While Krabi cannot compete with the shopping paradises of Bangkok and Chiang Mai, there is still plenty on offer here to tempt you to part with your money. Many of the same products you will find in Bangkok – Thai silk scarves, carved wooden objects, silver jewellery, sarongs, leather goods – are available here, only at a slight premium. Shopping in Krabi is, nonetheless, fun. Thai handicrafts still present fantastic value for money and make excellent gifts, so make sure you leave a little room in your suitcase when you come.
Most of the shopping areas for tourists in Krabi are conveniently located around the beachfronts, so there is no real need to take taxis or lug heavy bags around town. Ao Nang has the best variety of goods on offer, from traditional handicrafts to fake Gucci bags, as well as possibly the highest concentration of tailor shops in Thailand!
If you are considering getting tailor-made outfits, such as suits and dresses, be extremely wary here as the work is often of poor quality. You can ask to see garments made by the same shop; check the seams to see if they are straight – sometimes even the clothes on the mannequins don’t fall correctly. Local people recommend King’s Fashion as one of the better tailors. Try also the Thai tailors, Kent, on Ao Nang Beach Road.
For larger items, such as furniture, gems and gold jewellery, or for real brand name clothes, a shopping trip to Krabi Town will be required. Here, prices will be lower and the choice wider.
Bargaining is all part of the shopping experience in Thailand and Krabi is no different. You can haggle over prices almost anywhere, and even ask for a discount in department stores, although fixed prices are the norm with the latter. Once you get into the swing of it, it’s actually quite fun. The important thing is not to lose your temper; if you feel you’re being ripped off at any time, simply smile and walk away. There’s bound to be another shop selling the same thing around the corner.