Shopping is one of the highlights of a visit to Thailand and you’re certain to pick up some bargains and souvenirs while on holiday in Phuket. There are plenty of vendors on the streets in tourist areas, along with night markets, malls. In addition, speciality shops deal in antiques, Thai silk, charming handicrafts, décor, and contemporary goods like clothing.
While Phuket lacks the variety and sheer volume of handicrafts and other local goods seen in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, there are still some great buys to be had here. If you find the street vendors of Patong selling tacky cheapies, there’s always Jungceylon Mall, or Central Festival in the middle of the island; both worth a visit for cheap designer goods manufactured locally.
Where to go Shopping in Phuket
Phuket Town and environs is host to a wide range of shops; from handicraft and antique stores, to the Central Festival mall, and the Big C and Tesco-Lotus stores farther out. Department stores sell brand name clothing, while furniture and homeware stores deal in everything from knick-knacks to custom-made rattan living room sets.
The downtown historical district known as ‘Old Phuket’ is worth exploring, not only for its unique boutiques and great deals, but also to see fine examples of Sino-Portuguese architecture. Thalang, Dibuk, Phang Nga, Yaowarat, and Krabi roads are particularly charming, as life here among the locals seems to go on much as it did generations ago.
Then there is the Central Festival Mall, which has a variety of brand-name shops, restaurants and cinemas, and is about the best of the few that serve locals. In town is Robinsons department store, which has everything you’d expect in a department store back home, along with a good supermarket and, like Central, a couple of bank branches.
Patong Shopping in Phuket
Shopping in Patong Beach got a big boost with the opening of Jungceylon (often Jung Ceylon), which is by far the biggest shopping centre on Phuket. The complex has cinemas, bowling alleys and hundreds of shops and restaurants, along with a huge car parking area. Apart from this, shopping in Patong is a frenzied experience, as the bulk of it is done through the bewildering number of street vendors that line all the main roads.
A multitude of products can be found at Patong’s night market. By day things are quiet, but by nightfall the sidewalks are full of shoppers browsing displays of clothes, souvenirs, accessories, paintings, luggage, leather items, and all sorts of little gadgets that dazzle the senses with flashing laser lights or bleeping noises. Fake brand name goods and pirated CDs and software are usually on offer, except when there’s a periodic crackdown.
Karon and Kata Shopping in Phuket
These two popular beach areas are full of tourist shoppers and plenty of places for them to spend their vacation dollar. They include the usual souvenir vendors lining pavements, as well as boutiques, Thai handicrafts, locally-made home decor items (shipped home), clothing, and more. Even handy travellers items, like iPods and luggage, are on sale at surprising prices.
Lanna Handicrafts is a leading online artisan store which offers the very best in high quality souvenirs from Chiang Mai and the northern Thailand region. There are authentic tribal designs, antiques, teak furniture, textiles, art and much more at the best possible prices from suppliers you can trust.