Phuket Shopping

Shopping is one of the most popular activities on Phuket island.

Buying something can be roughly categorized into two first local made and second imported where the last is again partitioned into ASEAN and Chinese made.

All other means high taxes and because of this not very interesting since for most goods there is a local copy although the quality is usually not very good since prices are low people don't expect a lot. INT
Souvenirs can be virtually found at every second corner at the usual markets in Phuket City and the beach areas such as Patong, Karon, Kata, Kamala, Surin and other. Many retail stores and flimsy stalls are around with tourists are shoe belts shirts fake watches and blings. Other designer goods are primarily available at the night markets.

Shopping at Patong and Phuket Town could also be exiting several art galleries and specialty shops plus several interesting Chinese antique shops are just the right places for shopping adventure with plenty of artwork. At Patong you will find lots of copied artwork from contemporary and old art. Some of this copied art come from China where there is a whole industry around fake art paintings. If you find something and they ask a high price start negotiation you should get the stuff for at least 40% percent of the priced asked.

Maybe you need to get some items you have forgotten to pack. These items usually clothing health and beauty products are cheap in Thailand when they are made in the country with imported things it's getting expensive. Actually it is wise to purchase such things anyway before you travel back home since all this items are much cheaper in Thailand than anywhere in Europe and there is usually no difference in quality if this are branded products and not fake of branded products.

Be careful when shopping at hotels and resorts, there they usually charge you two or three times the price you pay in a convenient store maybe just 5 minutes away.

There are also huge food courts in almost every mall.

with a dozen of food stalls lined beside each other this food is very diverse and usually ok. There are a large number of unique shops. In addition to unique shops and fruit markets you will see many familiar stores such as Seven-Eleven, McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut just to name a few. While you may enjoy shopping or dining at somehow familiar places around the hotels and resorts venture into new and exciting territory with specialty shops such as in the rather new Jung Ceylon shopping mall at Patong Beach with dozens of restaurants and great shops plus Thai massage and some water shows at the open space. On certain parts of Phuket Island Seven Eleven stores are every 200 meter distance. An alternative could be beach shopping.

While Vacationing

you may want to dine out or get some food from a local market. Dining out is much cheaper than anywhere in Europe or US and if you still want to cook something on your own do some shopping in one of the big malls. 
There are several huge malls on the island and they pack the food into very handy units easy to be prepared with some hot water in the microwave or just eaten without heating it up.

Watch out on items you could get problems when you go back home e.g. Italy and France are totally hysteric on copied designer goods. E.g. if you buy a green crocodile shirt they might give you a nightmare when you come back blaming you for all kind of nonsense. It might be wise to remove the green croc or any other thing store it separately and fix it again when you arrive at home. 

Actually its not your shopping problem when this designer ware in Europe has astronomical prices since the producer pours a substantial part of their income into advertising and want to pull money from you to finally pay their ad agency.

Stay away from all kind of exotic animals and goods that are made from exotic animals and of course, by all means, stay away from drugs! Buying and using drugs in Thailand can get you into real trouble.

Looking for art, maybe Buddhist images or statues there are several galleries at which will give you some positive surprises.

Need money for shopping there are plenty of ATM around on Phuket Island.

The local banks charge about Baht 200,- per transaction, this is about $ 6,-, means calculate first. Banks change almost any money including Chinese, Korean, Middle East money etc. If you change some money, always do it at a bank not in the hotel or elsewhere at almost all major shopping areas are ATM and any Phuket night market area are money change booth or ATM from of the major banks they are usually open until 10 pm, some even longer and the bank offices at the shopping malls are open until 6 – 8 pm 7 days a week.

Shopping on the island is really exciting, the huge shopping malls on bypass road and the Jung Ceylon at Patong offer all kind of clothing, gemstones jewelry arts and crafts copy stuff cheap plastic from China are on display and there is always a good restaurant in the vicinity. A very popular shopping items at Phuket's night markets are belts, in particular Bling Bling Belts. Malls, roadside shops, other shops and night markets carry a wide range of goods including ethnic and regional crafts, the best quality of the last mentioned are at the OTOP shops.

The OTOP shops 

are usually more expensive than night markets and single shops such as at Phuket Town but the quality is usually good. OTOP stands for One Tambon One Product which is a government-sponsored shop idea where at a Tambon (some kind of precinct) certain items are manufactured, usually by hand, it’s an effective cottage industry to bring local goods of various cities in Thailand to market.

Local items are relatively cheap in general

Some shops are quite sophisticated in terms of the goods presentation and the items they carry. In general, goods Made in Thailand are quite cheap and imported items are usually expensive. Since Thailand is manufacturing hub indulging.

All kind of raw materials from the surrounding countries are available in particular jewelry using ruby sapphire jade and other precious and semi-precious stones from Myanmar or Burma. But be very vigilant when buying any jewelry or gemstones in particular ruby gemstones and jade the fake or manipulated items are overwhelming this even includes gold which is very often mixed with cheap materials to make more profit. It’s a jungle out there when people try to make dirty business by any means but in general shopping is quite ok if you are a little bit careful. 

You will have a positive surprise by very consumer friendly prices. Thai handicraft and locally made shoes belts, in particular bling bling belts wallets handbags purses and luggage are of good quality and very attractive priced.

Keep in mind never pay the price asked, bargaining it down to about half of the initial price offered, that's the same when you do food shopping at the market or roadside. At roadsides you will also find plenty of flower shops inviting orchid shopping, it is also advisable to visit an orchid nursery, one of the best is just south of the Chalong Circle its called Orchid Farm. You will experience a sea of great exotic colors at this orchid garden buy some plants it's a pleasure to see them every day in the hotel room they usually last for more than a week.

Most gemstones from Myanmar or Burma and Cambodia end up in Bangkok and Chanthaburi to be sold as a loose stone or worked into Thai jewelry which again comes back to the shops in Phuket to be sold to the tourists, ruby jewelry, pearl jewelry and jade jewelry are also very popular among other. If you are searching for rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, aquamarines, diamonds and other stones check Bangkok and Chantaburi.

There are plenty of ethnic arts and crafts at various souvenir stores and night markets throughout the country this is in particular Thailand silver jewelry made by the so-called hill tribes in the north of Thailand. Other shopping items with an ethnic touch are beautiful ceramics and celadon which is mainly produced around Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, this are real beautiful items an eye catcher in any home. 

Very attractive is Thai silk 

The silk comes as different products and with different styling such as shirts bedding and all kind of great women wear but its quite expensive since 2 large companies have a monopole in Thailand and one of this company is Jim Thompson and they use this monopoly position by any means. 

The best shopping deals for clothes shoes handbags fake items souvenirs and other items are available at the night markets at Phuket mainly at Patong and Karon Beach.

Phuket Shopping and Deals

After you have enough shopping make a sightseeing tour. There are still some patches of forest left on the island some streams and waterfalls coconut palm trees and shimmering white-yellow sand. Coral reefs are only a short trip away. If you like exceptional tropical holidays on a island with lush tropical vegetation and a relaxed atmosphere at vibrant nightlife in Patong shopping and bars, great Thai food, some adventure trips, scuba diving or snorkeling, some luxury hotels and beach resorts, lots of other accommodation and all not expensive pick Phuket island as your next vacation destination, you wont regret.

The island is ok for singles, couples and families, the natural beauty is still to find and if not just do a day trip or longer into the Phang Nga Bay, Similan Archipelago, Khao Sok National Park or maybe take the ferry to Phi Phi Phi Islands. You will find the stuff you like, the untouched splendors are maybe a little further off but all reachable within a day trip from Phuket. At all this places there are markets and small shops with plenty of local goods to buy, ideal for tropical shopping.

There is a zoo (Thai pay Baht 40,- entrance, foreigners Baht 400,- got the message?) and great nature trips are offered, you also could do a dinner cruise with a Chinese Junk in the Phang Nga Bay just off Phuket Island. There is a great opportunity for photography and video giants. Beach lovers and beach combers can have a pleasant time particularly between November and April and shop at the various stores at the beachside. There are great shopping opportunities since almost everything which is not imported has a low price tag.

There are great indoor and outdoor markets for shopping and all these items for shopping are really cheap in terms of prices also the quality of the items is not so bad. INT