Phuket is a shopaholic’s paradise! The island has a great variety of shopping, from bustling open-air village food markets, noisy night markets, street stalls and local shops to western style department stores and upmarket specialist shops.
With traditional handicrafts, beautifully designed clothing, jewellery, antiques, housewares and much more to choose from, the only thing you’ll regret about shopping in Phuket is that you didn’t bring a bigger suitcase!
Phuket Walking Street is the latest attraction featured in Phuket Old Town. Also-known-as Lardyai (talaad yai), which means ‘big market’ in southern Thai dialect, this weekly market started in October 2013 and is hosted on the beautifully renovated Thalang Road, right in the middle of the historical Sino-Portuguese district of Phuket Town.
Thalang is a 350m-long commercial and cosmopolitan street which hosts a mix of Baba (Chinese migrants settled in Phuket at the beginning of the 20th century during the tin mining era), Thai Muslim and Indian shops. Phuket Walking Street allows visitors to discover some typical southern Thai culinary specialties as well as local handicraft and gift stalls. This weekly event (every Sunday from 16:00 – 22:00) is definitely family-oriented with the presence of toy stalls and a (free-of-charge) trampoline to entertain the little ones.
The main entrance of Phuket Walking Street is on the eastern (Phuket Road) side of Thalang Road at which a superb wooden Chinese-style gate has been installed. The gate boasts a sign with LARDYAI written in three languages (Thai, Chinese, and English) and is a popular photo op. Thalang Road was one of the first Phuket Old Town streets along which electric cables were buried in 2012, in an effort to revive its vintage splendor. Thalang Road’s Baba house facades have even been further enhanced by the addition of colour-changing lighting effects – from blue to green to magenta – on many of the townhouses along the street, giving the place a ‘history meets technology’ feeling.
Walk through the lanes of any market in Phuket and you’ll enter into the core of Thai life: all your senses will be on alert as you’ll discover new smells (sometimes repulsing) and new sights – exotic fruits or seafood for instance. The five markets below resume all that can be experienced at Thai markets which are not only shopping or dining destinations, but a full attraction in themselves.
Banana Walk is Patong’s newest shopping centre and is located just 100 metres south of Soi Bangla on the Beach Road, right next to Banana Disco. With over 4,000sqm of retail space, the mall is multilevel (three floors) and its overall design leans toward minimal and modernistic: the buffed concrete walls, the metal structure of the tall Plexiglas roof above a large open space, at night the lighting ranging from blue to red all gives Banana Walk the feeling of entering a spaceship dock in a science fiction movie.
Shopping, dining and cosmetics are the three main thrusts of this large three-storey complex in which you can find almost anything to eat, drink, or buy. You even can improve your well-being at a spa or make yourself even more pretty/handsome at an aesthetic centre or at the onsite hairdresser.