In this post I’m covering the highlight of my trip with 4 of my girlfriends to Phuket, Thailand: the Phuket Weekend Market. Along with a couple of tips!
They always say that travelling with friends could either end in two ways – you come back stronger than ever or hating their entire existence. Thank god all my trips (so far) with friends have ended with the former.
At dinner one day the 5 of us were talking about how we “couldn’t stand being in Singapore one more second” and how joining the army was a viable option because “at least we would be in a forest away from the city”.
Two weeks and £60 later we booked our flights to Phuket, Thailand. We managed to score free accommodation from some points that were expiring from a hotel rewards card my parents signed up for (thanks mum and dad)!
5th May 2016, was the day we were all waiting for. We even came up with a hashtag for Instagram to document out trip. Check it out: #RabahtCru
Onto the good stuff!
Opening Hours: Saturday & Sunday from 16:00 till 21:00
Location: Along Chao Fa West Road
Now, when they say that this market is huge don’t doubt them. Honestly, when we first got there we were a little overwhelmed with all the possibilities that this market had to offer. We totally underestimated the size and thought that 3 hours would suffice – we were so wrong.
The entire market, that at least had to be 4 football fields big, had everything from food to music to fashion. And we got some really great steals! A couple of my friends stocked up on summer clothes. Now do bear in mind that Thais are really petite, so the biggest size offered is probably a UK 8 for girls. Being on the bigger side, I bought w-a-y too many bags. I mean a faux leather satchel cost me £3 – how could I not?!?
This is also a great place to shop at for souvenirs for friends and family back home! You can find everything from those comfy elephant genie pants to keychains to t-shirts. Or even muay thai attire, if that is what you’re into.
And of course, not forgetting the most important part of the weekend market: The Food. The market mainly sold local delicacies like Phad Thai, Lemongrass Chicken, Tom Yam Soup and Mango Sticky Rice. Honestly, this is the best place to fuel up on Thai food because it’s authentic and really, REALLY, cheap. £1 could get you a great plate of Phad Thai!
Here are 10 tips on how to survive this amazing place:
Tip #1: Give yourself the entire duration which the market is open for. Trust me, you’ll need it.
Tip #2: If you can’t afford to spend so much time there, arrive early to avoid crowds!
Tip #3: ALWAYS try your luck by haggling at least 50% off the offered price. Most of them jack up the prices for tourists.
Tip #4: Hydrate yourself. Sometimes under the tentage gets really stuffy. So drinks lots of water to make the most of your shopping experience.
Tip #5: Bring a reusable tote. Just to avoid collecting ten million plastic bags.
Tip #6: Be careful of what you eat. Don’t get me wrong, most of the food sold are safe to consume. But try and avoid those stalls with cakes on display attracting all the flies in the world.
Tip #7: Keep it loose and light. With what you’re wearing, I mean. Tank tops and shorts are your best friends. Like I said earlier, it gets really stuffy!
Tip #8: Bring cash. The stalls here operate only on cash terms so make sure you have enough before leaving for the market.
Tip #9: Be patient. A lot of the stalls sell similar things, so patronise stalls in the centre of the market versus those by the road. The centre stalls offer better prices because they get less traffic. Most people would have already bought the items from the stalls by the road once they get to the centre.
Tip #10: Keep your bag close. Just to be safe, always keep your bag in front of you. This is just to prevent any pickpocketing situations.
So if you ever find yourself in Phuket, please make sure you’re there over a weekend so you can check this market out. With these 10 tips, I can only hope that you will have just as an amazing experience as I did!
Now excuse me while I scroll through my own Instagram feed and punish myself by reminiscing about all the great food we had.
I can’t wait to go back again next Summer!