You can’t leave Phuket without at least attending one of the night markets here. While you can relax at one of the nightclubs near Patong Beach, grabbing a cold beer while enjoying the breeze, that isn’t very exciting. You could enjoy a show at one of the luxury resorts in Phuket but you most likely won’t meet many locals. If you are looking for some thrills while meeting locals, you should go to one of the many night markets in Phuket. Go shop for souvenirs. Try some local delicacies. Get away from the beaches – because that isn’t what Phuket only offers. Get into the crowd and go to one of the night markets here – you will thank us for this. But with so many night markets happening in Phuket, which night market should you visit first? Here’s a great list of some of the best Phuket night markets.
Phuket Night Markets
Phuket Weekend Market
The Phuket Weekend Market is often called ‘Naka Market’. Both of these names point to the same location: it is a market happening on Wirat Hong Yok Rd from 4 pm to 9 pm every Saturday and Sunday.
If you are looking for Thai delicacies, look no further than the west side of Phuket Weekend Market. To name a few: fresh durian, guava, mango, plantains; satay, fried worms, sausages, grilled chicken, fish cakes and sushi. If you are not yet satisfied, there’s also fresh seafood here – as there should be, since we are on an island that’s surrounded by water.
Phuket weekend market gains its name not for the food, but for the wide selection of goods that are being sold here. Here you can find a huge selection of second-hand clothing and lookalikes. Stalls here sell stuff that ranges. From jeans, T-Shirts, shoes, watches, jewelry, handbags, to absurdities like Thai pop records or even electronics, to name a few.
While it is unlikely that you will buy a Thai Record, It is safe to say this: If you can’t find what you want in Phuket Weekend Market, you are unlikely to find it anywhere else in Phuket.
Lardyai Market, which is in the old town area, is often confused with the Phuket Weekend Market. It’s got a different name: ‘Sunday Walking Street Market’. It’s called this way because the entire night market is a long street that only opens on Sundays.
Lardyai Market starts around 5 pm. Both sides of the street were filled with short, two-story houses that are often shops, bars or restaurants. The streets are filled with local hawkers selling Thai snacks.
Besides the food, there are shops selling souvenirs on the streets. Most of those stalls and shops specialize in clothing, mobile phone accessories, and cheap jewelry. Since this place’s flooded with tourists, you should haggle a bit if you decide to buy anything here.
Chillva Market opened in the spring of 2016. While the restaurants here open every day, the night market only open from 5 pm to 11 pm every Wednesday to Saturday. It caters to local young people. The area’s not crowded with foreign tourists. Instead, it’s often filled with a hippie vibe that you will rarely found in other markets of Phuket.
Unlike other night markets on Phuket, Chillva Market is much chilling. It is less about the usual hustling and bustling of any night markets. Of course, you can still find typical Thai night market food here, such as fried worms. But you’ll also find things here that other night markets don’t have. That includes restaurants or rooftop bars that have been converted from containers, which allows you to have a great view of the entire market.
Apart from that, you will find handicraft jewelry or local clothing brands made by and wear by local youngsters. If you are tired, why not head towards the concert area and listen to one of the local singers. While you listen to some Thai pop songs, why not get yourself a bottle of cold beer?
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Karon Night Market
The Karon Night Market is about ten minutes’ walk from Karon Beach. The Karon Night Market only opens on Tuesdays and Thursdays from dusk till midnight.
What’s special about this place? It’s a night market next to the Karon Temple.
Compared to many other night markets in Phuket, Karon Night Market is small in scale. It’s a 500-meter long walkway that takes about half an hour to walk from one end to the other. You can expect your standard Thai food items appearing here, plus a variety of souvenir shops targeting Tourists.
If you’ve been to other night markets, you might consider skipping Karon Night Market. But if you haven’t been to Karon Temple, you might as well visit both Karon Temple and Karon Night Market at the same time. Both are worth a visit.
Kata Night Market
‘Kata Night Market’ can be referred to two completely different locations. It can refer to a place called ‘Kata Night Market’ that opens every Monday and Thursday. It can also point towards a covered location called ‘Kata Night plaza’, which opens every day.
Both of these places are often referred to as ‘Kata Night Market’, but I would recommend separating them. These two locations offer different things and open at different hours.
‘Kata Night Market’ – the one that’s opened only twice a week – focuses on local business. The place is a bunch of tents set up by hawkers. The roads are not paved and sometimes rocky. While tourists come here for the food, most of the locals come here to buy their dailies, including raw seafood, spices, fruits, and vegetables. It is a rustic market. If you are looking for a way to experience local Phuket life, try this place.
‘Kata Night Plaza’ gears more towards tourists. It is on Kata New Road. The easiest way to know that you are in the right place is to look at the entrance. There is a large chimpanzee outside Kata Night Plaza and you can’t miss this.
Kata Night Plaza is a covered night market. This building is covered and separated into three pavilions. Compared to the Kata Night Market, this place is much tidier. There are plenty of tables and chairs set up in the pavilion so that visitors can sit and eat. Naturally, you can find all kinds of touristy items here, including suitcases and backpack shops, handbags, clothes, or even small furniture. While Kata Night Plaza is smaller than other night markets in Phuket, there aren’t many tourists around. Definitely visit this place if you would like to avoid the crowd.