Turtle village is perhaps the only shopping mall on the strip of resort hotels along Mai Khao beach. This might make some visitors to feel urged to give it a visit – don’t! That was exactly what we did and here’s why you shouldn’t.
Transportation to the mall is usually provided for, as there’s a sole tuk-tuk dedicated to ferrying shoppers from the nearby resort hotels to the mall. As there’s only one tuk-tuk on the job and the journey to the mall from Sala Phuket where we stayed is 8-10 minutes long, there is usually a good wait for it. To get the tuk-tuk back to the hotel, as a result, is also a hit-or-miss business as it may well be off picking up customers at the far side. Some earlier reviewers reported that you don’t get the journey back if you don’t shop. We did not encounter this problem, although we did get some ice-cream at Swensen’s. The tuk-tuk ride is free and necessary, as despite what some may claim, it is a long walk from Sala Phuket / Renaissance.
On arrival a guy from Anantara (?) greeted us and claimed they’ve got special offer for us – a free excursion of our choice or some treatment at the Anantara spa (?). We were subsequently let go after he found out neither of us were over 30-years old (more likely because we are a young couple and it didn’t look like there’s much to scam from us!). The whole incident felt strange to me: he claimed the special offer was a deal with four of the hotels in the area (but there are only four I suppose) and the hotel staff did not tell us there is any such deals available, nor was it advertised in the hotel lobby. Felt like a scam to me.
On the premise there are only a few shops that you might want to spend at – a Swensen’s for some ice-cream, a café for some coffee, and a bar. The other shops were either souvenir / artwork shops with high price tags which are not justified in my eyes, sportswear shops which are simply expensive (I’m not paying 1,000 baht for a t-shirt thank you), and a supermarket which blatantly tries to rip you off.
For us, it was two hours wasted. As evidenced by the lack of visitors, most may already know or are warned against visiting. I would strongly recommend against visiting this place. Unless you want to spend a couple hours to get some Swensen’s ice-cream.
Address: 889 Moo3, Turtle Village, Mai Khao, Phuket, Thailand