In this age of the Internet, You can download all the necessary stuff you need about phuket like the hotels, beaches, transportation, restaurant guides, maps and more at your smart phone and just use it when you arrive here at Phuket but as we know, not all people are internet savvy that why Phuket has lots and lots of free maps, brochures, guides, info papers which are free and you can get them anywhere at the arrival area of Phuket International Airport, at Hotel Lobbies, in big restaurants and bars and at some tour stands. the best deal here is that they are available in many languages.
Or you can just browse the many Phuket Tips here at Virtual Tourist!
Fondest memory: tons and tons of free pull out maps, brochures, guides, info papers in Phuket
Phuket has many local desserts that are distinct from thai desserts and one of the popular dessert cum sweet snack is the Tao-Sor Cake which is the phuket version of the chinese Bakpia or sweet pastry roll (Phuket has a large chinese community, Bakpia is also known as hopia in the Philippines). the tao sor is their version of the sweet pastry roll wherein assorted fillings are put inside a sweet and flaky roll like the mung bean or pork that is why there are sweet and salty versions of the Tao Sor.
You can buy them anywhere and at the convenience stores and souvenir shops around phuket for 60 baht for a small pack and 80 baht for a big pack.
Fondest memory: Tao Sor is similar to chinese Bakpia and Philippine Hopia.
The Pad Thai is the national noodle dish of thailand and there are many variations to it but there have evolved two different styles of Pad Thai: the version most often found in the streets of Thailand, which is relatively dry and light; and the version that seems dominant in many restaurants in the West, which may be covered in a red oil and can be heavy tasting.
This dish was introduced and made popular as a national dish by Thai Prime Minister and Field Marshal Phibun Luang Phibunsongkhram during World War II. Pad Thai is one of the best-known Thai dishes.
Pad Thai Cost 50 to 70 Baht at Street Stalls and 100 to 150 baht at restaurants here in phuket.
Fondest memory: Assorted kinds of Pad Thai Noodle Dish
Tom Yum is the most famous of Thai soups and isn considered the national dish of thailand, particularly the Tom Yum Goong (Sour & Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp Soup). You can find them everywhere from the upscale thai restaurants, food courts and even at stret stalls. It is a clear sour which is flavored with fresh lemon grass and kaffir lime leaf. The most well-known version uses shrimp (in Thai: goong, koon, kung), but you may also use firm white-flesh fish (Tom Yum Taleh) or chicken (gy or kai).
Tom yum is characterized by its distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragrant herbs generously used. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, shallots, lime juice, fish sauce, tamarind, and crushed chilis.
Tom Yum Goong is available everywhere in Phuket and Thailand and costs 60-80 Baht in street stalls and 90 to 120 baht in Restaurants li
Fondest memory: there are many variations of the tom yum soup and many levels of spiciness.
Thailand has a vibrant garments industry due to it's cheap labor costs and available raw materials in the country, hence it produces cheap but quality garments and shirts so that even the neighboring countries in south east asia come to thailand to buy these garments and shirts by the bulk and retail them to their countries. They also have good fashion designers and good at copying the latest trends hence Thailand is a budget fashionista's dream. for the men, buying cheap but quality shirts here at Phuket and at Patong Beach is excellent (but you must know how to haggle ok) the price of the high quality t-shirts with embossed logos like singha beer or chang beer or red bull or other brands and even good copies of hard rock cafe t-shirts or Heineken T-Shirts. the high quality ones cost 180 baht for a single piece and it goes down to 150 baht if you buy three or more and 140 baht if you buy 10 or more. for the lower quality ones, the price is 100 baht and less, depending on the number you buy.
Fondest memory: the cheap but good quality t-shirts, even the ones with imitated logos in it (counterfeit items ok)
One of the nicest ways to drink coconut juice in thailand is it being roasted over a fire or barbecue. This will be called Ma Prao Pao (roasted coconut juice) For this you will need the young green coconut (not the brown husk older coconut). Cut off the outer husk as much as you can, then place it in the coals and keep turning it until its blackened and roasted all over. It's very easy to open after it's roasted, you can simply push a knife into the eyes of the coconut and pour out the juice. Drink it while it's warm but most preferl to chill it before serving and the vendors here add straws so you can sip the sweet roasted coconut juice.
Fondest memory: It is also sold in markets and by vendors. These are usually smaller white coconuts with a black scorch mark from the fire somewhere on them. The juice can be wonderfully sweet as cooking concentrates the natural sugars, as well as loosens the flesh. The meat can easily be peeled off and eaten without the need for a spoon. The cost is about the same as young coconut but beware, it cost only 20 Baht each in Phuket Town while in Patong, they will charge you 30 Baht if your a "Farang"
Phuket gets a lions share of the Inbound Tourist Market of Thailand and being such, there are literally hundreds of travel agencies and tour companies lining the Island and you can find their assorted booths, offices and stalls around the Major areas of Phuket Island and in patong, they are about 2 or three per street corner! they have a variety of tour packages for all the tour related activities around the Island and nearby Krabi and Phang Nga Provinces for any type of budget. they offer half day, whole day and multi day tours like phuket city tours, safari tours, elephant trekking tours, phi phi island tours, krabi island tours, pha nga bay tours, similan island tours and more. They have assorted tours for every type of budget.
most are open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm everyday
Fondest memory: tons and tons of travel agencies and tour companies around Phuket
Cha Yen or Cold tea in Thai is their version of Iced Tea since Iced teas are popular around asia (tarik tea of malaysia, pearl milk tea of hong kong, pandanus tea of the philippines, bubble tea of Singapore, etc). It is made from strongly-brewed powdered black tea. The Iced tea is usually made to order at the assorted food stalls and street vendors and they brew the strong black tea and mix some coconut milk and condensed milk to make it creamy and add large volumes of crushed ice to make it froth and look good! it is a nice drink when eating the spicy thai food as we all know that milk is the best liquid to counteract the spicy taste instead of water! Thai Iced tea is a popular drink and you must try it!
Fondest memory: Locally, it is served in a traditional tall glass and when ordered take-out, it is poured over the crushed ice in a clear (or translucent) plastic bag. it is available everywhere and is even peddled by street vendors wherein they put in it big 500 ml plastic glass containers with lots of ice. it cost about 25 Baht a glass but in restaurants, it cost 30-60 baht! try one now!
it is available everywhere!
One thing that I've noticed while travelling in these three countries is that they have the tendency to sell quite a number of same or similar items like assorted silk related products like silk bags, silk shirts, silk ties and a lot of other items that are not made of silk like lacquer ware, table linens, table cloth, bed linens and more. They practically have the same design patterns and weavings in the items and you would notice it more so at the silk bags (see my pictures of them from chatuchak market in Bangkok, benh thanh market in saigon and at the old market in Siem Reap and here at Taweewong Road). Which leads to the question of who mass produces these stuffs? is it thailand or vietnam or cambodia and they just shipped them to the other countries who buy them whole sale for sale to willing tourists like us.
Fondest memory: I bought several pieces of ladies bags as gifts for my lady friends and they have the same items and same dsigns in all countries (the price depends on your haggling skills).
Price of the bag after haggling per piece at Phuket 100 baht (3.30 US Dollar)
Bangkok 80 baht (2.72 US Dollar)
Siem Reap US Dollar $ 3
Saigon 55,VND (2.75 US Dollar)
It is a good idea to buy a prepaid card (prices around 200 Bath), not only to make phone calls inside the country but international calls as well. Making a phone call back home is easy with many phone boots through Phuket with instructions in English or even better, buy a prepaid sim card from any of the mobile phone companies below so that you would not get sky high prices using the international roaming rates of your home phone service provider if you bought your mobile phone. (just be sure that your mobile phone is not sim locked to your mobile provider and it is an open line!) and you can buy prepaid load card at most stores and convenience stores lik 7-11 or family mart and or at Jung Ceylon Mall so that you can add up your airtime credits for both local thai calls and international calls.
if you are using a landline: Dial 009 before your international number and most countries can be reached for only 20 Bath a minute
if you are using a mobile phone: dial +(country code) (area code) phone number.
Fondest memory: Mobile phone companies include:
DTAC : The second largest provider with a very good network as well, they tend to be a bit cheaper than One2Call with their "Happy DTAC" prepaid package. At the moment this is the provider to choose, AIS had problems with their network making it sometimes impossible to make a phone call. DTAC had less problems and has seen their subscriber base soar.
AIS GSM : The oldest network formerly owned by former PM Thaksin with the best coverage throughout Thailand. Their prepaid package is named "One2Call" and cards can be purchased virtually everywhere. Prices vary from month to month as people can choose their own promotion. A recent price battle between the three networks has brought prices down considerably and calling inside Thailand is now around 1 to 4 Bath a minute depending on the package.
True Move (formerly Orange) : True Move is relatively new to the Thai market but is the cheapest provider around, they were the ones who unleashed the price battle in 2005 with their "Just Talk" package. However since they are new they often have capacity problems and coverage outside of Bangkok is not as good as the other two networks.
Massaman Curry originated in India but it's popularity spread to all around asia as the Indian Diaspora began in the middle ages and many settled in southern thailand like in Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani, etc. where this dish became really popular and made into a thai favorite ad they have adapted it to thai cooking It's a fragrant yellow curry that incorporates lemongrass and nuts and coconut milk. chicken massaman curry consists of chicken thighs, drums or breast, preferably with bones and skin on, potato, coconut cream and milk, roasted peanuts and seasoning with palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind juice and massaman curry paste and is available everywhere in bangkok too, one order costs 40 baht at food stalls and street carts and 90 baht at restaurants.
Fondest memory: taste the sauce of the massaman chicken curry first as it is usually the spiciest chicken curry dish in thailand.
You can buy them everywhere in Phuket and at Patong Town for 15-20 Baht for 500 ml to 750 ml bottles but it would be cheaper to quench your thirst buying them at supermarkets and 24 hour convenience stores like family mart or 7-11 or foodland supermarkets. since they only cost 10 to 15 Baht there! (100% cheaper than at tourist places!) and there are many kinds of bottled water available out there and even chang and singha have their own bottled water and they literally are in glass bottles instead of the regular PET Plastic Bottles. you will buy bottled water everyday since you will need it as thailand is a humid area and Phuket is a very hot and humid place. Or is you are an el cheapo, then just use and conserve the free 2 pieces of bottled water that your local hotel will provide per day.
Fondest memory: bottled water are sometimes literally in glass bottles, instead of PET Bottles.
Coconut Ice Cream is really popular around thailand as the weather here is hot for most of the year and during the monsoon season, the showers are not as intense as in the typhoon belt areas of asia like taiwan or the philippines or vietnam or china. Coconut ice cream is peddled here in thailand with the ice cream placed in a freshly cut young coconut instead of an ice cream cone and is avaialable everywhere in Phuket and moreso at Patong Beach Areas and at Phuket Town. a scoop of coconut ice cream will cost 20 baht per scoop. you must try these sweet dessert.
Fondest memory: coconut ice cream available in and around the phuket area and are really cheap to buy and tasty.
Being a tourist friendly country, Thailand has lots and lots of foreign and money exchange shops aorund the country and at the Airports and even in Phuket, they offer competetive rates than in hotels or at banks but a word of caution! since money exhange shops are numerous and are situated near each other, I would advice that you first check their rates of exchange for your international currencies and travellers cheques into thai baht as they will have different exhange rates for each currencies like for example, the US dollar to a thai baht will be 1 US Dollar is 29 thai baht in some and 31 thai baht in others so that you must check the different money exchange shops before deciding on where to exhange your hard earned money as to have extra thai baht for shopping and more!
Fondest memory: there are literally tons of money exhange shops in and around the Patong Beach area.
ATM machines are widely available everywhere in Phuket and particularly at Patong Beach Area (and are Linked to CIRRUS, MAESTRO, PLUS, DISCOVER international ATM consortiums) and they accept most cards, this is also the best way to change your money, bring your local bank card and get the money in Thailand from an ATM (don't change at your hotel).
Tip: There are also 100 Baht notes in the ATM, take for example 2900 Baht out and you have small money straight away.
They charge a minimal amount for an atm withdrawal (about 120 baht) irregardless of amount withdrawn so I suggest you withdraw more than 3,000 Baht or more rather than just withdraw 500-1,000 baht per transaction.
Fondest memory: most ATM's here accept international consortiums but the average cost per withdrawal is charged a 150 baht per transaction.
Ocean Wing Suites (Villa Terracotta) Mom Tri’s Villa Royale now have a beautiful new area which is...more
80/19-20 Moo 2 | Soi Cokmakham 3, Rawai, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Good for: Couples
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Good for: Business