All of Thailand is known for its fantastic shopping, and Phuket is no exception. Particularly fine examples of handicrafts from around the country are available at the tourist markets and speciality shops of the beach centres, Phuket Town and at Canal Village in the Laguna Phuket complex - which also boasts its own branch of Jim Thompson's, the Thai silk specialists.
Phuket is also the source of severalof the country's finest gift and souvenir products including cultured pearls, neilloware, pewterware, ornaments and dried seafood, (see "What to Buy"). Specialist shops dealing in souvenir products can be found on Rasada, Phangnga, Montri, Yaowarat, and Tilok-U-Thit roads, in Phuket Town, Thepkrassatri Road, north of town and at the beach centres of Patong, Kata, Karon and Rawai.
Among the best buys the island has to offer are Batik - crafted by the island's numerous artists into tee-shirts, dresses, wall hangings, and bed covers - beachwear and easily-affordable made-to-measure cotton, linen and silk clothing - courtesy of the island's many tailors. Thalang Road, in Phuket Town, is home to many cloth merchants, offering excellent deals on a wide selection of cloth, which the island's tailors will be happy to convert into the fashion statement of the customer's choosing.
Phuket's rapidly developing infrastructure has also allowed for a considerable growth in shopping opportunities. Several large department stores are located in Phuket Town, Thalang and Patong and two giant supercentres - Tesco Lotus and Big C - have recently opened on the Bypass Road, north of Phuket Town, offering easy shopping for long stay visitors and yacht charter tourists.