The Second largest convenience store chain in Thailand is the Japanese Export Family Mart Convenience Stores. Although it only has roughly a tenth of the number of stores in thailand than the huge 7-11 conglomerate (6,000 plus stores for 7-11 and 689 stores for family mart), you can see some family mart convenience stores in and around the Phuket Area and they seem to be more numerous then 7-11 stores here at the Patong Area. They have virtually the same products on sale on their 24 hour convenience stores with 7-11 and with almost the same prices but the only difference is that they have different local convenience food offering than in 7-11. you can buy all your essential necessities for travel here like bottled water, soaps, shampoo, snacks, junk food, local burgers or sandwiches, local drinks, prepaid mobile phone reload cards and more.
What to buy: all the items that you can find in a convenience store and the prices are less than buying it at the hotel store or the items in your hotel room.
What to pay: not a dent on your wallet. bottled water at 12 baht, beers at 32 baht, junk foods at 14 baht and more.
thailand has a large number of 24 hour convenience stores and the number on brand here is the 7-11 brand of which thailand has the third largest number of 7-11 convenience stores around the world and a lot of them are in Phuket Area (but there are mor family mart convenience stores at Patong Beach than 7-11's) Do I need a thorough explanation on a 7-11 convenience store? There are practically a 7-11 store in every four blocks in Patong providing 24 hour convenience but a warning! not all store attendants speak english so be prepared to point what you want if you are ordering the 7-11 own products like snacks or coffee or teas on the dispensers!
according to wikipedia:
The franchise in Thailand is the CP ALL Public Company Limited, which in turn grants franchises to operators. There were 6,300 stores 7-Elevens in Thailand in 2011, half of which are in Bangkok, making Thailand have the 3rd largest number of stores after Japan (13,000) and the United States (6,500). CP All plans to increase the number of stores to 6,800 in 2012 and more than 7,000 by 2013. Mr Piyawat[who?] said the company plans spending of 5 billion baht to expand business this year. Of the total, 2 billion will be used to open 500 new outlets, one billion to renovate existing stores and the rest to develop a new distribution centre in the East.
What to buy: all the items that you need on a 24 hour basis and the stores are open 24/7
What to pay: soft drinks at 15 baht a can, beer at 36 baht a can, snack foods at 12 to 20 baht, bottled water at 10 to 15 baht and more.
The DJ Plaza is a shopping and dining mall located at the southern end of patong beach where the area is less crowded and quiet then at the main beach road (taweewong road) and it sits just in front of the huge duangjitt resort hotel. inside this plaza, you can find a wide assortment of souvenir stalls, massage areas, foreign exhange shops, tattoo shops, pharmacies, local craft stores, convenience stores and a sprinkling of bars, restaurants and sports bars. It is ear the taweewong road and shopping here is not fast paced.
opens: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm everyday
What to buy: local crafts like bags, shoes, flip flops, paintings, medicine from the pharmacies, henna and real tattoo from the tattoo shops, food and drinks, assorted thai massage and a lot more
What to pay: like anywhere in patong, prices of the items are not fixed so haggling is the norm.
this will be my shopping tips of Taweewong Road (Beach road) which is the main area of activity in Patong as it lies parallel to Patong Beach.
Taweewong Road is where most of the action is during the day and it is here where there is the greatest concentrations of establishments, particularly the assorted shops, stalls, shacks and what have you, selling everything for kitschy souvenirs, local paintings, local arts and craft, fridge magnets, shot glasses, all kinds of phuket t-shirt souvenirs, sarongs, beach wear, street foods and a way lot more. the list is huge and the choices are endless and most of the shops here open early and closed very late as patong is a year long destination.
Shops usually open from 7:00 am to midnight.
What to buy: all the touristy and essential and non essential items that you can think of like paintings, beach wear, scuba gear, key chains, t-shirts, sarongs, beach skirts, fans,sunglasses, souvenir items and a lot more.
What to pay: depends on your haggling skills! prices of the items here are more expensive than in bangkok for a similar item as it is more touristy here so haggling is a must!
We decided to post this review to make sure that 'Tony's Fashion House' Kata Beach, Phuket is not associated with another review - ('Top Tony Tailor' - Oct 9, 2010 Otop Markets in Ratuthit Road Patong)
We have just arrived back from a week in Kata Beach Phuket. The weather was not great but we had a good time despite it. Looking back my husband and I both agree that the best thing was having work done at 'Tony's' Fashion House. His shop was close by the Kata Beach Resort, which was handy for fitting appointments. He also popped around to the hotel for adjustments. The professional service and outstanding finished products have prompted us to write to Tripadvisor.
It is very difficult to choose a tailor in Phuket. One is constantly accosted by 'calling boys' in the streets. They stand outside tailor shops trying to get you inside. It is not pleasant and does not inspire confidence in either their professionalism or conduct.
Consequently when a friend recommended Tony's we decided to check it out. This business is run by Bhupen who has trained and worked as a professional tailor in Phuket for 17 years. He adopted the name Tony because it came with the business, but actually he is originally from Nepal. He and his wife Benj are genuine professionals. They stand out from the crowd by maintaining high standards of work, honest service and a friendly obliging manner. They were able to offer honest advice about cut, design and fabrics. At no time did we feel pressured or worried about our orders.
My husband, who wears suits every day to work, got a superb suit made, a very stylish shirt and a wonderful cashmere overcoat. The outfits are expertly tailored, the fabrics excellent, the stylish linings on the jacket and coat are the best we have ever seen. (Bhupen included some practical features in pockets and reinforcements which are very sensible). And the overcoat will be wonderful for years to come. I had an old favourite pair of trousers with me which he copied beautifully. I wished I had been better prepared to have a winter coat or even a suit made for myself.
Now Bhupen has our measurements I am sure we will order more from him. I believe Tony's has a website which gives prices and measurement charts. Both Bhupen and Benj speak reasonable English and are very active in trying to improve all aspects of their service.
We wish them well - they deserve it!
What to buy: Men's and women's tailored clothing
What to pay: Refer to their web site for an indication of prices. Will depend on fabrics chosen.
Posting Goods Home via Thailand Post
Recently we sent a carton of clothes & goodies home to Australia from Phuket. I bought the biggest packing carton from the Post Office and it cost 40baht.
Packed and sealed it up myself back at the hotel (apparently the Post Office will do it for you at a price)
The carton weighed nearly 18 kilos and cost 3060baht to send door to door economy air, this takes 3 – 4 weeks.
The carton arrived in just under 4 weeks. So for the convenience and the price I would definitely use Thailand Post again.
There is a Post office in Soi Post Office up the southern end of Patong beach and one up the northern end on Rat-u-Thit Rd next to Nicky's Handlebar.
Our parcel from Chiang Mai to Australia weighed just over 11 kilos and cost 3,000baht for door to door service, this parcel arrived in 4 weeks.
Are you a mall rat or street browser?
Thaweewong Road (also known as Patong Beach Road)
On this road, besides the numerous stalls which sell anything from sun hats, visors, sun-glasses, lighters to carved soap, wood carvings, t-shirts, trinkets and jewelery in smallish street stalls, there are also a number of large shopping malls that have come up in Patong to cater to the typical mall rat who needs her air-conditioning.
Most clothing & shoe stalls open from 11 am or 12 noon and stay open till around midnight.
Mini-marts start earlier.
Family Mart (a Japanese chain mini-mart) and 7-11 are found everywhere and are open 24-hours a day.
Year 2000 road & Phra Baramee Road
After you have completed your walk along Thaweewong Road, and still have time to spare, why not check out the nearby Year 2000 road. To get there, head towards the hills on one of the smaller sois till you come to the road which is parallel to Thaweewong Road. This is Year 200 Road (also known as Rat U-Thit SongRai Pi Road) which has sprouted to life in recent times. There are numerous shops, cafes, mini-marts, laundry, tour agents, tailor shops, and motorbike rental stalls, and ubiquitous massage centers offering foot reflexology, traditional Thai massage and other services to tourists & locals.
Closer to the main junction of Thaweewong and Phra Bharamee Road (around the Novotel hotel area) heading away from the beach there are a number of art shops where amazingly good reproductions are done by local artists. They offer personal services and can paint whatever you like from a photograph. I was especially taken by their paintings of golden hued Buddha faces.
IThe Old and the New - Ocean Plaza
The first of its kind in Patong was Ocean Plaza which is located on Thaweewong Road (also known as Patong Beach Road) towards south Patong (nearer the Holiday Inn part of Patong Beach Road). A newcomer to the mall game is Ocean Plaza on Thanon / Soi Bangla, right next to Tiger Entertainment. (It seems to me like they must have torn down or moved some of the ago-go bars that used to be on the little side soi here when I was here 1 year ago).
Of course for those who can't miss the international brands, there is also the sparkling and still new JungCeylon shopping mall.
Brands include Boots pharmacy, Robinsons Department Store, Adidas, Nike, Levis Jeans, Aussie brands like Roxy & Billabong, and home grown brands such as Nautica and AXII (younger adults and kids clothes). It also boasts a number of cool gelato outlets, some American & European junk food outlets, and at the basement you will find a nice food court serving local & Asian specialties at reasonable prices. There is even a snooker parlour and a cinema, and in July 2007, while I was swimming at the hotel, my ex-colleagues spent a good few hours at this mall. Carrefour supermarket is located here at JungCeylon.
JungCeylon is located not far from Soi Bangla (Thanon Bangla) along Year 2000 (Rat U-Thit Song Roi Pi) road & any tuk tuk driver worth his salt will be able to get you there.
Perhaps you may need to massage your sore feet and shoulders after all that shopping?
The famous (or infamous, depends on your point of view) Christine's Massage parlour is also located on Year 2000 road. A little history lesson-Christine's offers traditional Thai massage on one floor and body massage on another floor. It was one of the earliest and poshest massage outlets in the early wild days of Patong.
What to buy: Bargain hard but with a smile-but not at supermarkets or department stores where prices are fixed,
Personally I prefer to visit fixed priced outlets myself.
Not sure if an item is fake? Generally goods at department stores are the real McCoy. Stalls on the street tend to carry fakes. Pricing will also be a good indicator.
What to pay: Prices vary from one place to another.
Prices are generally cheaper in Phuket town than at Patong beach-which is cleary targetted at tourist trade.
We arrived to this mall on a motorbike. It was a long long journey from the Phuket Airport.
It is very tourist-friendly - there is a one stop Tourist Center for booking tours, making airline & hotel reservations, arranging car rentals, money exchange and even a shuttle bus service.
The anchor tenant is of course the popular Central Departmental Store.
It also houses, megastores like Supersports (www.supersports.co.th), Power Buy (www.powerbuy.co.th), B2S (www.b2s.co.th), Office Depot (www.officedepot.co.th), HomeWorks D.I.Y. (www.homeworks.co.th), TOPS supermarket (www.tops.co.th) and
SFX Coliseum cineplex.
Opens: 10.00 am - 10.00 pm everyday
Central Festival is a large modern shopping mall in Phuket.
This huge modern complex has every type of shop you could imagine with many brand names available. (Real brand names of course - not copies!!)
There are sports shops, clothes shops, beauty shops, jewellery, homeware, computer, mobile phone shops and if its shoes you are after, you will find the most beautiful ones here. There is a good supermarket and department store plus a state of the art cinema complex.
If you have problems buying shoes in Phuket have a look at the Bata shop - they have big sizes for women!!
Every taste is catered for as well in the eating department. From KFC, Sizzlers and Pizza Hut, to the food hall, or try some of the more upmarket restaurants.
There are also quite a few ATM's at Central Festival, tour centres, banks. Everything you would expect from a major shopping mall is here.
Well worth a visit.
The choice at Central Festival is endless.
If you're keen on doing some shopping and want some keen prices you don't have to bargain over, then you could do worse than stop by the local Tesco-Lotus hypermarket. As well as the usual hypermarket selection of bargain foodstuffs and clothes (including good value T-shirts), the Phuket branch has a little souvenir section with some nice handicrafts. I got a lovely cushion cover here as a souvenir at a bargain price.
In addition to the main store, there's also a small mall attached which is well worth a wander around.
It's open from 9am until midnight daily, but these hours may be reduced in the near future - the Thai government is getting rattled by the rise in oil prices and is trying to get people to go home early......
The big competitor to Tesco-Lotus in Thailand is the Big C hypermarket chain, and the Big C in Phuket is just down the road from Tescos. It's hasn't got much in the way of small shops attached to it (although there are a couple of fast food places and a bank), but otherwise it's pretty similar - huge, with a big range of goods at mostly low, fixed prices.
A good place to look for cheap clothes, toiletries, cosmetics and of course pretty much any type of food item you can think of (including chocolate...).
PHUKET WEEKEND MARKETS
The Phuket Weekend Markets are called a few different names such as Chao Fah Variety, Jatujak or Talad tai rot or the weekend markets). They are located just off Chaofa West Rd opposite Wat Nakha)
Try some deep fried crickets they are only 10baht per cup!
These markets are now Phuket's biggest weekend markets and you can buy everything here, fresh foods, clothes, pets, accessories, home decorations and there are lots of delicious food stalls.
The markets are behind King Rama Park and the bypass road connecting Chaofa east & west rd.
Many items here are much cheaper than in Patong Beach. It can be very busy and hot at these markets but its great to go there just to look around the fresh food markets and savor the smells!!
There are huge selections of shoes, clothes, accessories etc at these markets and its all so cheap!!
If you are driving there yourself from Patong turn right at the big intersection where Central Festival is on the left and Thai Nam restaurant is on the right.
Turn left at the first set of traffic lights and you will see the markets down on the right hand side.
On the streets of Patong you will find brightly lit stalls as far as the eye can see.
Beachwear, sportswear, souvenirs can all be bought from stalls, little shops and noisy night markets.
Along Beach Rd and down the side streets you will find handicraft, silk scarves. sarongs, beach and leisure wear, leather goods and luggage, cd's, dvd's, computer games, handbags, electronic gadgets and toys.
Most of the copy handbags you see in the shops are the cheaper not so good quality one's. Lots of these shops have little secret rooms where they store their more expensive good quality copy bags.
These rooms might be in the same shop, the wall will be a display of clothing etc but behind this is a hidden door, or sometimes you may have to follow the person through another shop or down an arcade to get to the secret room etc.
So if you do not see anything you like ask them if they have any more and they will take you to their secret room.
Though most of the time you will not have to say anything, they will approach you first. It's the same with dvd's, most times you will be taken to a hidden room.
Along Rat-U-Thit Rd (around Royal Paradise area) there is also another market that sets up most nights of the week which sell clothing, shoes, Thai sweets, orchids, ornaments, hair accessories and jewellery.
They open around 5pm and stay open till late.
Also on Rat-U-Thit Road is the OTOP markets.
They are up the Patong Merlin end or if you come out of Bangla Rd turn right and walk for about 10 minutes, you will see the big sign on the left side of the road.
These markets are huge, good bargains to be had here, they are not crowded and there is plenty of little bars to stop and have a break for shopping.
What to pay: In the photos there are covers on the beds. These can be used for tablecloths, curtains, bed decorations etc. They are both the same size, medium and I paid 300baht each for them.
The shop is small and only open from 6.30pm in the evenings, so I recommend that you plan to have dinner at one of the several restaurants that neighbour Tom's shop, including Spanish and Italian food.
The shop is located on Lagoon Road, Cherng Talay, opposite the group of restaurants.
Here are the websites of two of the restaurants at the same location as Tom's shop, so if you'd like to make a booking for dinner, or find out more about them before you go, here are the links;
If you wish to catch up with Tom at a time other than the evening, give him a call to see where he is at other times. The number is below.
What to buy: Tom ("Mr Hang On") has gone out of his way to sell only the best quality copy handbags, plus more, on the island. All the bags and wallets are leather, featuring "labels" such as Prada, Mulberry, Jimmy Choo and Luis Vuitton.
The other goods are of a high standard also, with copies of Chanel, Omega, Breitling, Gucci, etc and are guaranteed by Tom. He will repair or replace any item you have a problem with. There are waterproof goods there, which are also guaranteed which feature sapphire glass, which doesn't scratch.
What to pay: From 2,000 baht for small bags and wallets. The timepieces vary in price from about 2,000 baht up to about 8,000 baht.
Mr Noon's shop is on Beach Road in Patong. They have had to change the price of their DVD's to 60 baht to be in line with other shops, but their CD's and music DVD's (not a huge selection) are 60 baht as well, unlike other shops that are charging 100 baht for CD's and Music DVD's. If he doesn't have all the selection you'd like to see, just ask him and he will send you to another guy with a shop next door who will give you the same price.
I like to support Mr Noon because of honest service with no problem with replacing faulty DVD's and friendly service. Roo will most likely be the one to help you these days. He will ensure that you are satisfied with your purchases.
I also find that the lady selling clothing in Mr Noon's downstairs is very cheap and she's always extremely friendly and easy to deal with. Take a look at her Ed Hardy, Diesel, Billabong and other designer brand t-shirts and the mens shorts are fantastic.
What to buy: DVD's, CD's, Music DVD's and clothing.
What to pay: 60 baht per CD, DVD or music DVD.
We came across this actual Arsenal Shop in Jungceylon so had to have a look, as our son Andrew is a HUGE Arsenal fan. As it turned out their merchandise was reasonably priced so we got him a few things. A Big flag, a keychain and a pair of Arsenal boxers totalling 725bt which is about $27AUD. We also took a few pictures to show him. It seems that the Thai people love their soccer, lots of soccer strips for sale and they are always playing it, either on the beach or on dirt fields.