Every part of Thailand has its own version of the night market concept - they are deeply ingrained in local culture, and have become a must-visit tourist attraction for anyone visiting the country.
And while most people associate Thailand markets with the bustling streets of Bangkok, the capital city is not the only place you can have an authentic night shopping experience in Thailand.
In fact, the Lamai Night Plaza, one of Koh Samui's biggest markets, might just be one of the most intriguing representations of Thai night market culture that you could find.
The market can even be a bit overwhelming for a first-time visitor because of its size and variety, but this article should help you navigate the Lamai Night Plaza like a local. Here are some of the things you should look for when you get a chance to visit:
Whether you like it or not, you’ve got to admire the diversity of pirated and knock-off goods available at the Lamai Night Plaza - you’ll find everything from clothing and accessories to knock-off Swiss army knives.
While you may or may not be interested in the market for most of the items on display, it’s still very entertaining to explore the endless rows of (not so) world-famous brands at (literally) knock-off prices to find hidden gems concealed within the market’s many stalls.
Intriguing Crafts Section
If you want a truly authentic Koh Samui souvenir, Lamai Night Plaza also has you covered - there’s an abundance of all kinds of locally produced souvenirs, accessories, clothes, and almost anything else you could think of.
Whether you want a unique handbag to bring home, or are looking for some additional luggage for all those recently bought souvenirs, you’ll find something right for you at the Plaza.
Great Food & Drink Options
Exploring such an immersive market as the Lamai Night Plaza can take its toll on anyone, but luckily there are plenty of food & drink options that can help you recharge quickly.
If you get tired of shopping, you can’t go wrong with simply enjoying a bite to eat at the food centre, or having a drink at the pub - you’ll find a variety of different food options, including some traditional dishes and local favourites.
Make Sure You Negotiate
Finally, if you want to really experience the best of Koh Samui’s night markets, you have to remember that shopping in Thailand is all about negotiation.
Asking prices can often start very high (especially for tourists), but don’t be put off – a bit of persistence will help you knock some money off and have you bartering like a local. Haggling over prices is a cultural experience on its own, so don’t be shy when it comes to getting the price that you want - it’s not only acceptable, it’s expected, and it can also be plenty of fun!