|Shopping in Koh Samui
Koh Samui has three major shopping areas, these are Nathon market, Chaweng market and Lamai market.
Many kinds of retail goods from all over Thailand are available to make sure that you enjoy great shopping on Samui.
Thai silks and handicrafts are just two examples of Thai goods which have become internationally famous. This page will guide you through the main markets and show you stores of traditional Thai souvenirs.
Here are photos of markets on Samui
Before you enjoy your shopping here are details of some famous Thai products:
Famous Thai Souvenirs
One of the most perplexing situations a tourist will have to face before going home is : what souvenirs should I buy in Thailand ?
Silk, Woodcarvings, Silver, Brassware . . . the list goes on.
Legendary Thai silk reflects the rich diversity of Thai culture. Thailand's Northeast is home to Thais of various ethnic origins. Each has their own weaving and dyeing styles and techniques. Thai people of Lao origin (Tai Lao) living in the south of the region are renowned for their Mut Mee and Khit silk, usually made into tubular skirts, or Phasin.
In Southern Thailand, Pum Riang silk is produced by Thai Muslim villagers who apply traditional weaving patterns to Japanese silk, The Yok Nakhon cotton of Nakhon Si Thammarat is equally distinctive. Batiks and Patae skirts glow with the brilliant colors of Malay-influenced designs.
Gems & Jewelry
Certain parts of Thailand are blessed with a natural abundance of rubies, sapphires, zircon, onyx, jade and opal. Local cutting, design and manufacturing skills ensure a fine range of quality items with a wide choice of prices.
The colored gemstones sparkling under the lights of the jewelry store windows can make anyone stop dead in their tracks. Samui has a first rate lapidary on the island, while other stones or set pieces of precious and semi-precious quality are hand picked from Bangkok. Pearls are the specialty of the South and they come in a variety of makes, sizes and colors. From Southern pearl farms come the rare south seas pearl, cultured pearls, and Mobe pearls in every shade of cream, to pink, and black. Imitation pearls from this area are made from ground pearl dust and cemented by a secret formula.
There are excellent places to have some custom clothes made to order by the resident dressmakers and tailors. Whether you bring them your own personal sketches, or have clipped a photograph of the style you wish, you can be assured of receiving a quality garment within few days. Imported linens, blended wools, and print cottons are popular fabrics to choose from, while the lustrous Thai silk is hard to resist.
Cultured pearl production mimics the natural process to produce pearls of guaranteed quality. Cultured pearl farms are found principally in southern Thailand, particularly in Koh Samui, Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket and Surathani provinces.
Gold has been used primary in temples and palaces, as golden Buddha images, jewelry and royal insignia and decorations. Buddha images are decorated with gold leaf and gold is used to enhance modern jewelry.
Lacquerware, Silverware, Nilonware, Pewterware
Lacquerware is an ancient oriental craft, and entails a repeated process of coating structural bamboo or wood with lacquer before hand-painting it with elaborate designs. Generally, objects are produced in either gold and black, or yellow and green on a red-brown background.
Silver beating is another traditional northern craft. Bowls, boxes, cigarette cases, vases and cutlery are skillfully worked with relief patterns.
Nilonware is a related craft which has been practiced in southern Thailand for hundreds of years. Nilonware, or khrueang thom, is the craft of decorating objects with delicately etched designs which are filled with a metal alloy to produce a smooth patterned surface in black and gold. The art is widely practiced in Nakhon Si thammarat.
Pewterware, essentially an alloy of lead and tin, which produces a metal with a smooth and silky feel, comes mainly in the form of beakers, goblets, tankards and decorative figurines.