It may surprise you that you will find more than souvenir items when you go shopping in Samui. The island has several shopping areas or strips where you can find various items from shirts to furniture pieces to the famous Thai silk. If you know where to look, you will find the best shopping deals in Samui. There are a number of shopping areas in the island, each with its own unique characteristics.
The biggest and most popular shopping area in Samui – and therefore the one with the most variety of goods – is found in Chaweng. It lies on a strip along the beach road and stretches for about six long kilometers. The stores are grouped together according to the kind of items they sell, such as sports shirts, jewelry, hand bags, beach wear, other kinds of clothes, and souvenir items. This makes it easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for, as it can be difficult to go through the entire length of the beach road shopping strip just to look for something.
The place is known for its bustling night market. Although the stores and stalls along Chaweng beach road are already open in the morning, things only begin to pick up from early evening onward. With lots of food stalls along the strip, you can enjoy your shopping in Samui while having a taste of some of Thailand’s famous street foods. It is not advisable to bring your car when going to this place because the streets are crowded.
Lamai beach also has a night market, but it’s smaller than the one found in Chaweng. The crowd here is thinner and the choices fewer. You will find the usual copied clothes, shoes, and bags. Lamai is also famous for its fresh market where you can find fresh fish, meat, vegetables, and fruits in season. The fresh market opens at 5am and closes at 8pm.
If you are looking for a wide selection of silk materials, the best place to go is Na Thon. In this town, there are two roads lined with stores selling silk and other goods. The prices of silk materials are cheaper here, and because you have more choices, you can really snatch good deals for silk. Make sure you know how to check for good quality silk material when shopping in Samui.
There are different kinds of silk being sold in Ko Samui. The Pum Riang silk is made from the southern Muslim villages of Thailand. The Mudmee silk is made using traditional methods and usually comes from the northeast part of the country. The Chinese silk is synthetically produced and costs cheaper, but the quality is not that good.
Ko Samui is also famous for its handicrafts and wood furnitures. You can find these in almost all street markets. Handicrafts, such as the hand-woven silk shawls, make for good souvenir items.
Whatever you’re buying, there’s one thing you must remember when going shopping in Samui: don’t forget to haggle! Most of the time, the prices offered on the street market are higher than the actual price, especially if the buyer is a foreigner. So go ahead and haggle until you get the best price for your purchase.