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Phuket Shopping Guide

Phuket Shopping Guide
Whereas in the past you needed to go to Bangkok for any serious shopping, Phuket now has shopping oportunities to satisfy all but the most fanatical shopaholic. In addition to the roadside stalls and markets there are quite a few shopping centres and department stores, as well as a good selection of boutiques and speciality shops. Fine examples of traditional handicrafts, textiles, gems, jewellery and antiques, as well as clothing and everyday items are sold all over the island.
The best bargains and widest range of goods are found in Phuket City and Patong, though there are plenty of shops and stalls to be found in beach areas such as Kata and Karon.

For a complete list of all the shops in Phuket, take a look at our business directory.


Prices are fixed in department stores and larger shops, but at most other places bargaining is expected, especially at markets and shops where the prices are not displayed. Roadside stalls will often quote double the price, and sometimes even more, which the seller will accept. So start low, maybe at a third and aim for half.

Some small shops that have prices marked can also be cajoled into giving a “special discount”. Don't expect to able to bargain down too much though. If the prices are already displayed, this should mean that they are fair. Nevertheless, its quite rare to find a merchant who won't budge at all.

Generally, shopping in Thailand is easy and fun. But remember to shop smart, go around and compare prices and obtain a receipt for expensive items. Be wary of touts, tour guides, taxi/tuk tuk drivers or friendly strangers who offer to take you shopping. In nearly all cases they will receive a commision, which of course is added to the price you pay.

VAT Refunds

To encourage tourists to shop in Thailand a VAT refund for tourists scheme was introduced for tourists to be able to claim back the VAT paid on certain items.

    “Visitors entering the Kingdom on tourist visa are entitled to refunds of the 7% value added tax (VAT) paid on goods purchased at shops, department stores and other retail outlets displaying VAT Refund for Tourists signs, where tax refund application forms are available. Prior to airport departure, visitors must present a completed VAT refund form, plus passport information and purchase receipts, to a customs officer. Certain luxury goods, such as jewelry, gold ornaments, watch, glasses, or pen, must be shown to an excise official at the VAT refund office at the departure lounge after passport control. Refunds may be in bank draft form or credited to a credit card.”

    * Refunds can only be claimed by a non-Thai visitor who has been in the Kingdom for less than 180 days in that calendar year. Air-crew departing Thailand on duty are ineligible for the refund.
    * A refund only applies to goods taken out of the country within 60 days after purchase.
    * The minimum purchase is at least 2,000 baht per store - per day.
    * Total value of purchases must be over 5,000 baht.
    * Goods must be purchased from stores displaying the "VAT REFUND FOR TOURISTS" sign.
    * You must present your passport to the sales assistant to obtain a PP10 VAT refund form.
    * Keep hold of all receipts and credit card vouchers.
    * You must depart Thailand by air from an International Airport (Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, etc.)


Your documents need to be inspected and approved prior to checking in. This is done at the VAT Refund Office in the departure hall. Your refund is then processed in the departure lounge of the airport. For this reason you must have your purchases in your hand luggage.

Further information can be found on the Revenue Department's website: