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Ultimate guide for Shopping in Thailand

Thailand is known to be one of the most favorite shopping destinations across the globe because it has everything from traditional Thai products and antiques to silk products and incredible ornaments. Thailand shopping is one of the main reasons catering to the huge tourist population in Thailand. Besides being an ideal destination for friends, family, and couples, Thailand is also a shopper’s paradise beyond a doubt.

11 Pocket tips for shopping in Thailand

Here are a few tips before you begin your exploration:  

Bargaining

Bargaining and haggling for a better deal is all part of the experience when shopping at markets in Bangkok. The first price offered is rarely the true price, especially in overly tourist areas like Khao San Road, Silom, Chatuchak Market, or the stalls around Nana BTS Station. 

Tips: 

  • Remember that while bargaining is common in markets, it is not accepted or possible in convenience stores like 7-Eleven or upscale shopping malls.
  • Look around and check with your guide to have the idea of what you are going to buy. You can check the 8 tips for bargaining in Thailand for more detail

Freshen up on your calculator speak

Market shopping is all about the bartering. If you pay full price for something at one of Thailand’s many markets, you have become one of many tourists who overpay at one of these outdoor shopping arenas. If you do not know any Thai, brush up on your calculator skills. Be prepared to barter with a vendor or merchant, if not just for the banter.

Don’t be too proud

While bartering is a must, do be aware when you are taking the situation one baht too far. Do not fight with a vendor over an insignificant price, and do not make a scene if you do not get the price that you want. Be prepared to simply thank the shopkeeper and move on. There is nothing worse than watching a foreigner lose their cool over ฿10. Thais hate losing face, so if you are losing your temper and getting into theirs, things are bound to end badly.

The friendlier, the better

Thailand is not referred to as the Land of Smiles without reason. The people here are some of the friendliest in the world. That being said, if you enter a shop with all guns blazing, ready to fight to the death for the best deal you can muster out of a shopkeeper, think again. Thais are receptive to friendliness, and the more aggressive your attempt to receive a discount, the less likely you are to get one.

Know some Thai

While this is certainly useful for almost every country you visit, having the knowledge of a few numbers and phrases to help you barter will go a long way. For one, a merchant will appreciate your honest attempt at speaking their difficult language, and they might even give you a discount just for trying. Knowing how to say words like ‘expensive’ or ‘discount’ can help you in all aspects of your visit to Thailand, not just once you are lost in a maze of stalls at one of its markets. Knowing a few numbers is the best way to ensure you have a positive, and affordable, market experience.

Download a currency calculator

Figuring conversation rates from your home country’s currency to baht will certainly be a struggle. With fluctuating rates and figuring out money that is different from anything you have ever seen before, you are better off downloading an offline currency application to your phone before taking on one of Thailand’s markets. Things move quickly while you’re bartering, and you will want to know just as fast how much a price is before trying to go any lower. Who knows, you might already be getting an amazing price on something, and you just did not know it.

Browse a little

Do not purchase the very first thing you simply must have. Chances are, there will be an abundance of whatever it is you have your eye on just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Do make note of where something is before leaving it behind, however, just in case.

Pay what the locals are paying

If you are one customer behind a local and find they are paying a significant amount less than you are, you are getting a bad deal. Simply being a foreigner can make you susceptible to being ripped off. Make note of what Thais are paying and be sure to get the same price.

Do not barter for food

Although we are not sure if this is a custom or simply not done, but do not barter for food. Are you wanting to purchase elephant pants? Barter! Are you hoping to buy that hanging tapestry for your room at home? Barter away. But before chowing down on one of Thailand’s most coveted dishes, do not muster up your bartering skills in hopes of receiving a discount.

The more items, the better the discount

You are more likely the receive a discount the more items you have. If you are genuinely only wanting to purchase one thing from a vendor, convince a friend that they need that identical item or something else from that merchant, and chances are you will both receive a slight discount.

Don’t overload

You have only so much space in your luggage. Unless you want to send some home over post, try to avoid heavy and massive items. Many stores offer free shipping service so check for your convenience.

Shopping in Thailand is a culture, a ritual and a lot of fun. It is rewarding for those who really take it more seriously than just getting some souvenirs off the shelf. Whatever reason you come to Thailand for, make sure shopping is one of the bullet points in your travel agenda.

8 tips for haggling in Thailand

As with anywhere in the world where haggling is a way of life, there are some general haggling tips to keep in mind in Thailand.

Have an approximate price in your mind

Have a rough idea of what you’re willing to pay for a product or service. It also helps to know the usual average prices to prevent overpaying or having unrealistic expectations. You can ask at your accommodation how much things like transportation, souvenirs, trips, massages, etc. generally cost if you have no idea yourself.

Shop around

Compare a few basic prices before handing over any cash to make sure you really have got the best deal. Negotiate with people who start with the lowest prices; you may not have much negotiating to do to reach a great price.

Don’t bargain for things you don’t want

While it’s okay to ask out of curiosity how much something costs and then move on, it’s really bad form to go through the motions of haggling if you really don’t intend sealing the deal at any price. Likewise, if the seller agrees to your price it’s really not cool to then say you don’t want the item or service. Remember, people are just trying to make a living. The time that they’ve spent with you is not only frustrating but could have caused them to lose a sale elsewhere. If you don’t reach an agreement that’s acceptable to both sides, however, it’s okay to walk away.

Maintain an air of disinterest

While you should definitely be interested in the item or service, don’t show the seller that you’re overly keen. If they think you’re too interested it will be difficult to get them to offer their lowest price.

Don’t suggest the first price

Whenever possible, let the seller open the negotiations with a price. It’s common to be asked what you will pay but try to stand firm and make the seller state the first amount. If you open too high, the vendor will accept with a gleeful smile, yet open too low and the seller may give you a look of disdain and not even bother entering into any discussion.

Start lower than you’re willing to pay

Part of the haggling dance involves both parties making offers and counter offers, eventually meeting (hopefully) somewhere in the middle with a price that everyone is happy with. Stating a price lower than you’re ultimately willing to pay lets you increase the amount incrementally until you reach an agreement.

Keep your cool

There’s little point in getting angry or frustrated while bargaining; either you find an agreeable price or you don’t. Losing your cool will only result in you looking ridiculous and the seller refusing to negotiate further. Keep things lighthearted and friendly. Remember, Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles!

Decide on a fair price.

Haggling is a lot of fun once you get used to it, but never lose sight of the fact that this is someone’s livelihood. When shopping at markets, be prepared to ask for big discounts (between 40-50%) and then settle on a final price closer to 65-75% of the asking price.

Useful words and phrases for Thailand shopping

Do not worry if you are not fluent with the language. The sellers tend to give some more discount if they see that you are trying to learn their language.

I want this. / I want that. | ao uhn nee / ao uhn nun

Rather than point to something, gesture with an open hand.

How much is this? / How much is that? | uhn nee tao-rai / uhn nun tao-rai

Can you lower the price? | loht noy dai mai 

While you’re shopping at Thai markets and walking streets, have fun bartering using this phrase.

It’s too small. / It’s too big. | lek gern bai / yai gern bai

That’s cheap. / That’s expensive. | took / paeng

I like it. / I don’t like it. | chawp / mai chawp

I don’t want a plastic bag. | mai ao toong

This will come in handy. Convenience stores are notorious for handing out plastic bags, even if you buy one small item!

Just a moment, please. | baep dee-ao nah

This is a very helpful phrase to use when a street vendor is haggling with you or if a server is hovering over you waiting for your decision. This will give you some time to make a choice.

Top 10 things to buy in Thailand

1. Thai silk products

Anything made of authentic Thai silk is special because of the hand weaving process in its production. Caterpillars that produce the natural protein fiber are also specially fed on a strict diet of mulberry leaves. The result is the soft and delicate cloth that can be made into a scarf, a tie, a pillow cover, a cushion cover, a bag or a wallet.

Any woman on the receiving end of this souvenir would be delighted with the beauty of the gift. A silk tie or shirt also has the power to bring a smile to a man’s face. These souvenirs can be folded and fit easily in your luggage.

Best gifts for: Wife, mother, and female friends

Portable level: Easy to manage

Price range: 150 to 6,000 bath ($5.00 to $190.00)

Where to buy

  • Jim Thompson outlets for high quality products. They have a branch at the airport. (Check out their factory sale outlet at 153 Soi Sukhumvit 93, Bangchak, Phakanong, Bangkok; Phone: 02-332-6530-4 Ext: 11-13)
  • Chinatown for cheaper alternatives (Watch out for fake Thai silk!)

2. Thai spices

If you want to bring the taste of Thai home, then you must grab some Thai spices before your flight. These come dried and in vacuum-sealed packs so you don’t need to worry about their strong aromas while traveling on a vehicle. Chili pastes and hot sauces are also bottled in air-tight containers. Just check your country’s customs regulations to avoid problems.

This souvenir is perfect if you love to cook and want to recreate that yummy Pad Thai or Tom Yum you had in Bangkok.

Best gifts for: Yourself, family members, friends, and co-workers who are fond of cooking

Portable level: Manageable

Price range: 10 to 300 baht ($0.30 to 9.00)

Where to buy

  • Gourmet Market branches
  • Chatuchak Market
  • Little India (Phahurat)
  • Spice Story

3. Thai Spa products

After coming back from a long overseas journey you might want to soothe your mind and body with essential oils and scented candles. Thailand is a great source for such spa products and bringing home some for yourself as well as family and friends is a wonderful idea.

Herbal massage packs, carved soaps, foot soaks, and body scrubs are also among the top favorites. If you are buying for a man, choose massage and soothing balms.

Best gifts for: Wife, mother, female friends and co-workers

Portable level: Manageable

Price range: 40 to 1,000 baht ($1.00 to $28.00)

Where to buy

  • Supermarkets for locally produced bath and body products
  • Harnn outlets for high quality items
  • Bath & Bloom outlets

4. Thai coconut oil products

Coconut oil has been gaining more and more popularity in recent years because of its numerous benefits. For ladies, it is an effective natural beauty product that helps in moisturizing skin and protecting hair from damage. It also acts as a sunscreen.

This magical oil is practically available anywhere in Bangkok (and anywhere in Thailand, the mother land of coconut). Look for English labels to know the kind of coconut oil that you are buying. Popular products include virgin coconut oil, coconut oil hair products, and coconut oil bath items.

Best gifts for: Wife, mother, female friends and co-workers

Portable level: Manageable

Average price: 250 baht ($7.00)

Where to buy

  • Major supermarkets and traditional markets
  • Health & beauty shops

5. Thai handicrafts

A quick exploration of Bangkok’s popular markets will introduce yourself to a myriad of Thai handicrafts. These beautiful products are works of art in themselves and are painstakingly handcrafted by local artisans. You can choose from triangle cushions, wicker baskets, pottery dishes, lacquerware, or wooden carvings.

If you want to breath new life into your living room with a touch of Thai, then Thai handcrafted cushions are just the right things. Instead of buying stuffed cushions, you can go for the uniquely designed covers and stuff them yourself when you get home.

Check your country’s customs regulations before making a purchase. Make sure that the natural fibers used in your wanted souvenir items are accepted at the customs.

Best gifts for: Parents, boss and yourself

Portable level: From manageable to hard to manage

Price range: 300 to 1500 baht ($8 to $42)

Where to buy

  • Chatuchak Market
  • Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat)
  • Silom Village

6. Thai snacks

Can’t get enough of durian chips? Don’t fret! You can easily buy and take home these “love it or hate it” munchies as well as other popular Thai snacks.

Certified foodies will love the durian chips and other exotic snacks. Buying for children? Get some coconut candy! Other recommended items include dried squid, seaweed snack, pork floss, crispy pork sticks, and exotic-flavored potato chips.

Thai edible souvenirs are readily available in the snacks section of any leading supermarket.

Best gifts for: Children, friends, and co-workers

Portable level: Easy to manage

Price range: 50 to 300 baht ($1.40 to $8.24)

Where to buy

  • Gourmet outlets
  • Major supermarkets
  • Chinatown

7. Thai silver jewelry

Jewelry as gifts is always a hit. In Bangkok, you can buy high quality silver jewelry at good prices.

To make sure that the silver items you are going to buy is genuine, look for the .925 stamp which means the item is made of 92.5% silver. You can also opt for the higher quality hill tribe silver pieces that are made of 99% silver. These unique bracelets, ear rings and necklaces are painstakingly handcrafted by tribal folks in Northern Thailand.

Be aware that some vendors sell replicas of hill tribe silver products. If you want to help the tribes, you can shop online through their official sites. This guarantees the authenticity of the products and the financial rewards the tribes will have.

Best gifts for: Spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, parents

Portable level: Easy to manage

Price range: 180 to 18,000 baht ($5.00 – $500.00)

Where to buy

  • Khao San Road
  • Charoen Krung Road
  • Silom Road
  • Chatuchak Market

8. Thai trinkets

If you are doing some last-minute souvenir shopping for your friends back home, you can easily pick up various knick-knacks that are still uniquely Thai.

Accessories, key chains, coin purses, and small elephant-designed items are just some of the stuff that you can buy from almost all souvenir shops in Bangkok. If you are running out of time, buy these trinkets at the airport’s souvenir shops.

For best bargains, buy in bulk. Many of those souvenirs come in packs of 5 or 6 at cheaper prices, compared to when purchasing individually.

Best gifts for: Friends and co-workers

Portable level: Easy to manage

Average price: 40 baht ($0.50)

Where to buy

  • MBK Mall
  • Other major malls
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market
  • Airport’s souvenir stores

9. Thai antiques

Genuine antiques are expensive and rare in Bangkok. Taking home these items are made harder by strict government regulations.

Take note that bringing Buddha statues out of Thailand is prohibited. The same goes for other items that are considered as part of Thai national heritage. You need to secure a permit from the Fine Arts Department before you can bring them out of the country. Most antique dealers can assist you in processing the permit.

The antique souvenir items that you can readily bring back home are mere replicas, which look so much like the originals. These replicas are still worthy souvenirs for decorative purposes.
Best gifts for: Collectors, boss, yourself

Portable level: Hard to manage

Price range: From 2,000 baht ($50.00) and above

Where to buy

  • River City Complex
  • Silom Village
  • Chatuchak Market

10. Muay Thai sports

Muay Thai gears have recently become a favorite souvenir item among tourists. You can give these inexpensive, comfortable-to-wear shorts to your husband, son, or a male friend who is a big Muay Thai fan.

These wearable souvenirs are practically available anywhere in Bangkok, from air-conditioned malls to open-air markets.

To complete the experience, you can even visit a Muay Thai camp and watch fights or be trained by professionals!

Best gifts for: Husband/boyfriend, son, male friends, martial arts fans

Portable level: Easy to manage

Price range: 300 to 1,300 baht ($8.00 to $36.00)

Where to buy

  • Sports shops
  • Malls
  • Popular markets

86 Best Shopping places in Thailand

From quirky little handicraft stalls to mega-shopping malls to savvy wine merchants to the wonderful Jim Thompson house in Bangkok, there’s never a dull moment when shopping in Thailand. 

Of course, textiles and fabrics along with intricate handicrafts are the favourites for shoppers visiting from overseas but there is much more to choose from and shoppers have even been known to ship an entire container of teak furniture home, the prices are that advantageous. So, read up on our area-by-area shopping guide and find out where the real bargains are.

Ayutthaya Shopping

Home to skilled craftsmen and women, Ayutthaya is one of the best cities to pick up all kinds of handicrafts. In the old days, each community in the city practiced a specific craft, whether ironwork, boat building, wicker weaving, clay pottery, or stone masonry. Today, you can find them at many open-air markets across town. 

If you are serious about Thai crafts, Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre is the place to go. Here, you can tour some 20 workshops for various crafts and watch as the craftsmen and women fashion their pieces together from scratch. 

Also notable is the Thai Village, where regional Thai houses are on display along with the crafts specific to each region, which you can also purchase. So, if you are short on time, Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre is a good place to include in your itinerary. 

Another highlight is Ayodhaya Floating Market, which re-interprets the floating markets of the bygone era as an island peppered with quaint wooden shops, floating restaurants and a stage for cultural performances.

1. Ayutthaya Park 

This modern shopping mall has some 400 shops housed inside its two zones. Occupying two floor spaces, the Plaza Zone offers lifestyle products, from brand name clothing to leather goods, cosmetics and fashion accessories. The Water Zone has a large grouper pond and, around it, a lineup of fast food restaurants, food court as well as an activities area for live cultural performances (on weekends and national holidays). 

Location: Khlong Suan Plu District, where Highway 309 meets Highway 32

2. Ayothaya Floating Market

This medium-sized market is a modern interpretation of what traditional floating markets looked like back in Ayutthaya’s heyday. Walled in and surrounded by a moat, just like the city of Ayutthaya itself, the market is spread over an island accessible by wooden bridges. Once inside, a wooden platform takes you through the shops and stalls, all decked out to resemble a quaint market of yesteryear. Enjoy strolling through the 14 market zones, named after the actual market, offering everything from wooden toys and wicker handicrafts to hand-painted T-shirts and Ayutthaya-style ‘boat noodles’. You can even board a rowboat, which navigates through the market like it would centuries ago. 

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:00 

Location: North of the Chedi roundabout (east of the inner city, from Highway 309), near Wat Maheyong 

How to get there: From Highway 309, turn right at the chedi roundabout and continue until you see the market sign on your right

3. Chao Phrom Market 

This busy market has been around since Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam. It houses a large concentration of amulet shops, food stalls and vendors selling all kinds of wares you can find anywhere else in the city. Although the market has lost its charms of the old days, as many shop-houses now sport a concrete façade instead of wood, it is still one of the few places to savour a cheap and delicious meal. Or if you are a collector of amulets, this is definitely where to go. Note that stores may open and close at different times, so there’s really no official opening or closing hours. 

Location: Corner of Naresuan and U-Thong Roads

4. Bangsai Royal Arts and Crafts Centre 

Part of the training ground for skilled craftsmen and women, the centre has two main zones where you can browse through a diverse array of handicrafts. The Thai village, set on the Chao Phraya River banks, is like a living museum offering a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of people from Thailand’s four regions. You can buy regional handicrafts from each of these villages, some of which you will also find housed inside the main building (Sala Phra Ming Kwan). For those who are curious to learn about the crafts, visit the training workshops just opposite the main building and watch the skilled craftsmen at work – they are more than happy to show you their craft. 

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 (closed Mondays)

Location: Bang Sai District How to get there: Hire a taxi or van with driver from Bangkok

5. Hua Ro Market 

Similar to Chao Phrom Market, Hua Ro was a busy trade area in the old days. The market has two zones: the zone for dry goods is housed inside a yellow building, whereas the food zone is inside the building immediately to its west. Hua Ro Market has visitors throughout the day and is worth a visit if you happened to be nearby. 

Location: U-Thong Road, opposite Wang Chan Kasem Museum

6. Khlong Sra Bua 

Home to a community of Thai-Mon-Lao potters, Khlong Sra Bua has long been Ayutthaya’s centre for clay pottery. Once a narrow khlong (canal) cut through the community, allowing trade boats to carry merchandise to the north, thus giving birth to the floating market. Today, the khlong is no longer navigable, but the pottery is still around. 

Location: Opposite Wat Na Phramen

7. Market at Wiharn Phra Mongkol Bophit 

Occupying the parking lot space between Wiharn Phra Mongkol Bophit and Wat Phra Si Sanphet, this outdoor market offers a range of handicrafts unique to Ayutthaya. Apart from the typical merchandise, you can buy bamboo fish mobiles, wicker (farmer’s) hats and miniature clay dolls of local villagers and floating market vendors. 

Location: In front of Wiharn Phra Mongkol Bophit

Bangkok Shopping

Shopping in Bangkok is an experience to thrill and delight the most discerning of shoppers - whatever it is you're looking for. From the gleaming chrome and towering size of modern, air-conditioned malls, to the hustle and bustle of its famously buzzing street markets, Bangkok has all kinds of places to blow your baht.

With everything from antiquities and the latest pair of trainers to designer jewelry available, Bangkok has an equally exhaustive, and potentially exhausting, variety of things to buy.

8. Bangkok Shopping Malls

Bangkok's modern, multi-storey shopping malls are a shopaholic's paradise... From the legendary MBK, to the sophisticated Emporium, trendy Siam Discovery and Central World Plaza, or unashamedly upscale Siam Paragon, Bangkok's accommodate every taste, pocket and style. The latest addition to the city's 'mallscape' is the innovative Terminal 21 and Central Plaza Rama 9. 

These malls are where you'll find the city's finest fashion stores, global brands, book shops, speciality stores, accessories stands and all kinds of luxury designer lifestyle goods. Not only are you spoiled for choice; it's all super easy to navigate. Modern and air-conditioned, they're also a pleasant alternative to the bustling hot markets, and most complexes are easily accessible via the city's modern and efficient Skytrain (BTS) system. Just don't forget to sport comfortable shoes.

Location: everywhere

9. Chatuchak Market

Once only popular among wholesalers and traders, Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees – this is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’. 

The 35-acre (68-rai) area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer. Veteran shoppers would agree that just about everything is on sale here, although not all at the best bargain rates. But if you have one weekend in Bangkok, squeeze in a day trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market and you will not be disappointed.

Location: Chatuchak, Bangkok

10. Night Market

Night markets in Bangkok are among the easiest and most enjoyable ways of getting up close and personal with local life in Thailand's capital. Markets are spread out in most areas of the city and offer an incrediblly diverse range of goods and products, snacks and entertainment; after dark shopping opportunities mean incredible bargains in the moonlight. Newer and larger night markets are opening in Bangkok every year, and there's none bigger than the original Rot Fai Market in the east of the city, although the old classics still prove popular, such as Patpong Night Market. 

A handful of local night markets have been popping up around the city too, great for vintage fashion fanatics or anyone looking to mix in some cheap eats or some evening drinks with their after dark retail therapy. See our long list of the Bangkok's best night markets below.

Location: Khao San - Patpong - Rod Fai Market 

11. Floating Market

Even though transactions are more concerned with tourists rather than locals these days, the floating market;boats are still piled high with tropical fruit and vegetables, fresh, ready-to-drink coconut juice and local food cooked from floating kitchens located right on the boat.

To enjoy the atmosphere without haggling over prices, try relaxing on a guided boat tour of Damnoen Saduak market. Floating markets are Taling Chan Market, Bang Ku Wiang Market, Tha Kha, and Damnoen Saduak.

Location: around Bangkok

12. Asiatique the Riverfront

Asiatique has successfully combined two of the most popular shopping experiences in the city: a night bazaar and a mall. Ten minutes downriver from Saphan Taksin BTS station this once-bustling international trade port has been transformed, with over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants housed under a huge replica warehouse complex. 

Open from 17:00, spending an evening here is no problem: you’ll have good fun browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts or something for yourself; you are guaranteed to find something you would like to eat and if this isn’t enough entertainment, shows are performed nightly: Calypso ladyboy cabaret and soon, a classic Thai puppets performance.

Location: Riverside

13. Siam Square

Siam Square, like the city in which it is located, is an area of contrast. In essence it is the hub of all things cool, an individual expression point where styles are both shaped and surface (and resurface). Siam also holds claim to being the most expensive place to rent land in Bangkok. It is to The City of Angels, what Bond Street is to London and Fifth Avenue to New York, while still possessing the innovative atmosphere of Camden Town or Soho, NYC. 

Siam Square itself is something of an open-air shopping complex that radiates a feeling of creativity. Recently, new malls have been taking the place of the street vendors but there are still lanes upon lanes to explore. Tribes of bright and bold slogan T-shirts meet with tailored suits and hipster fashion. Siam Square is in essence where trends both emerge and are created, an epicentre of inspiration in Bangkok. This area stretches from Rama 1 Road down to the Chulalongkorn University Campus and from Phayathai Road over to Henri Dunant, and is a popular haunt of university students, media types and generally Bangkok’s ‘bright young things’.

Location: Siam, Bangkok

14. Chinatown

What you will find here are beautiful Chinese temples, Taoist places of learning and traditional Chinese medicine shops selling all sorts of fascinating remedies. The small alleys and streets between Yaowarat Road and the Chao Phraya River are crammed with market stalls and small shops jostling to sell just about everything imaginable; from hair accessories, tea sets, hardware and food, to fabric, strange vegetables imported from mainland China and Chinese funeral items. 

Once crossing Chakraphek Road you will enter Pahurat – one of Chinatown’s premier attractions. Goods such as flip-flops, toys, household items, and herbs can be bought here. Within these first few blocks lie Pahurat's textile-selling action, so choose one of the many small alleyways and dive into the heart of it all. Within, you'll find a labyrinth of shops and vendors selling all kinds of colourful textiles. Chinatown in essence is like one big flea market.

Chiang Mai Shopping

Chiang Mai shopping is more handicraft-oriented than anywhere else in Thailand. The city is encircled by factories and workshops where you can watch craftspeople at work before buying their wares. You can even learning the craft yourself, in some cases. With a visit to such places, you are certain to come away with some really unique souvenirs. On a regular shopping level, experiences come in a series of shapes and sizes.

The city is home to a relatively modest selection of shopping malls, but an impressive choice of markets. There are also many boutiques and gallery-style stores selling art, antiques and handicrafts. The Nimman Road area offers a compact and thorough shopping experience, with the items on offer of consistently good value and quality.

15. Sunday Walking Street Chiang Mai

The Sunday Weekend Walking Street is easily the most popular shopping experience in Chiang Mai. A vibrant spectrum of art, crafts, music and food – with handmade quality goods and souvenirs that echo the spirit of Northern Thailand.  

The Sunday Walking Street serves as a venue for all kinds of local events, from dance recitals to beauty pageants and the sois (lanes) on either side of the main road feature stages and performance spaces. It starts at ThaPae Gate and runs all along Ratchadamnoen Rd, for around one kilometre. As the name suggests it takes place every Sunday from 16:00 until around midnight. The road is closed to traffic during this time, and as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, it does get busy.

Opening Hours: Sun 16:00 – 24:00 (Best time to go is after 17:00)

Location: Tha Pae to Ratchadamneon Road, Chiang Mai Old City Remarks: 

16. Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

The main venue for shopping in Chiang Mai, indeed all of Thailand, the night bazaar is a can't-miss part of the Chiang Mai experience. Ground zero of this nightly commerce bomb is located at the intersection of Chang Khlan Road and Loi Khro Road but the whole thing spreads out for two blocks in either direction. Set up time is around sunset (usually about 18:00) and shopping goes on unabated until about 22:30 with a few vendors remaining open even later. 

A good way to check out the whole thing is to start at Tha Phae Road and work your way south towards Loi Khro. Once you reach the end of the market, cross the street and work your way back along the other side. Don't forget to peek down the little sois (alleyways) and arcades along the way. If you see something you like you might want to be patient-there are hundreds of vendors and an absolute flood of products for sale.

Opening Hours: 18:00 – 22:30 (Best to go after 19:00)

Location: Intersection of Tha Pae and Chang Klang Roads

17. Wualai Walking Street

Wualai, the Saturday walking street, is a lively and fun night market that takes place in Chiang Mai just a short walk from the old city walls. It starts in the late afternoon and continues until around 22:30. We prefer the atmosphere here to the more famous Sunday night walking street, because even though it’s smaller, there aren’t the same crowds of people, so it makes for a much more leisurely stroll. Not only are there plenty of handicraft items and locally-made products, it’s also a good place to pick up some tasty snacks to provide sustenance as you wander around. 

Wualai Road links to Thipanet Road, near the south side of the old city walls, and around a ten to fifteen minute walk from Tha Pae Gate. It’s very easy to get dropped off by a tuk tuk or public van (songtaew) near the far end.

Opening Hours: Sat 17:00 – 23:00 (approximately) (Best to go after 19:00)

Location: Wualai Road, near the South moat of the old town

18. Bor Sang Village

Bor Sang mid-sized craft village about nine kilometres east of the Old City specialises in the paper umbrella-making craft. Well known for outstanding handcraft quality as well as signature floral designs, Bor Sang Village has made its name throughout the country and abroad – so much so that the name Bor Sang has become synonymous with the paper-umbrella craft itself and the umbrella, a cultural symbol of Chiang Mai. 

Here, you'll find plenty of hand-painted umbrellas, tiny cocktail umbrellas, large parasols for gardens or patios and other handmade products – all made from sa paper (produced from the bark of the mulberry tree) and, a more recent development, cotton. The design has also evolved, from the original floral patterns to depictions of Chiang Mai’s rural scenery and even abstract patterns.

Location: Chiang Mai-San Kampaeng Highway (Route 1006), 9 km from Chiang Mai Old City 

Tel: +66 (0) 53 248 604

19. Riverside Boutique Shops

Across the River Ping, a short section of Charoenrat Road makes for a pleasant stroll. A collection of renovated wooden shop-houses that line its short stretch specialise in Lanna art and crafts, mostly from high-end local brands. The shops themselves are architectural treasures, built more than a century ago. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, this area is well worth a visit just for its historical value and scenic riverside panoramas.

Location: Charoenrat Road (between Charoen Muang and Kaew Nawarat) 

20. Ginger & The House Shop

Shopping can be lots of fun, but nowhere is it more cheery than at The House, where Thai brand Ginger display their colourful range of kitchen-ware, Thai-inspired furniture and clothing. Anyone who loves to shop will have a field-day here, with so many eye-catching items on display. 

The House is a beautifully renovated home that makes the perfect backdrop for the bright cushions and funky clothing on display. Set up in 2002 in Chiang Mai it is a daring fusion of Danish and Asian design. They really have fun with their selections and it would be tricky to walk away empty handed. The House Shop can be found on Moon Muang Road at number 199, around a fifteen minute walk from Thae Pae Gate. The shop is open from 10:00 until 22:00 every day.

Location: Moonmuang Road 

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 

Tel: +66 (0)53 418 263

21. San Kamphaeng

San Kamphaeng is a haven for crafts lovers. The 18-km stretch of highway that runs through it is home to villages and factories producing pottery, saa paper, lacquerware, paper umbrellas and silk. With so many crafts concentrated in one area, it is one of the best places to watch craftsmen at work. 

From Chiang Mai City, San Kamphaeng is about 13km east on Highway 1006, also known as the ‘Handicrafts Highway’. This two-lane road is highly congested during peak travel seasons, as it is the only main highway that passes through the centre of activities. Shops and mini factories line both sides of the Chiang Mai-San Kamphaeng Road, where local artists practice their craft with a skill born of centuries-old tradition.

Location: Highway 1006 (starting from km. 5)

Chiang Rai Shopping

Chiang Rai is home to a handful of natural-born artists and craftsmen, but shopping in Chiang Rai itself feels more like an undercurrent than mainstream activity. The Night Bazaar and Saturday Walking Street are probably your best bet when it comes to enjoying a shopping experience. 

Unlike in Chiang Mai, where arts and crafts are often concentrated in one single area, Chiang Rai’s artists prefer to pursue an independent lifestyle, practicing and trading their own crafts. These are successful artists who work from their home studios, tucked away in the mountains, and the only way to acquire their crafts is to go out to them. 

On the opposite spectrum, you have various artisanal communities that promote certain crafts, whether spa products, herbal teas, health food, textiles, or tribal crafts. The Doi Tung brand, part of the Mae Fah Luang royal development project, offers some of the finest quality crafts from across Chiang Rai.

22. Chiang Rai Herbs Shop 

This neon-lit single shop-house has all kinds of herbal products and supplements. The extensive collection includes Oolong tea, slimming tea, herbal capsules, dried Linzhi mushrooms, exfoliation masks, spa products, fruit wines and more. Packaging is basic, just like the interior décor, but this is definitely a one-stop shop for all the herbal products you may need. 

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 21:00 

Location: Prasopsuk Road, opposite the bus terminal

23. Chiang Rai Walking Street 

Every Saturday evening, the 1.5-km stretch of Thanalai Road comes to life with shopping stalls, food carts, live folk music and an atmosphere of festivity. Here is the perfect opportunity to mingle among locals, sample northern Thai snacks and bag some souvenirs for friends and family back home. You will find plenty of stalls selling handicrafts, clothing, spa products, tribal crafts and a collection of Doi Tung-branded goods. Another highlight is a string of cultural performances which re-enact scenes from the local way of life and traditions of the ancient Lanna people.

Opening Hours: 16:00 – midnight 

Location: Thanalai Road, from Tung Garden to Chiang Rai Vocational College

24. Doi Chang 

Doi Chang is the name of the mountain where Chiang Rai’s top-quality Arabica coffee beans are grown, and this cosy coffee house is where you can buy them. Cultivated at 1,200 metres above sea level, the organically grown beans are hand-picked and processed according to the full wet method, which helps maintain their quality. Choose from a range of roasted beans, from Doi Chang Premium beans to single-origin Peaberry, Swiss Water Processed Decaf and wild Thai civet beans (Kopi Luwak). Doi Chang coffee is a member of Beyond Fair Trade, which ensures that farmers retain 100% of the proceeds from the sale of their beans.

Opening Hours: 07:00 – 21:00 

Location: Banpaprakan Road, immediately west of the Clock Tower

25. Doy Din Daeng 

Inspired by Chiang Rai’s lush nature and tranquil landscape, Doy Din Daeng pottery studio has been producing wheel-thrown pieces with simplistic, almost zen-like design, since 1991 and was founded by native Chiang Rai potter Somluck Pantiboon. Trained with Japanese masters in Japan, Somluck came back to Chiang Rai and founded the gallery in 1991. Set in a shaded forest, the studio comprises several adobe huts that serve as a workshop, exhibition gallery, shop, café, owner’s residence and trainees’ dorm. 

You will find both functional and decorative pieces, although the price is not cheap and each piece requires close scrutiny due to inconsistent quality. But, at the end of the day, you are paying for pieces of art. 

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00 (closed on Sundays) 

Location: About 15km north of Chiang Rai City Tel: +66 (0)53 705 291 

How to get there: From Highway 1, go pass Chaing Rai Rajabhat University on your left and at km. 841 prepare to turn right into Soi 3. After making the turn, following the road for about 2km and the studio will be on your left-hand side.

26. Hill-Tribe Museum Souvenir Shop

The Hill-Tribe Museum offers a diverse collection of embroidered handicrafts from various ethnic hill-tribes. Each tribe has its own unique embroider pattern, and here you will find mostly Yao, Lisu, Mhong and Akha bags, wallets, placemats, bed covers, pillow cases and even leggings. Besides tribal crafts, the shop also has a range of Lanna crafts, such as Tung decorative flags, northern folk music CDs and books on the ethnic hill-tribes as well as cultures in the Mekong region. 

The price tags here may be a little higher than what you will find at the Night Bazaar or Walking Street, as the museum donates profits to support the PDA Chiang Rai’s ethnic hill-tribe development activities. 

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 (Mon – Fri); 10:00 – 18:00 (weekends and public holidays) 

Location: 3rd floor PDA Building, on Thanalai Road

Hua Hin Shopping

No holiday experience would be complete with a bit of shopping thrown in, and Hua Hin has all sorts of shopping treats lined up for visitors. There are some shopping opportunities in nearby Cha-Am and Pranburi too, but for variety and choice you’d be better off exploring in Hua Hin. 

Whether you want to have a new suit or dress made or looking for souvenirs and the local crafts Thai people are so famous for, you’re in luck. Local markets like the Day or Night Markets offer a very wide variety of merchandise, and probably the best places to shop at.

27. Cicada Market

Cicada Market is all about art, handmade crafts and good times. With an open-air market concept, it brings together Hua Hin’s artistic talents and those who wear ‘freedom of expression’ on their sleeves. Besides the crafts market, you’ll also find an art gallery, beer garden and live music. 

Open only on weekend evenings, the market is usually packed with weekenders from Bangkok. It is located on Phetkasem Road, about halfway between Hua Hin town and Khao Takiab.

Opening Hours: 16:00-23:00 (Friday, Saturday), 16:00-22:00 (Sunday) 

Location: Suan Sri, Khao Takiab (on Phetkasem Road) 

Tel: +66 (0) 32-536606

28. Chat Chai Market and Hua Hin Night Market

Situated in the Hua Hin centre between the Petchkasem Road and the railway line, the market basically encompasses one street that comes to life from 18:30 onwards, when traders line the street with their stalls selling various apparel, crafts, art, CDs, DVDS and cheap, tasty food – generally what you might expect from a Thai market. 

This is by no means the best place to shop in Thailand; you will finder a bigger variety of goods in Bangkok or say, Chiang Mai. However, Hua Hin does have a superb selection of seafood restaurants that line the road that hosts the Night Market, drawing a lot of attention from visitors eager to feast on the quality dishes on offer.

Opening Hours: 18:00 to 23:00 (Best time to go after 19:00)

Location: Petchkasem Road

29. Plern Wan shopping village

Not just a themed open-air mall, Plearn Wan feels more like a living museum where you can experience a slice of life in 1950s Hua Hin. Plern Wan’s two-storey courtyard-style building, an architectural statement in itself, houses a community of period-style shops selling everything from liquor, inexpensive plastic-and-tin toys, snacks as well as a beauty salon, photo studio, outdoor cinema screen and a 20-room guesthouse or ‘Piman Plern Wan. 

From the main street, Plern Wan’s curious looking entrance – a giant structure fashioned from reclaimed wooden planks – is hard to miss. Stepping through the small opening (compared to the wooden structure) is like stepping into a time machine – suddenly, you find yourself surrounded by all things vintage. When it’s crowded, usually at night, the festive atmosphere resembles that of a well-organised temple fair from decades ago.

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 (Mon-Thurs), 10:00 – midnight (Fri), 09:00 – midnight (Sat), 09:00 – 22:00 (Sun) 

Location: Phetkasem Road (between Hua Hin Sois 38 and 40), close to Klai Kang Won Palace 

Tel: +66 (0)32 520 311-2

30. Cha-Am Night Market

Known as ‘talat nad’, the market is popular mainly with locals, who come here to check out new clothes, DVDs, CDs and cutesy accessories. Other than this, there is a few food stalls. Fridays are usually the busiest when more traders turn up. This market is not necessarily loaded with things that you would want to buy, but it has a great atmosphere and is a good way to gain an insight into the Cha-Am market experience. 

Opening Hours: after 18:00 

Location: Narathip Road, Cha Am

31. Hua Hin Market Village

Market Village features an outdoor plaza and three levels of shops, restaurants, a food court, entertainment outlets and a multi-screen Major Cineplex. The selection of shops covers both brand names and independent labels. Its bright, airy interiors, with wide aisles and large skylight, ensure a pleasant stroll.

This modern lifestyle mall located on Phetkasem Road is Hua Hin’s first large-scale shopping centre and entertainment complex. It has an air-conditioned plaza and a covered outdoor zone for hosting activities and market-style vendors. There’s a good mix of shops selling clothing, fashion accessories, sportswear, shoes, books and electronic gadgets. The outdoor market has an impressive collection of local souvenirs and crafts. Apart from that, the two anchor stores – Tesco-Lotus and HomePro – offer large selections of reasonably-priced goods and home décor accessories.

Apart from shopping, other good reasons to head down here are the Multiplex Cinema and food hall. On the third floor, Major Cineplex is the only high-tech movie theatre in Hua Hin. It offers English-language blockbuster movies as well as Thai-language films, some of them with subtitles. There’s also an extensive lineup of fast-food outlets, cafés and restaurants offering Thai and international cuisine.

Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 

Location: Phetkasem Rd. (just after Soi 88)

Kanchanaburi Shopping

While the offerings at most souvenir stalls and open-air markets do not often stray beyond typical tourist knick-knacks, Kanchanaburi can be an exciting place to shop for quality gemstones. Here is the centre of Thailand’s gemstone mining industry, and Bo Ploi is one of the world’s largest production centres for blue sapphire.

You will find these brilliant sapphires along with other precious and semi-precious stones at nearly every souvenir stall at various tourist attractions. But if quality is your biggest concern, then head over to Bo Ploi. The eastern approach to the Bridge over the River Kwai is one other area worth checking out.

These stalls feature a diverse collection of crafts and home décor items, including bamboo crafts, readymade wear, Thai musical instruments, ceramics, lacquerware, bronzeware, paper parasols, silk and gemstones.

32. Night Markets 

Cheap eats and a colourful open-air market scene await you at the two Kanchanaburi Night Markets. Although not as big and exciting as the legendary Chiang Mai Night Bazaar or other Bangkok night markets, Kanchanaburi Night Markets are great places to interact with the locals and to bargain for goods. The two markets are located near the bus station and train station, and the best time to go is after sunset until 21:00. 

Location: Near the Bus Station and Train Station

How to get there: Hop on a songtaew or rent a motorcycle

33. Bo Ploi Jewellery Handicraft Centre 

If your eyes glow and heart pounds with every time you see sparkling little gemstones, a trip to Bo Ploi is a must. This small village is home to one of Thailand’s most active industrial gemstone mining industries, and Bo Ploi Jewellery Handicraft Centre is where you can watch how these precious and semi-precious stones, particularly blue sapphire, onyx and ruby, are honed and fashioned into dazzling rings, brooches and penchants. Bring more cash than necessary, as you will need it. 

Location: Bo Ploi District, about 48km north of Kanchanaburi City 

How to get there: Non air-conditioned buses leave Kanchanaburi Bus Terminal every 20 minutes (06:00-18:30). The journey takes about one hour.

34. Kanokarn 

This three-storey shopping mall is where to go for brand-name clothes and electrical goods. Imagine Bangkok’s MBK meets a hypermarket. You will find a decent supermarket and individual shops on the lower floors. The top floor is an indoor market for cell phones, phone accessories, VCDs and home entertainment items. Location: Kanchanaburi city centre How to get there: Hop on a songtaew or rent a motorcycle

Location: Kanchanaburi city centre 

How to get there: Hop on a songtaew or rent a motorcycle

Khao Lak Shopping

The Khao Lak shopping scene is surely not the most exciting in southern Thailand, yet there are enough small and medium-sized stores where you can easily find all the basic articles necessary while on holiday. While shopping in La On Village is a relaxing experience, neighbouring Bang Niang is even more relaxed. 

Handicrafts, beachwear, DVDs and music CDs are all available in both locations, and Bang Niang’s thrice-weekly market is a must-do (with a camera, of course) to get a glimpse of the local life.

Combining a meal out with a shopping trip at either destination is a favourite pastime. If you need to purchase a big stock of drink and snack, there are two supermarkets available in Khao Lak: one small Tesco Lotus on the road to Thai Muang (a 20-minute drive south of La On Village), and Nang Thong Supermarket (on the main road between La On and Bang Niang).

35. Bang Niang Market

Bang Niang Market is the shopping epicentre of Khao Lak. Located right opposite the Police Boat 813’s Tsunami Memorial Park on Phetkasem Road, Bang Niang Market covers a 21,000 sqm area. Always a colourful and lively sight, Thai markets are a must-do on any visitor’s itinerary. 

Bang Niang hosts the most popular night market in Khao Lak. It is especially interesting as it is large, varied and very much a part of the local shopping scene. Here, you’ll find four rows of makeshift shops/stalls made of wood and thatch, with three wide alleyways between them.

Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 10:00 – 22:00 

Location: On Phetkasem Road by the 7-Eleven opposite the Tsunami Memorial Park in Bang Niang 

36. Khuk Khak Fresh Market

Visiting Khuk Khak Fresh Market is the best thing you could do to get a glimpse of the real local life in southern Thailand. Thai fresh markets permit you to discover exotic fruits and vegetables unknown in Europe, as well as to sample delicious snacks prepared by wandering vendors. A market would not be a market in Thailand without street food stalls selling a wide choice of barbecued seafood and meat, banana pancakes, fresh sugarcane drinks, and more. 

Opening Hours: Daily, from early morning to late afternoon 

Location: Khuk Khak Bus Station, Phetkasem Road, 3km north of Bang Niang

37. Tailor-made clothing

Elegance remains affordable in Thailand. With over 15 bespoke tailor shops only in La On Village, you will surely find the right place to get a new suit, shirt or pants done. As everywhere else in Thailand, most of these shops are run by polyglot Indian or Pakistani expats. It is pretty difficult to recommend a specific shop as all of them offer much the same goods and services, many of them even sharing the same workshops. You should find the best tailor shop to your taste by talking directly with them. Do not hesitate to bargain! 

Opening Hours: usually from 12:00-22:00 

Location: Along Phetkasem Road in La On Village and Bang Niang and around the large beachfront resorts

Khao Yai Shopping

Shopping is an exciting part of a Khao Yai trip, because it is as immersive as the travel experience itself. Imagine taking a stroll in a ‘Tuscan’ countryside surrounded by endless fields of grapes, touring a cattle ranch in a horse-drawn cart, or even try your hand at milking a cow for the first time – all these before you actually venture inside a store to pick up a few bottles of vintage wine or buy a cowboy hat with a cowboy shirt to match.

On the opposite spectrum, Khao Yai doesn’t fall short on contemporary lifestyle offerings, such as brand-name clothing, shoes, home accessories, handmade jewellery and more. You will find these at the Outlet Village and concept shopping venues like Primo Posto and Palio Khao Yai.

The Wang Nam Kheo side offers less in terms of modern lifestyle products but more on farm-fresh organic produce and flowers. If cooking is your passion, Wang Nam Kheo is an excellent place to source your fruits and vegetables.

38. Outlet Village Khao Yai

If you happened to fancy a brand-name leather bag, shoes or fashion accessories while in Khao Yai – or simply need a place to hide from midday heat – the Outlet Village is the right place to go. The 127 shops here offer a diverse range of local and imported brands, including Bossini, Lacoste, Esprit, Valentino Rudy, Dapper and G2000, to name just a few. Better yet, since this is an outlet mall, find up to 70% discount on select items every day. 

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 20:00 daily 

Location: Mitrapab - Thanarat Intersection, 5km from Chokchai Farm

39. Primo Posto 

Transport yourself halfway around the world and lose yourself in the embrace of a Tuscan village for a day. Primo Posto is a concept open-air mall with adobe-coloured shop-houses fashioned in the style of the Italian countryside, with wrought-iron touches, colourful wood shutters, terracotta tiled roofs and a manicured flower garden. This is as much an attraction as a shopping mall, where you can drink in the lovely atmosphere while enjoying a cup of coffee or Italian gelato. Most shops here comprise restaurants and confectionaries. 

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 (Fri-Sun and national holidays only) 

Location: Pansuk-Kudkla Road, near GranMonte Estate

40. Palio Village

Palio is a picturesque shopping centre, 220km north-east of Bangkok, themed around a Tuscan village where visitors are treated to an out-of-the-ordinary combination of clothes and gift shopping, gourmet snacks, live entertainment and an eclectic mix of independent shops and stalls. The grand idea has been to bring the charm of Tuscany to the green heart of Thailand.

Both places share a cool, sunny climate and both grow wine – although not to the same distinction. From this fairly tenuous link, the developers of Palio have produced something truly unique and unmistakably modern.

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 daily 

Location: Thanarat Road, next to Juladis Khao Yai Resort and Spa

41. Wang Nam Kheo Farm 

Shitake, Lingzhi, Grey Oyster, Monkey Head… name a mushroom and chances are they’ve got it here. Branded under the name ‘Mister Mushroom’, Wang Nam Kheo Farm’s range of products is aptly named. Learn how mushrooms are cultivated in a closed environment (i.e. air-conditioned rooms), harvested and processed into various by products, from dried mushrooms to mushroom chips and spicy mushroom dips. 

Location: Thai Samakkee Road, inside Tub Larn National Park

Koh Chang Shopping

Although shopping on Koh Chang can be very limited, it still offers some interesting items not found anywhere else in Thailand (like T-shirts with the word 'Koh Chang' on it). Shops are often located close together along the road of each beach. An easy stroll along the road will find you small shops one after another. 

Shops on every beach are pretty much the same so don't expect much variety other than the usual mix of souvenirs, beachwear, Thai paintings, CDs and DVDs and sunglasses. Trinket (handmade accessories and scarves, among others) sellers usually roam the beach and displaying their products right in front of your resort's beachfront area.

42. Kai Bae Beach Shopping

Although shopping on Kai Bae Beach can be somewhat very limited, it still offers some interesting items not found anywhere in Thailand (like T-shirts with the word 'Koh Chang' on it). Shops are located close together along the beach's main road. An easy stroll along the road will find you small shops one after another. 

Shops on every beach are pretty much the same so don't expect much variety other than the usual mix of souvenirs, beachwear, Thai paintings, CDs and DVDs and sunglasses. Trinket (handmade accessories and scarves, among others) sellers usually roam the beach and displaying their products right in front of your resort's beachfront area.

43. Klong Prao Beach Shopping

Klong Prao Beach has three villages - each with its own shopping plaza. The three villages are Bann Chai Chet (in the north end of the beach), Baan Klong Prao (the original main village located in the middle) and Baan Map Khangkhao (in the south end). You'll find local the usual assortment of small shops, bars, restaurants, convenient stores, banks, tailors, tour agents, massage places as well as local facilities like temples, schools and clinics.

44. Lonely Beach Shopping

Although shopping is not what usually attracts visitors to Lonely Beach, it still makes a great pastime activity. Put your bargaining skill to the test with the locals at the many shops found dotted the area. Alternatively, head to the souvenir centre in Bangbao Village, located further south of the beach, for a more extensive range of things to buy from beach gears like shorts, bikinis, sandals, the usual mix of knick-knacks like handmade necklaces, accessories, scarves and Koh Chang souvenirs to foodstuff like dried seafood and local snacks.

45. White Sand Beach Shopping

White Sand Beach has a great concentration of small shops selling cheap beachwear, sunglasses, CDs and DVDs, paintings and Koh Chang souvenirs. An air-conditioned 'Portobello' offers hand-crafted, unique table and floor lamps as well as costume jewellery made from silver, precious and semi-precious gemstones.

Koh Lanta Shopping

Koh Lanta is charming, bucolic, tranquil and untouched. The island may be beautiful but it's certainly not a shopper's paradise. 

Baan Saladan is the nearest you'll get to 'cosmopolitan' on Lanta and is where you'll find the basics such as medication and groceries.

46. Handmade Batik Shop 

Barely a shop, but a must-try if you want a truly original souvenir. This little shop has no name but is a real find. Do not be put off by the look of the shed! The owner is very friendly and you can actually see how they make the batik sarongs. The guy here works late into the night making a few sarongs a day, all by his own hand and at really cheap prices. Don’t see the colour/design you want? Talk to the owner and he will even make a specific design for you in just a couple of days. 

Opening Hours: Daily but no set times, usually open till late

Location: End of the main road, turn left, 200 metres on the left (just past Baan Café)

47. Saladan Market 

A recent addition is the new clothing and souvenir market on the left as you enter the town. All the shops are tiny but here there is a really wide selection of board shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops, sarongs, sunglasses, jewellery and galleries with many selling the same goods. Make sure you shop around for a bargain and haggling is a must. 

Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 21:00 

Location: Three streets of small shops located on the left as you enter Saladan (opposite Lanta Mart)

48. Hammock House 

This is definitely the most famous shop in the Old Town and probably one of the main reasons people hop on a motorbike to visit the location. They have been selling luxury hammocks here for many years and now have outlets in Koh Lipe, Koh Chang, Koh Samui and Koh Tao, but Koh Lanta is home to the original. All their hammocks are made by the Mlabri Tribe of North Thailand. Their hammocks come in a range of styles (sitting, parachute, two person, travel and woven) and a wide range of colours and materials. These hammocks are a style statement and are designed to last so expect to pay a little more than you would elsewhere. 

Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 17:00 

Location: Centre of Old Town, within 20 metres of Mango House Tel: +66 (0)75 697 098

49. Mountain Sea Silver and Stone 

From the outside this shop looks like a large shed built from driftwood, but upon entering you will see one of the largest ‘jewellers’ on the island. Most items are made from specially cut polished stones or beach shells and you can often design your own necklace, earrings or bracelets from the range of individual stones and shells they sell. If you are keen on design, take your beach finds to the owner and they will make jewellery to your specifications. 

Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 18:00 
Location: On the main road out of Saladan, on the left next to Nang Sabai Cafe

50. A Little Handmade Shop 

A cute little white shop selling a range of craft goods including clothing, ceramics, handmade stuffed toys and paintings. The owner speaks great English and the popularity of her goods has grown so much that they have now built a website where you can buy the goods online. 

Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 18:00 

Location: About 150 metres past 7-Eleven on the left in Kantiang Bay as you travel south Tel: +66 (0)85 044 6998

51. Drunken Sailors 

An offshoot of the hugely popular Drunken Sailors Café, this shop grew from the popularity of the small items the owner used to sell in her café. With its range of unique, colourful and eclectic clothing (scarves, fishermen pants, dresses, sarongs and skirts) and handmade jewellery, you are sure to find something truly different here. All the items are either handmade by the owner’s family or from the north of Thailand. 

Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 18:00 

Location: Just behind Drunken Sailors Café in the Centre of Kantiang Bay

Koh Phangan Shopping

One thing is for sure: Koh Phangan is a lot cheaper than Samui when it comes to shopping. And again, Thongsala is cheaper than Haad Rin for the price of goods. However in both beachside towns you’ll find craft shops, jewelry and accessory outlets, hammock shops and, especially for those who come from more restricted cultures, fireworks! 

Haad Rin shops and stalls sport lots of overpriced fluorescent Full Moon Party beachwear while smaller beaches such as Ao Thong Nai Pan Noi have typical seaside outlets selling beach balls, flippers and masks, suntan lotion, booze and of course those orange Rizla packets. Handicraft shops dot most of the main routes and are worth stopping at as their one-off products deserve attention while Haad Rin even has a sexy lingerie shop. 

Generally speaking, despite most website overenthusiastic blurbs, Koh Phangan is not a shopping destination: Bangkok and Phuket handle that role a lot better, but you can find the basics here if you look around.

52. B!tch Ware 

Oh la la! The last thing you’d expect in this virginal, innocent little town is a sexy lingerie shop yet there it stands, as bold as brass selling naughty nighties, babydolls, ‘Christmas’ outfits, G-strings, ‘adult costumes’ – even sexy PVC-leather corsets. FYI, outside of Bangkok you’d have to look far and wide to find this type of outlet. Fixed prices. 

Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00 and much later on Full Moon Party nights 

Location: Haad Rin East – alley leading down to the party beach

53. Nature Art Gallery 

Nature Art Gallery has three branches in Haad Rin – each classy, clean and a treasure trove of handmade jewelry, made-to-order trinkets, semi- and precious stones, Buddha images, silver accessories, broaches, wallets, bags and textiles. It’s all helped along by English-speaking staff (Burmese of course) and a professional approach that is rare to find in this party town. Fixed prices. 

Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00 

Location: Three branches, all in Central Haad Rin 

Tel: 077 375 246

54. Tattoo Parlours 

Haad Rin has proven to be a magnet for both tattooists and the tattooed. A ‘tat’ is a (somewhat indelible) souvenir of a tropical holiday and even though they don’t come cheap (12,000 baht for a leg tat) more than enough people go for one. For some strange reason the relation between the amount of alcohol consumed and the likelihood of getting a tattoo is exponential – so be warned – and the number of tattoo shops in Haad Rin testifies of this fact. 

Opening Hours: 10:00 – very late 

Location: Throughout the town

55. Hammock Lovers Gallery 

Colourful, striking and original, Hammock Lovers Gallery is an experience in itself. A shop-house full of every size and shape of lightweight hammocks imaginable along with other accessories such as clever fold-up hippy bags and even parachutes (gulp) and hanging chairs. “The closest you will ever come to sleeping on a cloud” claims Mr. Moon the friendly owner. Come to think of it, that parachute might come in handy after all… 

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 21:00 
Location: Baan Tai Main Road before the turnoff to Thong Nai Pan

Koh Phi Phi Shopping

A few years ago, it seemed that all you could buy on Phi Phi was food, beer and hippy jewelry but in the recent past shopping opportunities have blossomed and grown on the island. 

Clothes stores often double as impromptu minimarts while minimarts sell clothes and at the same time bookstores masquerade as bars and coffee shops while coffee shops are the place to find good books. 

It's all a tad confusing for those accustomed to more organised city life but residents and visitors alike adapt and enjoy themselves in the hotch-potch that is shopping on Phi Phi. There is even a blown glass outlet and a leather goods merchant. oh, and should you feel the need, you can get a tattoo here, too.

56. Kunstone 

Chiang Mai silver is world renowned and has established itself as a trustworthy buy because of the generations of artisans that have made the northern Thai city their home. Kunstone offers a comprehensive collection of silver goods along with various types of jewelry, armbands, handmade necklaces and attractive accessories. Also on sale are colourful dress necklaces. Credit cards accepted. 

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 

Location: Main Street, Tonsai Central

57. Mr Rum Boutique 

Similar to the nearby Le Grand Bleu restaurant, Mr Rum has a modest exterior that leads to greater things inside. What appears to be a small boutique selling beach gear, skirts and fisherman pants opens up in the back to a larger outlet selling more beach gear, skirts and fisherman pants with many variations to choose from. You will also find children’s sizes here. 

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 

Location: Tonsai Main Street

58. Super Funky 

T-shirts, sarongs, those  hats again as well as sunglasses – they’re all  here in this Tonsai East  version of the many ‘boutiques’ that are to  be found in the centre of the  island. 

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 

Location: Tonsai East, facing Bora Bora Restaurant-Bar 

Type: Holiday gear, sarongs, T-shirts, silly hats

59. Phi Phi Market 

Phi Phi Market is the right place to find fresh products and ready-made street food at rock-bottom rates. It also allows you to mingle with the local community. Located right in front of JJ Residence in the centre of Tonsai Village, it went through a complete renovation in 2014-2015 which transformed the typical Thai market it used to be into a futuristic high-ceiling building offering a clean and pleasant place to shop.

Phi Phi Market and its immediate surroundings are the main shopping hub on Koh Phi Phi Don. You find here supermarkets, stalls selling fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables, as well as a great choice of small restaurants and stands serving most of the favourite snacks that can be found in Thailand. 
Opening Hours: 07:00-10:00 but many stalls and the supermarkets are open all day long 

Location: In the centre of Tonsai Village

Koh Samui Shopping

There are hundreds of bargains to be found while shopping in Koh Samui. While almost every corner of the island has a store worth visiting, the main shopping sites are in Chaweng, Lamai and Nathon. Chaweng offers the most choice and Lamai has a nice range of quirky little stores, but Nathon usually has the cheapest deals. 

Thailand is famous for its dubious copies of almost everything, from watches to trainers to CDs, and Koh Samui shopping is no exception. Such products can generally be found in the smaller local markets. Most department stores offer only genuine products and have fixed prices, but you can bargain almost everywhere else. Just keep it polite and friendly to reach a price everyone is happy with.

60. Lamai Walking Street

Lately, the Walking Street phenomenon has spread like wildfire throughout southern Thailand’s popular resort towns. In Koh Samui, all major destinations – Chaweng and Bophut - hold this fun weekly market-like fair which attracts an ever growing number of visitors. Lamai Walking Street (aka Lamai Jai Dee Walking Street, meaning Lamai ‘Kind-Hearted Walking Street’) is held every Sunday on Lamai Beach Road in between the fresh market and the bridge in the northeastern part of the town. 

For this occasion, the road is closed off to traffic and is full of stalls selling clothes, handicrafts and local street food. The items for sale come at affordable prices which make them a good opportunity as souvenirs and little presents to bring back home for friends and family, but as in most southern Thai walking streets, the highlight is the outstanding choices of delicious food to be sampled here from grilled corn to pad thai to kebabs to pizza to barbecued seafood to cocktails and more. Strolling along Lamai Walking Street is definitely a great way to spend a Sunday evening in a welcoming and busy local atmosphere. 

Opening Hours: Sunday from 16:30 – 00:00

Location: Lamai beach road in between the fresh market and the bridge in the northeastern part of the town

61. Fisherman’s Village Walking Street 

This place brings the quiet, sleepy town of Bophut to life every Friday from 17:00 to 23:00. It sees the narrow Beach Road and adjoining streets crammed with market stalls and shoppers from across Koh Samui, with a diverse range of wares available at very low prices. Many of the stalls sell much the same items as you will find in markets throughout Thailand, including 100-baht T-shirts, simple jewellery, handbags, sunglasses, beer cosies, souvenirs, watches of questionable mechanical soundness, branded clothes of dubious manufacture and electrical goods of suspicious provenance. As with all market shopping in Thailand, a certain amount of judgement and measured expectations is necessary when selecting your purchases.

Opening Hours: 17:00 – 23:00 

Location: Bophut Beach Road, Bophut

62. Chaweng Walking Street

It’s hard to imagine shoppers in the West sipping on cocktails while out shopping but at Chaweng Walking Street Market you can do just that, and for very little money, too. Chaweng Walking Street is a riot of colours, sounds and scents. This is where you can haggle for items such as T-shirts, sunglasses, knockoff watches, beach dresses, lamps, sexy cutoff jeans; copied Ralph Laurent polo shirts, flip-flops, bags of all shapes and sizes, carved wooden souvenirs, kids clothing and cosmetics.

Opening Hours: The food court is opened daily from 16:30 -24:00; the shopping stalls are closed on Fridays and Sundays 

Location: South Chaweng just off the main street

63. Maenam Walking Street in Samui

This is a lovely but rather noisy family experience and the only difficult thing about visiting Mae Nam walking street on Thursday evenings when the market takes place is finding a place to park nearby but this can be circumvented by getting there early before six o’clock. Mae Nam’s walking street is only a couple of hundred metres long but it’s packed with interesting stalls, snack vendors and even mobile cocktail bars!

Opening Hours: Thursdays from 17:00 onwards 

Location: Mae Nam centre

64. Ao Nang’s Catalunya Walking Street 

It is an L-shaped, partially covered lane at the southern corner of Ao Nang (Beach) Road. The name ‘walking street’ could be misleading as in Thailand, it usually refers to a weekly market-like fair such as Krabi Walking Street in Krabi Town’s soi Maharaj 8, or Phuket Walking Street in Phuket Old Town’s Thalang Road. 

Opened in 2007, Catalunya Walking Street is a permanent bazaar-like compact shopping complex, in which you will also find an art gallery, a tailor, an optician, an ice-cream shop, four restaurants (Thai, Mexican, and international), two bars, a bank, and a guesthouse, all right next to Ao Nang Beach.

Location: at the southern corner of Ao Nang Beach Road

65. Mr. Samui Gallery & Art Café

A veritable treasure trove of silver, gold, gems, trinkets, ornaments and scarves. There are bracelets, anklets, necklaces, rings and earrings made out of every metal and precious gem imaginable. Choose from one of the thousands of pieces in the display cases or you can have your own design made up. Housing an art gallery and an internet connection, you can also eat and drink here; with an early evening happy hour. 

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 11:30 

Location: South Lamai Main Street

66. Chock Dee Handmade Silver & Gold Jewelry

Chock Dee Handmade Silver & Gold Jewelry is a long-established boutique on Ao Nang’s shopping scene. Located on the Ao Nang beachfront, this elegant boutique has a wide choice of bracelets, necklaces, earrings and more. The particularity of the jewels sold at Chok Dee Handmade is that they are all original creations made of precious, semi-precious and rare materials: gold and silver, stone, marble, fossils. All of them are handmade in a small factory located in the proximity of Ao Nang, and custom-made orders are also possible. Due to the tip-top quality of the products, prices are slightly higher than other nearby outlets although it certainly doesn’t hurt to haggle them down a little. 

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 

Location: Central Beach Road 

Tel: 075-695401

67. Railay Walking Street

Walking Street is Railay West’s main shopping centre. This 70m-long lane gathers a good deal of shops, bars and restaurants. Its entrance is right on Railay Beach West, flanked – on two sides - by the popular Flame Tree Restaurant & Bar. The other eateries featured in Railay Walking Street count one kebab stall, two fruit shake/burger joints and one fruit shake/pancake stand. 

Leisure activity centres are also represented in the lane with Railay Rock Climbing Shop, King Climbers and Railay Dive Centre; please note that after these exhausting activities, visitors can enjoy a relaxing massage at Bobo Thai Massage located toward the end of the lane. With regards to shopping, Railay Walking Street hosts four bazaar-like shops selling the usual beachwear, Singha T-shirts, flip flops, and sarongs; one mini-mart selling all sort convenient items and snacks and one boutique that stands out from the lot: Fish Handmade Silver Jewellery. 
This boutique sells a great assortment of splendid creations – rings, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, and ear rings – made of various gemstones such as turquoise, and high-quality silver. Run by a couple, Meg and Pon, it is indeed an interesting shop which, apart from jewellery, sells clothing and bags.

68. Sabai Ba Bar

It is certainly the most original venue in Nong Thale. Located on Klong Muang beachfront, some 200 metres before to reach Sofitel Phokeethra Resort when heading to Tubkaak Beach, this restaurant, bar, and souvenir shop offers its guests a very well thought-out spotless venue made of recycled materials and fabrics. The venue is divided into four areas, each of them with its own assets. The garden has a certain Arabian Nights’ touch, with its small salas featuring Thai cushions, small tables, and vividly coloured draperies. The main dining area is a shaded terrace that overlooks the beach. Adjacent to that, a slightly wobbly two-storey modern structure permits punters to enjoy a great view over the Andaman Sea. Two small rooms inside the main building are dedicated to quality Thai-style handcrafted souvenirs made of wood and ceramic.

Opening Hours: 11:00 – 02:00 

Location: On Klong Muang beach road, 200m before to reach Sofitel Phokeethra Resort when heading to Tubkaak Beach. 

Tel: +66 (0)81 891 4849

Krabi Shopping

Shopping is far to be the main attraction in Krabi, yet you will find here all that is necessary to spend an agreeable holiday, as well as a cool choice of beautifully handcrafted souvenirs to bring back home. On Krabi's beaches, you don't have to go shopping, the shop comes to you. Ambulant vendors ply the sands selling everything from sarongs to suntan lotion, from bookends to Buddhas, from batik to beer. 

However, if you're serious about shopping there are bargains to be had in the riverfront shops of Krabi Town and if you are good at haggling and bargaining down prices even Phi Phi Island has its interesting nooks and crannies. Ao Nang has stall after stall of souvenirs and handicrafts so simply wait for the sun to go down and hit the shopping trail.

69. Krabi Night Market

Krabi Night Market (Krabi Town Walking Street or Thanon Khon Dern in Thai) is certainly the most important shopping event in Krabi Town. It is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 17:00 to 22:00 in Soi Maharaj 8 and on the 2,000sqm plaza situated right behind Vogue Department Store in downtown Krabi. With something like 50 stalls selling a wide range of products and street food, Krabi Town Night market gathers every weekend an incredibly large crowd for such a small area. 

Started in 2013, this weekly event allows visitors to get a glimpse into southern Thailand life and discover local artisans and artists who come here to present their products. A night market would not be a night market in Thailand without tasty snacks to grab, so there is a multitude of Thai street food favourites to sample here while wandering around this lively market.

Opening Hours: Fri, Sat & Sun from 17:00-22:00 

Location: Soi Maharaj 8, behind Vogue Department Store.

70. Maharaj Market

Maharaj Market (pronounced Maharat) is also known as the ‘Morning Market’ and as the name suggests it’s a lively and active place, even before sunrise. Located in Soi 7 off Maharaj Road, it is held inside two large hangars. Maharaj Market literally never closes: it is not fully active at certain periods of time (12:00-16:00 and 21:00-04:00) but there is always something going on here. 

Within the compound, it is full of exotic goods both dry and fresh; whether rice, spices, chili paste, colourful fruit, vegetables and flowers, meat, fish, seafood and more; there are also many food stands selling ready-to-eat meals and drinks at very minimal prices. 

Long tables between the food stands allow vendors and visitors to sit down and have their meal in relative peace in the middle of the hustle and bustle. Takeaway service is also available. Visiting Maharaj Market gives a glimpse of genuine daily-life in southern Thailand as well as opportunities to discover and sample savours unknown in the West. 

Opening Hours: Daily, best time to visit is from 08:00 – 12:00 

Location: Soi 7 off Maharaj Road in downtown Krabi

71. Vogue Department Store

Vogue Department Store follows the well-trodden Thai path of cramming plenty of brand-name shops under one roof with a central supermarket, food court and fast food places. Located on Maharaj Road in the heart of Krabi Town, the three-storey department store (four with the shopping plaza hosted in its basement) sells all the items required (or not) for any citizen. 

The basement is where the cheapest products – clothes, toys, shoes, electronic gadgets, mobile phone covers – can be found, next to a karaoke-mini-rooms area and a video games arcade.

The first floor hosts promoted items in its central area, and cosmetics, gold jewellery, and accessories stalls and boutiques; KFC, Boots, The Pizza Company, Swensen’s and Watson’s outlets are also located at the first floor. 

The second and third floor feature all fashionable brand-names – Levi’s, Camel, Adidas, Elle, Louis Fontaine, Arrow, you name it – with women, men, and children clothes. 

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 21:00 

Location: Maharaj Road in downtown Krabi

Pattaya Shopping

The opportunities for shopping in Pattaya are varied and extensive. Admittedly not in the same league as in Bangkok, there is nonetheless a range of options, stretching from popular street markets to plush malls. You can find great bargains on anything from unique souvenirs to top brand clothes.

Naturally, this includes the cheap copies available at most of the country’s markets, alongside an array of street food, cosmetics, electronics, toys, novelties, curios, DVDs, plants, pets and practically anything else you can think of. 

Many of the Pattaya shopping malls also double as interesting attractions, bringing added interest to a day of retail therapy. These include a recreation of Bangkok’s floating markets, a recreation of a French town and the presence of special shows, rides, museums, cinemas, bowling alleys and fantastic views across the city.

72. Pattaya Floating Market

Covering an area of 100,000sqm, the Four Regions Floating Market is separated into four sections – each representing and selling items from the four major parts of Thailand (north, northeast, central and south). Expect to find many eateries, fruit stalls, souvenir shops and some art galleries. There is also a cultural show every afternoon. The 350 million baht market has over 114 shops and water vendors selling authentic Thai food, desserts and specialties from all over the kingdom. For a floating market experience, hire a man-powered boat to get around and discover the richness of the surrounding Thai architecture and riverside life. Typically, the boat is big enough for four people and can be hired for a small fee for around 30 minutes.

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00 

Location: 451/304 Moo 12, Sukhumvit Road Pattaya

73. Mimosa Pattaya

Mimosa Pattaya is impossible to miss when driving south along Sukhumvit Road. The self-styled “City of Love” is a colourful, creative and exciting shopping experience unlike any other in the region. It combines a cultural attraction, a fun day out and, most importantly, a lot of shops. Located directly across the road from the Ambassador City Jomtien hotel, Mimosa Pattaya is a recreation of the French city of Colmar. It’s vividly bright Renaissance-era-style buildings are very distinctive and house over 300 shops, attractions and restaurants. Quaint pathways and picturesque canals run between them in a chaotic manner reminiscent of old European cities.

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 

Location: 28/19 Sukhumvit Road, Na Jomtien 

Tel: +66 (0)3 823 7318

74. One Tambon, One Product

If you want to make sure that your holiday souvenirs are made by local craftspeople instead of a giant factory (and that those craftspeople get the money you spent on their products), the “OTOP Shop” is the place to go. Part of a government initiative to support local communities, the wares in OTOP all come from around Pattaya (a ‘Tambon’ being a regional subdivision, such as a town or village). Items on offer in the 1,500sqm showroom range from those as small as scented soaps to as large as wardrobes and other items of furniture, all showing a remarkable level of skill in their construction and prices which are fair and reasonable.

75. Thepprasit Road Night Market

Thepprasit Road Night Market is amongst the most popular of the local bazaars in Pattaya. Found close to the Sukhumvit Road end of its namesake street, it is adjacent to the Outlet Shopping Mall and spreads over most of the parking area in front of the K-Hut Complex. With extensive parking available behind and an impressive array of shops and stalls, it attracts large crowds of locals and tourists every evening from Friday to Sunday. 

Also known as “Pattaya Weekend Market” and “Kankheha Thepprasit Market”, the principal attraction for many of the locals is the colourful array of street food. Set out in the shelter of the metal roofs of the market’s largest permanent structures, the two rows of vendors sell all manner of Thai delights, from fresh fruit, juices and seafood to noodles, nibbles and desserts. There are some tables and seats in amongst the sellers and stalls, but finding an empty space can be quite a challenge!

Opening Hours: Fri – Sun 17:00 – 23:00 

Location: Thepprasit Road, Jomtien

76. Pattaya Night Bazaar

Pattaya Night Bazaar is a comfortable, covered and air-conditioned recreation of a Thai street market. Primarily targeting the tourist market, it is a good place to stock up on souvenirs and summer clothes without suffering the endurance test which many of the other markets in Pattaya often become. While some of the outdoor markets in the city can get very stuffy in the heat of the day, particularly the ones with very narrow gaps between each stall, a visit to Pattaya Night Bazaar lets you get that much-needed retail fix whilst beating the heat; each of the stalls are housed in permanent structures, with a wide path between them and the whole edifice is well-lit and ventilated, making a perfectly pleasant shopping experience.

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 23:00 

Location: Pattaya Second Road, South Pattaya

Phuket Shopping

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. Prices naturally vary, going from amazing bargains to credit card-melting designer labels. 

With traditional handicrafts, beautifully designed clothing, jewelry, 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! And you can buy a new one, while you're here, too.

77. Phuket Weekend Market

Phuket weekend market (locally known as Naka Market), located along Chao Fa West Road just outside Phuket Town not far from Central Festival, is a fascinating jumble of secondhand goods, curios, pirated items, live animals and a large amount of great local food to sample. It really is worth a visit even if you're not planning on buying anything. If you were to ask, “What’s for sale here?” The answer would probably be, "How much time do you have?" as the list of goods is endless.

Opening Hours: Saturday & Sunday from 16:00 til 21:00 

Location: Talad Tai Rot is located along Chao Fa West Road, Phuket’s main thoroughfare, one kilometre south of Central Festival shopping mall and is opposite Wat Naka, a Buddhist temple. Take a left at the first set of traffic lights.

78. Chillva Market Phuket

Chillva Market Phuket is a cool, trendy night market with a somewhat bohemian vibe and an impressive selection of food, fashion and other stalls, despite a relatively small size. Hard to miss by the side of Yaowarat Road (which runs by Tesco Lotus, on the way towards Phuket Town), it has a distinctive look created by the use of colourful shipping containers as shopfronts. 
The stores in the upcycled containers are open every day from 16:00, but the best time to visit is on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, when the flea market comes to town, setting up in tents and little hawker stalls to fill the 6,400 sqm marketplace to capacity. At the heart of the market is a small stage with a pond behind and amphitheatre in front, which sees presentations and music when the market is in full swing.

Opening Hours: Container shops only: daily 16:00 – 22:00. 

Full market: Thu – Sat 16:00 – 23:00 

Address: 141/2 Yaowarat Road, Phuket Town Tel: +66 (0)99 152 1919

79. Phuket Walking Street

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.

Opening Hours: Every Sundays from 16:00 – 22:00 

Location: Thalang Road in Phuket Old Town

80. Banzaan Market

Many visitors will enjoy exploring Banzaan Market in Patong, a modern-looking Thai fresh market on Sai Kor Road, right behind the megamall Jungceylon. Basically, you can get anything that one would expect from a local market here but in a much more pleasant environment. Prices are reasonable. 

The Banzaan Market is the brainchild of a well-known Phuket family who sought to offer shoppers an alternative experience other than visiting a typical local market. The word ‘banzaan’ means fresh market in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect popular among many overseas Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia.

Opening Hours: Daily from 07:00 – 17:00 

Location: On Sai Kor Road, right behind the Jungceylon megamall in Patong

81. Ban Boran Textiles

There are two Ban Boran shops downtown Phuket (‘Boran’ means ‘antique’ in Thai) – but they’re not related in any way except that both sell high-quality products. This shop along Yaowarat Road sells silk and cotton clothing from tribal sources both from Thailand and nearby countries. Ban Boran does not have bargain basement prices but quality is assured. You’ll also find attractive sandals, bags, lacquerware boxes, lamps, tribal bracelets (1,300 baht) and pendants (600 baht) along with elegant wooden friesework. Silk shirts (the colours are guaranteed not to run) cost up to 2,500 baht. English is spoken here and although it’s a rather hot experience it’s definitely worth a visit. 

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:30 

Address: 51 Yaowarat Road

82. Think Positive (‘Kit Dee’)

Also along Yaowarat Road is Think Positive – a fascinating emporium of Japanese, Chinese, Burmese, Thai, and Indian knick-knacks and clothes. Here, you’ll be able to examine a vast collection of Buddha image heads, Chinese and Japanese silk gowns, wooden painted ornaments and woven boxes costing between 900 – 1,400 baht. Of course you can bargain with the Burmese shop assistant but the real deal can only be done when the boss is there. Piles of Kashmir wool and rough Thai silk await you at the entrance and Think Positive has more items for sale than it can count. This is a very interesting shopping experience.

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 22:00 (flexible) 

Address: 15 Yaowarat Road

83. Siam Indigo

Siam Indigo is in fact better known as one of the leading Thai ‘retro-fusion’ restaurants in Phuket Town but it also houses a fine collection of mosaic art and features an adjacent shop selling mostly women’s clothing and accessories. Like at the restaurant, prices are never exaggerated (although some of the mosaic works in the dining area by Chiang Mai artist ‘Chai’ can be a little costly) and the atmosphere is always convivial and friendly. Siam Indigo holds a ‘Hip & Chic’ market every Sunday from 15:00 – 20:00 that also features arts and crafts. This is an ideal place for a good meal and relaxed shopping at reasonable prices. 

Opening Hours: 14:00 – 23:00 

Address: 8 Phang Nga Road

84. Ban Boran Antiques

One of the most striking shops on the island; it’s also one of the most discreet. Fittingly, Ban Boran is neighbours to one of Phuket Town’s other discreet success stories, Khao Jok-Si restaurant. The downstairs part to this two-storey shop-house features hill-tribe jackets, silver amulets, valuable wooden and bronze sculptures and silver artifacts (one Chinese hill-tribe necklace retails for 39,000 baht and a silver opium pipe goes for almost 8,000 baht). You’ll also find antique wickerwork baskets and Burmese wooden puppet heads. Upstairs, the selection widens to encapsulate an impressive metallic temple drum (a cool 300,000 baht), a pendulous elephant bell, 14-karat gold accessories from Sri Lanka and large praying Buddha images. Ban Boran is well worth a visit. 

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00 (flexible) 

Address: 24 Takuapa Road

85. Karon Temple Market in Phuket

Karon Market is a popular shopping location set in the heart of Karon Beach in its temple grounds. Karon centre is a 500m street bordered at both ends by notable landmarks: on the beach side, the elegantly decorated Karon Circle, and on the inland side, Wat Suwan Khiri Khet (the official name of Karon Temple), a splendid Buddhist temple which has been going through renovation and upgrading since 2010. 

Wat Karon’s compound covers approximately 12,000sqm, and twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) becomes a lively market at which visitors can find a great choice of products, and local food, giving a real insight into local culture. Karon Market is, on a smaller scale, similar to the famous Phuket Weekend Market held in Phuket Town’s southern suburb every Saturday and Sunday.

Opening Hours: Every Tue and Fri from 16:00 - 22:00 

Location: At Wat Karon on Patak Road, Central Karon

86. Jim Thompson Thai Silk Shop

Jim Thompson is a well-known Thai textile outlet with branches throughout the country. Thompson, an American businessman who mysteriously disappeared in the Malaysian highlands in 1967, almost singlehandedly resurrected the Thai silk industry after WWII and his legacy, in the form of colourful and high-end silk shops and boutiques, is a must-do part of any visit to Thailand. 

The Jim Thompson outlet in Central Festival is located next to Starbucks on the ground floor. It’s a spacious and well-lit air-conditioned shop with attractive window dressing and display arrangements. Exhibit cabinets are well spaced apart and the white tile floors add a further sense of room.

Opening Hours: 09:30 – 22:00 

Location: Ground floor Central Festival Phuket 

Tel: 076 249 615(6)

Frequently asked questions about shopping in Thailand

Q. Which is the best place to shop in Thailand?

A. The best shopping place in Thailand is inside Bangkok center where you can find anything from small souvenirs, antique items, to the latest adult products.

Q. Which is the cheapest place to shop in Thailand?

A. Again, you can find the cheapest places to shop in Bangkok such as MBK or The Platinum

Q. Are there any street shops for shopping in Thailand?

A. Yes, there are many great streets shopping places in Thailand, especially in the tourist hub like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, etc

Q. What are the best things to buy in Thailand?

A. The best things to buy in Thailand are Silk, Silver jewelry, or small antique items.

Q. What is Thailand famous for?

A. Thailand is famous for its natural landscapes, ancient history and vibrant culture.

Q. Is Thailand safe to visit?

Yes, Thailand is totally safe in every term. There is nothing to worry if you stay on the line of normal daily life.

Q. Why you should go to Thailand?

A. You should visit Thailand to explore the stunning tourist attractions, shop at the streets and to relish the delicious local food.

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Thailand BLOG ARTICLES

As some of you may have seen in the news, Thailand is gearing up for a ‘soft reopening’ to vaccinated travellers a month from now on July 1.

It is official, sort of. After months of kicking sand around debating if it will really happen, the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) has officially approved the Phuket Sandbox plan, an important step forward. The announcement, made late this afternoon, June, 4th, appears to answer the often-posed question if the sandbox plan would ever happen after the much more intense and deadly third wave of Covid-19 swept through Thailand.
Then, the island will be opening Phuket International Airport to foreign travellers as proposed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The trial will be the first of its kind in the country, and if successful, may be rolled out across other parts of Thailand. The Thailand Authority of Tourism (TAT) has already earmarked Krabi, Pattaya, Bangkok, Buriram, Cha-am, Koh Samui, Phang-nga and Hua Hin as possible destinations to try out the scheme.

Each model will be slightly different, depending on geography, and international visitors will still have to get a visa in advance and fill out some paperwork (see details below). Nevertheless, this will come as promising news to those travellers desperate to visit Thailand!

If the Phuket Sandbox Scheme goes ahead, from June to September 2021, Thailand is expecting to receive up to 129,000 international visitors – will you be one of them? In this article, we’ll attempt to answer all of the questions you might have about the Phuket Sandbox and more!

Disclaimer – Information regarding the Phuket Sandbox Program is changing literally every day and is dependent on the COVID-19 situation across Thailand. While we update this article regularly to the best of our ability, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

Learn more about our travel guide for Phuket island here

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Also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival or the Kin Jay Festival, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event celebrated primarily by the Chinese community in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia.

Running for nine days, the vegetarian festival in Phuket is considered by many to be the most extreme and bizarre of festivals in Thailand. The Phuket Vegetarian Festival could be Thailand's answer to the Tamil festival of Thaipusam celebrated in neighboring Malaysia. Devotees not only adopt a special diet for the holiday, a select few participants prove their devotion by practicing self-mutilation.

Some of the feats performed include piercing cheeks with swords, walking on nails or hot coals, and climbing ladders made of knife blades! Most participants miraculously heal up without needing stitches or medical care.

WARNING! The content and the images are not recommended for the faint of heart! Consider before continuing.

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Buddhist Lent Day (Thailand Wan Khao Phansa, Laos Boun Khao Phansa) is the start of the three-month period during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in a particular place such as a monastery or temple grounds. Here, they will meditate, pray, study, and teach other young monks. In the past, monks were not even allowed to leave the temple, but today, most monks just refrain from traveling during this period. You will still see them out during the day.

It is said that monks started remaining immobile in a temple during this time because they wanted to avoid killing insects and harming farmland. Apparently, traveling monks were crossing through fields, thus destroying the crops of villagers and farmers. After catching wind of this, Buddha decided that in order to avoid damaging crops, hurting insects, or harming themselves during the rainy season, monks should remain in their temples during these three months.

Tired of reading, listen to our podcast below:

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The Hmong New Year celebration is a cultural tradition that takes place annually in select areas where large Hmong communities exist and in a modified form where smaller communities come together. During the New Year's celebration, Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy Hmong traditional foods, dance, music, bull fights, and other forms of entertainment. Hmong New Year celebrations have Hmong ethnic traditions and culture and may also serve to educate those who have an interest in Hmong tradition. Hmong New Year celebrations frequently occur in November and December (traditionally at the end of the harvest season when all work is done), serving as a Thanksgiving holiday for the Hmong people.

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Thailand never fails to amaze its thousands of visitors with the most vibrant festivals that are sure to delight them by offering glimpses into the heritage and traditions of the country. Each month offers an exciting opportunity to be a part of these festivals. From kids to adults and old-aged people, locals have the time of their lives during these festivities. Considered to be one of the best ways to relish a memorable time in what is already known as an incredible country, these festivals in Thailand are the most popular ones to be a part of.

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Magha Puja (also written as Makha Bucha Day) is the third most important Buddhist festival, celebrated on the full moon day of the third lunar month in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka and on the full moon day of Tabaung in Myanmar. It celebrates a gathering that was held between the Buddha and 1,250 of his first disciples, which, according to tradition, preceded the custom of periodic recitation of discipline by monks.

On the day, Buddhists celebrate the creation of an ideal and exemplary community, which is why it is sometimes called Saṅgha Day, the Saṅgha referring to the Buddhist community, and for some Buddhist schools this is specifically the monastic community. In Thailand, the Pāli term Māgha-pūraṇamī is also used for the celebration, meaning 'to honor on the full moon of the third lunar month'.

Finally, some authors referred to the day as the Buddhist All Saints Day. 

In pre-modern times, Magha Puja has been celebrated by some Southeast Asian communities. But it became widely popular in the modern period, when it was instituted in Thailand by King Rama IV in the mid-19th century. From Thailand, it spread to other South and Southeast Asian countries. Presently, it is a public holiday in some of these countries.

It is an occasion when Buddhists go to the temple to perform merit-making activities, such as alms giving, meditation and listening to teachings. It has been proposed in Thailand as a more spiritual alternative to the celebration of Valentine's Day.

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