Cultivated pearls, batiks, pewter ware and tailor-made clothing are Phuket’s best known buys. The widest range of shops, including department stores, are found in Phuket town and at Hat Patong.
Patong Beach transforms into a large night bazaar every evening, when all the main roads become clogged with stalls selling handicrafts, silk scarves, sarongs and a variety of beach clothes, leisure wear, leather goods and luggage, CDs, computer games and electronic gadgets and toys.
It's chaotic but fun if you approach it with the right attitude -- just remember that bargaining yields the best results when done lightheartedly and with a smile. Most of the shopping here is aimed at the tourist market, so prices are a bit higher than they are in Phuket City.
Shopaholics and bargain hunters should not miss Phuket City. The historical downtown area, 'Old Phuket' , has some of the most interesting shops for traditional Thai crafts and textiles, as well as antiques, clothing and souvenirs -- with the beautifully restored Sino-Portuguese buildings and exotic sights and smells, the busy streets are a fascinating place for a stroll.
The shopping options in Bang Tao are a bit of a dichotomy. There are the rustic, steaming open-air markets that the locals use, with cheap goods and food for sale, then there are the resort and upscale boutiques selling the finest Thai handicrafts, jewellery, textiles and more. And not much in between.
Kamala isn't the place to go for shopping, but it does provide an enjoyable twice-weekly village market . Held each Wednesday and Saturday afternoon along the highway at the southern end of the bay, it's colourful and fun. Mingle with friendly local residents, and sample locally produced fruit, vegetables and delicious snacks.
- Central Festival, bypass rd, Phuket City
- Robinsons, Tilok-U-Thit 1 Rd, Phuket City
- Ocean Shopping Mall, Tilok-U-Thit 1 Rd, Phuket City
- Phuket Shopping Centre, Rassada Rd, Phuket City
- Ocean Plaza, Thaweewong Rd, Patong
- Ocean Plaza Bangla, Bangla Rd, Patong
Upmarket retail centres (antiques, art, handicrafts, etc)
- Canal Village, Laguna Phuket, Cherng Talay
- A cluster of high-end shops just outside the Laguna entrance, Cherng Talay
- The Courtyard, Chao Fa Nok Rd, between Phuket City and Chalong
- Jungceylon, Rat-U-Thit Rd, Patong (to open in 2005)
- The Plaza, Surin Beach
- Tesco-Lotus, bypass rd, Phuket City
- Big C, bypass rd, Phuket City
- Island Furniture, Chao Fa Nok Rd, between Phuket City and Chalong
- Intercraft Furniture, Chao Fa Nok Rd, between Phuket City and Chalong
- Home Pro (in Tesco-Lotus), bypass rd, Phuket City
- Courts Megastore, bypass rd, Phuket City
- Iyara, bypass rd, Phuket City
- Index Living Mall, bypass rd, Phuket City
- Winner, bypass rd, Phuket City
- Garant Mobel, bypass rd, Phuket City
The bypass road(Chalermprakiat 9 Rd) has become a commercial centre with many new furniture and home interior shops and malls having opened along its stretch. Those listed above are just the larger ones. If you can stand the traffic, you could easily spend a whole day or two shopping in this area. Street Shopping/Open Markets
- Historical district, Phuket City (Dibuk, Thalang, Phang Nga, Rassada, Yaowarat roads)
- Ranong Rd market, Phuket City
- Chatuchak Phuket, Phang Nga Rd, Phuket City (weekends only)
- Taina Rd, Kata
- Patak Rd (near the circle), Karon
- Paradise Complex, Rat-U-Thit Rd, Patong
- Bangla Rd, Patong
- Thaweewong (beach) Rd, Patong
- Ranong Rd market, Phuket City
- Robinsons market, Phuket City
- Bang Tao village market, Cherng Talay