Yes, the City of Angels has it all, so we are not going to compare apples and oranges, but please allow us to indulgently show off a tad. Phuket has some upmarket and eclectic shopping gems that Bangkok does not, cannot and most likely will not ever offer. You will just have to come and visit us to indulge in our little shopping paradise!
No trip is complete to Phuket, or any of the Thai islands for that matter without a compulsory purchase of a silky floral or animal printed kaftan that screams “tropical holiday.” Kaanda Beach Life stocks a bountiful array of vibrant cover-ups, scanty bikinis and shorts and funky shorts for the boys. Choose from their lovely range of dangly earrings, beaded necklaces and fabulous bags to complete the much sought-after sun-kissed BoHo look compulsory for making a statement when frequenting some of the islands best beach bars. Speaking of which, Kaanda also has a small boutique in Phuket’s most stylish of dining and entertainment venues, ‘Catch Beach Club.’ So, be sure to stock up on your beach apparel and show it off on the shores of Bang Tao Beach.
Hailing from Bali, ask any expat woman who has lived here longer than 5 years where in Bali she would shop, and guaranteed Uma & Leopold would be her go-to boutique. Fortunately, the throngs of ladies here now do not need to worry about travelling to Bali with the opening of a Thailand franchise right here in Phuket. So, what makes this boutique so special? Each Uma and Leopold collection embodies femininity and elegance. It embraces simple designs with extraordinary details incorporated subtly in each piece. The clothing and accessories exude refined elegance and understated sophistication with a neutral colour palette, beautiful linings of lace and Indonesian embroidery, and unique cuts and shapes – plus they come in larger sizes! Dresses and accessories are handcrafted by Balinese artisans and can take up to a month to create, with timeless, elegant pieces made of high-quality materials that women can wear for years to come. The delicate beading and meticulous details reflect the brand’s handmade techniques. Certainly, a must-visit place if you want your clothes to stand out back home.
Amethyst, labradorite, quartz, opals, topaz, sapphires, azurite, you name it, Efi most likely stocks it. What is truly lovely about this store is that there is literally something for everyone. From affordable cute bracelets and rings, to statement pieces that have been sourced and shipped from far-flung lands, including Peru and Australia that are the stuff of dreams for interior designers looking to deck out the palatial villas we have here in Phuket. Step inside this Aladdin’s cave (found in the new Porto de Phuket shopping area, also in the Cherngtalay area of Phuket) and feast your eyes on fine and rare crystals, minerals, exotic wood objects and unique contemporary jewellery. There are also pieces that will satisfy collectors of rare mineral and crystal pieces.
Ok, so not exactly a physical boutique but this amazing Zen brand originates from Phuket and if you want a truly bespoke service, Amy the founder (if she is not on some voyage on jungle wanderlust) will happily meet you for a tea and talk you through what you need and how to use her products. Sacred Body Rituals have a line of artisanal bath and body care infused with sustainable Palo Santo essential oil. Amy tells us, “The deeply emotive scent of Palo Santo takes us back to times of ceremony, meditation, transformation and grounding, think Patchouli on deeply moreish steroids.” Their range is created from their love of ‘smudging’ with Palo Santo. They blended its oil into an uplifting magical fragrance and infused this with Southeast Asia’s finest spa botanicals, thus creating all-new, enjoyable and sustainable ways to experience the many powerful benefits of Palo Santo daily. Candles, body oils, soap, hair wash and more are on offer, snap it up before they make it big!
A real new kid on the block but so cool, we have to mention it. The creative crew have pretty much dressed up a derelict alleyway area in Phuket Old Town to by day, sell cool clothing, arts and crafts, accessories as well as great coffee and tea. By night the area, under candlelight becomes one of the hippest hangouts for tasty Thai food, cocktails, beers and live music including sets from fabulous local DJ Lada. It really is like sitting in someone’s very chic living room, a friendly vibe and will tick all the boxes for coffee lovers, foodies, music lovers and most importantly shopaholics!