Phuket Blog - 21 years of Phuket exploration in a photo blog for lazy readers and Phuket lovers, no ads, just real experience! Get a shortcut to all 35 beaches of Phuket, places you shouldn't miss, tons of travel tips and secrets, Thai food recommendation, naughty nightlife and all our Top 10 Everything Phuket! You can also enjoy our daily photos on our facebook and Twitter. Phuket 101 is pronounced "Pooket one-oh-one"
Kata Viewpoint is a strange place: last time I took a photo of it, it was called 'Kata Viewpoint' and now they call it 'Karon Viewpoint'! If you know just a bit of Phuket geography, you'll realize how odd it is to rename it this way when in fact, it is far away from Karon Beach, and way past Kata Beach. Probably has to do with the Karon district or someone had too much time on his hands.
Note that Phuket airport is going through a major upgrade and will be completed by July 2015. Extensions look massive and hopefully will solve many of the current issues such as parking.
Arriving at Phuket Airport - Everyone knows that the most stressful time for any traveler resides between the leaving home and arriving in a (satisfactory) hotel room. Everything in between is just a long list of things to worry about: taxi, luggage, lost passport, how far is the gate, why is the queue so long, etc. We can't predict everything, but at least we can give you few hints about Phuket International Airport.
Phang Nga Bay by Kayak
Phang Nga Bay is without a doubt Phuket and Thailand most fascinating landscape, an ‘Out of this world’ scenery you must absolutely see with your own eyes if you crossed half the globe just to come to here. The best way to explore it is in a silent kayak slowly gliding among giant cliffs. We have been in Phang Nga a dozen times and still we are still amazed. John Gray SeaCanoe may not be the cheapest company going around Phang Nga but he is the one who discovered it decades ago and made it accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, good ideas are hard to find but easy to copy.
Beware! This is not the trendy section of Phuket Restaurants! This is all about the food, only the food and nothing but the food! Here are the Top 10 Most Popular (very) Local restaurants in Phuket. None are fancy and all are cheap: they don't care about the decor and they don't have time to smile, it's all about efficiency and taste! Some of them might appear dirty if you are not prepared, so if you don't like crowd, plastic plates, toilet paper as napkins and ice cubes in your beer (and sometimes MSG), you probably will not print this page to take it with you. But if you want to find out what makes people queue in Phuket... get ready for some experience!
This list is of course very subjective, we are sure there are other places that would make it to the Top 10 but here are the best known local shops since two decades. I also spent some time building a map at the end of the page to help you locating these fancy places.
The Shore at Katathani Phuket
The Shore at Katathani is one of the most exclusive hotels on Phuket, probably one of our best experience on the island. The hotel combines effortlessly all the ingredients for a perfect escape: a location right on a beach, villas with jaw dropping views, genuinely caring staff, an excellent restaurant, a good spa and countless small details that makes the difference between just a regular ‘hotel stay’ and a truly unforgettable holiday.
The location is obviously what impresses first, right on and above the secluded beach of Kata Noi, a superb white sandy bay that has remained unspoiled because it’s not on any main road. Most villas offer views on this bay, you just never get bored to it, so make sure you book a sea-view villa! The villas are truly beautiful, designed to take full advantage of these unique panoramas and with an obvious attention to small details.
From your own infinity pool to the vintage bathroom, the personalized flower arrangements and even the Lavazza espresso machine, everything is tastefully designed to make your room a nest for a romantic holiday, and you won’t want to leave. Best of all is again this incredible view right from your bed: open your eyes and in front of you clouds are lazily drifting above the ocean and the iconic Kata beach island… you won’t even have to raise your head from your pillow. Sunrise, sunset and clouds drifting above the turquoise sea, trust me, just this worth every Baht.
|What makes us come back to Thailand countless time? What made me settle in Thailand and Phuket some 21 years ago? We asked ourselves and asked our readers; the amount of answers were overwhelming... There are so many answers to this question, we had to pick the 10 most important. Of course there are some exception, some didn't like it, some had unfortunate experiences and not all people are good, but the vast majority are. So at the end of the day, why do people still come to Thailand? Because there are no other countries in the world offering the 10 things below... and a lot more!|
2) The PeopleThe first thing you notice when landing in Thailand is this strange habit Thai people have to smile at you for no particular reason. It's surprising at first but becomes quickly contagious. They are also surprisingly polite, prompt to share their food and very cheerful. After the tsunami I was amazed by their resilience in the face of such unimaginable events. They are friendly, tolerant, respectful and easy going… and isn't it nicer to live in a country where people are healthy, smiling and good looking?
Rawai Beach, located at the south end of Phuket island, is not a swimming beach but offers beautiful views on the many nearby islands in a peaceful local atmosphere. It's a great place to enjoy great seafood be the seaboard and a good starting point to do some island hopping.
When driving south, the left side of the main pier is known as the 'Gypsy Village', where long established fishermen in rather precarious houses make a living of fishing, boat chartering and selling shells. The right side of the bay is an anchorage for dozens of longtails boats and speedboats. And the far right side is often the starting point for good kite surfing when wind permits.
Kata Noi Beach
Kata Noi Beach is a beautiful little bay if you want to be near Kata Beach action but stay away from the usual tourist herds. This nice wide strand of white sand has incredibly clear blue waters during the high season and fortunately, its 'out of the way' location kept it relatively quiet. Unless you know about it, you probably would miss it. Except the beach itself and two resorts, not much is going on around Kata Noi Beach, the usual tailor, convenience store, massage and few bars seem to be waiting for the hotel's guests.
Laem Singh Beach
Laem Singh Beach - Weather is cloudy but you really wanted to go to the beach today... don't give up yet! Laem Singh Beach happens to look better in this weather. Beaches are always associated with blue sky, blue sea and sunshine, but Laem Singh has this beautiful tropical feel that goes well with any weather. It's like being in the Caribbean, a bit nostalgic, very green with palm trees leaning over the sand and you'll have the beach almost for yourself.
Baby Elephant Playing on the Beach: The real story behind the photos (and how I became anonymously famous)
Baby elephant playing on the beach : The real story behind it...
So you are coming to Phuket and you are a lazy reader? No shame! Most people actually are! We travel quite a lot and we know how it feels like to go to a place you never visited before... where to start, what to see, what not to miss? As a matter of fact this also applies to places you visited many times: What should you do the second time, what did you miss the first time, what can you still do that you haven't done yet?
So we compiled here all our TOP 10s and divided them in five sections:
The REALLY GOOD STUFF
Phuket Weekend Market
Central Festival in Phuket Town, and occasionally it's even called 'Phuket Chatuchak' by reference to the giant Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok. Thais just call it 'Talad Tairod’, which literally means 'Car Boot Sale'. Actually 'Chaofa Variety Market' seems to be the official name written on some signs. And big it sure is... crowded, hot, fun and overwhelming! You can walk for hours looking at this huge bric-a-brac that makes this kind of market fun, everything you don't need is here... and most of it is fake!