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Department Stores and Shopping Malls

Department Stores and Shopping Malls
The easiest places to find good deals are the department stores and supermarkets. The goods have their prices clearly marked and there is no haggling. The prices are good and you can find some real bargains.

The shopping malls contain a mixture of chain shops and independents. Most of the independent shops and some of the chains will haggle their prices but not by large amounts.

1. Robinsons
In Phuket Town, on the corner of Tilok Uthit 1 Road and Ong Sim Phai Road, this five-storey department store sells designer clothes and accessories, sports goods, souvenirs, jewelry, toiletries, electrical goods, etc. In fact, just about everything. The prices are a little higher than other outlets but the goods are genuine and good quality.

2. Ocean Shopping Mall

In Phuket Town, almost next door to Robinsons on Tilok Uthit 1 Road is Ocean Shopping Mall. This is a down-market shopping mall where you can find some good quality goods at very reasonable prices. It contains mostly clothing stores but you can also find CDs, souvenirs, toys, telephones and more.

The building includes a multiplex cinema which has some English language screenings with Thai subtitles. There is also a ten-pin bowling alley, games arcade, karaoke booths, a children's play area and a few restaurants.

3. Central Festival
This new luxury shopping mall is on the outskirts of Phuket Town at the junction between Wichitsongkram Road and Chalermprakiat Road (Bypass Road). Boasting over 250 shops and more than 50 restaurants, it has just about everything you could want under one roof. There is a big department store, a supermarket, food hall and a fantastic variety of shops. Most of the shops are chains selling genuine designer goods. The prices are therefore higher than other shopping malls but still better than you will find in western countries for the same goods.

There is a multiplex cinema screening English language movies with Thai subtitles. Originally, there were plans for a ten-pin bowling alley on the top floor but as yet, this has not opened. The only thing Central is really missing is a children's play area.

4. Big C
Almost next door to Central Festival on Chalermprakiat Road is Big C. This supermarket and shopping mall chain is French owned. The building contains a large supermarket stocked with a wide range of products. It is hard to beat the prices at the supermarkets.

On the bottom floor is a shopping mall which includes a large number of mobile telephone and computer shops. Bus Computer has two shops here and they are one of the best computer repair shops on the island. There is also a food hall and a children's play area.

On the top floor are a ten-pin bowling alley and an events hall which usually has some kind of sale such as OTOP, book fairs or furniture.

5. Tesco Lotus
This supermarket and shopping mall is on Chalermprakiat Road north of Big C. The British supermarket chain Tesco has a significant presence in Thailand. The supermarket is big and stocked with a wide range of goods. A wander around the fresh food department is entertainment in itself. Check out the range of tropical fruits, vegetables, seafood and other exotic foods. The supermarket stocks a wide range of other products and all at prices that are hard to beat.

There is also a small shopping mall which includes shops, restaurants and a Home Pro DIY store. On the second floor is a food hall, games arcade and children's play area.

6. Index Living Mall
This furniture store and shopping mall is on Chalermprakiat Road just north of Big C. The top floor is an Index furniture store. It is mass produced furniture and not the sort of produce you would think of exporting from Thailand. Downstairs is a small shopping mall including a nice Thai antiques and handicrafts shop. If you want to try sushi and other Japanese food, there is an Oishi restaurant that does an excellent buffet for 350 baht per person.

7. Jung Ceylon

This major new development in Patong is now fully open. Business disputes delayed development by over a year but it opened in 2007.

Certainly, it looks impressive and is a welcome addition to Patong's shopping scene. It is a large entertainment complex containing shops, restaurants, bars, a cinema and accommodation. There is a large Carrefour supermarket (open 10am-10pm). There is a fountains and lights show every evening at 19:00 and 21:00 in the central courtyard.

There is plenty of parking underneath but not surprisingly they have started charging to stop people from using it as a parking base for their night out down Bangla Road. A shopping receipt from one of the major outlets will get 3-hours of free parking and only a small charge for staying beyond the allotted time.

This mall will certainly have a significant impact on the shopping scene in Patong. The beachside stalls selling their vastly overpriced trinkets and fakes will take a big hit. In the long run this can only be a good thing for visitors to Patong who have been overcharged for their shopping for far too long.

8. Ocean Plaza (Patong)

On Bangla Road in Patong is Ocean Plaza. This small department store and shopping mall is an easy place to shop in Patong. The prices are reasonable and the goods in the department store are genuine. There are also some restaurants and a small ten-pin bowling alley.

9. Premium Outlet
This is the latest shopping outlet to open in Phuket. It is an area of clothes and accesory shops selling genuine designer goods that are either out of season or have minor flaws. The merchandise is still good quality and is sold at significant discount. Premium Outlet is on the Bypass Road (Chalemprakiat Road) near the junction with Thepkrassatri Road.