Shopping doesn't have to be a chore and it doesn't necessitate forced pleasantries with anxious salesmen. The best places to shop are the places that are densely stocked with goods that sell themselves. Some of these spots are stores or neighborhoods full of stores and some of them are acres covered in haphazardly constructed stalls. The only thing that all of the world's best shopping destinations have in common is stuff that you'd want to buy.
Chatuchak Market, Bangkok
Why to Go: If you can think of it, you can find it at Bangkok's famous weekend market. Chatuchak – which contains roughly 15,000 stalls – has become a popular tourist stop over the last decade but still attracts mostly locals, who come in search of stylish clothes, furniture, exotic pets, livestock, motorcycles, and a good time. Because the market is too big to walk in a single day – and the craziness of the scene is the source of its appeal – the best approach is to get horrifically lost, and then try to find your way back to the main gates. There's plenty of gourmet food (next to the monkey cages) so you won't starve. That said, you could be there for a while.
What to Buy: Thousands of Americans soldiers were stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War and the remnants of their stay – lighters, jackets, old t-shirts – can be found throughout the market. Unlike similar "antiques" sold in Vietnam, these are frequently real. There are also several cowboy-boot makers trained by American GIs that do great work.
Credit: Paul Beinssen / Getty Images