Phuket is a Paradise for Shopers
Most visitors come to Phuket for the favorable climate and wonderful beaches. In recent years it has also become known for its shops and markets. There is no excuse for any shopaholic to ever get bored on the island. As well as being able to purchase local products there is also many options for buying international items – including the big names like Apple, Louis Vuitton, and others. Visitors can enjoy real bargains on high quality items. The standard of shopping available in Phuket means that it is considered by many to be a shoppers paradise.
Department Stores in Phuket
The last couple of decades have seen a huge increase in the shopping options available to visitors to Phuket. In recent years the large department stores have arrived on the island, and they rival what can be found in the larger cities. A visit to one of these large shopping malls can provide hours of entertainment even if people can only afford to go window shopping. The department stores on Phuket include:
Jungceylon can be found on the Bangla Road not far from Patong beach. It is considered to be an international shopping and leisure destination. It covers an area of 20,000 meters and there are over 300 shops to choose from including a Big C superstore. As well as shopping there is also a world standard cinema and bowling. Jungceylon is also home to many restaurants covering every type of cuisine from around the world. This department store opens from 11am to 10pm every day.
Central Festival Phuket
Central Festival Phuket is the largest department store in the South of Thailand. It offers 120,000 square meters of shopping and entertainment and hundreds of shops spread out over 5 floors. The centre is divided into different zones including;
- International brands zone
- Asian arts and crafts
- Learning zone
- International fast food
- IT world
- Central food halls
- Dining circle
- Super sports
- SFX Coliseum Cinema – with 7 world class screens
- Health and Beauty zone
Shopping Malls in Phuket
There are also a number of smaller shopping malls to be found in Phuket including:
- Ocean Plaza can be found in Patong on Bangla Road. It has a good selection of clothes shops and there are also many outlets that sell electronic equipment.
- Turtle village shopping is a good option for people who are looking for gifts to take home with them. It can be found in Mai Khao and those people who are staying in any of the local hotels can ask for a discount.
- Home Works is situated right beside Central Festival. It contains two floors of household and furniture products.
- Premium Outlet Phuket is located near Phuket City. It offers 300 brand names over its 18,000 square meters of retail space.
Markets in Phuket
One of the most enjoyable shopping experiences on Phuket is to be found by visiting the local markets. This also offers the opportunity to mingle with some of the locals. It can get uncomfortably hot in these markets during the middle of the day so it is best to visit in the late afternoon and early morning. Some of the most popular markets in Phuket include:
- Ranong Road Main Market in Phuket Town is busiest in the mornings. This place always seems to be lively, and it is good to visit for fresh food or just to soak up the ambience of local life.
- The Phuket Weekend market is the busiest market on the island and it is the one that is usually of most interest to visitors because of the wide variety of products on sale. This market can be found near Central Festival Phuket on Chao Fa West Road.
- Banzaan Market is right across the road from the Jungceylon department store in Patong. As well as selling fresh food there is also plenty of clothing stalls and places to buy souvenirs of Phuket.
As well as the above there are also plenty of smaller markets spread out around the island. Some of these only open one day a week, and they can change location.
Shopping Tips in Phuket
In order to get the most out of a shopping trip in Phuket it is suggested that people:
- It is expected that people should bargain in the market in Phuket. If shoppers fail to do this they could end up spending as much as 50% more than they need to.
- People should be particularly careful when buying gems unless they know for sure what it is they are buying. Tourists are frequently caught out by get rich quick scams where they seller convinces them that they will be able to sell the gems for a fortune back in their home country.
- If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. This advice definitely applies to shopping in the markets in Phuket.
- If people intend to purchase expensive electrical equipment in Phuket they will need to consider aftercare. They will need to be sure that they will be able to return the item for repairs or replacement back in their home country.
- There is a temptation for people to overindulge while shopping in Phuket, and they can end up with more stuff than they can fit in their suitcases. One option is to have things sent by international delivery – many of the markets can arrange this.
- It is advisable that customers find out how much they should expect to pay for an item before they buy. Most market sellers will grossly overcharge if they think they can get away with it.
- Phuket is a relatively safe place and street robbery is rare. It is still not a good idea to display wads of cash in public because it can attract the wrong sort of attention.