The Baantai Road, which runs from Thong Sala in Koh Phangan to the turning to Thong Nai Pan and thereafter to Haad Rin Town, has the best range of shopping on the island. These are the highlights:
Koh Phangan’s first ‘cash and carry’ outlet aimed towards the catering trade. The good news is that you don’t need any kind of membership to use Makro. Makro stocks the largest range of quality foods on the island. Particularly noteworthy is the bakery which is located on the left hand side as you enter the shop. Here they sell French baguette, croissants, European style sliced bread, donuts, cakes, rolls, burger baps and other bakery products. Unlike the bread in 7-Eleven and many other outlets in Koh Phangan, the Makro bakery caters towards Western tastes and the bakery products taste pretty much the same as they do in Europe or the North America.
Makro also has a good cooked meat, bacon and cheese section, an extensive range of frozen products and a good stock of brand name imported dry, tinned and in a jar products. You can buy English mustard, products for Mexcian food, Italian pastas and sauces, and products for Japanese food. The range of vegetable and fruits is also extensive and there is a good spice and curry paste section at the back.
Two tips for going shopping: bring your own bag as they charge for them, and remember that many of the products need to be weighed (particularly the fruit and vegetables) and labelled before you bring them to the counter.
Big C Market
This is a traditional style supermarket, with a large forecourt area with shops and food outlets. Big C Market is a good place to stop for a take-out lunch. They have a cooked food counter which is very cheap and a bakery with a fairly good range of savoury and sweet products. For those of you hankering after Western style food, Big C carries a range of French products such as cheese, ham and some tinned products like cassoluet. If you want to cook you can buy pasta, sauces, meats, vegetables, spices and all the basic things for cooking here. They even have a section where they sell cooking equipment. This is a useful shop if you plan to stay in Koh Phangan for a long time.
Big A Supermarket
This is Koh Phangan’s first supermarket. It stocks the biggest range of imported products on the island. Amongst the things you find there are a large range of imported wines, spirits and even French champagne. They have lots of dry products like pasta and tin/jar products like Italian cooking sauces. In the chilled cabinets they stock the island’s best range of cooked meats and cheeses. The bread is good also as is the range of jams, spreads and breakfast cereals. Big A is not the cheapest place in Koh Phangan to buy most things except tobacco products. If you want to stock up on rolling tobacco then this is the place to come.
Limpipong Kitchenware and Healthfood
Located adjacent to Homemart just before the Baantai Road reaches Thong Sala this is place to buy kitchenware of all kinds. They stock plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, pots, pans and most other kitchen accessories. It is not expensive and fairly good quality. They also sell the island’s best range of spices and dried pulses. If you fancy cooking Indian vegetarian food this is the place to come and buy your lentils, beans and spices. It is also good for Italian food ingredients.
Nearly in Thong Sala they literally sell everything you would need to build a house. Homemart is a modern Western style DIY super store with a builder’s merchants at the rear. The Western speaking staff will be more than happy to advise you on what to buy for everything from repairing a broken tap to fitting a new kitchen. Anything you need to repair something you can buy it here. If you are staying for a while and need to do a few DIY jobs consider applying for a Homemart Card which will entitle you to a 2.5% discount on all purchases.
Located opposite the turning to Thong Nai Pan, this pharmacy stocks a good range of products ranging from suntan lotion to vital medicines. If you need a particular type of medicine you can order it here.
Opposite Homemart Fish Shop sells fishing rods and accessories. If you fancy having a go at coastal sea fishing this is the place to come. Fishing rods are on sale from 500 THB upwards.
This Western run shop near Baantai Village (located near the turning to 7-Eleven) is run by a European ex-pat living on the Island. He can fix computers, sells software and accessories and can order computers for you at a reasonable price.