Shopping in Phuket
Much of Phuket's shopping is very commercial, with big centres such as Patong's Jungceylon dominating the scene, but there are also plenty of interesting independent shops – especially in Phuket Town's warren of streets – as well as lively markets throughout the island. Old wares, tribal-inspired products and silk are among the best buys.
The American entrepreneur revived the Thai silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s before disappearing mysteriously in Malaya. The quality of the products sold is exceptional, with scarves, bags, ties, tablecloths and napkins among the most popular items. There are outlets throughout Phuket.
Ban Boran Textiles
The products here are mainly sourced from tribal regions of Thailand, especially Chiang Mai in the north, and neighbouring countries. Bags, silk and cotton shirts shirts, pendants, jewellery and lacquerware are among the quality handicrafts on sale.
Phuket Weekend Market
The Phuket Town weekend market is like a miniature version of Bangkok's Chatuchak weekend market, but it fires up in the late afternoon, rather than the early morning as in the capital. What can you buy here? It's easier to list what you can't – and that's not much.
Phuket Walking Street
Thalang Road is the charming restored heart of Old Phuket Town, and home to a weekly market (on late Sunday afternoon) since 2013. There's food, handicrafts and souvenirs for sale, and even if you don't buy anything, it's a fun way to spend a hot evening.
This stands for One Tambon One Product and was the brainchild of disgraced former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, designed to boost craft production in Thailand's villages. Phuket's main OTOP outlet is at the end of Soi Bangla. Expect interesting handicrafts, silk and cotton clothes, and more.
This neat and tidy market behind Patong's giant Jungceylon shopping mall is highlighted by fresh food but there are also stalls selling clothes, shoes and other goods, as well as a food court. It's all very picturesque, and open all day, but really gets going after dark.
Premium Outlet Phuket
You can find copy products all over Thailand – from t-shirts and shoes to watches and handbags. But here it's all genuine, and at discount prices. The vast majority of what is on sale here is international, but you can also find Thai products.