Shopping

Shopping

Shopping when you have just moved to a new Country can be a nightmare.

Where do I go? Hopefully this page will give you lots of ideas on where to find different items. Your favourite gravy mix, hair dressers, dentists etc.,

If only you could get an idea of what you would need to bring before you arrived!!! ah, hind sight would be a great thing to have in advance wouldn’t it.  A few of the things I have found that have to be brought over to Pattaya by family and friends.

  1. Tetley Tea Bags. You can get them here but they are in a small oblong box and taste nothing like the real thing.
  2. Your favourite coffee may not always be available here and ground coffee can be extremely expensive for a good brand.
  3. Suet. Yep I know some people may not even know what this is but I can’t make dumplings for mince and dumplings without it. My OH has a friend who just loves mince and dumplings and as a treat I like to make him a couple of foil dishes full so he can freeze them.
  4. John Frieda Hair products. Everyone has their favourites and John Freda for blondes is one of mine. I look forward to Birthday and Christmas presents for my stock!!!
  5. YSL mascara. Lots of beauty products here but for some reason no YSL.
  6. Tampax. Yes, sorry ladies but I wish I had known that I couldn’t get them here. There are a limited supply of tampons. Otherwise its sanitary towels!!!!! They may be in other areas of Thailand but not here. There is only sometimes a brand called Playtex in Carrifour but I have not seen them anywhere else. I just can’t understand why no tampax. Very strange indeed.
  7. Good serviettes. This may also sound silly but I like to have dinner parties and a good quality, pretty serviette makes all the difference. Ones with nice pictures or patterns on to match you colour scheme for the evening. Nope, nothing but plain, plain plain here in a couple of colours. YUK.
  8. Limited supply of dog toys, chews and biscuits. I have yet to find a proper pully toy or a sterile bone. Ah it makes bringing up a puppy quite difficult. Nothing to chew.
  9. Get a subscription for your favourite magazine too as they are really stupid prices over here. That is if you can find the one you usually buy. Woman and Home retails for around 10 UK pounds. That’s a really silly price and I have yet to find one in English anyway. All in Thai.

 

There are 7 main supermarket brands in Pattaya.

Carrifour, located just off Pattaya Klang (Central or Middle Road to you and I) 1st floor (Changed to BIG C in June 2011 – not the same anymore)

This is a huge store with most of the things you will ever need  in grocery shopping. The standard of food is good and is not too overpriced. Although compared to other parts of Thailand Pattaya is quite expensive. I think because it’s a holiday destination. Most of the staff are happy and do say  hello.

There is also a huge fast food area downstairs with a brilliant kebab/ shawarma  stall. Lots of stalls with bedding, clothes, toys, toiletries etc.,

Foodland, located on Pattaya Klang, not far from Carrifour (BIG C).

When I first visited Foodland I was not impressed at all and I thought how could anyone do all of their shopping here. However, I am converted. From the car park attendants to the boys that pack your shopping, its all together a good and pleasant experience. OK, so they don’t have the huge selection of products that Carrifour have but I have never had to queue as long and the staff or mostly very cheerful. Nothing seems to be too much trouble.

I think the biggest plus factor is, it’s actually cheaper for me too.

The only large supermarket to be open 24 hours daily

Central Festival Food Hall located on Beach Road/Second Road inside the Central Festival Mall.

By far the poshest food hall in Pattaya. It reminds me of Fenwicks back in Newcastle upon Tyne, in the UK. Much more upmarket shopping experience. Some items can be purchased here that are unavailable at other supermarkets. Good quality Pate for one. The staff are happy, polite and courteous.

I find the fresh fruit and vegetables extremely expensive here. The bakery is really good offering a whole range of bakery items that look and taste home made. e.g., small pieces of crisp like bread that has been flavored for dipping into such things as homos. Takes the strain off making them yourself.

Plus factor here is you can park your car in the multi story car park. I like the speed parking. Park right outside the food hall entrance. The parking attendant removes a reserved barrier and in you pop. The first 30 minutes are free and its only approximately 40pence for every half  an hour there after. What more could you ask for? of course there is also a “ladies only”parking area and many floors of free parking thereafter.

The food hall opens out onto a fast food eating area. Every thing from Pizza’s to Sushi. Juice bars to Coffee outlets. If you would like something a little bit more select there are plenty of eating areas on the 5th floor and not forgetting my favourite, “The Loft”. Seems as if no one has bothered to let anyone know it’s there. Certainly nice and quiet for that girlie lunch. lots of live cooking stations with food from around the world. If you get a chance to visit Bangkok there is an even larger Loft there at Central C.

Central also have another brand of supermarkets called Tops, I can’t comment on these as I have never tried them.

Tesco’s. located on Sukhumvit Road beside the Outlet Mall and Pattaya North Road

Plenty of parking and when you step inside for a moment you could be in any store in the UK. However when you come to the meat and fresh produce section it is totally different and rather lacking. Some days the smells leave a lot to be desired. Large selection of products, many found at home. This is one of my least favorite stores as the staff at the check out don’t speak, no eye contact and seem very unhappy in their jobs. I only go here if I need some thing urgently and I don’t want to go the extra few kilometres to the other shops above. The one thing I do get here is fresh coffee. They have a limited selection of the Tesco’s “Finest” range and their fresh coffee is not over priced.

They do have a huge fast food area upstairs.

Tesco’s are also opening Tesco Express outlets around the outskirts of Pattaya. Which are obviously very limited in selection but great for all of those that live in the outlying areas such as Na Jomtien.

Villa Market located on 2nd Road not far from the Marriott Hotel and the Casa Pascal Restaurant

Again another good supermarket offering a wide range of bakery items and many items that are not available else where in Pattaya. e.g Lyons golden syrup (a must for sticky ginger cake). I don’t think I could do my weekly shopping here as I could not obtain all the items I usually buy and it is rather expensive.

Staff are pleasant and friendly and they also have a car park attendant. Don’t forget to get your parking ticket stamped at the till and then you don’t have to pay the car park fee.

Villa Market is located in a small shopping arcade area, here you will find Starbucks, Pizza Pizza and other eateries as well as the famous “California Wow” gym.

Friendship located on Pattaya Tai (South road). From the outside it has a Chinese theme to the exterior of the shop. Plenty of parking. I found the cheese selection to be really good and the prices were cheaper than the other supermarkets for the selection offered. Good bakery, gosh we must eat a lot of bread in Pattaya or maybe I just notice it because I like to try the different varieties on offer.I found the reset of the store to be a little tired.

What struck me about this supermarket is the large selection of wines on sale here. Many other stores have a larger area covered but selling rows of the same item. Friendship had so many different wines from all over the world and lots where more reasonably priced.

Please note:- alcohol is only available to buy between the hours of 11am – 2pm and then again from 5pm until 9pm.

Big C Locates on Sukhumvit Road, just before the turn for Pattaya Thai and on 2nd Road, Dolphin roundabout end.

I am sure lots of people shop here but it’s not one of my favourites and I therefore I have not comments. Let’s just leave it at that.

So that’s the main supermarkets. You will also find absolutely everywhere 7-11 shops, family marts and other similar small shops selling milk, eggs, bread, noodles and toiletries

The great thing about 7-11 is, as it’s name suggests, it’s open early till late. Some are even open 24-7.

Electricity and phone bills can be paid here. You can also top up your mobile phone. There isn’t much you can’t pay at these stores.

SHOPPING MALLS

We have a few shopping malls here in Pattaya. The best one and of course the newest is Central Festival as explained above in the Supermarket section. Located between Beach Road and 2nd Road.  Lots of floors full of shops, again I find for clothes more expensive than the UK.

First thing to remember is not to take offence when they tell you “you too fat lady”. What they really mean is they don’t have your size. Remember Thais are nearly always slim and petite!!!!! I think Bra’s are often a problem too. Maybe I should put that on my list of things to bring over. I order mine on line, have them delivered to my mums and then my daughter brings them over.

A tag that says small on clothes over here means more like children’s size!!! medium is probably for someone around an English 8 to 10 size and large is probably a 10 to 12 size. XXL is around a 14, try going larger than that and no ‘one size’ or ‘free size’ does not fit all.

It is worth looking around some of the smaller shops in the local villages for bigger sizes and the clothes are a lot cheaper too.

Getting back to Central Festival. Some great shops and a whole floor of eating places along with my favourite place to eat ” The Loft”. Live cooking stations with food from around the world. All happy staff too. You take a cardboard swipe card given on arrival to any of the cooking stations, choose your dish. That’s the hard part as there is so much choice you don’t know what to have. hand over your card they swipe it and a waiter will find you at your table and serve. Delicous smoothies and fruit juices too. Oh and of course, don’t miss desert. Mango with sticky rice, mmmm….. or how about a nice crepe with mango and ice cream. Can you see we like mango’s.  Finish off with a nice cappuccino or espresso coffee.

There is also a lovely view from this restaurant, looking out over the sea. Watch the parrasalers or the jet skiers pass by. There is even an outside seating area for the not so hot days with a lovely sea breeze.

Once you are full and have enjoyed the view take your card to the cashier and they will give you the bill. Painless really and a very relaxing lunch or early dinner.

There is also a Cinema here at Central. I have not been myself but when my daughter visited last year with her friends they thought it was the “coolest” cinema they had ever been to. They went to the VIP screen. Wow, big soft comfy sofas to sit on. snacks and drinks all included in the price. The next time they went to a different screen and instead of seats, there were beds. The whole experience was great she said. She felt like they had been treated like stars!!!!! thing is I would probably fall asleep!!!!!

Mikes Mall located between Beach Road and 2nd Road. This is mainly full of clothing copies or should we say similar to  designer labels. Great for us that are going living here. We can have all the designer look a like labels at a fraction of the cost. It also has bedding, linen and lots of items for the home. You need to barter though. Don’t pay the first price, its all part of the purchase to barter.

The 3rd Mall at this moment slips my memory but it is worth a look in. Located further along from Mikes mall to the side of the Marriott Hotel. Again located between Beach Road and 2nd Road. It also houses Ripley’s Believe It or Not and  Tussauds Wax works. A much quieter environment that the busy Central Festival. Quite a few restaurants and a very cheap eatery upstairs with live cooking stations with some fab outside comfy seats with a great view over the bay. Don’t forget the camera for this one. I took the four girls out for lunch and I got change back from 1000 bhat. so less than ten pounds for 5 of us to eat.

When I remember the name I will come back and insert it.

D.I.Y & HOMEWARE SHOPS

You will be spoilt for choice for these types of shops, they are everywhere. The biggest is probably HomePro, located right next door to Carrifour in the same shopping mall. Everything from lights, bathmats, shelving to paint. There are loads of staff to help you too and we have found that they know there business.

Homeworks is another DIY/Homeware shop located near Big C on Sukhumvit  just before the turning to Pattaya Tai. There are also some great little shops in the same area selling ornaments, large vases, fountains, tables and chairs etc., Good to have a visit just so you can see whats there.

There is also an office stationary shop at the same site.

There are too many shops to list really for these types of things, Index, Central Festival Department Store (not for DIY but for homeware). Glass shop at the top of Pattaya North Road. Lots of DIY shops along Sukhumvit.

Many small shops and stalls selling bedding, linen, cushions etc but remember to barter.

Electrical items are really expensive here, so bring as many as you can from home.