Where to Shop and What to Buy in Chaweng Beach
Most of the choice shopping in Chaweng is located along the Beach Road and, as is often the case in Thailand, is compartmentalised into areas for beachwear, jewelry, sports shops, with a long thread of bazaar-like shops selling clothes and DVD's the whole length of the road. It'll take a few days to thoroughly exhaust the shopping possibilities in Chaweng as the Beach Road is some six kilometres long and many stores do not open until midday or later.
The central part of the road is a one-way system (heading south) so if you are on a motorbike, expect to loop back along the inner, Ring Road. It is not advisable to attempt to shop with a car here as space will not permit.
Central Festival Samui describes itself as “the most complete and largest lifestyle shopping complex in Samui’; there could not be a better description for this huge shopping and dining mall located between the lake and the beach road of Chaweng, the prime resort town on the East coast of Samui Island. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00
- Location: between Chaweng Beach Road and Chaweng Lake in the central part of the resort town
- Tel: 077 962 777
Chaweng Street Shopping
Starting from north Chaweng heading south, as most people do on Chaweng shopping expeditions, you will come across lots of street-side stalls selling T-shirts, cheap jewelry, DVD's, computer games, knock-off 'branded' clothes, soap carvings, imitation weaponry and a host of other goods you'll not be sure you need or not. Here, there are shops dedicated to rolling luggage, lots of flower-power bags and silk ties as well as sandals and hats.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 24:00
- Location: All along the Beach Road
It’s hard to imagine shoppers in the West sipping on cocktails while out shopping but at Chaweng Walking Street Market you can do just that, and for very little money, too. Chaweng Walking Street is a riot of colours, sounds and scents.
This is where you can haggle for items such as T-shirts, sunglasses, knockoff watches, beach dresses, lamps, sexy cutoff jeans; copied Ralph Laurent polo shirts, flip-flops, bags of all shapes and sizes, carved wooden souvenirs, kids clothing and cosmetics. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 16:00 -24:00 Closed on Fridays and Sundays
- Location: South Chaweng just off the main street
Chaweng Walk is a recent addition to Chaweng’s shopping/dining/nightlife scene; opened in 2013 on a large empty plot linking Chaweng Beach Road to the beach located between Banana Fan Sea Samui and Tradewinds by Lawana, Chaweng Walk is a daily market in the same vein as Chaweng Walking Street (their rather similar names can be slightly confusing).
One side of Chaweng Walk is open-air while the other is covered with a corrugated iron roof; the open-air area has a paved trail flanked by something like 30 stalls selling an eclectic choice of beach wear, handcrafted souvenirs, spa oils, cheap jewellery, and souvenirs while the covered area features a food court (tables and chairs) with a dozen stalls selling Thai snacks and street food from chicken satay to grilled sausages and squid to smoothies, and more. Live Thai music is performed on a small stage set towards the beach. Chaweng Walk is Thainess at its best as it offers a good way to mingle with locals in a friendly atmosphere, and to sample local delicacies at rock-bottom prices.
- Opening Hours: daily from 16:30 – 22:00
- Location: off Chaweng Beach Road in the central area of the beach
There are two Boots stores in Chaweng, one in the centre near Tropical Murphy's and the second in the northern end of Chaweng. Open from 10am every day, this is slightly more expensive than Watson's with a wider range of pharmaceuticals.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00
- Location: Central Chaweng Beach Road.
- Tel: 077 413 724
Watson's pharmacy is located in central Chaweng near Soi Green Mango and has everything you might need while on holiday. They also have some great weekly deals so keep your eyes open while wandering around. There is a small confectionery section selling international sweets.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00
- Location: Chaweng Beach Road
- Tel: 077 230 327
Shoppers looking for bargains in eyewear will be in seventh heaven along Chaweng's Beach Road. Top Charoen and Beautiful Optical are both heavily represented and pretty much always have 'two-for-the-price-of-one' deals going as well as free, computerized eye tests.
By far and away the best opticians on Samui and certainly one of the best in the country is Sawang Optical. Using all the latest hi-tech optical equipment, the shop has been the best seller of Raybans in Thailand for the past few years. It also stocks a full range of Oakley, Dolce and Gabbanna, Gucci, Armani, Prada, Kenzo and Versace sunglasses.
- Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 11:00 – 21:30
- Location: Central Chaweng
- Tel: 077 230 720
Classic Gems is a long-established (since 1998) jewellery outlet located along the Beach Road in the heart of Chaweng. Renowned for the exceptional standards and high quality of its products, it is a member of the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association; at Classic Gems, each diamond has to be 20 carats and each of them must also be certified by the International Gemological Institute that grades each stone on colour, quality and clarity..
Classic Gems is a reliable jewellery specialist with certified gemstones supplied and cut at the shop's own private onsite factory. Here you can order bespoke jewellery or choose from a wide range of original rings, necklaces, bracelets and broaches on display at the store.
- Opening Hours: 13:00 – 21:00
- Location: Opposite Centara Grand Beach Resort, south Chaweng
- Tel: 077 230 479
Nature Art Gallery
Nature Art Gallery is a stylish jewellery store located diagonally opposite Cream Café Samui on Chaweng Beach Road. The first Natural Art Gallery opened in 1998, and in 2014, this successful brand counts four branches (Chaweng Beach Road, Central Festival Samui, and two stores at Haad Rin in Koh Phangan). Founded by Micha Trav and his partner Shai Shalom Nissim, Nature Art Gallery is specialised in fine jewellery made of precious metals – silver and gold, precious and semi-precious stones – agate, amber, amethyst, aquamarine, emerald, and more, and leather.
All their creations are splendid, and those using crystals can – according to their creators’ beliefs in alternative medicines – have healing powers by balancing their hosts’ chakras. The bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pendants and rings sold at Nature Art Gallery are designed and created on site so you could get custom-made jewels according to your taste, and the company even dispenses jewellery making courses.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 22:00
- Location: On Chaweng Beach Road right next to the entrance of Tops Supermarket
- Tel: 077 422 594
If you need a book to read by the pool, Bookazine (two branches in Chaweng) has a great selection ranging from the latest international bestsellers, trashy novels and even classics. Alongside some beautiful hand-painted greetings cards, Bookazine also sells western newspapers and magazines. The chain stocks a huge range of guide and information books about Thailand, covering everything from the language to the food.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: Central and Northern Chaweng Beach Road
- Tel: 077 413 616
Good to Know
Recent years have seen the arrival of smart, air-conditioned shopping malls offering Western brands and a few funky boutiques. It is easy to while away an afternoon or evening strolling down Chaweng Beach Road checking out the products on offer, and this may be the easiest way to browse for souvenirs. In fact, unless you need something specific, or want to visit some of the 'destination' stores listed below, then the roadside goods are replicated many times all along the strip so just take a walk and see what makes you want to reach for your wallet.
When buying from market and street-side stalls, bargaining is normal, and initial prices quoted can be quite high. Always work out what you are happy to pay, and engage in the bargaining process with a smile. If you don't manage to seal a deal, just politely decline and move on.
As well as souvenirs and tourist gear, it is also possible to have suits and dresses tailor-made, to buy or order custom-made fine jewelry, to get a free eye test and have designer glasses prepared, or even to order art canvases from catalogues or have a portrait painted. When having clothes tailor-made, try to allow time for two to three fittings in case alterations are needed, and if you want to purchase fine jewelry, be sure to visit only reputable, accredited stores. For those who need a visit to an optician try one of the nationwide chains such as Beautiful Optical or Top Charoen, both heavily represented along the central stretch of the Beach Road.