I recently (September 2013) visited Phuket for the 3rd time in 10 years. As I have done on my previous 2 holidays, I paid Star Tailor House a visit to order tailor made clothing for myself and my travel companions, and of course - to meet my friends again. The hospitality and professionalism of Dev, his mother and their co-workers make this one of the value adds of every trip to Phuket. With measurements taken and fabric selected, we were invited to a fit on the following afternoon. Within 2 full days our total clothing order was completed to perfection and our satisfaction and was delivered at our hotel. Throughout the years I had numerous suits, jackets shirts and pants made, and referred numerous colleagues and friends to highly recommended Star Tailor House. I am a (extremely) tall man, with a challenge to find suitable clothing in normal shops. Every time I wear my tailored clothing from Star Tailor House, I realise the feel-good feeling that make a visit to Star Tailor House worth the while. Keep up the good work Dev and co – see you definitely again!
What to buy: Suits, Shirts and Dresses
What to pay: Depend on the quality
Well I have to say it, Home Pro is one of my favorite places to waste time looking around. We often visit the one at the Villa Market at Chalong which also have the best supermarket or the one opposite Central Festival. I just wish we had a store like this at home, it is like Bunning's on steroids and the products are amazing.
Each year we buy our pillows here, they are Miracle Pillows, come in a flat pack and are so comfortable, pretty good for a pillow that is only 200baht. Each year we say we are going to buy bathroom accessories and send them home, maybe this year!
The stores are spotless and the displays are fantastic, you can buy absolutely everything here from power tools, nails, spa baths, showers to linen and furniture.
This Soi also use to be full of bars now it has been renovated and is a little shopping mall. It runs off Rat-u-Thit Rd nearly opposite the Paradise Complex. It is not worth going out of your way to see these shops as it is all the same goods that can be found everywhere in Patong. There is a guesthouse above the mall hence the name Paradise Inn. Nothing special!
Bangla Mall is another new development on Bangla Road that has restaurants, shops, banks, chemists and an Executive Food Court and Supermarket that are in the basement and accessed by escalators. The complex is over three levels and looks very nice. Bangkok Burgers is also part of this centre. Girls, there is a large Pixel shoe store here.
Patong Promenade opened in December 2011 and I took these photos in October 2012, once all the shops are leased it will be a great addition to the Phuket shopping experience. The centre has 4 entries with the main entrance opposite Jungceylon and another big entrance from Bangla Road next to the Tiger Complex.
Some of the shops at Patong Promenade are Elegant Doggy where absolutely everything is dog related, Craft India for clothing, accessories, ornaments etc and the House of Leather with a good selection of up market handbags and purses. There are Lolly shops, pubs, restaurants, jewellery shops and much more.
Patong Promenade is actually quite beautiful especially the section that is done like old Sino Portegese shop houses, part of the centre is set over 2 levels with a glass enclosed elevator or stairs to take you to the top which is where you will also find Hogs Breath Cafe. There is also plenty of underground parking.
Jungceylon shopping centre in Patong is actually two buildings separated by a large court yard. Big C supermarket is in the second building and opens at 10am, one hour before all the other shops in the centre. Big C also has a second floor where all the clothing, electrical and some household items are.
It is a pretty good supermarket, but I did prefer it when it was Carrefour, meat etc was a lot fresher then and now some items are hard to get like Coke Zero as they can go months without having any in stock!
Anyway this is really just a photo page to show you what the supermarket and prices are like.
Robinsons Department store in Jungceylon shopping centre is in the second building through the outdoor courtyard. There are 2 floors with a huge selection of women's clothing, shoes and handbags. At times they have Guess sales with select items up to 60% off. In the photos the blue Guess bag was 1240baht, the black one was a present from our friends at Patong Tattoo so I do not have a price for it.
The red and black handbags after discounting were 1400baht each, excellent for a medium size Guess bag. The purse was 40% off and cost 834baht. The three pairs of shoes are all Crocodile brand and size 10, they were 900-1000baht a pair.
Another brand I like is Portland and Robinsons has a very good selection, most sizes go to the equalivent of Australian size 14. Triumph swimmers are around 2600baht and a few odds and ends are Travel Kit hair clippers 900baht, electric cooker barbeque 600baht.
So Robinsons is definitely worth a visit for better quality shopping.
per Sports is my favorite sports shop in Thailand. The store at Jungceylon shopping centre is huge and don't forget to go upstairs to the next level as well, this is where all the swimmers, beach and golf wear are.
There are always sales on here and it is so much cheaper buying branded sports wear such as Reebok, Adidas, Puma etc. Some of the menswear also comes in bigger sizes. They also have a Super Sports in Central Festival shopping centre which is where we bought the bike in the photos below.
My Merrell sandals in the photo were 2900baht, I had priced these at home and they were about $40 more expensive. I love them and they are just so comfortable.
On big ticket purchases you can still ask for a discount, this exercise bike was on special and had already been reduced so I asked could they do an even better price so off he went to ask his manager. The price dropped a couple of thousand baht so we paid 12,000baht for it with free delivery and setup for the next day.
Dunlop shorts were 380baht a pair and the ladies Reebok tops 380baht each.
Dri Cool Reebok tops were 790baht each. These prices are fantastic as Dri Cool etc at home are well over double the price. So I always stock up on these when we are in Phuket.
Another good buy is a Thai brand called Soft Liner, their shorts and tops are also Dri Cool and very cheap. Long & short sleeve tops are around 480baht on special. You will find more of this brand up the escalators on the next floor, which is where I also bought a Roxy beach dress for 1645baht.
So have a good look around both floors as there are definitely some bargains to be found.
My Reebok runners were 1250baht.
It had been about 15 years since I had clothes tailor made in Phuket but I bought a top that I loved from the Espirit shop in Central Festival and liked it so much I thought why not have some more made in different colors!
So I took my Espirit top to Grace Lands Collection and had 3 more made. They are better than the original one, the fabric is much better quality and the fit is perfect.
I also picked out a nice pair of 3/4 pants from a catalogue but could not decide on the color I liked the best so also had 3 pairs made in Cashmere Silk. This is an expensive fabric but it is so light, does not crease and feels fantastic on. The 3 tops and 3 pairs of trousers cost me just under Aus$300.
My daughter and her partner from Scotland had a lot of clothes made as well. She had some fantastic work dresses made from a photo she had taken over. Actually the dress was such a hit the tailors made an extra one and put it on a mannequin in their window. In seven days they had 10 orders for this dress! Her partner also had a couple of suits made and a corduroy jacket.
They were both very happy with their purchases.
Many of our friends have also had clothes made at Grace Lands Collection, which included the beautiful dress in the photos, all the bead word is by hand.
Grace Lands Collection is on Chalermprakiat Road, better known as Soi Eden to the locals. It is the little street that runs from the beach road through to Rat-u-Thit Rd at the northern end of Patong Beach. Graceland's Hotel, the Ibis Hotel etc are on the same road. Grace Lands Collection are a stand alone shop and nothing to do with Graceland's Hotel.
So we highly recommend Grace Lands Collection and now I can't wait to have some more clothes made. Ask for Dill, Johnny Or Matt they are all extremely helpful and not pushy at all.
The Deli has been around for many years and it is here you will find a huge selection of wines, beer and spirits from around the world.
There is also a good choice of imported cheese, salami and cold meats to make those tasty platters.
The Deli Supermarket is up the northern end of Rat-u-Thit Rd just past Nicky's Handlebar and the Post Office.
You can even buy Vegemite here but it is very expensive!
BeautyLand has been around for many years now. I can remember when they were just a small single shop front and now they are four shop fronts wide with upstairs as well. This place is so popular due to their very cheap prices on hair and beauty products and dare I say for their Wanthai brand Baby Face Cream which sells out very quickly. I have never tried this cream but it is a huge seller with Australians.
Rather than list all the items you can buy here, I have just added a few photos, it will give you an idea of some of their products. They also have a huge amount of hairdressing supplies, their hair brushes and scissors are excellent value.
BeautyLand has three stores, the big one in Patong, then one at Chalong and Phuket Town.
You can also order online through their website, bit more expensive but if you are desperate then it’s worth it.
BeautyLand is up the northern end of Rat-u-Thit Rd, keep walking past Bangla Rd and over Had Patong Rd, just after that you will see a small laneway leading down to Andaman Beach Suites, turn down here and BeautyLand is on your right.
The Pornthip Sea Store is one of the largest souvenir stores cum shops in Phuket and is a favorite of many Asian Tourists like Chinese, taiwanese, koreans, japanese, singaporeans, etc. This is the last stop of those going on a Phuket City Tour and the store is located in Rassada Town in Muang District of Phuket.
The store was started in 1991, Pornthip Sea Store Co., Ltd. is a producer of processed seafood mixed with herbs products for health under "Pornthip" brand. Some of their products include flossy and crispy baked pork, crispy smoked dried shrimps, chili paste, cashew nuts, preserved fruits and Phuket Desserts. If you are not going to bangkok and phuket is you last stop before going back to your country, then I would suggest you to have your last minute shopping of the assorted Phuket foods and sweets here as they also have corrugated boxes of various sizes which you can put your goodies and use it to hand carry or check in your stash at the airport.
Opens: 07:30 am to 6:00 pm everday except sundays
What to buy: they have a large variety of general thai food products and regional southern thailand and phuket products like cashew nuts in various flavors, phuket style moon cake, southern thailand coffee, assorted bottled curries and chillies, dried seafood and more.
What to pay: 140 baht for cashew nuts, 250 baht for 1 pack of phuket coffee, 80 baht for 1 pack of tao soor (phuket version of the chinese mooncake (hopia in the philippines)). 100 baht for assorted dried fruits and more.
like what I've said, thailand has a vibrant Garments Industry that competes with China in mass producing cheap but durable clothes, garments and textiles. And when you are having a phuket city tour, included in the stops is a visit to one Garment Factory in Kathu Town in Kathu District at Highway 4029. This garment factory is named The Center ,Cheapest, Widest Variety of T-Shirts and Souvenir Store (with translations at different languages) and this garment factory store offers a wide variety of quality T-Shirts, assorted garments, shorts, beach wear, souvenir items and more.
Opens: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday
What to buy: factory priced t-shirts and shorts and other garments are cheap prices, you can buy good quality imitation shirts like Hard Rock Cafe Phuket or Heineken Beer at 160 baht for one piece and it goes to only 130 baht if you buy three or more shirts. they also have assorted phuket t-shirts, chang beer, red bull, singha beer, foot ball club shirts and other clothes like sarongs, shorts, skirts, tank tops and more.
What to pay: high quality t-shirts at 160 baht a piece and more
This will be my shopping tips for the Cashew Nut factory.
Not Only is the Sri Bhurapa Orchid Casherw Nut Factory a showcase of Cashew production in Phuket but it also doubles as a souvenir and shopping store. besides the cashew nuts that are available in different flavors and the cashew juice, they also sell assorted products like the thai chicarrones called chainarong, pork floss, assorted dried fruits, assorted thai sweets and dried tamarinds, some local crafts and my favorite refrigerator magnets and shot glasses and post cards.
opens: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm everyday
What to buy: an assortment of cashew nuts (both plain and flavored) like chili flavored cashew nuts (150 baht a bag), pad thai flavored casher nuts (120 baht a bag), seaweed flavored casher nuts (170 baht a bag) and a lot more kinds of cashew nut flavorings. dried fruits at 80 to 120 baht per bag (dried mango, guava, watermelon, jack fruit, etc), chainarong 150 baht a bag and more.
What to pay: not a dent on your wallet
This will be my Bangla Road Shopping Tips
If you are dead tired of the endless partying and debauchery at the infamous Bangla Road and need a change of Pace, then ignore the loud music and the bars, just go inside the many shopping stalls in Bangla Road. Therea are many different shopping stalls in Bangla Road besides the Bangla Mall and they offer a variety of goods and things for sale (although the wares here are identical to what they sell at Taweewong Road and Rat U Thit Roads too). Unlike the Bars which mostly open at night, the shops at Bangla Road open at 10:00 am and most closes at midnight.
Bangla Road is unrecognizable at daytime as it is just one if the streets in Patong, but when the clock strikes at 6:00 pm, the road closes for traffic and they will put road blocks at the front of Bangla Road facing the Police Station in Taweewong Road and at the Junction of Bangla and Rat U Thit Roads and the party begins!
Bangla Road will then morphed into what it is notorious or famous for!
What to buy: all the kitschy souvenir stuffs that you can think of and a lot more like shirts, mugs, paintings, local wood carvings, fridge magnets, post cards, shot glasses, pewter, thai silk products, hand bags, leather and a lot more.
What to pay: like what I always say, you must know the art of haggling as prices here are more inflated for the same items you see in bangkok! try to knock off 100% off the price of the items!