Have no idea what to do in the evening after an active tour or a lazy pastime on the beach? Shopping in Koh Samui is one of the best entertainments! Can you imagine your holiday in Thailand without shopping? Hardly. It is highly likely that your family and friends are expecting to get some Thai presents and souvenirs. Shopping often becomes necessary as you need to buy some food and clothes or suddenly realize that you haven’t brought something with you or your footwear was torn or broken. Light clothes for the holiday in Thailand are fairly cheap (if these are not brand clothes). For example, at the markets you can find and buy shorts, T-shirts, tops and flip-flops for 100 THB.
The biggest shopping centers in Koh Samui are The Wharf and Central Festival. There are dozens of shops, boutiques and souvenir stalls. An integral part of shopping malls in Thailand are cafes, restaurants and food courts. Koh Samui centers are not an exception. The Wharf and Central Festival are situated in the central part of the island, not far from the airport. The Wharf is located in Bophut. It has a large territory which stretches along the seaside and is decorated in the authentic styles of Western and Eastern cultures.
Central Festival is located in Chaweng, probably it is the greenest shopping center in Thailand. When walking around its territory, the visitors don’t feel that they are inside the building because of its specially designed construction and a big number of trees and plants.
Besides shopping, you can try Fish spa peeling, go to the cinema and 9D attraction, have a snack or a big lunch, drink a coffee in a worldwide known Starbucks, use bank services or withdraw cash from your card. By the way, in the territory of Central Festival there are offices of all main Thai banks and many ATMs and terminals for withdrawing cash and making payments.
What you can buy in The Wharf and Central Festival:
- bags and suitcases;
- mobile phones and other electronic gadgets;
- beach accessories;
- cosmetics and jewelries;
- various souvenirs.
You can get to these shopping malls by tuk-tuk - 50-100 THB for one person for a one-way trip. You can also get a motorbike taxi (from 200 THB) or a usual car taxi (from 400 THB).
Next in the rating of supermarkets go Tesco Lotus (there are three of them in Koh Samui),Big C and Makro. They are food supermarkets in the first place.
But you can also get all necessary things here, including household chemical goods, cosmetics, some clothes and footwear, sport inventory, stationery, souvenirs.
There are three Tesco Lotus supermarkets in Koh Samui - in Chaweng, Lamai and Bangrak. Big C is situated near the Big Buddha, in the north of the island. There are three Makro supermarkets: two of them are in the north of the island and one in Lamai.
There are food courts in Tesco Lotus and Big C - different cafeterias with various menus situated in one territory. You pay for the meals with a special card. You insert some money on your card account at the entrance. When you are finished with your meals, you return the card to the cashier and get the remained money.
Big C offers a wide choice of ready-made meals - salads, pizza, baked chicken and fish, pastry. Tesco Lotus always has fresh fruits and vegetables. Here you can also find some european products - spaghetti, cereals, hard cheese, kefir and sour cream.
Makro is different from other supermarkets with its size and quantity of fresh meat (chicken and pork), fish, prawns and other seafood, vegetables, fruits, greens, spices. Package tourists are not frequent visitors of this supermarket. Local people or those tourists who stay on the island for a long time usually come here for shopping. You can get here retail and wholesale products. Many goods are sold for commercial use, for example bath sets for hotels, disposable dishes and cups for cafes, etc.
These supermarkets also offer a good choice of alcohol of local and foreign production. It should be mentioned that prices for alcohol are quite high, especially for wines and champagne. Alcohol as everywhere in Thailand is sold during certain hours: 11:00 - 14:00 and 17:00 - 0:00. On important public holiday alcohol can be forbidden for sale during a whole day.
Family Mart and 7/11 (Seven-Eleven) which is well-known not only in Thailand - a wide chain of shops which sells all necessary things and snacks such as nuts, cookies, yoghurts, coffee, some medicines and a small range of alcohol. By the way, in these shops the schedule of alcohol selling is not strictly observed. But it depends on the shop’s location. And they can be found everywhere. If you can’t see a 7-eleven or Family Mart sign out of the window of your apartment, walk another 20-30 metres and you will see it. 7/11 and Family Mart are open 24 hours 7 days a week.
You will have picturesque and colorful shopping at Koh Samui markets. Fruits, vegetables, shakes, sushi, Thai coconut ice-cream, popular Pad Thai rice and green papaya salad, cheap clothes and footwear are abundant here. We will tell more about Koh Samui markets in the next article.
Thailand is well-known for jewelries and gemstone jewelries at affordable prices. We recommend to buy certified jewelries with quality and authenticity guarantee only in big jewelry factories, for example Lapidary which presents a wide assortment of gold and silver and gemstones jewelries. The shop is situated in Maenam, you can easily get there with a free transfer straight from your hotel or apartment.
In Koh Samui as well as in all other parts of Thailand there is a wide choice of latex goods. As with jewelries, it is very easy to be deceived and get products of really bad quality. We recommend to buy latex goods in well-known big factories and shops, for example Sleep for me.
Spending the last holiday days in Thailand? Remember to get some souvenirs for your family and friends. Wang Kinnaree Souvenir shop offers goods made of reptile skin, natural cosmetics, noni and mangosteen juice and a variety of souvenirs. The shop provides free transfer from your hotel or apartment.
As you can see, even among wild nature and tropical jungles you can do the civilized shopping in usual for us supermarkets or night markets with incredible mixture of smells and big choice of street food.