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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Phuket: My Shopping Craze

During our week in Phuket, there was an on going mega sale with many shopping malls offering big discounts. At the same time, we were informed by our tour guide that the US navy (notably one of the carriers included the famous USS Ronald Regan) has docked at Phuket with some 5000 crew members. The business community in Phuket must be smiling all the way to the bank! But with the “extra, rich tourist” in town, the price of goods sold by road side stalls weren’t getting any “extra cheap”. In fact during this period, it was far more practical to shop at departmental stores than buying things from those road side stalls where you MUST know how to bargain. But if you're not a Farang (Thai for Westerners), don't bother bargaining at this time. I don't mean to sound racist in any way, but the fact that the White Men can pay more, small store owners not only refuse to reduce their price but some boldly ignore our presence.

Most Malaysian women who shop when they travel would know clearly well that undergarment sold in Malaysia is more expensive than Thailand (same brand in comparison). So guess what happens when the already cheaper priced undergarments in Thailand go on sale with discounts up to 50%? You get people like me shamelessly diving into their piles of bras and undies in search for the perfect size to grab home! Honestly speaking, it was like “undergarment heaven” but only for those with the Alluring, Beautiful and Charming sizes. Those with Delightful or Enchanting sizes and beyond would find themselves with limited choices. Me? Well, lets’ just say I had to dig deep into those bins to get what I wanted (^_^)

The good thing about shopping in Phuket (and probably the entire Thailand) is that the price on display is after sales tax (also known as VAT). For individual items like garments, they have the breakdown of the price for the garment, VAT and total price on the price tag. While food joints (like McD) displays the total price (food price plus VAT) and the breakdown will be printed on the receipt. That way, when we need to pay for our purchases, we just have to add the total prices of our each purchase. Unlike taxable in food joints in Malaysia (especially fast food restaurants), food prices displayed are shown WITHOUT sales tax. What’s more, the price of food and goods are in round figure – so you won’t have those annoying 9 cents nominations (9, 19, 29, 39, 49, 59, 69, 79, 89 and 99)!

As much as I was enjoying the sales at Jungceylon, business along the Rat-u-thit 200 Pee Road was suffering. How we know? Well, those pretty ladies at the massage parlors were dressing skimpier by the day. My hubby even wondered if business continued to drop for them, by the end of the month, will they be promoting their business only dressed in bikinis?? As long as those ladies see "white superiority" I know my hubby is "safe". During our week long stay, I noticed those masseuse only tug white men without any female companion. Asian men, white men with a female companion are left alone...

3 comments:

  1. I've heard so much about Phuket! must plan a trip there already.. hehe..

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  2. Wow, those piles are really huge! I think I would enjoy digging with you :).

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  3. Hayley, before you make your trip to Phuket do check out http://www.jungceylon.com/ the official website for Jungceylon Mall for any possible sales in their coming months.

    Rosidah, one thing I've noticed very different in Phuket is that it is accepted for men to help their wife shopping for undergarments. Unlike in Malaysia where husbands get weird stares or insulting remarks from those annoying aunties. The other lady in the picture with me had her husband help "digging" on the second pile next to us (not in picture). In fact Dan also help out (^_^) But of course the changing rooms are off limits.

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