One retail trend to sweep Thailand's resort destinations is market-style walking streets and Koh Samui hosts one of these food and shopping events almost every day of the week. From the astounding array of stalls along the Chaweng shopping strip to the charm of Fisherman's Village in Bophut, visitors are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to markets on Koh Samui.
Chaweng Walking Street
Chaweng is the well-established focal point for Samui’s tourism – and therefore its shopping scene. The permanent walking street offers up no less than 5km of stalls where visitors can buy everything from clothing and fashion accessories to cosmetics and quirky household decorative trimmings. Like any good Thai walking street, all of the goods and merchandise stalls are interspersed with street food vendors to tempt visitors with an enticing array of savoury snacks and sweet treats. Live performers also occasionally liven up the atmosphere, exhibiting talents that range from traditional dance recitals to spirited musical routines. Chaweng’s walking street market is open every day of the week, but has less stalls on Fridays and Sundays.
Bophut Walking Street
When Friday rolls around, Bophut’s walking street market is the place to be pn Samui. The Fisherman's Village is a laid back, almost bohemian town on the north coast of the island, and a popular destination for visitors who find the bright lights and bustle of Chaweng a little too frenetic. The walking street takes place every Friday between 5pm and 10pm, and is now one of the town’s principal attractions. Handcrafted souvenirs are among the most plentiful offerings, and a dazzling array of fashion and accessories can also be found. Hungry visitors will be pleased to know that once again, souvenir stalls are intermingled with alluring street food stands, and the beachfront street is lined with restaurants, so there is no need to go hungry whilst browsing.
Lamai Walking Street
While the Night Plaza in Lamai attracts throngs of shopaholics; visitors that prefer the bustling atmosphere of a street market do not have to look too far either. Lamai’s walking street market takes place every Sunday and is located between the fresh produce market and the bridge in the northeast of the town. The market is known locally as Lamai Jai Dee Walking Street, which translates to ‘Kind Hearted Walking Street’. The handicrafts, clothing and quirky accessories on sale are available at tempting prices, making this market a popular stop-off for visitors in search of gifts for friends and family back home. The market tends to kick off at around 4.30pm and goes on until around midnight, so there is plenty of time for visitors to splash some baht and sample the best of the local street food.
Mae Nam Walking Street
Mae Nam walking street is one of Samui’s most family-friendly food and shopping locations. Held every Thursday, this flourishing collection of stalls gets busy in high season, so visitors are advised to arrive before things really get going at about 6pm. While the Mae Nam market stretches a mere 200 metres in comparison to Chaweng’s extensive 5km strip; it more than makes up for its size with the fascinating array of goods and food on sale. This is the place for everything from exquisite handicrafts to designer-like sunglasses. In addition to the vast array of goods on offer, Mae Nam is also home to a vividly coloured Chinese temple which is a popular photo spot for visitors. Street performers also add to the Walking Street’s lively atmosphere.
Posted by Max Vee