Souvenirs from Phuket

April 10, 2015

When you talk about Thai souvenirs you quickly think of the wooden frogs which make a frog sound when you move the wooden stick over the back, some hand-carved soap, or a fridge magnet with the name of the city you are in. Those souvenirs work well when you give them to your foreign friends and relatives, but when Thais buy souvenirs for each other they often stick to foods. Every province and city has its own specialty foods that are not available in other cities, and whenever we go visit people outside of Phuket we bring some local Phuket snacks as a gift.

The big sign indicates where the shop is: easy to find when you drive past with a car

The big sign indicates where the shop is: easy to find when you drive past with a car

Since Phuket is an island with a lot of seafood the most asked for souvenir is shrimp paste. For some reason the Phuket shrimp paste is different from the shrimp pasta available in the rest of Thailand. Don’t ask me how it is different: it all tastes the same to me (= horrible). At first we tended to buy our local products at the bridge that connects Phuket to the mainland, but recently we found a much better place that has more authentic Phuket snacks that are in even higher demand from friends and family members.

The location of the snack souvenir shop: you need to can only come here by car as it is located next to the "highway" before you reach the airport.

The location of the snack souvenir shop: you need to can only come here by car as it is located next to the “highway” before you reach the airport.

Next to the large shop with Phuket snacks there is also a small coffee shop and a restaurant. I do not know if the restaurant has the same owner; the same for the coffee shop. Once you enter the shop you quickly start wondering what the profit margins are they are making as it all looks very nice and there are a ton of people working there.

Inside the shop

Inside the shop

On the left hand side, and at the back of the shop, you will find things that make a great present for Thais: shrimp paste, curry paste, chili paste, etc. You can eat these products right from the jar or mix it with warm rice to turn it into a meal. My personal favorite is the cashew nuts which you can find near the end of the shop: the tom-yum flavor is nice but the BBQ flavor is even better.

I don't know how many customers they are expecting, but I don't think they will run out soon

I don’t know how many customers they are expecting, but I don’t think they will run out soon

On the right hand side you can find Thai food products you can get all over the country, so if you are buying gifts for Thais do not bother with the things as they can buy them themselves also in every city.

You cannot go wrong with a gift set like this for your Thai friends (although i prefer the cashew nuts)

You cannot go wrong with a gift set like this for your Thai friends (although i prefer the cashew nuts)

As mentioned before the prices are not low in this place. And there is also no opportunity to bargain as it is a normal shop and not a market stall. But I am sure that whatever you buy as gifts will be much appreciated by Thais as it is not easy to get hold of these products outside of Phuket.

This is what Thais like: a nice setting right in front of the shop for taking your pictures.

This is what Thais like: a nice setting right in front of the shop for taking your pictures.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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