Retail Therapy in Paradise: The Best Markets in Phuket
Phuket is a haven for tourists. Sun, sea, sand and shopping- the 4 big S’s feature heavily here! Whether you’re looking for the tastiest street food, the greatest bargains or the newest high-street electronics (no guarantee of authenticity!), there’s something for everyone. Here’s our selection of the best markets in Phuket!
These spots are spread around Phuket but the island isn’t huge. Getting to them is straightforward, especially if you have your own transport, but if you don’t then regular songthaews and tuk tuk drivers will happily take your straight to the door for a reasonable fee.
Kathu Fresh Market – For the Food Lovers
This market is set in the Kathu district and lives by its name. This is some of the freshest food that you’ll come across on Phuket. Every type of vegetable under the sun, fruits you’ve never heard of and plenty more besides. Whilst you might not be doing much of your own cooking it is interesting to see how the locals go about their daily routine.
If you’re looking for a snack for yourself consider the huge variety of fresh fruit and even meals to take away. Sticky rice or jasmine rice are easy to come by and can be served alongside the Thai classics such as Green curry, Som Tam and more. All packaged in a handy polythene bag.
Karon Temple Market – For a Relaxed Atmosphere
As the name suggests this market isn’t far from Karon beach, and it has the air of a local’s market. The setting itself, within the Karon Temple grounds, makes for a beautiful scene. Turn up on either Tuesday or Friday (the only days the market is open) and you’ll find a real buzz of Thai life. Soak up the relaxing atmosphere as you explore the stalls. There are lots of food options, a few souvenir shops and some clothing options too.
Phuket Walking Street – For a Busy, Bustling Night
This is your classic Thai night market. One of the main roads in Phuket town completely closes and becomes completely transformed as stalls flood the tarmac. This is one of the biggest weekly markets in Phuket and offers a huge variety of different options. If you’re hungry you’ll be satisfied with the variety of satay, salads and freshly cooked meals. If you’re looking for shopping, there are endless stands selling everything from local handicraft items to toys and games. Make sure to check out the free trampoline! Open only on Sundays.
Chillva Market – For a Trendy Vibe
This market is handily open every day from 4pm, so you won’t have to plan in advance which day you’ll want to explore it. Lots of the market is made up of cargo units with stalls spread out nearby. There’s everything here from every kind of food you can imagine, fashion items (not all knock off!) and original art pieces. If you’re looking for more of a party atmosphere then make sure to visit on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. The market expands, takes up the whole area and is packed full of locals, students and tourists alike!
The Markets in Phuket Are All Very Different
Don’t just visit one market and be done with it. Each one has a different feel, set up and stalls. It’s well worth exploring a variety over a few different nights. Plus they’re a great, affordable option for food and drink!