LOCAL markets are more than a place to buy food or clothing; there are an integral part of the culture in Thailand. And as such, a trip to Phuket cannot be completed without a visit to one of these favorite venues. As usual, do not feel ashamed of bargaining the prices down; it is part of the whole experience and you will not be considered rude if you are trying to do so.
Every Sunday, one of Phuket Town’s most popular street, Thalang Road, transforms into this charming, yet buzzing market. You will be impressed by the beautiful Sino-Portuguese architecture of the surrounding buildings, all decorated with lights. Along this historical road, you will find plenty of street food, most of it being signature dishes from Phuket, served hot from the vendors’ pans. Plenty of clothes and accessories can be found, and an open stage where everybody can show off their singing skills always attracts the crowd. There are also little cafes alongside the street for some cold drinks after a long walk, some of which offer live DJs and cool vibes.
One of the latest additions in Samkong, Phuket Town, Chillva Market quickly became a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, with a unique concept made of colorful containers. You can enjoy shopping for trendy clothes and accessories that are available alongside a long list of street food and listen to live music, too. Some stalls have seating available, so that you can relax in between your shopping sprees. While the east wing focuses on food, the west zone is a delight for party-goers, with several containers dedicated to live music, DJs and party. Chillva Market opens on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and offers sufficient parking space at the back of the avenue.
Weekend Market (Naka Market)
Phuket’s first and certainly the biggest weekly market on the island. You will be amazed by the impressive selection of products you can find on this area close to four hectares. Whether you are looking for food or a new pet, underwear or furniture, antiques or toys, you will find them all here! The market is located on Wirat Hongyok Road in Phuket town. The parking space at the weekend market can be quite packed, so it is recommended to come early, around 3 p.m.
This new market is located in Cherngtalay, Thalang District, where a large proportion of Phuket expats chose to live for its quietness and relaxing atmosphere. Tinlay Market is a chic and chill place where you will find trendy and hipster items on all shelves. Food and drinks are catered by several food trucks and bars on the side of the market. The large space covers 7 rai of land and offers a 500-car parking lot and more than 400 seats for shoppers to enjoy their tasty food. There is also an open stage for singing, dancing, or even talent shows. It is open everyday except Tuesdays while the extended version of the market opens on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from late afternoon until late evening.
Top: An interesting stall at one of Phuket’s local markets.
First inset: There’s fun galore at Lad Yai’s Sunday market especially the open stage.
Second inset: Although quite new Chillva Market is packing them in. Photo: Chillva Market
Third inset: Yummy treats at this night market food stall.
Fourth inset: Whether you want a new pair of flip-flps or some island clothes, Tinlay Market has it all plus a lot more.
By Nattha Thepbamrung