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Generally ,when people think about shopping, they think Chaweng or Lamai but, actually, Nathon has a lot to offer no matter what you are looking to buy. Nathon has a myriad of little curiosity- type shops both on the main drag though the town and in the little streets between the main road and the beach road. The old wooden Chinese style buildings sell all sorts of things and often at rock bottom prices. There are clothes shops that sell the same sort of goods you will find in Chaweng, but at a fraction of the price. There are gift shops, handicraft shops, tailors, a shoe maker’s shop, souvenir shops, art galleries, kitchen ware shops, a couple of supermarkets, one with an excellent range of imported goods and there are lots of cheap restaurants selling both local and western dishes.
Ruang Thong, found about half way down the main drag, has a superb range of specialty coffees and they make some of the most elaborately decorated cakes you will find anywhere it the world! The pier makes an interesting walk. It is not only the car ferries that use Nathon, lots of colourful fishing boats can be seen there and there is a fresh food market every nice next to the pier that is well worth a visit. The markets both in and just beyond Nathon are also bursting with fresh local produce.
A shop that is really worth a visit is the OTOP shop just a few kilometers south of Nathon. OTOP stands for One Tambon One Product which is a local entrepreneurship that was developed by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra during the 2001 – 2006 Thai Rak Thai government. The program is designed to support unique, locally made and marketed products in each Tambon district. The inspiration for this project came from the successful Japanese One Village One Product. One of the wonderful aspects of this scheme is that it has offered more than 26,000 participants the opportunity to upgrade their skills and knowledge for the development of better quality products. You certainly won’t find better quality than you find here if you are looking for goods that have been made entirely from the local coconut trees. The OTOP shop has a vast array of household goods such as serving bowls, cooking utensils, wine goblets, pots, cups and tankards. There are some lovely lamps, jewellery made entirely from coconuts. Condiment pots, children’s toys, wind chimes and so much more. The shop is well worth a visit, the prices are incredibly low and the service is warm and friendly.