The Phuket Weekend Night Market is a definite must-see when in Phuket Town, especially if you love cheap souvenirs, clothing, and glorious street food (For me, it’s the latter :)) Located near the Central Festival Shopping Mall, the large market is open on Saturdays and Sundays only, from 4pm onwards.
We only had one hour to explore hundreds of stalls, so we went blitz shopping ! The area is mostly covered, but the walkways are narrow and can get dirty after the rain – so wear some comfy shoes. From pyjamas to cheap singlets printed over with ‘I Love Phuket’, to imitation ‘designer’ handbags , pouches, watches and the like, there’s surely something for every shopper.
One thing to look out for is the beautiful carved soaps. These beauties are not for washing, but they’re so pretty that it’s difficult to resist buying them! They were mostly in the shape of flowers like roses, frangipani, orchids, carnations, lilies and lotuses, done in realistic and beautiful colours. They smelled really good too. 😀
100B for a small one, 300B for the bigger ones. They come in a wooden lacquered box.
There were also adorable elephant-shaped ones! 🙂
Smexy erotic literature, with illustrations of lovers and promises of scandalous storylines, were openly displayed in this ‘bookstore’. Not something we see in Malaysia. 😀
The food section was what I was looking forward to. Exiting the souvenir and clothing area, my nose was assaulted by the fragrant smell of cooking food and stalls selling all sorts of delicacies.
There were fish cakes done fresh to order in a large vat of oil….
Too cute to be eaten fried quail eggs…
Mountains of preserved and pickled fruits…
And of course, fried bugs. There were fat, juicy-looking bamboo worms, thin and almost french-fry like worms, crickets and grasshoppers seasoned with pepper + salt. There was a small sampler on each spread, but I couldn’t bring myself to try even one D: I know they’re supposed to be a good source of protein and everything… maybe if I grew up in a culture where it’s the norm. I mean, I’m ethnic Chinese, and we eat some pretty crazy shit, but bugs will not be on my menu of favourites any time soon.
Would you try fried bugs? 🙂
This shiny, colourful display of (what appeared to be) mini fruits and vegetables caught my eye. Turns out, they were desserts. Unique to Thailand, luk chup has bean filling (red bean, mung bean, etc), with a chewy, bouncy exterior and soft, mushy bean paste on the inside. They were a joy to look at and tasty, but that colouring though.. not something you’d want to have every day. 😀
Of course, I couldn’t come to the market and not have Iced Thai Milk Tea. I fell in love with this drink ever since having it at a tea house back in Malaysia, so I vowed to myself that I’ll have an ‘authentic’ one once I got to Thailand! Brewed with black tea, the drink gets it’s signature orange colour from spices such as star anise, crushed tamarind and cardamom, before being sweetened with condensed milk. The resulting flavour is something like Malaysia’s teh tarik (pulled tea), but sweeter and stronger with a strong hint of spice. My drink was only 20B (about Rm2+ or USD0.56)!
I wish we had more time to explore the food section, but we had to rush off as our guide’s time was only until 5pm. I highly recommend paying the Phuket Weekend Night Market a visit for some cheap and fun shopping therapy 🙂
Talad Tai Rot (Phuket Weekend Market)
Chao Fa West Road, 1km south of Central Festival shopping Mall
Opposite Wat Naka
Opening hours: 4pm – 9pm, Sats – Suns