Illegal to drink alcohol in vehicles & smoking in public places
Please be reminded that it is against the law to drink alcohol in any vehicle in Thailand. This applies to both drivers and passengers of private and public transport.
In addition, smoking is prohibited in public areas. It is only allowed in designated zones. Electronic cigarettes are illegal in Thailand.

Violation of the above rules is subject to fines and/or imprisonment.

Shopping

Thailand is the promised land for shopaholics! Everything between heaven and earth is for sale – the range is enormous and the prices are low.

The department stores have always displayed fixed prices, a custom which is becoming the norm. However, at markets and in smaller shops, you may have to negotiate a price that both parties are happy with. Start at about half the initial offer and remember that the seller won't make a deal that doesn't make at least a little profit.

Things To Buy

Silk, tailor made clothes, gems, gold, silver, pearls, tin articles, wood carvings, batik, bags, eye glasses and lenses.

Shopping Centres

Along the road to Phuket Town are the three big department stores Tesco Lotus, Big C, and Central Festival. In Phuket Town are the shopping malls Robinson and Ocean Plaza. In Patong you will find the shopping mall Jungceylon. Most shops accept the most common credit cards, but it is always wise to carry cash as a backup.

Tailors

Tailors Back home, it is almost impossible to have a suit or dress made. It is expensive and there are not that many tailors left. In Thailand, it is the opposite. There is a tailor at every corner, and the prices are low. Tailor made clothes can be had at the same price as that of readymade clothes at home, if not cheaper. There are many good tailors on Phuket, but there are also many that are not so good, using low quality material and doing shoddy work. Even if the garment may look good to begin with, it may well be a different story after a few turns in the washing machine. We want you to be satisfied and find an honest and skilled tailor. This is why we recommend that you contact Help Desk or the guides on this. A good advice is to visit the tailor in good time, to make sure you can try the clothes and make any alterations that may be necessary.

Learn To Haggle

It may seem difficult and uncomfortable to begin with, but try anyway. If they want say, 600 baht, for a charming hand carved wooden dragon, try suggesting 300, and see what happens. Do not start haggling unless you are seriously interested. And don’t conclude if you think it is too expensive. Do not take anything personally. If you can´t get it the way you want, finish negotiations, smile, and leave. There will be other opportunities. Avoid haggling in restaurants and on articles with a price tag.

Markets

There are several local markets to choose from on Phuket, with everything from clothes to household appliances to fresh vegetables, fruit and other edibles.

Phuket Town: The largest market on Phuket, a night market (weekend market). Saturdays and Sundays 5-9 pm. There is also a food market by the local bus station in Phuket Town, every day from 4 am, closing late morning.

Patong: Traditional market, to be found everywhere in Patong. Every day 5-11 pm.

Karon Beach: Local market with food and clothes, by Karon Temple. Tuesdays and Saturdays 3-7 pm. Local market with clothes and shoes by the beach walk in Karon Beach. Every day 10 am- 9 pm.

Kata: Local food market. Mondays and Thursdays 3-7 pm.

Kamala: Local market with food and clothes. Every Monday and Friday 4-8 pm.

Bangtao Beach: Local market with food and clothes by Lotus, in Bangtao Beach, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 4-8 pm.

Shopping in Kamala
There are a number of shops and street stalls selling cheap beach- and sportswear, along with souvenirs. Most of the shops are to be found close to the beach, with crafts, silk scarves, sarongs and toys. Most of them open around 10 am and stay open until late in the evening. The bare necessities of life are sold in a number of smaller supermarkets and a pharmacy. Most of the local shops and supermarkets are ranged along the main road in Kamala. There is also a small Internet café and some tailors. If you are into some serious shopping, you had better go to Patong.

Beware of what you bring home, especially souvenirs made of plants or animals and pirate copies. Learn more here.

Respect Our Planet

Each of us can make a difference to our planet, so where better to start than during your relaxing getaway while you're in the destination? Check out a few simple tips from us:

  • What makes sea water so clear? Answer: countless organisms in the waters, such as coral and fish. Avoid touching them when you're snorkeling or diving, as this helps the environment to stay colourful and diverse.
  • Make sure you dispose of your rubbish properly in the containers. This helps to reduce the amounts of non-biodegradable plastic waste in our oceans. Thanks for protecting the flora and fauna living there!

Stray Dogs - What you need to know

There are around 8.5 million dogs in Thailand, close to one million of which are strays and 730,000 are believed to have been abandoned.

It’s best to keep a safe distance from stray dogs, and if you come into contact with their fur, wash your hands and skin as soon as possible. Stray dogs will often approach tourists and dwellers in the hope of food and do so in a friendly manner. But if you want to feed a stray dog, do it away from restaurants, hotels, and other dogs.

Still, many street dogs will have experienced hardship, neglect, and even abuse from humans. Fear and trauma in dogs often manifest as hostility and anger. A sudden change in temperament is also a common side effect of diseases like rabies and other ailments like injuries, skin irritation, pregnancy, or anything that makes the animal feel vulnerable.

If you do encounter an aggressive dog or get yourself into an unpleasant situation, make sure you do the following:

  • If possible, don’t make sudden movements and stop walking in the dog’s direction.
  • If you can’t leave calmly, stay still and display relaxed body language; dogs can interpret human fear as threatening.
  • Avoid making eye contact and don’t aggravate the animal.
  • Consider showing your intentions by making calming and affectionate noises or slowly bending down, so you appear less intimidating.
  • Ask a local or passerby for help.

To avoid getting in negative situations with stray dogs in Thailand, always follow these tips:

  • Don’t turn up unannounced or make sudden loud noises when arriving somewhere, for example, with a noisy motorbike.
  • Move slowly and calmly around stray dogs and avoid looking at them in the eyes.
  • Let dogs approach and sniff you without showing fear.
  • Avoid poorly lit areas and unfamiliar alleyways where you might spook a dog or they might spring upon you.
  • Don’t feed stray dogs or cats from your restaurant table, especially if other dogs are around.
  • Be aware of dogs around you; never step over or on a dog, especially in a driveway.
  • Don’t run from stray dogs.
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