Phuket…Thailand’s largest island and a well known paradise with more scenic white sand beaches than one can count, crystal clear blue waters and colorful reefs rich with sea life. It was our playground for 10 days and it feels like we barely scratched the surface. On top of the gorgeous scenery and perfect weather, you find yourself surrounded by some of the nicest and happiest people around offering you fantastic food and cheap massages…really, hardly gets any better than this!
We settled on Kata Beach in the southwest corner of Phuket to start, having heard it was not only gorgeous but also on the quieter side – check!
Kata is your laid-back small town with enough going on to keep you busy for the week. When not chilling on its 2km long beach, we’d wandered through town for a daily dose of Thai massage (around $7 for 50 min!) or a great meal at one of its numerous local and international restaurants. I became quite fond of the pancakes carts that lined the streets, the smell of fried batter tickling your taste buds wherever you’d go!
Banana-Nutella was a clear favorite…
Our first nice dinner was at a beautiful Thai restaurant on the north side of Kata called Kampong Kata Hill. Nice authentic food in a unique museum-like setting filled with antiques, Buddhas and ancient ceramics. We feasted on traditional spring rolls with shrimps and pork and chicken curry.
I got tempted by the house specialty: whole steamed fish with soy sauce, ginger, and spring onions…pure delight!
Patong is the party hot spot of Phuket and the place you won’t want to miss to have your fill of overcrowded ‘Go Go Bars’, ladyboys, loud clubs, and obviously drunk tourists.
As glad as we were to be staying in peaceful Kata, an evening stroll on Patong’s main pedestrian strip, Thanon Bangla, is a must. With the theme song from ‘The Hangover 2‘ repeatedly playing as our background, we slowly took in the sights of street level go-go pole dancers, sex tourism, and open air beer bars for the ultimate chaotic nightlife experience Patong is famous for.
Of course, the highlight of my evening was stumbling upon a local night market just off the busy main road. Street food is heaven sent for a foodie like me and Thailand acts as a sort of food Mecca for the genre. Not only is everything fresh, unique, and super tasty, but nothing cost more than 20 baht (65¢)! No need to say that I dove head first into what is my best meal to date in Thailand…
Tiny little fried quail eggs…totally addictive and probably my #1 discovery of the night. The custom fryer is a marvel, and worth that shot alone!
A bit of pepper sprinkled on top and some of that sweet soy sauce, these disappeared into my mouth in no time!
Anything on a stick tastes good…
Fried chicken and squid served with a hot sauce, and mini pork balls to nimble on while wandering around the numerous stalls.
The ubiquitous noodle stall, always a must.
We skipped the popcorn that night, but I’m sure it would have been delish.
Lots of grilled fish stalls – look at those perfectly charred specimen…yum!
The soup stand served beautiful bowls of steaming noodle soup topped off with Thai basil and fresh long beans.
A sweet dessert mini pancake with a custard-like filling.
Handpicking fresh sushi and glutinous rice, can’t believe I’m still eating…
Next stop: The outlying islands of Phuket and the underwater world…stay tuned for the next Thai blog post!