Perfect purchasing in Phuket

Phuket is a Thai island located in the south of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, and is Thailand’s largest Island, being roughly the same size as Singapore.

Many people believe that everything in Phuket centres around Patong, which is certainly the busiest tourist area on the island.  Although Patong is busy, you will find that Phuket also has many other beaches that are quieter and more secluded, and possibly more ideal for that quiet getaway.

Personally, I like to stay just out of Patong so that it is easily accessible but I still get to enjoy the peace and quiet of a tropical island.

Most people arrive in Phuket by plane, and it takes about 45 minutes to get from the airport to the Patong area.  It takes less time if you are staying north of Patong, and more time if you are staying to the south.

One word of warning if you do not have a transfer arranged.  Some airport taxi drivers have a bad reputation for trying to rip you off.  Ignore the touts as even if you have accommodation booked and paid for, they will try to take you to somewhat disreputable travel agents who try to book you into other hotels (for which they get a cut) and sell you tours (for which you will pay more than the going rate).  If do want a taxi, go to the official airport taxi stand where you will be given a chit with your destination written on it for the driver. Also, outside the airport you will find legitimate drivers there who will take you straight to your booked hotel.  It’s a pity about the touts little rort because, generally speaking, the Thais are very pleasant, honest people.

Of course, when shopping, bartering is a way of life, and it can be quite fun as the Thai traders are rarely aggressive.  If your offer is far too low, they just cease bartering until you offer a reasonable price for any goods.  

There are plenty of markets all over Phuket, but the most popular are the night markets along the Patong foreshore, also along Soi Bangla and Soi Ratuchit.  There are also good markets at Katong and Kata beaches, Kamala Beach, Chalong Bay, Cape Panwa, Thalang and Phuket Town.

There are also plenty of modern shops and shopping centres such as the Jungceylon Shopping Centre, which is on Ratuchit right opposite Bangla in Patong, the Central Festival Phuket, which is a large mall just outside Phuket Town.  There are also Tescos, Robinsons, Carrefour and other well known brand stores, as well as many boutiques, shoe stores, jewellers, tailors – in fact, just about anything you could want.

Bear in mind that Phuket’s towns and streets really come alive at night.  It’s a resort island, and people usually occupy themselves with some sort of, mainly water, activity during the day, then head out at night for shopping, dining and entertainment.

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