Super Cheap has been entirely rebuilt and looks quite different now. I never thought it would be writing about ‘Super Cheap Phuket’, but after a recent visit I thought this place was really amazing, we should organize a giant treasure hunt… I was writing that ‘Phuket Price Check‘ story, trying to find 10 basic items I had written down on my list, but gave up half way when I suddenly realized there was no way I was going to find half of them, even after an hour of intense exploration! Oh they were here… somewhere; there was no doubt about it! I wrote once that you would learn more about Thai local culture in a fresh market than in any museum, then this applies particularly well to Super Cheap.
Super Cheap Phuket is not your everyday supershop… it is a humongous overgrown gigantic monster warehouse selling every possible item you would find in a fresh market, a bazaar, pharmacy, stationary and a construction storehouse. It is a labyrinth of ‘everything you need to live and open a local business’. It probably would never pass any international construction standards… The main area appears quite ‘normal’, with very high ceilings and concrete pillars, and from there it seems to have grown in any and all direction according to the need of the moment… The diapers are selling well? They’ll build a diaper wing overnight! How? Exploring deeper will reveal pillars made of rubber tree trunks supporting zinc roofs, storages and even offices.
It might be an odd idea, but you should go and have a look by yourself… It’s gigantic, eclectic, confusing, overwhelming, colorful… a mix of Ali Baba’s cave and Indiana Jones warehouse. You won’t find any luxurious items in Super Cheap, not even fake brands. This is where everyday people come for their everyday needs, business or shop necessities or own retail shop.There seem to be a kind of logic in the way goods are organized at Super Cheap Phuket, but once you start looking for a specific item, things can become complicated. The entrance passes through a lot of food stalls, often deep-fried dishes, then once inside the ‘recognizable areas are fishmongers, veggies and meat corner, stationary and pharmacy. Alcohol is well hidden in a back corner and then you are on your own, walking up and down endless tall rows of washing powders and shampoos (these seems to be the most popular items).
It is not Jungceylon, it’s not Central Festival, it’s not even Tesco Lotus, but you will get an unusual angle of Thai life. You might even find stuff you need and best of all: it is without a doubt the cheapest shop in Phuket!Super Cheap Phuket is located on Thepkasatree road, from Phuket Town, take the direction of Airport and drive only few kilometers out of town, it will be on your left. Note that there are now plenty of small ‘Super Cheap’ mini stores, same brand and also quite cheap and well stocked, but these are just large conveniences stores.
Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world in my 20s and never stopped until I finally settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 22 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I now manage 30 online travel guides in Asia and beyond, including Phuket.com, Bangkok.com and Bali-Indonesia.com