Things to buy in Phuket? And what to Avoid?

 

Hi guys, I’ve just came back from a super relaxing getaway in Phuket and would like to share my hits and misses in Phuket. This post addresses the following questions:

‘What are the things to buy in Phuket? 

‘What NOT to buy in Phuket?’

Hope this list can help you save some money. ;) Now, let’s get started!

 

Things to buy in Phuket

Things to buy in Phuket

1. Tropical Fruits

You absolutely have to buy Rose Apples in Thailand. This country produces really sweet ones! In Phuket, you can find Rose Apples being sold in supermarkets or night markets. We bought a bag of rose apples at Chillva Night Market for B100 (USD3). It turned out to be a great buy as elsewhere were selling at higher prices. 

Things to buy Phuket
Rose Apple (source: centrepointhospitality.blogspot.sg)

Other fruits to consider include Jackfruit, dragon fruit, pineapple and papaya. They were all good and cheap.

And of course, don’t forget big Coconut in Thailand. It’s definitely a must-have beverage especially in this hot-climate country.

Things to buy Phuket
Exotic fruits at night markets, Phuket

One fruit I don’t recommend getting is Durian. If you love durian, you will know good durian should taste bitter sweet. Get those when you visit Malaysia.  Thailand durian tends to be just sweet and hence less preferred.

 


2. Cosmetics from Maybelline and Loreal 

Maybelline and Loreal cosmetics were priced so cheaply in Phuket (and probably in Thailand too), I’m guessing that Thailand might be one of the manufacturing countries for these brands. Since matt lipsticks were all the rage these days, I bought a Maybelline and Loreal lipstick at less than B300 (SGD11) each. In Singapore, each lippie would have cost twice the price.

Don’t forget to check out other Beauty items bought in Phuket and Changi Airports!

 


3. Sunscreen

In this sunny island of Phuket where sunscreen probably sells like hot cakes, it was great to see them being sold at a good price. They were significantly cheaper than those priced in homeland, and certainly worth lugging back.

 


4. Made-in-Thailand Snacks

Need food to munch when you relax in your hotel? Or looking to buy food souvenirs for your colleagues and friends? The best place to get them would be at supermarkets such as Big C or Tesco. Skip the supermarket in Central Festival Phuket as I recall them to be priced at a premium.

When you shop for snacks, remember to look out for those that say “Made in Thailand”. Some of the recommended products are:

  • Tao Kae Noi Seaweed: One of the most popular Thai snacks! Get it! 
Things to buy in Phuket
Very popular Tao Ke Noi seaweed

 

  • Chang Beer or Leo beer: Relax and chill with a can of local beer!

 

  • Thai Instant Noodles: These are popular take-home souvenir. Get ready your XL luggage.

 

  • Thai nuts: Be it peanuts, green peas or other nuts, get them if they are produced in Thailand. Because you’ll be sure to sample unique flavor such as Tom Yum, Shrimp Paste or Coconut. 
Things to buy in Phuket
Thai Snacks: Green peas

Do also check out my earlier post (link below) as they, being Thai-made products are relevant as a ‘Must-Buy’ in Phuket.

Related: Things to buy in Bangkok

 


5. Treats for your Furry Baby (Pet food)

Some of the dog treats sold here in Singapore or Malaysia are imported from Thailand. You can get them cheaper in Thai Supermarkets. My dog absolutely adores the treats from JerHigh. So, don’t forget to load up and surprise your pet who would be missing you and eagerly waiting for your return.

JerHigh Dog Treats
JerHigh Dog Treats

 


6. Cheap Apparels

Many people would grab beach dresses from Phuket weekend markets. You could too if you are not so particular about quality and do not mind seeing other tourists wearing the same design.

Things to buy Phuket
Thai Beach Dresses (Source: 2fortravel.com)

 


7. Authentic Thai Milk Tea

Thai milk tea is known for its rich Ceylon flavor, creaminess and sweetness. It is often sweetened with condensed milk and sugar and that explains why it’s sweeter than tea latte from elsewhere.  If you have a sweet tooth, you would love it.

Thai Milk Tea
Thai Milk Tea

 


8. Local Thai Dishes

Be it at night markets or restaurants, don’t forget to try authentic Thai dishes such as Pad Thai, Tom Yum soup, Pineapple rice, Mango salad and Basil Minced meat with Rice.

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9. Street Food Hits 

The best place to experience Thai Local food is to visit its night markets. There were so many food options and we were glad to have tried these great ones highlighted below:

From Chillva Night Market

Oyster Mango Salad: The best street food in our entire trip! So many oysters such that we had a few every mouthful. I’m not an oyster lover, but these oysters were amazing – fresh and refreshing. No foul odour or taste. It’s spicy though, so beware. :)

Oyster Mango Salad
Oyster Mango Salad at Chillva Market

 

From Phuket Weekend Market

Roti Banana Roll: The queue says it all. Try it if you like sweet desserts and crepes!

Things to buy Phuket
Crispy Crepe at Phuket Weekend Market

 

Fried Seafood in Batter: Great savory snacks!

Seafood Batter
Seafood Batter

Coconut Jelly or Coconut-Anything: A refreshing dessert especially after a long hot day of sightseeing. 

Things to buy Phuket
Coconut Jelly

 

From Malin Plaza

Fruit Juice: Such generous portion of 100% real juices! Filled right to the brim.  

Phuket Fruit Juices
Phuket Fruit Juices

 


10. Recommended Phuket Restaurants

We highly recommend the following restaurants:

Tung ka cafe: Enjoy authentic Thai food while taking in gorgeous view atop Rang Hill.

Tunk Ka Cafe
Tunk Ka Cafe at Rang Hill

The Sweet Restaurant: Savor authentic and affordable Thai Food at Patong Beach. The portions are generous and price is great!

Sweet Restaurant Phuket
The Sweet Restaurant at Patong Beach

168 Jap: Experience Japanese cuisine in a casual outlet that has yet to be invaded by tourists. It’s not superb, but good enough to satiate your Jap craving. 

168 Sushi Sashimi
168 Sushi Sashimi

 

Sizzler: Missing Western food already and feeling like you could eat a cow? At Sizzler located in Central Festival Mall, you get free flow of Salad, fruits and desserts when you order a main.

Sizzler Phuket
Sizzler at Central Festival Mall

Chester’s Grill: Local fast food restaurant that sells healthier fast food choices such as grilled chicken.

Chester's Grill
Chester’s Grill at Big C Phuket

 


Avoid these in Phuket!

1. Premium Outlet Phuket

There’s a premium outlet located in Phuket Town, somewhere near the Upside Down House. You can totally skip this premium outlet. We saw too many vacant shops.  After shopping for a while, we knew why – the things there weren’t cheap. I could easily get cheaper stuff in a normal retail store in Singapore.

Premium Outlet Phuket
Premium Outlet Phuket

 


2. Pets on Sale in Market!?!?

It’s amazing how pets were being sold in Phuket Weekend Markets. Actually, it didn’t surprise me this time round as I’d witnessed it in Bangkok’s Chatuchak market.

Phuket Weekend Night Market
Pets on sales at Phuket Weekend Night Market

Dogs, Cats, rabbits and even squirrels and exotic reptiles were being sold here. If you are thinking of buying them, do note the challenges in importing these animals into your country (and make sure you are not against immigration laws).

 


3. Street Food Misses 

I’m not all that fussy about food. So when I say a food is bad, it must be really bad! Here were some of our food misses:

From Chillva Night Market

Grilled Scallops: It’s so bland, tiny and tasted like rubber!

Grilled Scallops
Grilled Scallops at Chillva Market

Fish cake: You can get much better fish cake elsewhere and anywhere in Singapore.

Chillva Market
Fishcake

From Malin Plaza

Mama Som Restaurant: They gave me so much, but these flat noodle just stuck together like they were glued. Awful!

Malin Plaza
Pad Thai for takeaway

 


4. Restaurants to Skip

The Pizza Company: The portion was the smallest and thinnest pizza I’ve ever ordered in my life. Not filling enough. Skip!

The Pizza Company
The Pizza Company

 


5. Thai-made Tea Leaf

Thai Lemongrass Tea
Tea from Thailand

When I saw Thai-made tea being sold in Big C supermarket, I hesitated to get them as I couldn’t recall Thailand being a tea-producing country. But I still succumb to the temptation because I’m a tea-lover.

Darn. I should have trusted my instinct.  Look at this Lemongrass tea from Thailand. I can’t believe they included stems and twigs and made me pay for them. And they didn’t even taste like lemongrass. 

Tea from Thailand
Tea from Thailand

The saddest thing was paying a premium as I saw similar tea package being sold in night markets at a fraction of the price I’d paid in Supermarkets.

 


6. Sandals

Things to buy in Phuket
Pretty sandals that can’t be worn

I bought a pair of pretty sandals at a good price (Baht 160). It was only when I started wearing it in Singapore that I realized how poor the quality was. First of all, it was heavy. Secondly, my toes started to hurt within less than 10 minutes of walk. Some parts were sticking out and causing abrasion to the skin.

So, avoid them. It’s better to get shoes when you visit Malaysia.

 


7. International Brands in Malls

International brands found in Phuket malls weren’t cheaper than those in Singapore. In fact, we found most of them being more expensive. It’s surprising considering the cost of living in Thailand. I wonder how these brands were appealing to the locals.

 


That’s all to my ‘To-Buy list’ in Phuket.  Hope you’ll find them useful. If you love what you’ve read and like to get notified of my new posts, you can click the button below to subscribe, or connect with me through facebook or instagram. See you there!

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