There are lots of goldshops in Chinatown – it’s one of the best places to buy gold in Thailand. There are so many goldshops here, it’s amazing.
Most of the gold jewelry you find for sale in Bangkok is 22 karat gold (90% pure), and prices are measured in “baht”. Not too long ago, prices were at 7000, as of now (November 2009) it’s over 18000 – more than doubled. Ever since the 1997 economic Asian crisis where the Thai baht devalued drastically, people prefer to buy gold instead of having a lot of money in their bank accounts, because it is considered a more stable and reliable way of storing your riches. Buying gold is generally considered a wise investment, and you can sell gold that you bought at the gold shops for the “buying prices” they quote. The worth of a piece is not just assessed in gold, but also for the workmanship – if the gold has been masterfully done, then it will command a higher price, even if the same amount and quality of gold is being used.
Just walking through Chinatown, you will find (almost) as many goldstores as you find Starbuck’s coffee shops in New York City.
Most of them are red on the inside, but there is one that is purple – the Toak Ang Jawaraj Goldsmith & Jewelry store on Jaowarat.