This is a must for all food lovers. The Yum of Thai food can be found from many sellers and you can have fantastic food at incredible low prices. Taste them all, my favourite is Tom Kha Kai, spice chicken soup with coconut milk and galanga (one sort of ginger). I try to take my spice shopping list with and galanga and ginger are high on my list.
What to buy: Fruits and food.
It was very pleasant for me and my husband (after spending time in Bangkok, where fell by the scam of the tuk tuk driver, we ended up buying a suit from the top ten collection, where they did an awful job, and everytime i pointed something that needed to be fixed...more than 5 times... the first two they say ohh, no problem, after that they say ohhh no that is like that, is supposed to be like that...yeah right...), well, after that we went to Krabi and one day we wondered into the city, we found this little shop in a corner and just out of curiosity ( i wanted to know by how much we have been reaped off in Bangkok) asked for th price of a suit...it was so much cheaper!!! :(
We were really skeptical at first, but we buyed another suit and trousers for me, Sunisa, the owner is so lovely, i still keep in touch with her to have her made me coats and other things (since she already have my husband's and my measures).
She did a great job, perfect copies of the magazine things i wanted, work fast and they take so much care on what they do, her husband pin my suit so many times to fix it, even when i was happy already, he was a perfeccionist!
I really recommend her to you, you won't regret it!!!
What to buy: All kind of taylor made clothes for man, women and children
What to pay: We ended up paying about 160 euro for a heavy coat, two shirts and two organza skirt-pants, but is negotiable, we didn't bargain because we were so happy with the job they did...
There are hundreds of small shops selling mostly the same types of things from bags, t-shirts, bikini, sandals and clothing. You can also tailor make a suite and dress here. The starting price is around 3000 baht. It was a little bit too expensive compare to Bangkok so we did not make any dresses.
What to buy: There are many roadside stalls and small shops lining alongside and bargaining is a must. Nail manicure & pedicure, foot scrub, massage shops and hair salon.
What to pay: from US$1.00 onwards, the key here is bargain as hard as you can.
There are 2 great shops in Ao Nang for handmade jewellery. Both are Chock Dee and you can buy some beautiful original silver bracelets, rings etc... It can be quite expensive, in comparison to everything else you can buy in Ao Nang, but there's sometimes a deal to be made.
There are a couple of small boutique clothes shops in Ao Nang which sell some rather nice womens clothes, bags and t-shirts. Some sell some nice mens clothes too. They are not your average shop in Krabi where you can buy cheap knock off designer gear and mass produced souveneirs, one of them was definitely a fixed price shop and won't appreaciate you trying to haggle with them!
I didn't pay attention to what they were called but there's about 3 of them at the southern end of the main street and around the corner (almost opposite Tanta's restaurant). You can't miss them, just look out for the classier looking shops.
Hello Kitty everything - the craze is everywhere, including this part of Thailand - students and locals mostly shop here to satisfy their hello kitty cravings.
What to buy: Bought hair clips and hair ties for my little girl.
The Outlet Shopping Mall near Tesco's on route towards Airport from Ao Nang, is newly opened and has lots of brands at slightly cheaper prices. We managed to shop quite a bit there as kids clothes were quite fashionable and cheaper. They have Addidas, Nike, Pena House, Billabong, Fox (Ladies), Clarks Shoes, etc
Tesco's is a supermarket with "everything" (almost) and in the mall itself, there are other shops selling clothes, shoes, etc There is also a food court there where local Thai food is available at reasonable prices.
Town- Vogue Dept Store + shops in town - CD shop, Clothes shop, fruit & veg market, etc
What to buy: Outlet Shopping Centre: Children's clothes, Women's Clothes & Shoes, Men's clothes & shoes, Swim gear, Golf gear
Tesco: Groceries, DVD, Ice-cream (Dairy Queen), Local snacks, etc Also cheap clothes available inside supermarket, but not very fashionable
Krabi Town: Vogue Dept Store - not very current fashions, but there is a bookstore that sells current English language DVDs, music CDs at reasonable prices. There is also a small supermarket here and a KFC, Swensen's (ice-cream only)
In krabi town there are also many small outfits that sell handbags, clothes, shoes, etc.
Ao Nang: gifts, etc - Do bargain, bargain! Not as cheap as bangkok, but quite okay after bargaining.
What to pay: At Outlet Shopping Mall - we managed to buy quite a bit and this seemed to be the only place with VAT claimable. Min to claim VAT is 5000 bht - make sure you get the cashier to give and help you fill up the VAT form (which you can drop off at Krabi Airport, International Departures, or at Phuket, Bangkok / Chang Mai airport).
Along the beach, you can find dozens of shops selling almost the same kind of stuff. Beach wear, surf shorts, t-shirts, bikinis, toys, etc
Bargain for what you want as you will find differences in the prices for same item in different shops.
T-shirts and surf shorts can be up to 250 bahts and bikinis about 400 bahts.
In Krabi Town, Vogue Shopping Centre is THE shopping mall, but do take some time to explore those nooks and cranny shops around vogue (It's plain and simple why many tourists like me made Vogue their first start point or maybe, the only point...truly it's for the air-conditioning!)
What to buy: You can check out the cake shop, that also sells biscuits. If you're into the habit of munching on the go, THAT should be your first stop. The cake shop is a few steps left of Vogue. further left while crossing the road, you'd find a store that sells kiddy clothing. Another air-conditioned place! But the truth of the matter is that the clothing are so-so but still worth checking it out.
To the right of Vogue, then turn left, you can find little nick-nacks from a gift shop. the prices are not really cheap, but if you would like to bring home a bit of Thailand, then that's the place for you.
If you need to quench that thirst in hot weathered Krabi, what better way than to look for something that's la naturel.
I don't trust the drinks and food there unless it's KFC that you are talking about.
Also, since it's a morning market, do not visit the market in the afternoon. We were there at about 11.30am and nearlt everything was sold out!
What to buy: Fruits Galore. We bought a comb of bananas for just 15Baht. If we had brought along our blender, we could have made ice blended milkshakes for less than a dollar!
What to pay: There's really no need to bargain here as the prices of the fruits are all pretty affordable. I saw two tourists lugging their backpacks with two watermelons in tow each.
EDIT - In the past I've given VT'ers directions. However, lately a few have complained this shop operates at irregular hours, or is closed, and I shall no longer provide the info , for clues to this shop, see info below. As of 2006, copyright protection has gone to Thailand and many shops selling close counterfeits are forced to close. Getting inferior and obvious counterfeits are easy, though.
TIP - persuade the shopkeeps for "Grade A" counterfeits. These goods are well hidden and will only be shown to regular VIP customers. If you're new, you gotta convince them you're not one of the undercover police inspectors. Not all shops have them, maybe like 10%.
What to buy: There are basically 2 types of replicas. Thai and Korean. Thai ones are at best grade B, otherwise more commonly Cs. There is one shop selling Korean-made replicas at grade AAA but I'm not revealing the name here in the public forum. It's a small shop, much more discreet than the rest and easy to miss. However fans of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Dior replicas keep going back to this one somehow.
What to pay: For Grade A AFTER bargaining, as low as it gets, it's about:
560 Baht for a cosmetic pouch or similar item
800 Baht for a small wallet or purse with coin section
920 Baht for a long wallet
1000 Baht for a small sling handbag
1200 Baht for a medium handbag
This is a tailors. We spent hours in here not just getting clothes made but talking for hours to John the owner and great host, all about his travels and how his business has grown. We haggled like mad, its was hilarious
What to buy: Clothes, bring a picture if you like.
Business men get your suits made.
What to pay: all sorts depending on choice and fabric
A night market consisting of several stalls. It's out in the open by the roadside and quite dirty. But the fresh produce on sale is dirt cheap who cares? Bargain bargain bargain!!!
Useful tip: Choose quantity you want and let sellers weigh and give a price. You don't always have to buy by the pound or kilogram (as stated on the signboards).
What to buy: All sorts of fresh fruits though some like Durians and Lychees are seasonal. Thais love unripe mangoes, their local delicacy so you'll find green ones for sale too.
Tamarinds - cheap and sweet, about US$0.60 a kilo. Choose smooth edge ones. Far sweeter than the Mexican versions, you oughtta try some!
Durians - Smooth and sweeter than other Asian counterparts.
Pineapple - Juicier and not as sharp tasting as its Asian cousins.
Dates - Large, very fresh and ripe. Choose hard ones for freshness.
What to pay: 30 Baht for a kilogram of dates
40 Baht for a kilogram of tamarinds
What to pay: If you intend to buy any tourist items such as T-shirts and shell objects from any of the gift shops in Ao Nang, do bargain. Personally, I do not really like to bargain but if you don't the items are usually quite a bit more expensive, especially during weekends in which the initial asking price for the items are often higher than during the weekdays when there are less people around. There are some people who said that they managed about 50%, but that at least to me don't seemed to be possible at most shops. The typical discount I received after bargaining can be anything from 25% to 45%, depending on the item.
The department store (I think i've got the name right) on Thanon Maharat is a bit of a curates's egg.
It spawls over five floor or so : and includes a food supermarket, KFC, a branch of Boots the Chemist and a food court.
What intrigued me however was the fact that the ground floor was filled with cheap fakes of various clothing fashion houses but on the upper floors you could buy the real thing !
I wondered if they ever mixed things up. When it comes to some fake things - we are talking Pamela Anderson here - the fake is better than the real thing. In this context I'm not so sure - but remember this : They are all real on the outside !