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Shopping in Phuket
Written by Administrator    Wednesday, 24 March 2010 11:38    PDF Print E-mail

Phuket Island offers a microcosm of the shopping available throughout Thailand. An efficient national transport network allows items from all corners of the country to reach Phuket easily and cheaply. Thus the markets here carry many of the varied handicrafts from Chiang Mai and the north, the jewellery from Bangkok, the materials from the Northeast and the many products manufactured around Bangkok. All come at good prices.

Shopping in Phuket

The made-to-order tailoring for which Thailand is also famous is also available here at the same cheap prices common in Bangkok. The famous brand name clothing and shoes available in Bangkok are also on sale here, the genuine goods often displayed close by the fakes for which the country is equally famous. Things like music CDs are also available in both genuine and fake versions, both at bargain prices.

The major markets and shopping centres are in Phuket Town and Patong Beach, though there are also many other worthwhile markets and shops scattered around the island. The best-known antique traders are scattered. Furniture makers and retailers are in the middle of the island, as are the large jewellery centres (take note of our warnings).

Shopping in Phuket

Commissions to guides and drivers:
Commissions paid to taxi drivers and guides present a problem, and one should be wary. It is much better to take oneself shopping, if you can, because the commissions paid back to the person bringing a tourist into the shop are sometimes as high as 30%, which, of course, has to be tacked onto the price the visitor pays. Some shops pay taxi drivers, or give them petrol vouchers, for every foreigner they can bring through the door – whether or not a purchase is made – causing some drivers to forcefully divert even unwilling tourists away from their intended routes and into a shop.

Yes, do it. In Thailand bargaining is a national pastime in all markets and privately owner shops. If you don’t you’ll pay much more. Remember there is usually a hefty taxi driver’s commission built into the price is any tourist oriented shop, and if you get yourself there you can readily bargain that commission right off.
Only big department stores have fixed prices.

In the following pages we can help guide you to the best buys and the worst traps. Copies of PHUKET Magazine and Phuket Guide, in which there is more up-to-date information, are helpful and can be found all around the island.

For more in-depth reading about shopping and things to buy there are more pages within this site.

Walking-shopping Tours of Phuket town
Story by Lori Ashton listing