually around 20 baht (60 cents) cheaper per bottle than buying them in a shop. As far as I’m aware though, you will have to have a Thai-speaker order for you as they don’t seem to have anyone working at the company who speaks much English. Nopparat is on Changwatan Road in Bangkok and you can call them at 02-573-1101.
Carts at Shopping Malls – At many of the shopping malls in Bangok, you will see small carts selling everything from make up to socks set out on the balconies of the malls. Some of these carts will see vitamins, some imported some Thai brands and, again, at prices cheaper than GNC or Boots Chemist. I’ve bought vitamins from these carts at Central Ladprao and the shopping mall right next to Sala Daeng sky train station.
Pharmacists Opposite Emporium Mall – Take the sky train to Phrom Pong station. Get off here and go to the left hand side of the street (opposite Emporium Mall), if you keep walking down the street you will see six or seven small Thai pharmacies all very close to each other. These are family-run and all have cheaper prices on vitamins (and other medication) than some of the larger stores. The great thing about this area too is, they’re all so close together that, if one shop doesn’t have the vitamins you need, another pharmacist three doors down probably does.
If you’re coming to Bangkok for a long time, I do recommend bringing some vitamins with you as prices in the US are cheaper than in Thailand. But, if you’re here for long enough or really don’t want to carry many bottles of vitamins, then any one of these places should be where you can buy the vitamins you need at a cheap price.