Getting the chance to experience new cultures through their foods is a big part of why we love to travel. Phuket was the 2nd stop on our 1st tour of Southeast Asia and we were excited to explore their night markets. Here are a few helpful tips and lessons learned.
What is a Night Market?
Night markets include local vendors from all over the area. Vendors set up shop in a designated area or in some cases an entire street. Roads are often blocked off to allow pedestrians to browse freely. Night Markets are a wonderful experience and must try for any traveler with great food at affordable prices. Travelers and locals alike get the chance to mingle and enjoy some tasty treats while shopping for unique finds.
Where to go
It’s not hard to find night markets in Phuket, although some of the biggest & most popular tend to be on the weekend you can easily stumble across one if you’re wandering the city after sunset. Keep your eyes open for bright lights, music and if all else fails, follow the smell of barbecue.
Some of the most popular Night Markets include:
Hours: Thu – Sat 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Address: 141/2 Yaowarat Road, Phuket Town
Phuket Weekend Market
Hours: Sat-Sun 4:00 pm- 9:00 pm
Address: Chao Fa West Road, Phuket Town
Opening Hours: Sun 4:00 pm- 10:00 pm
Address: Thalang Road, Phuket Town
Opening Hours: Thu – Fri 4:00 pm- 10:00 pm
Address: Limelight Avenue, Dibuk Road, Phuket Town
Malin Plaza Patong
Opening Hours: 2:00 pm- 12:00 am
Address: Prachanukhro Road, Patong
If Night Markets are top of your list of things to do, it’s best if you look for accommodations on the east side of the island near Phuket town. This way you’ll save money by not having to take a long Tuk-Tuk or Taxi ride, which can add up quickly. If you’re coming from the other side of the island, try to leave a little early to beat the crowds and traffic.
What to expect
Our first experience visiting a night market was just outside of Banzaan Market, a short walk from Patong Beach. Although nothing compares to Banzaan Market in the morning this was a nice chance for us to get our feet wet with what Night Markets have to offer.
We had a chance to sample fresh seafood, desserts, and fruits. I even got a chance to try fried silkworms. They’re actually pretty common and I highly recommend trying at least once. If you’re feeling adventurous check out this great guide by Mark Wiens, How to eat scary insects, bugs, and worms in Thailand.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that walkways are pretty narrow with food/shopping stalls on either side. It’s pretty common to see the stalls protected by colored canopies or umbrellas just in case of rain which add to the ambiance.
If this is your first time at a Night Market, you can get overwhelmed. Don’t be intimidated to try new foods and mingle with the locals.
Night Markets are a great place to find hidden treasures besides food. At some of the larger markets, you’ll find one of the kind pieces that make great souvenirs for friends and family back home.
Come prepared and be hungry. Most of the dishes are inexpensive starting as low at 20 BHAT (That’s only $0.61 USD!). Remember its cash only. Don’t worry if you are not sure of the language, most prices are clearly marked & the vendors typically speak enough English to get by.
The best advice I can give is to be patient and get a lay of the land first. It’s easy to get caught up and want to purchase the first thing you see.
If you’re not sure what to eat look for the long lines, this is a sure-fire way to pick a winner.
A Must-Do for every Budget Traveler
Night Markets in Phuket are an exciting way to experience new food and shop. Especially If you’re a budget traveler, these are great places to fill your belly without emptying your wallet.
Interested in seeing our adventure first hand? Check out our video below. Don’t forget to hit the Like and Subscribe button if you enjoyed it.
If you’re planning a trip to Phuket be sure and read Thailand | Top 10 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Phuket