Phuket shopping malls
Phuket residents and visitors can choose from a wide variety of shopping options on the island, but perhaps the most often visited are the large Phuket shopping malls. Although still very much a tropical island with some amazing beaches and attractions, many people also visit Phuket for the shopping. They can choose from plenty of supermarkets on Phuket, plus local markets and more specialist shops.
Here we take a look at some of the shopping malls in Phuket. The major Phuket shopping malls contain a mixture of chain shops and independent retailers. Most of the independent shops and some of the chains will adjust their prices if you ask them nicely, but not by huge amounts. Visitors to Phuket and even foreign residents can often get a 5% discount (supposedly a ‘tax’ discount) at many places if they ask nicely.
Robinsons is probably Phuket’s first shopping mall. Located in Phuket Town on the corner of Tilok Uthit 1 Road and Ong Sim Phai Road, this five-storey department store sells everything from designer clothes and accessories to sports goods, souvenirs, jewellery, toiletries and electrical goods. The prices may be a little higher than some other outlets but the goods are genuine and decent quality.
Ocean Shopping Mall
Also in Phuket Town, opposite Robinsons off Tilok Uthit 1 Road is Ocean Shopping Mall. This is a down-market shopping mall where you can find some good quality goods at very reasonable prices. It contains mostly clothing stores but you can also find souvenirs, toys, telephones and more.
Ocean also includes a multiplex cinema which has some English language screenings with Thai subtitles. Ask for the ‘soundtrack’ films. There is also a ten-pin bowling alley, games arcade, karaoke booths, a children’s play area and a few restaurants.
Central Festival is on the outskirts of Phuket Town at the underpass junction between Wichitsongkram Road and Chalermprakiat Road (Darasamuth Junction). This shopping mall is just five-minute drive from The PhuketSpace apartments in Phuket Town. With over 250 shops and more than 50 restaurants, it has just about everything you could want under one roof. There is a big department store (Central), a supermarket, food hall and a fantastic variety of shops. Many of the shops are chains selling genuine designer goods. The prices are therefore higher than other shopping malls but still lower than in many western countries for the same goods.
There is a multiplex cinema screening English language movies with Thai subtitles on the third floor. Originally, there were plans for a ten-pin bowling alley on the top floor but as yet, this has not opened. The only thing Central is really missing is a children’s play area.
Index Living Mall
This furniture store and shopping mall is on Chalermprakiat Road just north of Big C. The top floor is an Index furniture store. It is mass produced furniture and not the sort of produce you would think of exporting from Thailand. Downstairs is a small shopping mall including Thai antiques and handicrafts shops. For sushi and other Japanese food, there is an Oishi restaurant that does an excellent all-you-can-eat buffet for 350 baht per person.
Jungceylon is the latest major new development in Patong; a large entertainment complex containing shops, restaurants, bars, a cinema and accommodation. There is a large Carrefour supermarket on the ground floor, and a fountain and lights show every evening at 7pm and 9pm in the central courtyard.
There is plenty of parking underneath but not surprisingly they charge a parking fee to try to prevent people from using their car park as a base for their night out down Bangla Road. A shopping receipt from one of the major outlets will get you three hours of free parking and only a small charge for staying beyond the allotted time.
Ocean Plaza (Patong)
On Bangla Road in Patong is Ocean Plaza. This small department store and shopping mall is an easy place to shop in Patong. Unlike many other shops in Patong, the prices are reasonable and the goods in the department store are genuine. There are also some restaurants and a small ten-pin bowling alley.
Out on the Bypass Road (Chalemprakiat Road) near the junction with Thepkrassatri Road., Premium Outlet is an area of clothes and accessory shops selling genuine designer goods that are either out of season or have minor flaws. The merchandise is still good quality and is sold at significant discount.