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Provisioning, etc

Almost anything you need, or crave, you can find on the island. If it's western food products, you may have to dig a little, but a number of small businesses cater to the needs of cruisers and other foreigners. Provisioning will probably require your own transportation since shops and suppliers are sprinkled around the southern half of the island.

Lotus Tesco
A large supermarket and shopping centre, about 8km southwest of the Boat Lagoon, at the junction of Chaloemphrakiat Road (Route 402) and the road to Kathu/Patong. Supermarket doesn't have a large selection of western food products, but you won't starve. Mall has the usual selection of shoes, liquor, electronics, doughnuts, McDonald's, but not to be missed is its Home Pro store which has a good selection of power tools and other fun. Tsutaya rents DVDs and VCDs. Post office. Food court on the upper level. Open 0900 to 2400.

Note: Food courts are a Thai institution; there is a million of them throughout the country. You pay a cashier, say 50 or 100 baht, and you are given coupons or a swipe card. Eat/drink what you want from any stall in the court, then take your card or remaining coupons back to the cashier for a refund. Cheap and usually decent Thai food, if sometimes a little uninspired.

Big C
Another large shopping centre, about 1km south of Tesco Lotus on Chaloemphrakiat Road, on the west side of the road, just past Phuket International Hospital. Supermarket and a variety of shops. Small gourmet shop at the supermarket's southern-most entrance provides an idea of western goods available. Deli has a decent selection of pre-cooked Thai food sold in plastic bags. Lower level has a food court (coupons good only on day issued, so cash out before you leave), shoe store and lots of telephone shops/stalls if you are looking for a phone. Open 0900 to 2400.

A good supermarket for western products, located on the ground level of Robinson department store in commercial district on Tilok Uthit 1 Road in southern Phuket Town. Multi-level department store has large selection of name-brand clothes, housewares, etc.

Big One
Not so big supermarket on ground level of Ocean Shopping Mall, next to the Robinson department store. Mall has a variety of shops, including a snooker hall, movie theatre and Internet cafe (up the stairs across from the theatre).

Other supermarkets
There are many small supermarkets all over the island. For sailors: There is a small supermarket near the entrance to the Boat Lagoon. There are a few shops in the village near the Yacht Haven, as well as on the highway nearby, and a couple larger shops on the road outside the airport. At Ao Chalong, there is a supermarket about 100 metres north of the traffic circle on Chaofa East Road, and another about 200 metres west of the circle on the road to Karon/Kata.

Fresh markets
The main fresh produce market is on Ranong Road, just east of the traffic circle in the centre of Phuket Town, where local buses and song taews gather. Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and a variety of pre-cooked, pickled, preserved and dried foods and spices. Open daily.

Almost every community has a market, either daily or on specific days. Produce is much cheaper than found in the supermarkets. Ao Chalong has a daily market, about 100 metres northwest from the traffic circle on Chaofa West Road. The village on the highway about 3km north of the Yacht Haven has a fresh produce market on Mondays and Thursdays.

Specialty foods
Phuket Meat
First-rate butcher with a huge selection of domestic and imported meats, sausages, cold cuts, block cheese and other deli items, as well as seafood. Christmas turkeys can be ordered. Ask for price list. Will pre-portion, vacuum pack and freeze large orders. Free delivery. At 16/14-16 Moo 3 Chaofa East Road, about half way between Chalong and Phuket Town. Call 076 264 043-4, fax 076 264 360, or contact Ann on mobile 01 958 1050. Email [email protected]

Deli Supermarket
Good selection of local and imported foods, cheese, coffee, meat, bakery, great wine selection. In Patong Beach, at 17/30 Rat-U-thit Rd, about 100 metres south of Phra Baramee Road. Open daily 1000 to 2100, Sunday 1100 to 2100. Call 076 342 275, fax 076 344 314.

Food Glorious Food
Deli with good selection of meats, cheese and wine. Large wine store next door. On Chaofa East Road, about 1km from Chalong circle, across from Mike's Bikes.

Sin & Lee
Local and imported foods, including decent selection of meat, cheese, wine and coffee. In Phuket Town, at 49 Thalang Road.

Lady Pie
Australian Susan Usher makes authentic Aussie meat pies in her Kamala home for delivery, fresh or frozen, anywhere on the island. About 15 different dinner pies on the menu, most 60 baht, also cheese cake and apple pie. Free delivery on orders of six or more pies. Call 01 617 2466 or email [email protected] for a menu.

Water and ice
Thais are very particular about the water they drink. If they are drinking it, you can too. Water in roadside restaurants and noodle stands is safe to drink, or they wouldn't be serving it.

Phuket's tap water is not safe to drink, with the exception of the spring-fed water supply at the Yacht Haven. At the Boat Lagoon, you can arrange through the marina office to have 20-litre bottles of water (10 baht each) delivered to your boat and poured in your tanks. Bottled water is available cheaply everywhere.

Not all ice is safe. Bagged ice sold in shops and convenience stores is okay. But when buying ice blocks or bulk bagged ice, always ask. Use gestures if you don't know the words. Thais will understand, and will tell you the truth. For bulk ice, look for shops with large plastic bins outside.

Service stations are the cheapest places to buy diesel. Both the Boat Lagoon and Yacht Haven marinas have fuel docks, selling diesel and petrol/gasoline. There is a fuel and water barge in Ao Chalong — arrange through Suda's Bar, just back from the beach.

Near the Boat Lagoon. Directly across the highway from the marina entrance is a small lane, beside the restaurant known to liveaboards as "green chairs". The gas distributor is 400 metres down the road. Will fill while you wait.

Sold in a lot of places. Ask around. Someone will know someone who sells it. Usually clear and quality is generally pretty good.

Royal Thai Navy charts are excellent, though the paper is not the quality of Admiralty charts. Available from quite a few locations, including from the Yacht Haven office, Phuket Marina Services at the Boat Lagoon, and from Ocean Sports.

Fishing supplies
Ocean Sports
Excellect inventory of high-quality fishing gear and supplies, charts and other equipment. Also does repairs. In Chalong, on Chaofa Road, about 1km north of the Chalong traffic circle, across from Mike's Bikes. Call 076 282 055, or owner Moo on mobile 01 844 1745.

Water Sport Shop
Well-stocked with rods, reels, lures and other supplies. 59/14-15 Bangkok Road, next to GC Huat.

Top Copy
Copies and binds books, charts. Little English spoken, but they've done it all before. About 100 metres from northern end of Suthat Road (extension of Montri Road). Not to be confused with Top Copy 2 nearby.

Self-service laundries are rare. Many shops and homes take in laundry, usually charging by the kilogram, 30-40 baht, extra for ironing. There are laundries at Yacht Haven and Boat Lagoon (beside the supermarket), as well as nearby. At Ao Chalong, try Suda's Bar or Laut Laundry, up the lane behind Suda's.

Kitchen and cleaning supplies, and lots more. Stocks just about anything you might need in plastic, including dishes, buckets, storage bins and cool boxes. Also has cutlery, utensils, cooking pots, glassware, crockery, brushes and sponges. 34 Bangkok Road, Phuket Town, between GC Huat and market traffic circle. Small shops in front of entrance also stock plastic items, including light rain gear.

Used books
South Wind Books
Huge selection of used books in many European languages and Japanese. Exchanges. On Phang Nga Road, near Yaowarat Road, in Phuket Town. Open 0900-1900, closed Sunday.

Good Earth Second Hand Bookshop
Good selection of books in various languages, tea, coffee, souvenirs. Pleasant place to hang out. At 114/52 Taina Road, Kata Centre. Email [email protected]

Used Books
Small shop crammed with books, several languages. On Chaofa East Road, just south of turnoff to Phuket Zoo.

Thai Language
Island Learning Centre (ILC)
Located about 200 metres west of the Chalong traffic circle on the road to Karon/Kata. Uses its own workbooks. A good system which builds vocabulary quickly. 3,500 baht for 15 hours of private instruction. Also has a good selection of used books for sale.

Sujitra Mingpijarn
Very good, qualified teacher. Su speaks English (which she also teaches). Private lessons, 200 baht an hour. Call mobile 09 289 1502 or email [email protected] If at the Yacht Haven, Su spends weekends with family nearby and will come to the marina.

Patong Language Institute
Phuket's largest Thai language school, off Soi Bangla, with a second outlet in Karon. 3800 baht for 20 hours of private instruction.

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