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Shopping in Phuket

Shopping is a pleasure in Phuket, not only because of the variety of things to buy but also because there are numerous air-conditioned, modern shopping centers (Robinsons, Tesco Lotus, Big C, and Central Festival) as well as the bargain hunter's plethora of street vendors. Depending on your frame of mind and budget, you can both wheel and deal in the streets or casually stroll through the air-conditioned shopping centers.

The biggest tourist area in Phuket is Patong. There are good shopping bargains to be found here but as one gets further away from the tourist area, the bargains get better. Try the small shops in Karon, Kata and especially in downtown Phuket town.

Thailand is famous for Thai fabrics (particularly silk), jewelry, handicrafts, ceramics, dolls, bronze ware, spirit houses and antiques. Thai silk is well known throughout the world. Let it suffice to say that Phuket has more than its share of silk fabrics is various colors, weights and designs.

Gold in Thailand is considerably cheaper that in other parts of the world. Thailand's jewelry craftsmanship is among the top 3 in the world. The designs are varied and tourists have ranked Thailand ahead of Hong Kong in terms of craftsmanship, availability, design and price.

Phuket is famous for handicrafts. Some of the more commonly found items are embroidery, lacquer ware, woodcarvings and baskets. Ceramic vases and lamps are good buys. Complete dinner sets are available at a fraction of the cost found in Europe and America.

Antiques can be purchased at bargain rates. Be on the lookout for good buys on Chinese porcelain, furniture and wood carvings. Keep in mind that original antiques cannot be taken outside of Thailand.

Knowing some of the Thai language helps when negotiating. A few tips:

English: Thai:
Do you have .... ? Mii .... mai ?
Yes Mii
No Mai mii
I want & please Ow & krap (male) / ka (female)
How much is this? Tow rai?
How much discount Ja lot tow rai?
OK. I'll take it Toklong
Bill please Geb taang, krap (male) / ka (female)
Be polite when negotiating and remember that everybody respects a good negotiator but at the same time leave enough for the vendor to realize a reasonable profit. This is their livelihood.

Tailor Shops
 

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