On the hunt for souvenirs in Phuket? Shops and outdoor markets are plentiful, but Karon – where you’ll find a variety of shopping venues – is a good bet for shopaholic travellers. Although the items and souvenirs sold are generic (you’ll find the usual suspects in most shops across the island), there are a handful of unordinary finds peppered across the town. Now that you’ve got our shopping guide, there’s only one thing left to do – let your inner shopaholic roam free!
Karon Temple Market
Twice a week, the vast grounds of Karon Temple comes alive with a vibrant outdoor market. The atmosphere is distinctly Thai, and here’s where you’ll get a true feel for the local culture.
Just like most outdoor markets, the Karon Temple Market starts late in the afternoon when temperatures take a dip. Stroll through the grounds, and you’ll find the usual touristy offerings, like neon coloured sleeveless tees, bags, scarves, sarongs, swimsuits in bright hues and cheap jewellery. Amidst the labyrinth of stalls selling mass products, you’ll find a handful offering body care items and handmade souvenirs.
But it’s not just all about shopping. All that walking and bargain hunting will leave you hungry for refreshments, and heres’s when it’s time to wander over to the street food section. Thai delicacies and desserts abound here, offering ample culinary options for travellers with a palate for savouring local fare. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try munching on some crunchy fried insects?
Location: Wat Karon, Patak Road
Hours: 4:00pm – 10:00pm, Tuesdays and Saturdays
For a relaxed, family-friendly shopping experience head over to Aroona Karon, where you’ll find a variety of boutiques, massage parlours, dining establishments and bars. There’s plenty of souvenirs to be bought, ranging from tropical shirts and bags to tailor-made clothing and silk wear. If browsing though the boutiques weren’t enough to satisfy your inner shopaholic, wait patiently till late afternoon when vendors start setting up individual stalls in the middle of the street.
Location: Beach Road, next to Woraburi Resort
Die-hard shopaholics who enjoy browsing through the stalls all day should make their way over to Karon Bazaar, an enclosed shopping centre set along Karon Beach Road. The stalls operate from 10:00am till late in the night, so you’ll get plenty of shopping time before calling it a day.
Most of the stalls here sell fashion and clothes, so expect to browse through countless racks and stalls selling T-shirts with funny slogans or coloured in myriad hues, beachwear, shoes and intimates. If you’re one who likes adding some bling and sparkle to your outfits, you’ll enjoy browsing through the numerous accessories on display – from bracelets and necklaces, to earrings and sun glasses. The little ones in your travelling party aren’t left out either – you’ll find a handful of fashion stores dedicated to childwear.
Karon Bazaar offers more than just shopping – which is a good news for those in your travelling party who aren’t avid shoppers. Kill time by getting a massage treatment, mani-pedi, or – if you fancy – inking on a tattoo.
Location: Between Moevenpick Resort and Woraburi Phuket Resort along Beach Road
Hours: 10:00am – late night
Centre Point Village
A compact shopping plaza located next to the Karon Princess Hotel, Centre Point Village houses about a dozen shops and restaurants within its compound. Shopping options are varied, and range from shops selling beachwear, tailor-made clothing, souvenirs and spa products, to a tailor, pharmacy and convenience store. In between bouts of souvenir shopping, fuel up your body by grabbing a bite from one of the food stalls set along either side of the entrance of the plaza.
Location: Karon Beach Road
Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm
Karon Centre Plaza
Karon Centre Plaza contains about a dozen shops within a small lane linking up Soi Centara and Patong Beach Road. Step into the lane, and you’ll set sight on the usual suspects, like T-shirts, bags, accessories and sport shoes that are commonly found in markets and shopping plazas located across Phuket. But the plaza also houses a handful of unordinary finds – browse through a collection of paintings in an art gallery or check out the quality leather goods on display in a store boasting an ornate setting.
Location: Situated between Soi Centara One and Phuket Heritage Hotel in Karon Centre
Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (timings differ across individual stores)
Vacationers who are firm believers of traditional medicines and natural healthcare products will be pleased to explore the offerings at Siam Herbal, which includes a range of spa products and herbal medicines.
Location: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Hours: Karon Centre
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