Phuket 101 Blog - A Phuket Blog with Hundreds of Photos

Phuket Blog
Phuket Blog - 20 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". NOTE: I'm not a travel agent but if you need help customizing a tour around Phuket, write to my friend 'Khun Jiew' at:

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2014 (Nine Emperor Gods Festival) from September 23rd to October 3rd 2014

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

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2014 (or Nine Emperor Gods Festival) is held between September 23rd to October 3rd. 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.

Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Phuket
Devote entering trance
All along both sides of streets leading to shrines, food stands display tons of vegetarian dishes, in all imaginable shapes and forms, but often having a similar taste. Once I saw a full collection of imitation sushi's all made of rice and tofu! (see photo) The irony is that it is actually hard to find vegetables, all you can eat are noodles, deep fried stuff and even tofu shaped like... meat, but no vegetables. In addition, many restaurants are closed, so if you are not into deep fried and tofu, get ready to drive or to starve.

Extreme piercings
Weeks before the Vegetarian Festival events start, yellow flags and Chinese flags bloom on road sides and intersections at Chinese temple proximity. Stages, decorations and parade accessories with appear at temples, and dozens of food stands are erected nearby. The whole event is heavily sponsored.

Daily parade in the old Phuket streets
The Festival main event then start and multitude of worshipers, all dressed in white or yellow, unite in shrines for the first event marking the opening of the ceremony: the giant bamboo pole rising, meant to invite divinities to come down to earth. The devotees wear bright and very ornamented outfits And then you are set for a full week of firecrackers, parades, piercings... and of course, vegetarian food..

Each day of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, a procession start from one of the main Phuket shrines and thousands of people will pay respect to ancestors. During this entire week everyone follow ten principles: mostly wear white, do not eat meat, do not drink alcohol, do no have sexual activities, etc... two of them include women having periods should not attend nor even watch the festival.

Sushi anyone? it's all rice and tofu, no fish!
The purpose of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival itself which seems to originate in the 1800, seems to differ from the Chinese event which occurs in several countries of South East Asia. Here, the worshipers will follow these ten principles to cleanse their spirit while the devotees will go in procession, self inflicting all kinds of tortures to shift other worshipers evil onto themselves in order to bring luck back on the community. Sweet...

Tofu or noodles...where are the veggies!
It is to be seen once in your life, but with such eerie views, it attracts a crowd of photographers all wanting their share of weird photo to take back home. So from early morning, worshipers will enter a trance at the shrine and pierce their cheek with the most extreme object possible. I always wondered what could possibly motivate the choice of a scale warship model.

Anyway here you go, I'll post here the unavoidable piercing photos that everyone has already seen or has shot. I'll spare you the gross 'tongue sliding on a knife' one, it's too much.

More challenging are the photos of the fire cracker parade, with the tremendous amount of suffocating smoke and the totally deafening noise. Also the 'walk on fire' is really hard to photograph. First you have to save a spot near the burning charcoal early not to have anyone in front of you, which means sweating for at least an hour. Second: the 'walking' is more of a jump as fast as you can above the charcoal, so with the lack of light, taking sharp images difficult, so get ready with your fill flash to freeze the moment.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival Calendar and Schedule (to be confirmed)

Photos of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Jui Tui Shrine at night
Last day parade
Phuket Vegetarian Festival Weird Piercing collection - Scroll at your own risk :D
Boat model
Bike wheel
Bunch of electric cords
Shock absorber
I spared you the gross ones but you get the picture
Few women in the procession
1 to 9 on Phuket Vegetarian Festival Map are Chinese Shrines where Phuket Vegetarian Festival events are happening followed by other chinese shrines of interest

12 Things to Do in Phuket When it RAINS! (Updated!)

Things to Do in Phuket When it Rains

What to do on a rainy day in Phuket

It's not all gloom in Phuket when it rains... as any tropical countries you still can expect some good sunny days in rainy season, but better be prepared if it lasts. Here is my little list of suggestions... maybe you should print it and keep it somewhere in your bags! Note that you will need a car to do some of these...

Top 10 Best Everything of Phuket

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

Best Hotels in Phuket

Best Hotels in Phuket

Best Hotels in Phuket

Here is our list of the best hotels in Phuket. We personally tried, paid and enjoyed all these resorts and would recommend any without hesitation. Staying at a hotel is fully part of your holiday, so it should be an experience and a memory in itself, a memory you will bring back home as much as the beach or the food. These hotels might not appear cheap but all have personality and all were a great experience. The hotels below are not the only ones we tried of course, we sure did try a lot, but we started with the fourteen resorts we liked most and sorted them by alphabetical order... for now :)

Phuket Fantasea

Phuket Fantasea
Phuket Fantasea Show in Kamala Beach
Phuket Fantasea in Kamala Beach

Phuket Fantasea

Phuket Fantasea is big, bright, bold and crowded... Ten years after opening in Kamala Beach, it is still going strong, a giant melting pot of tourists of all nationalities, where the least spoken languages are probably English and Thai. But all have one thing in common, they all came to see a dazzling stage performance narrating the legend of Kamala, starring a dozen of adult elephants.

Things to Do in Phuket - 12 Best Phuket Attractions

Things to Do in Phuket
Things to do in Phuket - If you are as lazy as I am, you don't want to read twenty pages to start your holidays somewhere. I don't enjoy reading endless prose to extract the facts I really need to know. That's why you'll find so many Top 10s on my blog. So these are 12 of Phuket all time favorites, if you can fit some of them in your holidays, you will have great memories.. You might only memorize some, and once on the island you will change your plan according to your own mood. I never plan much in advance. Reading about a place you never saw is like trying to imagine the taste of a dish you never even saw before.

Phuket Big Buddha

Phuket Big Buddha
Thunder over Chalong Bay

Phuket Big Buddha

Phuket Big Buddha, a 45 meter tall white marble statue, is visible from anywhere in the southern part of Phuket. It might not be my favourite attraction on the island, but the views from up there are definitely breathtaking. When reaching the top of the hill you will find a large parking and a road leading to a construction where people can donate, buy amulets and where occasional ceremonies are held. This place also serves as a museum narrating the history of the Big Buddha. You'll have to walk through this building to access the stairs climbing to the Big Buddha.

Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon

Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon

Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon

Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon is a superb new resort located on the still peaceful Naithon beach, a surprisingly beautiful beach away from any main road on the upper west coast of Phuket. The hotel is far from the usual crowds but not isolated and near a less known local life, making it an interesting starting point to enjoy what Phuket has to offer if you are not a party goer.

15 Things to Do in Phuket with Kids - Kids and Family Activities in Phuket

Things to Do in Phuket with Kids

Things to Do in Phuket with Kids

Phuket is a great tropical destination for families. Yes it is! Obviously there is the beach and the sea, but that would be a waste not to add a bit of activities to your stay. These activities are great to enjoy as family, and your kids will love finally sharing some fun and good time with you!

Note that this is fun for boys or girl, but I might refer as 'he' or 'him' to keep it easier to read. And of course I know there is a lot more you can do, these are just some popular suggestions to have unforgettable time with the whole family! All these tours can be organized easily from your hotel. Prices are just an indication to help you planning.

Phuket Fantasea1) Fantasea Park

The colorful shopping and amusement park with the elephant rides are just the preamble for an impressive stage performance involving a dozen of adult elephants. Lots of easy games to play before dinner and show will delight your kids and probably you too. Read more...
From 1,500 (show only)

2) Surf House Phuket

Surf House Phuket is the latest artificial wave sport in Phuket, the perfect way to learn the basics of surfing, wakeboarding or even kiteboarding without all the usual effort and often pain associated with. Here anyone can give it a try in just a couple of minutes and depending on your past experience and natural balance, you will be surprised how fast you can actually stand on these tiny flowboards. Read more...

The Kee Resort Phuket

The Kee Resort

The Kee Resort Phuket

The Kee Resort is probably one of the best located hotel in Patong Beach if you prefer to be in the very heart of the action. Its unique location at the end of Soi Seadragon makes if the perfect place for guests who plan to party but also enjoy well designed hotels equipped with all the facilities you can expect from a 4 star hotel with a good and very friendly service.

With 244 rooms and 6 room types, The Kee Resort is quite large but designed in a smart compact way with a modern style. The pool is clearly addressing to the young generation with an massive pool bar playing club music all day and very skilled bar tenders. Next to the pool is a superb spa with many beautiful private rooms and outdoor Jacuzzi, the perfect way to cure a hangover.

Phuket Trickeye Museum

Phuket Trickeye Museum

Phuket Trickeye Museum

Phuket Trickeye Museum is a great new place to take your kids or your girlfriend/boyfriend a for a couple of hours of silly fun. Some of you might be familiar with the concept of Trickeye Museum, also called 3D museum, as similar attraction has been hugely popular first in Pattaya, then in Chiang Mai and lately in Bangkok. The Trickeye Museum in Phuket is actually not related the those 3 listed above.

Maikhao Dreams Villa Resort

Maikhao Dream Villa Resort

Maikhao Dream Villa Resort

Maikhao Dream Villa Resort is one of the most amazing hotel I had the chance to experience in my 20 years in Thailand, and I did stay at countless five star properties so I don't consider myself easy to impress. Maikhao Dream is not a resort for everyone. It is in the north part of the island where the beach is all yours, it is very exclusive which makes it rather expensive and it comes only with 2 or 3 bedroom villas. This is the perfect hideaway for a group of friends or 3 couples who want to travel together and share their holiday in style.

Maikhao Dream Villa Resort consists of 22 exclusive pool villas, each of them so huge I probably kept my mouth open for a while when I walked in. The first thing I did once my butler had shown me around, was to walk from the entrance to the back door: I counted 44 steps (casual steps). Now stand up, find the longest part of your house and count 44 steps, it will give you an idea of the size of my villa. And each villa has two floors!

Phuket Upside Down House (Baan Teelanka)

Phuket Upside Down House
Baan Teelanka Phuket
Looks normal? look at me!

Phuket Upside Down House (Baan Teelanka)

The Phuket Upside Down House, officially called Baan Teelanka as this is how it translates in Thai, is one of the latest an most surprising attraction in Phuket. Once you see it, there is no need for any explanation as this pink house is standing upside down in a garden like if some giant kid had casually dropped it after playing with it.