Travel Guide To Phuket: Illustrating Your Three Main Concerns Of Where To Eat, Sleep And Play

Monday, July 11, 2016

So you're thinking of going on a vacation, and possibly to Phuket? Great choice because I was there for a week and I loved every day that I was there. It was relaxing, a fantastic get-away and nothing felt better than lying on the beach doing absolutely nothing!

Here is a simple guide that will take you through where you can stay, what food you must-try, and how you can plan your perfect beach vacation on this sunny island in Thailand.


#1| Accommodation


When I was choosing my accommodation, I wanted a hotel that could give me an outstanding view of the sea – yes I know I'm picky!

However if you have been to Phuket, you will know that a hefty price tag comes along with the aerial sea view and most of such hotels will also be located on the cliffside, thus far away from where the action is on the island!

Fortunately for me (and now you), I found Avantika Boutique Hotel which is located on the fringe of Patong Beach. It takes about 10 minutes of walking from the hotel to the centre of Patong Beach, and additional 5 minutes to reach Bangla Road.

This gorgeous seaview every morning when I woke up

There are 5 room categories at Avantika (click 'here' for more info). I chose the "Grande Deluxe Seaview" as it promised an unblocked view of Patong Beach and Patong Bay.



The room included a four poster king-size bed, an ensuite bathroom with separate shower and bathtub, and a balcony that is perfect for hanging dry all of your wet swimsuits and clothings.


As for the available facilities, unfortunately Avantika does not have a gym but they do have a simple swimming pool on their ground floor. It is located right beside Amrita Restaurant and is thus great for guests who are keen to get a morning swim before breakfast!

FYI the pool isn't very big but it is definitely long and deep enough for lap swims.


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A simple breakfast affair at Amrita Restaurant

In-Room Dining at Avantika

The food quality offered at Avantika is decent, however the selection (for both breakfast and their in-room dining) is not for those looking for a sumptuous spread.

I would highly recommend those who get easily bored of eating the same food everyday, to wander the streets of Phuket and explore the different cafes and food options.

Avantika Boutique Hotel
Address: 4/1 Thaweewong Road Patong, Kathu Phuket, Phuket - Patong, 83150, Thailand
Contact: (+66) 76 292 801
Website: http://www.avantika-phuket.com/



#2| Where To Eat

As much as travel is about the places that you see, it is also about the food that you eat.

AND!!!! When you are abroad, you wanna make every food that you put into your mouth count – which means you don't wanna pay for horrible food and much less EAT horrible food.

They weren't kidding when they said that Phuket is a tourist-trap, because even some of the food places are tourist traps. On the second day of my trip, I walked into a random local thai restaurant thinking, "How can they possibly screw up their own local food???" They served the worst phad thai, shrimp cakes and stir-fry kang kong that I had ever have in my life, plus the food wasn't cheap either.

So pay attention to this section of this travel guide because it is going to SAVE. YOUR. LIFE!


Song Pee Nong Restaurant

First up, we have Song Pee Nong Restaurant which serves Thai and International cuisine. I found this restaurant by accident while meandering through the alleyways in Patong.

They serve one of the better Thai cuisines that we had throughout our trip, however I would strongly advise against eating their bread as my bun tasted pretty stale. All in all, still a good eat!

Song Pee Nong Restaurant
Address: Soi Kep Sab, Patong, Phuket, Thailand, Patong, Kathu, Phuket, Thailand
Contact: (+66) 81 891 7735
Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restaurant_Review-Song_Pee_Nong-Patong_Kathu_Phuket.html
Rating on TripAdvisor: #47 for Restaurants in Patong


Wok Restaurant

We were in search for a decent restaurant serving fresh fish, and our feet led us to Wok!

In Phuket, it is common for restaurants to have a tray of seafood displayed outside the restaurant and you are free to select your own seafood and have the chef cook it the way you want it.

So if you haven't been to the wet market before, and have absolutely no idea on how to pick out a fresh fish, here are some tips:
  • Look at the fish's eye and make sure that it is crystal clear.
  • Probe the fish's meat and make sure that it is firm.
  • If you see a fish with cloudy eyes, and the meat is soft to touch, it means that the fish has been dead for awhile and aren't fresh.

Wok Restaurant
Address: 192 Ratuthit 200 Pee Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket, Thailand
Contact: (+66) 76 341 260
Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Restaurant_Review-Wok-Patong_Kathu_Phuket.html
Rating on TripAdvisor: #42 for Restaurants in Patong


More Ma Seafood Restaurant

When you're in Phuket, you NEED TO have at least ONE seafood meal! Seafood in Phuket is cheaper than when you have it in Singapore, but still relatively expensive. This seafood fiesta that you see above, cost us S$107 in total, hence do set some money aside for this luxurious must-have meal!

There are tons of seafood restaurants all around with huge tanks of live crustaceans and fishes, but beware that most are just out to rip your money. As the area is populated with china tourists, the locals are now able to speak some Chinese.

They would try to get smug and chummy with you so that they may jack up the price and still have you feeling like you won the big lottery with them – I get extremely irritated when they display such behaviour. It took close to an hour of exploring before I found this decent eatery, More Ma Seafood Restaurant.

More Ma does not have those huge tanks but I assure you that her seafood is fresh and caught on the day itself. The owner came to serve me and she was really down-to-earth and helpful (that's the kind of service I want!).

Instead of choosing the traditional seafood to have (ie. lobsters), I opted for these HUGE tiger prawns that were as long as my hand – from palm to fingers! Four of these giant prawns were equivalent to the price of two (medium-small) lobsters, so of course I had to choose the prawns; they were so worth it!!!! Fresh and big and extremely tasty!


More Ma Seafood Restaurant
Address: Soi Songropi song, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand
Contact: (+66) 81 891 7735
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/More-Ma-Seafood-Restaurant-Phuket/217589434962195
Rating on TripAdvisor: #136 for Restaurants in Patong


Banzaan Night Market

Now if you are looking for some cheap and good local food, then come to Banzaan Night Market which is right behind Jungceylong Shopping Centre, bustling with activity and offers all sorts of local delights!


Try out their local tze char restaurant, put together with makeshift stalls on the road cooking our usual asian delights.


Have a packet of tasty Phad Thai that costs less than S$3 and is fit for 2 pax. You can also choose from three different types of rice noodles: flat, thin or thick.


Must-try food would be Meena's Fried Chicken which is possibly the best fried chicken in the world! She uses vegetable oil and changes it everyday so as to ensure the best taste in her fried chicken – crispy and savoury on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside!

Banzaan Night Market
Address: 181 Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Rd., Patong, Kathu, Phuket, Thailand
Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Attraction_Reviews-Banzaan_Fresh_Market-Patong_Kathu_Phuket.html


The Coffee Club

If you are looking for cakes and milkshakes, then drop by The Coffee Club at Jungceylon Shopping Center. Rated as the no. 1 place to have desserts in Patong, I thought the cakes were pretty good and they did have an array of milkshakes that I had never seen before, hmmm.

The Coffee Club
Address: 181, Jungceylon, G Floor
Website: https://www.facebook.com/thecoffeeclubthailand#_=_
Rating on TripAdvisor: #1 for Desserts in Patong


Ice Cream Rolls - Urban Café

Ooo... These babies are a must-have when in Thailand! I have a weak stomach and so despite being tempted by the roadside stalls numerous times, I have resisted getting one from them. So you can imagine my delight when I found one of these ice cream roll carts in Jungceylon — I am assuming that they have to be a lot more hygienic to operate within a shopping mall.

The base price is 100THB, and with each additional flavour that you ask for, the price goes up! I'm boring and prefer going for the original route, thus I went for the good ol' mango ice cream roll. I went back to this place THRICE!!!

Urban Café
Address: Jungceylon, Phuket, Thailand 83000
Website:https://www.facebook.com/UrbancafeJungceylon/


Molly Malone Irish Pub Phuket

You've been in Phuket for several days now, and you're getting tired of eating the same old Thai food. So why not switch it up and have some Irish cuisines instead? Molly Malone Irish Pub Phuket offers deep fried calamari, comforting baked potatoes and steak & guinness pie!

P/S: Before 7pm, the local Chang Beers are sold fresh from the tap at S$4 per pint!

Molly Malone Irish Pub Phuket
Address: 94/1 Thaweewong Rd, Ban Patong, Phuket, Thailand 83150
Contact: (+66) 76 292 771
Website: http://www.mollymalonesphuket.com/
Rating on TripAdvisor: #3 for Nightlife in Patong


Full Moon Brew Work

This is the place to go if you are looking for a microbrewery serving local craft beers. They offer a wide selection of beers types from ales to lagers, stouts and malts.

Full Moon Brew Work
Address: Jungceylon Shopping Center, 193 Unit #2110, 2210
Contact: +66 (0)76 366 753
Website: http://fullmoonbrewwork.com/
Rating on TripAdvisor: #54 for Restaurants in Patong


The Tides

If you take liquor, then "Chalong Bay" is a rum that you must try. This rum is produced in Phuket and only available on the island.

We went about searching for a decent-looking pub/bar that served Chalong Bay, and finally chanced upon it at The Tides, where the bartender is able to whip up a decent cocktail with this locally-produced and only locally-available rum.

The Tides
Address: 40/1 Thawewong Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand
Contact: +66 96341 3046
Website: http://www.the-tides-patong.com/
Rating on TripAdvisor: #90 for Restaurants in Patong


Nutella Banana Crêpe - Roadside

Now I had to throw this in because... how can you not having this when in Phuket!!!! I LOVE NUTELLA!!!! (With bananas)

I tried locating this makeshift cart again for the next few days and couldn't :( But anyhow, there are tons of cart selling these in Phuket and all of them taste pretty much the same. I think they cost S$2 per crêpe? Super affordable and tasty, but extremely sinful at the same time too.


#3| What To Do

Chilling out at Patong Beach

You're on a beach holiday, so how can you not spend at least a day on the beach, lounging on a sand-beach chair and sipping on an ice-cold Chang beer. Ahhh...

Rent a beach chair – complete with beach umbrellas and mats – for 100THB. If you would like a towel (for placing atop the mat to dissipate the heat), it would cost an additional 50THB.

IMO, bring your own beach towel from your hotel. It is allowed, free and definitely much cleaner. Do not be a fool like my boyfriend, insisting that he doesn't need one and having end up renting one because he could no longer tolerate the heat from the sand and the sun -_-


Parasailing at Patong Beach

There are tons of peddlers going about Patong Beach, trying to coax you into going for a jet-ski ride, to hop onboard their banana boat or to parasail.

If you are keen in participating in either of the beach activities, here are some tips:
  • Do not follow the price listed on their charts. They are always more than willing to give you a discount due to the stiff competition around.
  • Bargain, bargain, bargain. If you are not satisfied with the price that they are quoting you, walk away and find another company. The next company would always be 200m-400m metres across the stretch of beach; albeit they would usually chase after you agreeing to your quoted price.
  • They would usually tell you how much they want for their tip, but remember... you are the one giving the money and it is a TIP!!! The dude who accompanied us on our parasail wanted 200THB per pax, so that amounts up to 400THB (= S$16) in total. We decided on giving him just 200THB as tip, which is still on the higher end of the tip-scale.

We paid 800THB per pax for our parasailing adventure. Each parasailing trip lasts for about 3-5 minutes? So don't expect a lot, but it is pretty thrilling and memorable for first-timers. I enjoyed my parasailing ride so I would definitely highly recommend you to try it out as well!


Phuket's Nightlife Is At Bangla Road

Bangla Road is the red light district of Phuket. The place looks absolutely normal and like all other streets in the daytime, but at night... that is where the action begins.

The clubs would come to life, there are tons of peddlers trying to coax you into going for a ping-pong show. Loads of performers on the street, if you wanna watch a street performance you need to be wary of your bags and pockets. Bangla road is full of pickpockets during the night time, and they like to target those watching the street performances.

Have confidence while walking down that road, and you will find it a lot easier to walk through it without people hassling you. I am a scaredy-cat, so Victor and I never got down to visiting any of the bars/clubs on Bangla Road :/


Day Trip - Visiting Their Local Fruit Farm

I booked a day trip with a local tour agency, Andamat Tour Agency located on Soi. Dr. Watthana. This tour agency is highly recommended as the agent was very helpful and humble. If you wish to island-hop, Andamat Tour Agency is also able to help organise your trip.

I went with Island Safari because they are a renown and reliable tour organiser within the region, and they will attach a English-speaking guide with the group. Plus the lunch offered is pretty good too!!!

Visiting a fruit farm is unfortunately a compulsory event because all the tour packages had this in their itinerary. For those who aren't too keen in this activity, I'm sorry but there is no escaping it so you might as well just go down and wolf down the fruits to make your money's worth. For those looking to have durian, or to buy some local fruits and honey home, you will be able to find it here.

Day Trip - ATV Riding

I once had the opportunity to ride an ATV when I was in Krabi, but I passed on it as I wasn't a fan of having my hands going numb from grabbing the steering too tightly. My sister came back from her ATV ride, saying how I missed on an exciting experience of feeling the engine of the vehicle roaring beneath me.

This time in Phuket, I set my mind to ride an ATV, without having to drive it. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

Here are two tips: 1) Wear sunglasses because sand will be flying everywhere, 2) Bring a small towel and an extra shirt to wipe down the fine sand and to change out.

Alternatively, you can wear your wet suit over your apparel which is what I did.


White Water Rafting

For those who have never white-water raft before, GO TRY IT OUT!!!! Meandering through rapids is FUN!!!!

Go for the 7km option if you can afford it, 5km is way too short and insufficient.

Elephant Rides

Treat your elephant to a bunch of banana for 100THB per bunch. Do note to buy the banana before boarding the elephant as you wouldn't have time after your ride.


Thai Massages - Bali Hai

There are tons of massage places in Phuket and your eyes will go dizzy from having to differ the decent massage parlours from the sleazy ones (that offers 'extra' service).

Despite the looks of its exterior, Bali Hai is ranked at #20 on TripAdvisor and also one of the better massage parlours that we have tried. We asked for a couple room and both went for an hour-long Thai massage at 300THB (price menu available here).

Our female masseuses were really experienced, and (sexually) humorous at the same time. My boobs were exposed at one time of the massage and my masseuse went, "Wee woo wee! Sexy lady, see see!", and Victor's masseuse turned his head towards me. All four of us had a good laugh.

If you or your partner are unable to take such jokes, kindly do avoid this massage parlour. LOL


Sunset at Patong Beach

Patong Beach offers one of the most beautiful sunsets that I have ever seen. Find time to dally around the beach before dinner, catch the sunset and then go have a great seafood meal.

Other than the activities listed, we also went for Simon Cabaret which is a famous ladyboy show in Phuket. They have three timings available every night, and two categories of seats available: Regular (700THB) or VIP (800THB).

I would recommend topping up a bit more for the VIP seat. The show is about an hour long, and you can take photos with the ladyboy performers after the show. Do note though that after taking the photo, you would have to tip each performer 200THB despite the sign that reads 40THB/photo.

The best thing to do is to watch the show, and then leave without taking photos. You can also have your hotel to help book your tickets for the show as they will help you to arrange for the transport as well.

For more scenes of the things that I did in Phuket, watch my travel vlog below: