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Shopping in Thailand
Whether you choose to strike a happy bargain in the busy open-air food markets, stroll around lively night markets, peek into the local shops and street stalls, or saunter into the high-end boutiques and shopping malls, Thailand offers an unforgettable shopping experience. What with the tantalising pieces of traditional handicrafts and antiques, beautiful jewellery, fashionable clothing and housewares, you’ll probably leave Thailand wishing you had brought along a much larger suitcase!
Bargaining / Haggling
Most department and big stores have fixed prices. However, at the markets, shops and roadside stalls prices are not displayed and bargaining is the norm. However bargaining is part of the shopping experience and should be undertaken in such a manner - aggression and raised voices will not get you a cheaper price!
What sets the Thailand shopping scene apart is the street markets. Especially around the beaches, you’ll find a fascinating medley of things –“branded”, but actually fake, T-shirts, watches, DVDs, gifts and souvenirs. Drive a hard bargain but do temper it with smiles – ill-humoured bargaining yields little result in Thailand.
If you aren’t quite comfortable with shopping in markets and roadside stalls, never fear. Thailand has a large number of international style shopping centres and department stores. Here, you can pick up both local and international brands. Look out for the malls and shops that have sales – they occasionally offer some really good bargains.
Handicrafts in Thailand range from regional specialties to tho unique homemade pieces of jewelry. Some popular souvenirs include curios made from seashells and coconut shells, delicate filigree leather pictures, lacquerware, ceramics and bronze goods. While some of these are made by traditional craftsmen, others are factory-made, employing the latest technologies and quality control measures. Definitely worth a look!
Nielloware is a unique handicraft of Thailand and is a traditional craft belonging to Nakorn Si Thammarat. Nielloware is a delicate art involving the application of etched designs on silver and gold receptacles. The designs are made from an alloy of silver, lead, copper and sulphur. Items made from Nielloware range from tea and coffee sets to handbag fittings and buttons. Since this southern province is quite close to Phuket, you’ll find that Nielloware is quite cheap in shops around the island.