Most of the markets function in the evenings and into the nights, and you can head here after a day of frolicking by the beach. These markets are perfect places to take care of all things related to shopping in Phuket, promising for an unforgettable trip to this side of Thailand.
Here is a list of the 13 best places for shopping in Phuket promising an unforgettable trip to this side of Thailand:
Chillva Market is a cheerful evening market, that is marked by its iconic colourful signpost of lit up capital letters. The market is small, but has a chic bohemian decor and vibe, perfect for some aesthetic shots for the 'gram and some idyllic shopping in Phuket. There are tons of stalls topped with white umbrellas that crowd this market selling cosmetics, apparel, accessories and other knick-knacks. The market is not known to many tourists, and is majorly visited by locals, especially fashionable youngsters looking to update their wardrobes with the latest trends at cheap prices. The entire market has a very carnivalesque ambience with fairy lights, food shops, elevated seating areas and many open spaces. The best time to visit is during the weekend when the flea market opens, to get your hands on the best deals.
Location: 141/2 Yaowarat Road, Phuket Town
Main stalls: Daily: 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM,
Full market: Thursday - Saturday: 4:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Many are familiar with the concept of Walking Streets which are trademarks of Thailand tourism. Lucky for you, Phuket too has a walking market now. Opened not long ago in 2013, the Phuket Walking Street is situated in Phuket Old Town where the Sino-Portuguese community thrives, along with Indian, Chinese and Muslim shops, making this market a hot mix of many cultures and the perfect destination for anyone looking to shop in Phuket. Locally known as Sunday Lardyai, the walking street stretches for 350 metres, lined with handicraft, food, toys, traditional medicine and sports shops. Some dishes to try here are the barbecued squid, fruit juices, ice-creams, khanoms (Thai traditional sweets), horse-shoe crabs, and beef and chicken burgers. There are facades built by the side of the road which are bathed in light effects, which creates a lively environment in the market.
Location: Thalang Road, Phuket Old Town
Timings: Sunday: 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
3. Jungceylon Shopping Mall
Jungceylon Shopping Mall is the ultimate experience of modern shopping in Phuket. With grand architecture, flashy lights and a magnificent light fountain, Jungceylon is a visual marvel. There is not a moment to spare with so much to do and see around here. The shopping arcade has a wonderful variety of national and international products that are sometimes available at discounted prices. Robinson, a huge department store selling high-end perfumes, women's garments, men's shoes and domestic appliances, is most appealing to customers. You will also find many similar treasures and more at the Big C complex here. It is well-known for featuring leading Thai sports brands. There are many restaurants to choose from, serving Southeast Asian and Western delights. The mall also has a cinema complex with five screens, gaming centres, and a shell museum.
Location: 200 Tambon Patong, Amphoe Kathu, Chang Wat
Timings: 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
The Phuket Weekend Market is a large local market, located near Central Festival Mall. It is locally known as Naka Market, and takes on the tradition of the popular weekend-only markets of Bangkok. There are n number of stalls here, selling mostly secondhand goods, curios, pirated items, live animals, souvenirs, household knick-knacks, clothes, bags and authentic Thai food. You can buy all this and more at very cheap prices, which is why this market attracts a lot of local visitors. There are vendors selling delicious local dishes here, and you must try the buttered corn on the cob, spicy sausages, grilled chicken, fishcakes, exotic fruits and, if you have the taste for it, even deep-fried insects. The market tends to get very crowded after dusk, so it is advisable to go early for a hassle-free and relaxed shopping experience. Overall, this is a good place to spend an evening with your family, and get to know the local culture better.
Location: Saturday - Sunday: 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Timings: Chao Fa West Road, Phuket Town
5. Phuket Indy Market
Phuket Indy Market is not known to many people, but is truly one-of-its-kind for those looking for a unique experience of shopping in Phuket. It is a 'laadploykong' in local terms, which means it is a market where people can come to exchange their goods. There is a lovely mix of other kinds of shops too, which sell trendy clothes, unique souvenirs, Thai handicrafts, special bags made from water hyacinth and much more. It is a small market, which can be covered in a mere hour or so. There are artists' booths, manicure stands, live music and street shows within the market, which lend it a fun, lively feel. Many food stalls are also available, selling local foods for as low as THB 50. Some dishes to try are Thai spicy salad, fried fish-paste balls, chicken BBQ, seafood, crispy gyoza, kanom buang (crispy pancakes), and drinks from the cocktail booth. Phuket Indy Market attracts a lot of young crowds that come here to hang out and have a good time.
Location: Limelight Avenue, Dibuk Road, Phuket Town
Timings: Thursday - Friday: 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
6. Premium Outlet
Premium Outlet is a large open-air shopping complex featuring a collection of factory outlet shops. The layout and architecture of the market alone is very impressive, with clean walkways and fine structures which will transport you back in time to a French village. You will find branded products here being sold at cheap prices, so be prepared to go home with a huge haul. They have local brands, and even international ones like Lacoste, Guy Laroche, Hush Puppies, Warner Bros, Pierre Cardin, Van Heusen, Levi's, Lee, Nautica, Adidas and Nike, which are discounted upto 70 per cent. That being said, don't expect to buy everything at throwaway prices, since rates are initially hiked and some products may be from old collections. Personal discretion is advised. An expansive section is dedicated to kids' shops which even sell official merchandise from Warner Bros. and Ben10. You can also find shops selling traditional Thai handicrafts, woodwork, souvenirs, cutlery and accessories.
Location: Bypass Road, Chalearmprakiet Ror 9 Road
Timings: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
7. Central Festival
Central Festival is a massive multi-level shopping mall, sprawling just outside Phuket Town. The complex has over 120 outlets, catering to every customer service imaginable and making it the dream destination for shopping in Phuket. There are many international brands, boutique stores, and apparel shops which are up-to-date on everything from clothing, silk products, raw cloth, bedding, household goods, to children's toys. Spread across the third floor is Supersports, a premium Thai sports equipment and accessories brand which is sought-after everywhere in the country. Power Buy is another notable shop, chock full of electrical appliances and the latest technology, available for bargain prices. Other shopping departments available here are liquor, stationery, office supplies and a multitude of wide-ranging cuisines. For the best experience, you must dedicate one full day to Central Festival.
Location: Wichit, Mueang Phuket District
Timings: 10:30 AM - 10:00 PM
The Malin Plaza Patong is a night market that you can visit if you want to get away from the conventional markets of Phuket. It is different from mainstream shopping, in the sense that it is majorly a souvenir market, that also sells distinct products of clothing, accessories, handicrafts, luggage and cosmetics which are of good quality. The market is a makeshift arcade, with shops lining the corridors from end to end and a large pathway for customers to walk through. Aside from the shopping, the food market within the plaza is highly popular. It is known for serving authentic Thai street foods, sushi, ice cream, Western snacks, and even cocktails. You can take a leisurely walk through this market, snacking and shopping, minus noisy crowds, for a wonderful evening.
Location: 162/51-52 Pa Tong, Kathu District
Timings: 2:00 PM - 12:00 AM
9. Phuket weekend market (Talad Tairod)
An absolute delight for shopping lovers visiting Thailand, Phuket weekend market is a big, vibrant and crowded night market. It is known by several names such as Naka Market, Phuket Chatuchak and Talad Tairod which means 'Car boot sale'. It is located at Chao Fa West Road, outside the town of Phuket and close to the Central Festival. The market is famous for second-hand goods, pirated items, crafts and curious and also live animals and their food. There are two sections of the market: open and closed, ensuring an all-inclusive experience for shopping in Phuket.
The public division is where you can find electronic items, toy stalls, jewellery and accessories while in the covered area, you can buy second-hand clothing and souvenirs for tourists. All of these collections are extensive and spread over a large area, where you can walk about for hours and hours while looking at the vast knick-knacks. This night market is one of the places people love for its cheap pricing. Apart from clothes of various brands, they have DVD and CD shops playing loud music, which invites hordes of people.
There are second-hand shoe and bag shops too. While the market is perfect for shopping, you can enjoy more than just shopping here. You can please your taste buds with the various kinds of classic Thai food, sitting at one of those food shops or restaurants or nibbling something as you walk around.
Location: Thailand Rd, Tambon Talat Yai, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83000
Timings: 4 pm to 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday
10. Banzaan market
Right opposite to the megamall, Jungceylon is a modern-looking Thai fresh market, called the Banzaan Market. The word 'Banzaan' derived from Hokkien, a Chinese dialect means a new market. With reasonable prices and an environment better than any local market, you can get all the essential items of daily usage here. This contemporary market features beautiful looking decor, escalators and neatly displayed goods, which makes it unique and attractive. There are several sections in this market. One part is entirely dedicated to fresh food, seafood, meat, sweets, vegetables and flowers. You can spot some bizarre-looking and delicious fruits.
The selection, quality and freshness of fruits and vegetables are one of the best in the area. There are some shops where you can try fruit juices and drinks, the most common ones being coconut, sugarcane and juices. There is also a food court where you can grab a quick meal. There is another section with kiosks and shops selling artificial flowers, gifts, clothes, toys and shoes. The market has a look of a friendly neighbourhood, where vendors do speak in English and interact with customers.
Location: On Sai Kor Road, Right behind the Jungceylon Megamall in Patong
Timings: 7 AM to 5 PM daily.
11. Phuket Old Town Handicraft Shops
As a tourist, one cannot miss out on the Old Town Handicraft Shops in Phuket, which is a picturesque market, brimming with fascinating handicrafts and curious. These colourful streets with old generation shops are packed with quirky and unique shops, selling not just crafts but also high-quality clothing, old books, second-hand bicycles, antique and new art items. Although the market does not feature big and popular brands, they have these little outlets that entice customers almost as equal. This beautiful market is famous mainly for the handicrafts and textiles. Local artisans make these handicrafts. Several artists have set up their studios to sell away classic and modern-themed works. Ban Boran Textiles, Think Positive, China Inn, Siam Indigo are among the top stores in the market. Your bargaining skills will come handy when you visit this market.
Location: Old Town, Phuket
Timings: 10 AM to 9 PM
Set in the heart of Karon Beach is the Karon Temple Market, located on the temple grounds. The market commences from the late afternoon when it starts getting cooler and continues till late evening. Tourist-oriented, this market has products ranging from fluorescent tees to bags, scarves and swimsuits, watches, handbags as well as cheap gifts and souvenirs.
Apart from these items, another exciting thing to look for at this market are stalls displaying some original handicrafts made by some Thai artists. These items are quirky and eye-catching. Some of these are hand-built robots, wiring and springs, handmade Teddy bears and dolls. If you are looking for cosmetics, you can find a good variety here. Karon Market has a lot to offer for food lovers as well. Near the entrance, there is an excellent choice of yummy finger food and some Thai delicacies. All in all, this market gives a glimpse of southern Thailand.
Location: At Wat Karon on Patak Road, Central Karon
Timings: 4 PM to 10 PM, every Tuesday and Friday
13. Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson is one of the most famous textile markets in the whole of Phuket. If you are looking for authentic silk items, this is the place to go. Started by an American Businessman, this market caters a beautiful shopping experience for customers looking for vibrant and colourful silk items. The stores have high-quality clothing and accessories and the ambience is top-notch, which makes the market a treat to the eyes. The products are not limited to silk but also other linens and cotton. Here, you can make quality purchases for both men and women such as textiles, bags, leather wallets, silk scarves and handkerchiefs. Jim Thompson is the best place to buy Phuket silk and is well-known for its elegant, quality and long-lasting products.
Location: Many locations around Phuket
Each of these markets has a special something that you will not find anywhere else, making the experience of shopping in Phuket a unique and unforgettable endeavour. They are wonderful spaces to just relax, eat and enjoy, even if you are not a shopping enthusiast. They make for good spots where you can introduce yourself to the local cultures and trends, and go back home a more knowledgeable, well-rested and happy person.