Possibly the best kept secret on Phuket is the large weekend market. Based on Bangkok’s weekend market Chatuchak the market, which has now became known as Talad Nad Chaofa Variety, includes rows and rows of stalls selling many items including clothes, footwear, handbags, jewellery, souvenirs, collectables and crafts. There are literally hundreds of stalls, spread over an area of around 13 Rai. That’s an amazing 20,800sqm of market stalls.
Talad Nad Chaofa Variety weekend market is such a well kept secret, with little or no advertising to be found anywhere on the island. The market is not to be found within any of the major tourist areas, so if you’re new to the island or visiting Phuket for a holiday you’ll certainly be glad you’ve seen this article. You will certainly be disappointed if you do not take a trip to the outskirts of Phuket Town, as you are certainly going to miss out on probably the best bargains to be had on the island.
It is advisable not to eat too much before visiting the market as you can then take advantage of the huge variety of Thai food stalls on offer. The vast majority of the food stalls are situated along the front side of the market close to the main entrance. Here you will have the opportunity to buy many of the delicious fruits Thailand has to offer, at prices which are certainly a fraction of the price you would pay at the stalls in Patong, Kata or Karon. Also on offer are or ready cooked Thai curries or seafood. If you’re feeling brave and want to try something spicy, we can highly recommend a traditional Thai papaya salad, called Som Tam.
Getting the price down
Never was there a better opportunity to practice your bargaining skills, and your Thai. Expect to bargain for a reduction of around 10 -30% for most items. Stall holders will unusually punch prices into their calculator, so you don’t need to worry too much about understanding the numbers. However, you’ll soon get the hang of it, and if you know the magic words “Can you give me a discount?” in Thai, then this will usually initiate a broad smile from the stall holder, and quite possibly, a bigger discount.
Talad Nad Chaofa Variety is open Saturday & Sunday from around 5PM until Late.
Talad Nad Chaofa Variety market is located on a side road just off the main Chao Fa Nok Road coming from Central Festival shopping center, down towards Wat Chalong and Chalong Circle (Hai Yak Chalong).
Photo by Jamie Monk – http://jamie-monk.blogspot.com/2008/03/weekend-market.html