Patong beach is the place where everything happens, although is not the best beach, at night you can have dinner and shopping, you can book excursions to the islands ( Phi Phi, 007,etc ) or elephant rides and you have tuk-tuks to get around.
The Vegetarian Festival
The Vegetarian Festival is an annual event held only in Phuket each October. It is a week-long celebration filled with people channelling spirits, piercing their bodies with all types of blades and marching in a procession around the streets. Everyone goes vegetarian during the Festival for purification, some of the more devout eat vegetarian for the week before too. People need to purify themselves before they invite the spirits to come into their bodies. It's not just the participants who should fast from meat either, it's everyone. This purification is for your spirit, as well as your body.
The Chinese temples are the starting points and there is a different one for each day. The day before the processions start, a ceremony is performed where they raise bamboo poles, which are covered in gold leaf squares. The poles are said to join the physical and spiritual world, allowing the various spirits to descend to Phuket, where their presence will be evidenced by the 2000-odd Mah Song, or “mediums” during the festival.
If you attend one of the temples about 7.30am, you will be able to see people being pierced. It's quite shocking, but not as gruesome as you'd think. There is little to no blood.
Effigys are held aloft in the procession, they are symbols of the spirits, there are people following them, setting off firecrackers, so it can get very noisy and smokey. To attend the procession, you should wear white. When a medium passes, you should crouch down so that your head is not above theirs, as they are housing a spirit. If you are lucky, you will receive a sweet from one of them.
On the last day of the Festival, the spirits are sent back to the heavens. On this particular evening it is advisable to take a mask with you if you have problems with a lot of smoke. It gets so smokey, you can barely see anything. A table is filled with offerings for merit-making, which gets burned, along with myriad huge-size incense sticks that are burned everywhere.
A wonderful opportunity to experience some Thai culture.
Stay in a tree house!
Along with the rafthouse visit we did , while in the Khao Lok national park we stayed in the most Fabulous treehouses in the jungle! This was also done with Limestone lake tours and was also brilliant! There are activities you can choose to do here and we chose the elephant trekking. Its about a 2 hour trek and you are taken to a waterfall with a pool of icy cold water which you stop and have a dip in , It was magnificent! The Mahouts will ask someone if the would like to "drive " the elephant, both of our kids did ( you ride in pairs) and they sit right on their heads, at times it seemed a bit precarious as some of the paths are really narrow with steep drops at the side and the path was wet and boggy! I was a little concerned about our elephant slipping and tumbling dwn the hill with me still strapped in its seat but fortunately it didnt happen! You then are left at the treehouse to relax or swim in the river, or go sit in the bar! At night there are the most wonderful fireflies, everywhere! I had never managed to ever see any before and it completely bowled me over they are GORGEOUS! Food and drinks delicious and staff even handed us out chocolate as we were there on easter sunday! The treehouses sleep 3 , all beds have mossie nets and each treehouse has an en-suite bathroom! which is beautiful!
Walk into any Boots Pharmacy in Phuket or rather Thailand in particular and you will be welcomed by the local brand Sranrom.
Jasmine came in and went crazy buying the stuff. I must say the frangrances from the products smell authentically Thai and is very good.
Their Peppermint and Bamboo Hand Cream smells really nice with Thai Peppermint and Spearmint.
The Oriental Pleasure Massage Oil has hints of lemongrass in it and the oil is from rice bran. Anything from them. The stuff is great! More affordable than The Body Shop.
Bars in general!
I'm not going to go much into the nightlife of Phuket as there would just be to much to cover and its more fun to just go and try new places.
There are nightclubs, hundreds of little bars, Irish Pubs, English Pubs, Live Band Venues, Theatre restaurants, plus much more.
Some of these places above have already been covered in my Eating Out pages.
Some people hate Bangla Road and are very worried about the seedy side of things in Phuket.
You only see what you want to see, nothing is shoved in your face.
Sure, there are girls and some of our best nights out have been drinking and talking to the girls.
Bangla Rd is just like a big carnival zone, its lots of fun and everyone should go there at least once, its what you make it!!