Phuket 101 Blog - The Phuket Blog with Hundreds of Photos

Phuket Blog
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"

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2015 - 12 to 21 October 2015

Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Vegetarian Festival in Phuket
Bamboo pole rising day at Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2015

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2015 (or Nine Emperor Gods Festival) is held between 12 and 21 October 2015. This festival happens once a year during the ninth lunar month and is one of the most auspicious events on the island. Crowds of devotes assemble in all the Chinese shrines on the island, followed by a horde of photographs avid to get the photo of their life.

Kata Viewpoint (Karon Viewpoint)

Kata Viewpoint in Phuket
Kata Beach
Kata Beach

Kata Viewpoint

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.

Phuket Airport - Good To Know about Phuket International Airport

Phuket Airport

Phuket Airport

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.

Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay - John Gray Seacanoe

Phang Nga Sea Canoe
Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay

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.

10 Best (VERY) Local Restaurants in Phuket Town

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 Kata Thani

The Shore at Katathani Phuket

The Shore on Kata Noi BeachThe 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.

10 Reasons Why We Can't Leave Thailand

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!

1) The Beaches

Phuket is blessed with more than 35 amazing beaches and more islands than one could count in a lifetime. And that's for Phuket only! Trying to count all the dream beaches around Thailand would be impossible. White powder sandy beaches with turquoise blue waters lined by swaying palm trees don't only belong to postcards… there are real here, in Thailand. (Even if you are in Bangkok, you are just an hour away from paradise).  Read more...

2) The People

The 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

Rawai Beach

Rawai Beach

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

Kata Noi Beach

KataNoi BeachKata 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 in Phuket

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... 

"Stop everything and look at this baby elephant's first time on the beach"
How many times did you see such catch line?

4 things you should know about these photos:
  1. NO it's not the first time he sees the sea! The baby elephant actually comes here to play everyday
  2. In 90% of the cases I was not credited for it,  someone removed my name from my photos: Booooh!
  3. The photos were shot on Bangtao beach, Phuket Thailand.
  4. The baby elephant name is 'Lucky' and he must be 4 years old.
So how did it become viral:

It all happened on a casual lunch with friends  on Bangtao beach in Phuket. I saw a small elephant walking alone toward the water and I of course thought he would just stop there and wait. But no, once approaching the sea he just started to run faster and rammed into the waves like the kid he was! He came in and out several times; his mahout was casually waiting nearby, apparently used to the elephant's behaviour. The elephant suddenly did something really funny, totally unexpected: he put his head into the sand and pushed himself forward. I happened to carry a 28-300 mm lens on that day, giving me this interesting perspective... and the photo of a lifetime!

Top 10 Best Everything of Phuket

The Best of Phuket

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, the Fun Stuff, the Useful Stuff, the Silly Stuff... and the Weird Stuff. There is a lot of research and work in each of them, so you won't have to! We hope you enjoy it and share it with your friends too!


10 Best Things to See in Phuket

If you are as lazy as I am, you don't want to read twenty pages to start your holidays somewhere. These are 10 of Phuket all time favorites, if you can fit some of them in your holidays, you will have great memories... Read more!
_ Things to Do in Phuket

Phuket Weekend Market (Talad Tairod)

Phuket Weekend Market in Phuket Town

Phuket Weekend Market

Phuket weekend Market
The Phuket Weekend Market is the name given by tourists to the immense Phuket night bazaar located near 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!