The greatest part about shopping in Phuket is the extensive range of things you can find here that are worth buying. Some souvenirs that are affordable and are great items to bring home are:
Elephant pants: these are comfortable light pants that can be worn as lounge pants or as lightweight travelling pants, very versatile and great to have a few!
Thai silk: Fabric that can come in the forms of scarves, pillow covers, blankets etc, a quintessential Thai product which is loved by many.
Handicrafts: Ranging from wood trinkets, Batik, decorations, keychains, fridge magnets and so on.
Spa products: Thailand is a land of spa, hence it’s always great to buy some of these spa products like bath salts, fragrant essential oils, and massage balm.
Besides souvenirs, people also visit Phuket to get custom made clothes as good tailors are an abundance here! Some of them have amazing offers and turnaround time, though the quality of the products may be compromised if you opted for something quick.
You will never run out of places to shop in Phuket, and here are some recommendations:
- Shopping malls: Malls are a great respite from the heat and also nice to stroll around in comfortably. You can find most things like clothing, restaurants, souvenirs and electronics here, often at better quality though higher prices than roadside markets.
The most popular shopping mall in Phuket is Jungceylon which is home to big brands and international labels, a big cinema, bowling alley and plenty of massage centers. Central Festival Phuket is another big mall just right outside Phuket Town and you can easily spend a whole day here, browsing through the many shops offering anything you could possibly need.
- Night markets: The night markets in Phuket are a sight to behold on their own. Often packed with locals and tourists alike, you will find anything from souvenirs, handicrafts, clothes, jewelry, antiques, street food and even pets.
Sunday Night Market is the biggest night market in Phuket, also known as Lard Yai (big market) located in Thalang Road in Phuket Old Town. It is only available on Sundays (4-10pm) but if you miss it, don’t worry as there are night markets all over Phuket everyday.
Chillva Market in Ratsada is also a good place to visit as they have slightly more hippy vibe and local brands there! The ambience here is great with live performances and brightly-coloured containers so it’s worth visiting just to soak in the vibe.
Phuket Weekend Market: Arguably the biggest amongst all Phuket night markets, this weekend night market or also known as Naka Market by the locals is reminiscent of the massive Chatuchak market in Bangkok. It is frequented by both tourists and locals from all parts of Thailand given its variety and range of items. Here you can find clothes, souvenirs, secondhand items, as well as a broad range of food from local Thai cuisine to Western and ethnic foods.
Haggling is an art in itself, and can be learned while shopping in Phuket. You can get a good bargain at markets, bazaars and in the streets by lowering the price and asking for a discount. Start low by a third or half of the asking price, and work your way from there. Merchants are usually quite lighthearted when it comes to haggling but be careful not to do it too much or you’ll risk upsetting them!
Note that you shouldn’t haggle at shopping malls and convenience stores as those prices are fixed. The best way to find a bargain in these places is by comparing prices at different stores instead.
VAT refunds can be obtained for more expensive buys so remember to keep your receipts and get your refunds at the airport.
Be wary of touts, guides or tuk tuk drivers who offer to bring you to a shopping spot, they are often working with these lesser known places for a commission which are not often the cheapest of places. If something is too good to be true, it most likely is!
Club Med Phuket is located only 10-15 minutes away from most Phuket shopping spots, making it a convenient place to stay at the heart of the island. Our friendly concierge will be able to book transportation for you as well as provide directions and recommendations so you can enjoy your shopping in Phuket to the fullest!