Thailand is known worldwide for its beautiful silks and batik. Shopping for Thai silk may be done in several places in Phuket. You may go to the Central Festival or Jungceylon malls, or you may opt to visit any of the Jim Thompson outlets, named for the American businessman who put up a silk company in Thailand after World War II. The Phuket Central Festival Mall can be found just outside the town of Phuket while the Jungceylon Mall can be found opposite Bangla Road in Patong. The Jim Thompson outlets are found in several resorts, the Canal Village, the Phuket Central Festival, and The Courtyard. For colorful and creative batik shirts, sarongs, or bags, be sure to visit Chai Batik, a shop owned by artist Chai Chansongsang located on Chaofa East Road.
For authentic Thai arts and crafts, the OTOP Market in Patong is the best place to visit. Here you will find a great selection of handicrafts, fabrics, decors, and other merchandise that will make great souvenirs of your trip to Thailand. The OTOP Market is at the back of Holiday Inn Resort on Rat-U-Thit Road.
Shoppers in search of Phuket pearls will not be disappointed because there are several reputable shops carrying beautiful pearls of different shades and sizes. Make sure you choose a pearl factory or shop that is accredited by the TAT. Art lovers in search of beautiful paintings by local Thai artists would do well to visit the different shops on Rat-U-Thit Road or the beach road in Patong.
Try to schedule your visit on a weekend in order to experience the Phuket Weekend Market, right outside the town. It is near the Central Festival Mall. It is worth a visit because of the assortment of secondhand items, knickknacks, live animals, and great sampling of local food.
Another market worth visiting is the Phuket Indie (Indy) Market. It is held twice a week on Dibuk Road and is a regular jaunt for locals, particularly young adults and teenagers, who like the carefree vibe that it gives off. This is actually a small market that can be explored in 20 minutes. Aside from vendors, you might even catch some live performers at the Phuket Indie Market.
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