Cuz Phuket, it’s cheap! – The Phuket Night Market

Inspecting Dresses

One of the great staples of Southeast Asia is the ever-prevalent night market.  This is where all of the vendors, after spending a day napping in a chair in their shops while tourists play at the beach, wake up and hawk their wares in consumergasm of hundreds of small stalls while the smells of street foods seep into every nook and cranny. It’s something that you’ll find all over the area, but the Phuket Night Market is a superlative version of this fixture.

A Myriad of ColorsThe market, which is especially happening on the weekends, is located in Phuket Town.  Just ask where you’re staying and they’ll be able to tell you how to get there.  There are hundreds of stalls arrayed into some unholy mixture of a shopping mall and a circus.  The white tent-like tops of the small stalls meet blue tarps covering the narrow aisles of the market.

There are a large assortment of different vendors there, though you will undoubtedly see many of the same items repeated at numerous different stalls (I’m looking at you “Ray Ban” sunglasses).  Still there is just a huge amount of stuff to look at here, and you’ll be hard pressed to leave there feeling like you haven’t gotten enough retail therapy.  Additionally, you can find some pretty fantastic deals in the murky depths of the market, though you’ll have to bargain to get them. 

Which one do you want-Bargaining is a way of life in Thai markets (and generally all markets in SE Asia).  If you’re going to be shopping in the area,  you’ll have to either learn the techniques of the trade or resign yourself to paying WAY more than you need to.  Generally assuming that what is asked is at the very least twice the price they’d sell at is actually an underestimation.  Asking for a third of the price or less is probably a good idea, and, as long as it’s done in a friendly and congenial manner, will be looked at as part of the game.  Just remember that at some point, those last five cents probably mean more to them than they do to you.  So get a good deal, just don’t be an a$$.

The Market is divided into two main sections, one for the good mentioned above, and one for the food.  This is the part that greets your nostrils even before you arrive and the one that will be constantly tugging at your stomach as you peruse the wares of the other stalls.  A huge variety of foods awaits you, and while a large amount of it is traditional Thai food, you’ll see plenty of other things, with sushi being an apparent favorite.  Also on display is a huge variety of sweets and cakes, rotisserie chickens cooked inside a barrel on fire, all varieties of seafood, and a number of “edible” insects.  The choice is yours (insects, really?).

A Full Day at the Market

Posted on by Aaron in Aaron's Blog

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