OTOP Market Phuket: The Greatest Patong Shopping Experience
OTOP Market is the Best Night Market Phuket Has to Offer
There’ll come a time during your trip to Phuket that you’ll fancy a change from the beautiful beaches and the madness of Bangla Road. That’s where small markets such as OTOP Market step in and provide a fun alternative. It’s one of our favorite markets in Phuket and for many reasons that we’ll cover in this blog.
OTOP strikes as an unusual name for a market but it’s actually an acronym for the phrase, “One Tambon, One Product.” Well, that still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Thankfully we’ve found out that Tambon is a local word for district. So “One District, One Product” it is. Let’s just stick with OTOP for now. The market was set up to showcase local handicrafts and the original items crafted in each of the provinces of Thailand, hence the name. Nowadays there’s less of a focus on handicrafts and the market offers all of the usual fayer a Thai market does.
What can be found at OTOP Market?
In typical tourist market style, you can expect hordes of stalls selling knock off brands, plenty of designer handbags and incredibly cheap clothing. Think Nike, Adidas and Supreme mixed in with the Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton. They’re all sold at remarkably low prices and most store vendors are open to negotiation. As mentioned above, the traditional items and Thai handicrafts didn’t stand much of a chance when the tourist population demand cheap clothing and replicas. It’s not all about the shopping though!
Food, Glorious Food
Some say that the actual shopping is more of a sideshow to the infamous food street at OTOP. The food area is fairly small but has a great setup and a huge variety of tasty stalls. Each of the food stands comes complete with small, plastic tables and chairs for you to sit back and enjoy your food surrounded by the sights, smells and sounds of a Thai market. Fried chicken, fresh seafood and the classics such as Pad Thai are all present and cheap too. You can expect to pay around 20-60 baht for a single item and 100-150 for a plate suitable as a main meal.
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Time for a quick drink?
Of course, there’s always time for a quick drink! OTOP even has a whole area dedicated to enjoying a cool beer, a cocktail or two or a bucket of shots should you so choose. Head towards the back of the market and you’ll come across the beer bars. You can’t miss the circular buildings complete with attached neon signs.
Spend anytime in Thailand and you’ll hear the phrase same same but different. This is a perfect example of the phrase in action. The bars look pretty much identical but are all run in slightly different ways. One bar doesn’t have the beer you want at knockdown prices? Try the next one. Looking for 2 cocktails for the price of one? Chances are at least one of the bars is offering that deal!
Sure, you can enjoy a quiet beer here but you can also get involved in a whole lot of bar games such as connect 4, nail and hammer game, pool and more. Be wary of local girls offering to challenge you to a game. You’re not about to come away winning, these ladies are pros! The local staff are friendly, welcoming and are out to make sure you have a good time.
If you’re limited on time in Phuket, just hop on our Phuket Pub Crawl! OTOP Market is one of our favorite spots for a cheap drink in Phuket, so it’s a must-visit on the pub crawl. Cheers!
How to Get to OTOP Market
Location: 237/15-20 Rat U thit Road, Patong Beach (opposite Hooters! Obviously…)
Hours of Operation: 10 am – 10 pm
The market is around 750 metres from the enormous Jungceylon mall which is right in the centre of town. You can easily walk there if you’re staying nearby. Failing that, transport is quick and easy although the red taxi trucks can be exceptionally expensive thanks to local racketeering.
It might be worth considering a number of trips to OTOP. One for shopping and another for a more drink focused session. You don’t want to accidentally abandon your shopping after one too many Leos.