Last updated on May 29th, 2017 at 02:40 pm
Not all souvenirs were created equal.
After spending two months in Phuket I have managed to find interesting local souvenirs that I have not seen anywhere else. Most of them are produced in Thailand. The rest come from, or rather designed, in Indonesia. Batik is one of them.
Many articles cover shopping in Thailand and Phuket but I find all of them lack information about local and authentic souvenirs. You can buy whatever you want everywhere you go in Phuket but when it comes to rare and special pieces there is almost no sign of them.
Other must bring souvenirs from Phuket, Thailand that are under 50$.
It is so good and cheap! Pick it up at Big C or Tesco Lotus for under 5$. Just make sure it is made in Thailand before purchasing. We ate three cans in 2 weeks…
If you have been following my Thailand series then you know that this is THE item you will need and use every day when in Thailand. Going on a tour, market, snorkelling, or just walking during a random rain will make your trip unforgettable. Cause your camera is going to be dry, get it?
Silk & Batik
Big malls offer the same variety of “silk” scarves everywhere. It is important to note that production of silk is a very intricate and hard labour. When assessing if you are buying the real thing consider the price. If the desired silk item costs under 500 THB per meter it is not silk. To order a custom silk dress would start at 1000 THB for material only.
I have looked at all available options to buy silk in Phuket and found one. If you go to old Phuket City there are stores that carry legit silk items like bed spreads, thick scarves, pillow cases, curtains, and other home decor items.
Check out these stores for authentic stuff from and made in Thailand:
Ban Boran Textiles, Phangnga Road, Phuket, for museum quality and rarity pieces. Just make sure they are open on Sundays.
Oriental Pleasure THAI SILK shop
Thanon Ratsada, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83000
If you just take your time to explore Phuket old city a bit more you will stumble on small shops selling all kinds of interesting and unique stuff.
Do it on a Sunday since there is a night market on Thalang street that is a must see!
When it comes to Batik there is less struggle. Big C, the one next to Central Festival mall, has what they call OTOP stalls.
Go to the last floor which will look kinda ghetto. There you will find the treasure, a couple of kiosks selling beautiful, real, and affordable batiks. I bought two for my mom in law for 280 THB each and we were both happy. They do not haggle as the prices are already low.
OTOP stores are government sponsored small businesses trying to reach their market.Businesses take care of products and government takes care of their marketing.
I bought myself an inexpensive souvenir that will and already matches most of my minimalist wardrobe. What I bought is an irregular shaped pearl set in silver. The setting is covered with rhodium so it doesn’t get stained. I paid 750 THB after haggling for under 1 min. The lady wanted 850 THB.
Avoid tourist trap spots like a plague. They charge enormous prices and kind of sketchy from the get go.
How to spot one: there are tons of tourist buses and minivans standing next to a huge building. Usually silk factory and gem factories are the ones that present themselves as authentic but in reality they overcharge for everything.
My affordable tip:
Go to the local pharmacy or even Tesco to pick up natural or organic stuff for your skin.
It will cost way less and there are no annoying sales people to push you to buy stuff.
I also found that brands like LaRoche Posay are a bit cheaper than at home. So you might want to stock up!
I bought 1.5$ equivalent worth of hair die that I just love. At home, in Canada, it costs 6-7$.
Thailand produces its own wine made from all kinds of fruits and berries. It cost significantly less than imported product. Prices vary from 170 THB to whatever you can afford. Percentage of alcohol also depends on the price. Typically it starts from 8% and goes to 13.5%.
For this new years we bought two bottles of local sparkling white wine for 300 THB. It was sweet, boozy, and good. Sure beats its shelf neighbour Asti Martini at 700 THB.
Phuket is a southern province where Islam begins to dominate the alcohol consumption and distribution. Stores like Big C and Tesco sell alcohol during specific hours of operation.
So no, you can’t just show up and buy a bottle when you feel like it.
I hope you have enjoyed the post and found it helpful! What did you end up buying in Thailand?
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