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Phuket Indy Market: More than just shopping

PHUKET: We’ve all been there before – the endless rows of hot, cramped corridors, the shop selling useless souvenirs, followed by 10 more selling the exact same thing.

Friday 23 March 2012, 10:18AM

The atmosphere here is relaxed. The street is wide, and people meander slowly along it.

The atmosphere here is relaxed. The street is wide, and people meander slowly along it.

Let’s face it, despite the potential of finding a good bargain, most Thai markets just aren’t that much fun to visit.

But if you’re sick of overpriced, mass produced souvenirs and ‘same same’ singlets at tourist markets around the island, the Indy Market may be the place for you.

The Laad Ploi Kong, as it’s known in Thai, is quite small and still gathering momentum, so don’t expect to be wandering through stalls for hours, but that’s part of what makes it so appealing.

The atmosphere here is relaxed. The street is wide, and people – mostly Thai tourists and Phuket locals – meander slowly along it, looking at the variety of handmade crafts on offer. The sound of live music fills the night air, combining with the smells of exotic foods to satisfy the senses.

There’s plenty of open air seating where you can appreciate it, too, along with a meal from any of the food stalls or full-fledged restaurants, or you can just sit down and enjoy a beer or cocktail while watching the crowd go by around you.

It’s not often you go to a market just for the atmosphere, but this place is well worth a look even for the non-shoppers.

For those who do appreciate a good bargain, the quality and individuality of the goods on offer at the Indy Market are among the best you’ll find in Phuket. It’s been set up basically as an avenue for the youth of the island to display their creativity and earn a few baht on the side. It’s full of everything from handmade trinkets and jewellery to  clothing, to vintage motorcycle accessories. And best of all, the prices are low.

And while the market may lack the creative diversity seen in places such as Chiang Mai, this is still a unique concept for the island, and some of the handmade jewellery in particular is difficult to find anywhere else on the island.

Located on ‘Limelight Avenue’, a small lane just off Dibuk Road, it is also within easy walking distance of Thalang Road. A perfect afternoon in town: Explore the streets of Old Phuket, dine at nearby Raya House or Lemongrass (two of the better Thai restaurants on the island, both on Dibuk Rd), and then shop at the Indy Market in the cool of the evening.

Laad Ploi Kong is open Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm to 10.30pm.

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