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OTOP Patong, Phuket Overview

When tourists get tired of the beaches, they choose to drop by the open-air market i.e. OTOP Shopping Paradise in Patong, Phuket. It is indeed the best place to pick up a number of local products including textiles, handicrafts, pottery and electronic goods at affordable rates. The place is found to be crowded in the evenings with most people making a beeline for the bars and food carts parked nearby. The term OTOP is an acronym for ‘One Tambon One Product’ that begun as a venture to promote indigenous products created by the sub districts (Tambon) across Thailand. The influx of tourists and lure of dollars has resulted in compromising the idea somewhat with pirated electronic goods and accessories being vended at the market today as well. However, there are a number of stalls that continue to sell original OTOP items with the huge wood crafted Buddha heads being the most popular of the lot.

Visiting the market is more of a fun experience then a venue for indulging in serious shopping. Most of the tourists pick up a few local handicrafts and interesting looking souvenirs before heading to the restaurants or food carts to sample delicious local dishes and cheap drinks. Individuals hoping to relax after a tiring day at the beach also enter the tattoo parlor located within the market to obtain a memory of the place.

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Shopping at the OTOP Market

People hoping to find original Thai products are not going to be disappointed as there are plenty of kiosks at the market offering silk garments, handicrafts, souvenirs and household items from several provinces of Thailand. Unfortunately, the vendors also cater to the locals looking for fake electronics and copies of branded clothing along with accessories. Many of the visitors are intrigued to find quaint purses as well as tons of electronic gadgets including iPods, headphones and mobile phones sold at astonishingly low rates. Watches, mini lasers and pirated clothing items can be found here as well.

Souvenir Stores
The souvenir shops are jam-packed with an amazing array of customized mugs, beer message printed singlet, flip flops, boxer shorts and baseball gear. Ceramic vases, picture frames, wooden toys, cloth bags with sequins and laughing Buddha statues happen to be the most sought after souvenirs here with most shoppers being pleased to purchase the coveted items after bargaining with the hawkers.

All Round Demand
Large hats, sunglasses and travel bags are always in demand at this market for many of the International visitors choose to pick them up here at bargain prices. 

Food at OTOP Market

The narrow alleys of the market are well lit and begin to get crowded as the night grows. There are several restaurants around but most of the men stop at the Australian Beer Bar for chilled beer with others favoring the stand alone whiskey shop here too. The mobile food carts do brisk business after sundown as well with the delicious street food being sold out within hours. The visitors get to mingle with the locals over a plate of the local classic Phad Thai or hot fried chicken served on plastic tables in front of the food stands. Grilled seafood is a delicacy that is favored over the other dishes due to the freshness of the ingredients.

Tips

  • It is advisable to visit the market in the evening to avoid the intense heat
  • Bargaining is the norm at the market and visitors who pay the asking rate would be getting a raw deal
  • It might be wise to consider visiting the market multiple times as clubbing shopping, drinking and snacking together may be problematic

How To Reach OTOP Patong

The market is conveniently located in the center of the Patong and is at a walking distance from the popular Jungceylon mall. Tourists staying far off can hire taxis or tuk tuks to the market. Local buses to the beach also stop by the OTOP Market .

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