Phuket has a great variety of shopping experiences. These include daily and weekly markets, including fresh markets like Banzaan Market or Kata Market and bustling open-air local food markets, such as Phuket Walking Street in Old Town.
They also include Western-style department stores and upmarket specialist shops, such as Central Festival Phuket. You have many opportunities to choose souvenirs for your family, friends, and colleagues. These include handicrafts, paintings, Thai silk, pearls, antiques, and even cashew nuts to remind you of your warm holiday experiences in Phuket.
Souvenirs to Shop For
From roadside stalls to shopping centers, Phuket has shopping opportunities to satisfy all but the most fanatical shopaholic. For guidance, let’s start with the five most famous souvenirs to buy in Phuket.
This handwoven fabric is the most sought after and can be recognized by the small imperfections found in the weave. The safest way to get genuine Thai silk is to go to a reliable shop, such as Jungceylon mall, Central Festival Phuket, or Jim Thompson.
Gems and Jewelry
Jewelry shops are mainly found in Phuket Town and at Patong Beach. There are good jewelry shops in Montri Road, Phuket Town and you can find more in Ratsada Road and Ranong Road. The best purchases are items made with local gems, such as rubies and sapphires.
As one of Phuket's best items to purchase, the cultured pearls offered to you are of good quality and available in large quantities. They are available individually, as a strand of pearls, or as part of an ornament.
Produced in the warm waters around the island, Phuket pearls come in a variety of shades from black to cream or white, and in a variety of sizes. There are plenty of jewelers in Phuket who can make elegant settings for you. If you are interested in pearls, consider a trip to the pearl farm on Naka Noi Island.
Thai, Chinese, Burmese, and Khmer antiques are excellent purchases to make. The best area for antiques and art shops is Phuket Old Town. If you wander along Dibuk Road and Thalang Road, you will find many interesting antique and art shops.
It is also a chance to admire the Sino-Portuguese architecture of the oldest buildings in Phuket Town. However, you must have a permit from the Fine Arts Department to export real antiques from Thailand. Any reputable vendors will be able to advise you on the restrictions and any necessary documentation.
Cashew nuts are grown locally in Phuket and other provinces of southern Thailand. They are of better quality than those grown elsewhere in the world and are relatively cheap compared to the prices in Western countries. Many kinds of cashew nut are sold, such as roasted cashew nuts with salt, cashew nuts fried with garlic, cashew nuts coated with chocolate, honeyed cashew nut brittle, and cashew apple juice.
When consumed, they can aid the body to treat inflammations and infections of the respiratory tract, and help to reduce the symptoms of dysentery, gastric ulcers, and chronic stomach disease. They can even increase resistance to the common cold and allergy symptoms.
Local Markets to Shop Around
Phuket has an impressive number of local markets that sell all sorts of goods, souvenirs, and foods. The markets can be differentiated between based on their type, such as daily markets, weekly markets, fresh markets, and modern markets.
Fresh markets are a very important aspect of Phuket and the Thai social life. You can find fresh fruits and vegetables, clothes, and souvenirs there.
Banzaan Fresh Market in Patong Beach
‘Banzaan’ means ‘fresh market’ in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect. Inside this market you will find fresh food, seafood, vegetables, flowers, Thai sweets, and the most bizarre-looking fruits at reasonable prices. The food is fresh and all the products are well arranged to give the place a very exciting look.
The building that hosts Banzaan Market has modern décor and style. There is a big food court upstairs, which consists mainly of Thai food, as well as many kiosks selling clothes, children’s toys, and gifts.
Location: Patong, Kathu District, Phuket 83150
Opening hours: every day, 6am–9pm
Kata Fresh Market in Kata Beach
Kata Fresh Market is quite simply one of the most vibrant fresh markets on Phuket’s west coast. This all-in-one market offers you many things, such as religious artifacts, health juices, skin products, electronics, jewelry, and much more.
The list of items you can buy at Kata Fresh Market is endless so just amble along and take it all in. Don’t eat anything before you go to Kata Fresh Market because you’ll be sorely tempted by the spring rolls, Thai sausages, and fresh tropical fruits and vegetables that are on offer. The best time to go is after 5pm when the market is not so crowded.
Location: Kata Road, Chang Wat Phuket 83100
Opening hours: Mondays and Thursdays, 11am–9pm
12-Day Thailand Family Holiday:
Central Festival Phuket
Central Festival Phuket is the place to shop for everything. This one-stop shopping mall is located just outside of Phuket Town. The shopping mall is divided into different sections:
- Central Store for clothes, toys, and household items
- The B2S for books and stationery
- Super Sports for sport related items
- Power Buy for electronic goods and home appliances
- Office Depot for office equipment
If you visit Central Festival Phuket, don’t forget to go to Jim Thompson, which specializes in silk fabrics on the ground floor. You can buy high-quality and fashionable silk clothing, accessories, bedding, and shirts. You’ll be able to delight those back home with a few scarves and some knickknacks for children.
Location: Wichit, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Opening hours: every day, 10:30am–11pm
Phuket Walking Street in Old Town
This is the best weekend market that offers a taste of southern Thailand with gift stalls and handicrafts. Phuket Walking Street is around 350 meters long and is locally referred to as Lard Yai. You can buy anything from T-shirts, hats, and flip-flops to toys, paintings, and trinkets. You can also taste uniquely-flavored ice creams, fresh fruits, and tangy barbecued meats.
The street is decorated with a row of vintage Sino-Portuguese houses that are lit up with pink, blue, green, and yellow neon lights so as to emanate a party-like atmosphere. It’s also quite famous for its Thai Muslim and Indian shops.
Location: Thalang Road, Phuket Old Town, Chang Wat Phuket 83000
Opening hours: Sundays, 4pm–10pm
Phuket has shopping opportunities to satisfy all but the most fanatical shopaholic. Feel free to contact our professional staff to ensure you get the best shopping experiences. We'll gladly give you the best recommendations to meet your individual needs.