The city of Phuket offers residents and tourists a number of attractions and activates that has helped develop the island into one of most visited places in Thailand. And of course, there is no tourist destination without shopping or almost no. Likely, Phuket has something to offer wit its quality and variety of shopping malls.
The shopping experience in Phuket is really unlike any other simply because of the wide range and vast amount of products from local producers available. Numerous Phuket shopping centres offer a myriad of items all at very affordable prices. For tourists, this represents a wonderful opportunity to save money because the Value Added Tax (VAT) which is applied to each item is refunded at the airport if you have filled out the paperwork when buying the item. The result is saving a considerable amount of money on your shopping adventure.
You will find local and international name brands as well as imitation ones that are not legal, but certainly plentiful and not expensive, especially watches. For the most part, the imitators actually make pretty good quality items which mean you can save even more money when purchasing them. Considering that the average price of goods is upwards of 30% lower than what you would find in Western stores, it’s understandable that many people spend so much time doing shopping in Phuket.
Where to Shop in Phuket?
The good news is that there are plenty of great shopping malls, local markets and small vendors for you to visit, most of them are located in Phuket Town and in Patong beach.
Central Festival: One of the most popular of all shopping malls in Phuket, the Central Festival is a fully equipped centre that is located just on the outskirts of town just before the main crossroads. It has become a shopping hub for Phuket thanks to its very convenient location. With over 120 outlets selling all types of products, you can find a myriad of deals particularly on higher-end items branded cloth and laptops and other gadgets. However, you can find practically anything from barbeques to books and enjoy some of the finer restaurants which offer Thai, Japanese, and even French cuisine.
CENTRAL FESTIVAL PHUKET, LOCATION:
Located in the centre of Phuket it takes about 30 minutes drive to reach the mall from Kata, Karon or Patong beach. If you are a tourist then we advise you to combine visiting Central Festival with exploring old Phuket town, or visiting Night Market, all of the relatively not far from each other, however, it is advisable to take a taxi or to drive some vehicle yourself.
Jungceylon Shopping Centre: You can find this shopping mall downtown opposite of Bangla Road. It is the biggest shopping centre within easy reach for many tourists, located on Patong beach it takes about 10 minutes drive there from Kata beach, Karon Beach, and Kalim Beach. Inside, the complex offers one of the best shopping experiences in Phuket. There are two main stores located inside, one is Robinson which is one of the best upper-end departments stores and Big C Supermarket. It is estimated that 45,000 shoppers fill both stores on a daily basis making this one of the most popular Patong shopping areas in Patong city.
JUNGCEYLON SHOPPING CENTER, LOCATION:
Karon Bazaar: This is a very large, covered local market that is located in the central part of the Karon Beach Road on the west coast of Phuket Island. This particular bazaar offers everything you need and very likely many items that you do not. Although outdoors, there is a concrete floor and it is well ventilated for tourists to wonder in and out of the many shops located inside. Another attribute is that many of the shops are open well past 10pm so that you can make the rounds or have this as your last stop of the evening.
KARON BAZAR PHUKET, LOCATION:
Phuket Old Town
Phuket Old Town: The historic streets of Phuket’s Old Town offer a number of unique, interesting shopping experiences that provide you with great items and gifts for very low prices. You’ll find a number of great second-hand books, clothing, and curious that run the gamut from antiques to modern products. You can also find a number of antique items and even Thai magic amulets sold by local merchants as this particular area does not have any chain stores or brand outlets.
PHUKET OLD TOWN, LOCATION:
Sunday Ladyai market In Phuket Old Town: One of the latest attractions in Phuket, this is located in the Old Town section and was started in 2013. This market opens weekly every Sunday from 16:00 – 22:00.
While certainly not one of the larger markets, it is one of the most attractive thanks to being set along a cosmopolitan and commercial street that offers a wide variety of goods. There are a number of Thai and Indian shops along the street and you can even sample some southern Thai specialities that really deliver the flavour of the cuisine. You will also find local gift shops, handicraft areas and sometimes live performance in a very family-friendly environment.
Banzaan Market: Located in Patong beach, this fresh-air market along the Sai Kor Road offers a modern setting that attracts many shoppers on a daily basis. Of course, it helps that it is located next to Jungceylon mega-market and offers wide ranges of goods all for reasonable prices. What really helps is that the Banzaan Market offers a wonderful alternative local selection that compliments the shopping malls nearby so you can find a number of great items.
BANZAAN MARKET PATONG, LOCATION:
Robinson: This very popular store offers a number of high-end items. In the downstairs area you’ll find cosmetics, perfumes, timepieces, and watches of the highest caliber. All of the great brand names are here at prices far lower than you would in most Western stores. Upstairs, there are a number of women’s accessories, shoes, and underwear which represents the largest selection in all of Thailand. In addition, there are a number of different items that range from vases and cups to salt and pepper shakers that are quite collectable.
ROBINSON SHOPPING CENTER, PHUKET, LOCATION:
It pays to be ready when you go shopping at any of the fine Phuket shopping malls, particularly if you are looking for specific items. A little pre-planning in terms of transportation will also help when you take what you have purchased back to your hotel room instead of having to carry it around. Finally, be sure to keep all receipts and fill out any paperwork necessary so that you can get VAT refunds which will only add to your savings.
That’s why so many people shop at Phuket shopping malls which offer enormous savings and great selections for tourists who want to take advantage of their low prices.