PEr FYI

January 7, 2017

Premium outlet Cha-Am, Hua Hin…..a ghost town disguised as an outlet mall

If you are a seasoned shopper, you would probably love to shop in outlet malls.

There is not enough big names to pull the shoppers into this premium outlet. Although it has names like GEOX, Billabong, ECCO, Triumph, Samsonite, Lacoste, everything isn’t a bargain, finding a deal in here requires a little work – and it sorely lacks the appeal of outlet malls. It’s simply just dull and very quiet. Practically deserted.The staff standing by idly while they wait for something to do. Very dull with no atmosphere. Zero, ziltch, nil, nothing, nada.

It’s just a vast expanse of brick and mortar emporiums that many Thai and tourists no longer visit. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 22, 2015

Premium outlet Phuket…I was uber-disappointed!

I write a lot of lists telling shoppers the best outlet malls to visit around the world. But how about where not to go?

Premium Outlet Phuket is supposed to be THE premium outlet mall in Phuket with outlet stores from 300 brand names, Lacoste, Guy Laroche, Hush Puppies, Warner Bros, Levi’s, Nautica, Adidas, Nike and Thai brands, so I was all psyched about what I might find there. I was disappointed with the lack of selection and deals. It was one let down after another. Many of the stores caused me to walk in and out.

Regardless of the downfalls, I did managed to save money – a pair of Geox shoes –  was the only thing that made the trip worthwhile.

I feel for Phuket. It deserves a better outlet mall with real deals. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 7, 2010

Yeoju Premium Outlets, Seoul…a disappointing trip

I have mixed feelings about this place. The place is sprawling and carries the major designer brands such as Burberry, Coach, Lacoste, Gucci, Armani,Zegna, Dunhill, Boss, Polo Ralph Lauren and Salvatore Ferragamo. Yeoju also carries Korean brands such as Kuho, Kim Young Joo and Hazzys

A little more information would be helpful for us to find our way to the outlet. Other than the shuttle which leaves at 11am and arrives at around 12.15pm, there is not much of information for other early morning shoppers who want to maximise the opening hours of 10.00am. We eventually found our way there the hard way: we took a subway from Anguk to Express Bus Terminal station, hopped onto an express bus on the gyeonggu line headed for Yeoju. The buses depart every 30 minutes. There at the bus stop in Yeoju, we took a taxi to the outlet. 

The return shuttle from the outlet to Seoul was scheduled only for 6.00pm. Neither the information counter staff nor the bus driver was proficient enough in English to tell us how to book the tickets in advance. So, not wanting to risk waiting till 6.00pm (and not getting a seat) when all our shopping’s done by 3.00pm, we took a public bus to Yeoju town and hopped onto an express bus headed to Gangnam, Seoul. From there, we taxied to our hotel.

Two of us came away with only one (yup, you read it right…1) item. I’d noticed many customers go home empty-handed as well. That’s because most shops have stock that is limited in size. Discount-wise, it’s only so-so. Nothing to rave about. At the end of the day, it was a disappointing trip. Hopes were high, wallets were heavy, but there just wasn’t anything to buy. This is still the true truth and I am still saying it as it is…

June 6, 2010

Parndorf Designer Outlet, Vienna…unreliable shuttle service

Parndorf isn’t a particularly well-known destination within Austria, but it does receive a few travelers, most of whom make a brief stop to see the Outlet Center.

Parndorf Designer Outlet  has a shuttle service every Friday and Saturday. Costs €7 return trip. Pick-up point at  Ringstrasse across the road from the Opera, Operngasse 4, Wien.

But be warned…the unreliability of the service means you could be standing in the cold (in my case, as it was in March) for 90 minutes. The shuttle was scheduled for hourly runs. By the time Bert and I arrived at the stop at 1.20pm, it was still a good 40 minutes to go before 2.00pm. There were no seats, nor shelter, so we gamely waited by the side of the road. But 2.00pm came and went and still there was no sign of the shuttle. By 2.30pm, half the crowd had dispersed…some having given up, others, seeked shelter from the cold. The shuttle duly arrived at 3.00pm. No apologies made, no explanations given.

I like malls/shopping centers but honestly don’t care for the ones here. The shops in general just aren’t as nice as some I’ve been to in other countries. Sure, they’ve got known high-end names such as Lacoste, Armani, etc., and medium range ones like Benetton, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. The goods are cheaper since they were mainly the previous season’s ‘hot’ fashion, now considered as passe’. Nothing particularly special.

It does take some patience to look around since the area is huge! One positive point about Parndorf is that you can freely speak English in all the shops there. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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