The best shopping opportunities in Samui are located in the most popular resort towns on the island. The largest town of Chaweng hosts an impressive scene of boutiques and shopping malls, including the giant Central Festival Samui. Lamai, Bophut, and Maenam host a mellow yet interesting shopping scene, but shoppers will certainly find something for their taste in any of the main beach towns on Koh Samui.

    It never hurts to bargain, especially in privately owned stores and at markets, although in fixed-price grocery stores and stores it's obviously not a good idea. Have a browse through the best shopping venues in Samui to see where those bargains are hiding.

    Central Festival Samui describes itself as 'the most complete and largest lifestyle shopping complex in Samui’; with 3 storeys and around 90,000 sqm of retail space, there couldn't be a better description for this huge shopping and dining mall. It's located between Chaweng's Beach Road and the nearby lake.

    Central Festival Samui has brought Chaweng Beach well and truly into the 21st century, offering over 200 shops, bars, restaurants and recreational activities to the ever-growing number of visitors to this favorite Koh Samui destination. If you're looking for something in particular while in Samui, this is your best bet. 

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    Location: 209/3 Moo 2, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)77 913 000

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    Lamai Walking Street

    Lamai

    Lamai Walking Street (aka Lamai Jai Dee Walking Street, meaning Lamai Kind-Hearted Walking Street) is held every Sunday on Lamai Beach Road in between the fresh market and the bridge in the northeastern part of the town. For this occasion, the road is closed off to traffic and is full of stalls selling clothes, handicrafts and local street food.

    The items for sale at Lamai Walking Street are affordable, which makes this shopping spot a good place to pick up souvenirs and little presents to bring back home for friends and family. But as in most southern Thai walking streets, the real highlight is the outstanding choices of delicious food to be sampled here, from broiled corn to pad thai to kebabs to pizza to barbecued seafood to cocktails and more. 

    Location: Haad Lamai Rd, Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    Open: Sundays from 5 pm to 10 pm

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    Fisherman’s Village Walking Street brings the quiet, sleepy town of Bophut to life every Friday from 5 pm to 11 pm. It sees the narrow Beach Road and adjoining streets crammed with market stalls and shoppers from across Koh Samui, with a diverse range of wares available at very low prices.

    Many of the stalls at the Fisherman’s Village walking street sell much of the same items as you’d find in markets throughout Thailand, including 100-baht T-shirts, simple jewelry, purses, sunglasses, beer cosies, souvenirs, watches of questionable mechanical soundness, and cheap electrical goods. As with all market shopping in Thailand, a certain amount of judgment and measured expectations is necessary when selecting your purchases.

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    Location: Bophut Beach Road, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Fridays from 5 pm to 11 pm

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    Chaweng Beach Road Shopping

    Chaweng Beach

    Chaweng Beach Road is lined on both sides with stalls and boutiques that are stocked with beachwear, sportswear, imported leisurewear, and cheap-and-cheerful vacation gear. 

    The northern end of Chaweng Beach Road, close to Central Festival shopping mall has plenty of independent shops for fashion and beachwear, while the central section of the 3-km road has a group of souvenir and craft shops where you're likely to find some interesting keepsakes to take home. Simply stroll along the main beach road and take in the bustling scenes that constitute shopping in Chaweng.

    Location: Chaweng Beach Rd, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

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    Lamai night market is a fun place to go shopping in Samui, with plenty of typically souvenirs like T-shirts, carved ornaments, and cheap jewelry. There are also a lot of branded goods of questionable authenticity, which are best avoided.

    In the center of town, diagonally opposite McDonald's and leading to a square surrounded by beer bars, you'll find a night market that has a lot of similarities with Bangkok's Patpong but on a smaller scale.

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    Location: Lamai Center, 139/24 Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

    Open: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm (closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)84 695 3502

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    At Chaweng Walking Street Market, you can sip on a cocktail while out shopping, both for very little money, too. This riot colors, sounds and scents toward the southern end of Samui's most popular resort town combines a food court with market stalls, creating a vibrant night market atmosphere.

    This 130-metre-long street is a place where you can haggle for items such as T-shirts, sunglasses, jewelry, beach dresses, lamps, flip-flops, bags of all shapes and sizes, carved wooden souvenirs, kids clothing and cosmetics, among other things.

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    Location: 39/36 Chaweng Beach Rd, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Thursday and Saturdays from about 4.30 pm to 12 am (closed on Fridays and Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)77 961 910

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    Meanam Walking Street is only a couple of hundred meters long but it’s packed with interesting stalls, snack vendors and even mobile cocktail bars. The items on offer are a fairly typical mix of colourful T-shirts, fisherman pants, wooden crafts, and Thai-looking homeware.

    This is a lovely but rather noisy family experience and the only difficult thing about visiting Mae Nam walking street on Thursday evenings when the market takes place is finding a place to park nearby. Things get going here around sunset but it's busiest from 7 pm until around 10 pm. 

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    Location: Moo 1, Baan Mae Nam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84330, Thailand

    Open: Thursdays from 5 pm to 11 pm

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    photo by Elmschrat (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    The Wharf Samui is a stylish cross between a shopping mall and a marketplace. A 5,000 sqm open-air space with around 120 units in a mix of eastern and western historical architectural styles, it blends smoothly with the existing attractions of Fisherman’s Village, adding an impressive selection of good-quality products and services to the already excellent shopping in Bophut.

    The Wharf stretches all the way from Beach Road to the main Koh Samui beltway (Route 4169), with most of that space serving as an expansive carpark. The plaza-like shopping area borders on the beachfront with a selection of restaurants.

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    Location: 62 Moo 1, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

    Open: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2 pm to 11 pm (closed on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)77 425 500

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    Samui Hot Club

    Nathon & Lamai

    Samui Hot Club is an independent fashion brand that has 3 separate branches in different neighborhoods of Samui. Each branch has row after row of colorful sarongs, T-shirts, beachwear and more, all billowing under extra-strong ceiling and floor fans. It's worth noting that Samui Hot Club has strict purchasing rules: customers are not allowed to try items on and, once purchased, the shop will not refund or exchange them.

    Location: 3 branches in Nathon, Lipa Noi and downtown Lamai

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 8 pm

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    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

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