Visitors to Phuket and anyone staying in our accommodation in Phuket is spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping, though Phuket supermarkets are likely to be where you shop most during your stay in the PhuketSpace apartments in Phuket.
There are other Phuket shopping choices. The twice- and three-times weekly local markets are still popular, but more recently larger Phuket malls with their international brands are starting to take a hold in Phuket. Additionally, Phuket has plenty of speciality shops offering local antiques, brand-name garments, arts and crafts and pretty much anything you want.
On top of that, there are lots of galleries, gem/pearl outlets, Thai silk and textile stores, local and imported furniture shops, factory outlets and a massive duty free shop where you can select your duty-free brands days before you leave via the airport.
With regard to Phuket supermarkets there are plenty of choices, from large warehouse-sized places stocking local, inexpensive products to more specialised supermarkets with imported products at an inevitably higher prices.
The Thai supermarkets are probably the easiest places to find good, cheap, no-frills deals in Phuket. The goods have their prices clearly marked and there is of course no haggling. Don’t expect to find top-quality brands here, but prices are excellent and you can find some real bargains. Two major Phuket supermarkets dominate the island: Tesco Lotus and Big C.
Almost next door to Central Festival on Chalermprakiat Road is Big C. This supermarket and shopping mall chain is French owned. The building contains a huge supermarket stocked with a wide range of products. It is hard to beat the prices at the supermarkets.
On the bottom floor is a shopping mall which includes a large number of mobile telephone and computer shops. Bus Computer has two shops here and they are one of the best computer outlets on the island. There is also a food hall and a children’s play area.
On the top floor are a ten-pin bowling alley and an events hall which usually has some kind of sale or fair going on.
The biggest Tesco Lotus supermarket and shopping mall is at Samkong intersection, on the edge of Phuket Town. The British supermarket chain Tesco has a significant presence in Thailand. The supermarket is big and stocked with a wide range of goods. Check out the range of tropical fruits, vegetables, seafood and other exotic foods. The supermarket stocks a wide range of other products and all at prices that are hard to beat. Their clothes section is particularly inexpensive, though it has to be said that the quality isn’t the best.
There is also a small shopping mall which includes shops, restaurants and a HomePro DIY store. On the second floor is a food hall, games arcade and children’s play area.
More recently, slightly smaller Tesco Lotus supermarkets and malls have opened in Thalang, further north on Phuket, and another branch a few minutes north of Chalong.
Going up the price scale, you’ll find a couple of alternative Phuket supermarket options that stock products aimed more at the expat market:
Villa Market started as a specially food shop for foreign residents in Bangkok, then started moving out to other parts of Thailand a few years ago. There are now three Villa Markets in Phuket – one in Chalong, which is conveniently placed for all the PhuketSpace apartments in Phuket, plus two other branches in Boat Lagoon and Thalang.
Prices at Villa Market are higher than at other Phuket supermarkets, but you will be able to find imported products not available elsewhere. From Heinz baked beans and Branston Pickle from the UK, to Vegemite from Australia, you should be able to find you fix of the food products you miss from home.
Central Food Hall
In the basement of the Central Festival shopping mall is The Central Food Hall supermarket. It’s a bit of a cross between Villa Market and Tesco Lotus, with plenty of local products available (though at slightly higher prices) along with imported foods.
They describe themselves as “The Best Food Store in Asia”, and have an excellent range of everything you will need. Their delicatessen counter is possibly the best on the island – they’re happy to slice your choice of meat just how you like it.
That’s just some of the shopping opportunities in Phuket. More information on Phuket local markets here, speciality shops here, or click here if you’re looking for more information on Phuket shopping malls.