Unique Places in Phuket

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by machomikemd
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by machomikemd
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by machomikemd

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Phuket

  • Food, transport and SIM cards in Phuket!

    by jolamiri Written Apr 9, 2014

    Ive visited 15 times in 8 years and have found lots of 'insider' things to do. I am not a beach fan, so can't recommend anything sea-related, but I am a food writer and there are some real gems to be found on the island. Top picks include: Kan Eang Seafood 2 (off the main road towards Chalong, look for a sign on the left). You eat overlooking the bay, and this is consistently the best fish and seafood in my opinion. Whole barbecued sea bass with a nam jim dressing made from palm sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce; the freshest oysters; prawns fried in batter with local sea grass, squid, prawns in tamarind sauce. Not that cheap but well worth it. Also, wine is very expensive in restaurants in phuket, but you can take your own wine or whisky for a small corkage fee. Beer is the best value option. Another great restaurant in the south of the island is Mor Mudong - set up by a doctor (Mor) to feed his friends, originally. Ii consists of wooden shacks on stilts in a mangrove swamp (can be a bit smelly at night, so lunch is better). You sit Thai style on mats around a low table, so probably not a good idea for those with knee problems or who have difficultly sitting. THe food is exemplary: again, whole fish in lime sauce is to be recommended, as are all the squid/prawn and crab dishes. You can find mor Mudong by following signs to phuket zoo then carrying on past the zoo and turning right.

    Another recent find was on Sakdidej Road in Phuket Town - a restaurant called Ubon, next door to another one called Roi Et. These both specialise in food from upcountry Isan - bamboo salad, tendon soup (not particularly yummy!), catfish, som tam (papaya salad). Also in town there are many coffee shops in the Old Town area - really good places to chill. And on Sunday afternoons there is a new street market in Thalang Road where you can eat, snack, stroll and enjoy live music and soak up the very friendly atmosphere, as well as buying some great souvenirs, such as ankle bracelets, aromatherapy oils, shoes, bags and quirky clothing. Shopaholics will also love the night market at Wat Naka, near Central Shopping Festival - it's on at weekends, Sat and Sun only 5pm-11pm. Very popular with Thais and excellent prices for clothes, accessories, makeup, homewares and street food. You can haggle here, but not as much as in some other places - and remember that Thai shopkeepers will always give you a good price if you're their first customer!

    Getting around the island is expensive if you don't hire a car or scooter. Metered taxis operate from outside the airport - come out on to the street and turn right then walk to the end. They will quote you a fare upfront. Another good option is to hire a local tour guide - if you use taxis, very often you end up in a rundown, dirty car with a dishevelled driver who speaks no English, so I prefer to pay a bit more for a new, comfortable car and a guy who is clean, polite and can tell me about the things we see. On my recent trip I found a good tour guide called Petch - he took me out around the island and has various itineraries based on people's interests if you don't know what you want to do. He also took me to Phang Nga for the day and suggested visiting a cave temple with reclining Buddha and monkeys outside to feed, then a viewpoint restaurant for lunch with stunning views over the local countryside, then a waterfall. He can be contacted direct for airport pick up/day tours etc on Krichpetch.2528@gmail.com

    Another good way of getting around if you're based in Phuket Town is the local bus service. The timetable is erratic, to say the least, but it's cheap - usually about 30 b per journey. The buses are open-sided so quite comfortable in the heat, although Phuket is quite polluted so you do ingest fumes!

    If you're looking for a reasonably priced gem to stay at in Phuket Town, I can highly recommend The Memory at On On hotel - featured in the opening scenes of The Beach with Leo di Caprio, it was recently refurbished. They've kept the original features but upped the comfort factor - a bohemian hotel with a lovely atmosphere and very friendly staff, although it doesn't have a pool or many facilities. Having said that, breakfast is fantastic - particularly the Chinese dim sum option!

    I'd also recommend buying a Thai SIM card while you're there, especially if you have local friends to stay in touch with. You can buy them at any convenience store, such as 7-11, for about 50 b then just top up in the same store as you need to.

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    • Food and Dining

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    Wat Manee Si Mahathat

    by Cathy&Gary Written Feb 8, 2014

    We have been driving past Wat Manee Si Mahathat for many years now and every year we noticed something new being built there. I have wanted to look inside here for about 8 years and every time we go past we say next time we will stop.

    Well finally we did and it was worth it. The huge black statue that is impossible to miss is of a monk called Por Than Klai who died about 45 years ago, he was a favorite of the King and could predict the future.

    There is also a small museum here with a couple of different rooms; here you will find life size wax figures of various famous monks plus Chinese and Indian statues. The museum is off to the right hand side of the complex.

    The complex is in excellent condition and very well maintained. We spent quite a long time here and did not see one single person, so it was extremely quiet and peaceful.

    Wat Manee Si Mahathat is a big complex and very impressive, it is on Highway 4 on the way to Phang Nga and is definitely worth a visit.

    Wat Manee Si Mahathat Wat Manee Si Mahathat Wat Manee Si Mahathat Wat Manee Si Mahathat Wat Manee Si Mahathat
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    Wat Thamtapan Phang Nga Town

    by Cathy&Gary Updated Feb 8, 2014

    Wat Thamtapan is in Phang Nga town which is about 1.5 hours drive from Phuket and this would have to be the strangest Temple I have ever been in! There are shocking displays of what Hell would be like, plus a nice display for Heaven!

    It is definitely not suitable for children as there are some quite horrifying images.

    There is a massive dragon and you enter through his mouth, when you come out at the other end you are in Hell, there is also another area here down a small dirt track and you enter a beautiful cave with little bridges that cross a small river inside, however it was so muddy inside due to rain that we could not walk down to the bridges.

    Once you come out of the Hell section you will see animal statues, head to the right and you will enter Heaven where everything is much prettier!

    I have never seen such gruesome statues and they are huge, much bigger than me. There is really not much I can say, I will let the photos tell the story. We have since found out that there are quite a few Temples like Wat Thamtapan scattered across Thailand.

    Entry is free and we love taking family and friends here as they have no idea what to expect!.
    Just keep driving through Phang Nga Town and on the left you will see Soi Thamtapan which is just past the hospital.

    Click here for more photos from Wat Thamtapan

    Wat Thamtapan Phang Nga Town Wat Thamtapan Phang Nga Town Wat Thamtapan Phang Nga Town Wat Thamtapan Phang Nga Town Wat Thamtapan Phang Nga Town
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    Phang Nga Wat Suwannakhuna

    by Cathy&Gary Updated Feb 8, 2014

    We have been to Wat Suwannakhuna which is a Buddhist temple about 10 minutes before Phang Nga town many times and it is definitely worth a visit.  Most of the time there are monkeys everywhere and you can buy bananas to feed them. If you are worried about them they never go inside the cave.

    Inside is very beautiful, it is not just one cave but a series of large connecting caves. It is clean, very well maintained and no monkeys come in here at all. There is a fantastic 15 meter reclining Buddha in the first cave, then there is a small stairway up to the second cave where you will see various stamps & carved seals on one of the walls.

    These are from various Kings and Queens of Thailand who have visited the Wat, with the earliest being King Rama V in 1890.

    There are more caves after this area but during low season it is too slippery and muddy to go any further. We were so lucky this day as we were there quite early and there were no other busloads of tourists there.

    To drive to Wat Suwannakhuna from Phuket will take just under 1.5 hrs, head for Phang Nga and when you see some carved archways on your left with a sign saying Ramon Forest, turn left and the temple is about 100 meters down on your right.

    Phang Nga Wat Suwannakhuna Phang Nga Wat Suwannakhuna Phang Nga Wat Suwannakhuna Phang Nga Wat Suwannakhuna Phang Nga Wat Suwannakhuna
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    Soapy Massage

    by machomikemd Updated Oct 31, 2012

    Thai massage is soothing, wholesome and relaxing and is a nice experience. but many single men go to Phuket not only to experience thai massage but also the different sensual kind, the Soapy Massage, where soap or soap like slippery gels are used to massage your body all around and the masseuse uses her whole body to to it, hence being sensual. they have lots of these kind of massage in bangkok but only two in Phuket. Kathrerine's Massage in Phuket Town and Christine's Massage in Rat U Thit Road in Patong. These massage are a hit among single guys as their are a different kind of massage (you get the drift) and you can choose two masseuse to attend to you. Prices here are 3,000 baht for a 90 minute soapy and oil massage for 1 masseuse and 6,000 baht for two, with the "extra curricular activities" included.

    opens: 12:00 pm to 12:00 am everyday

    Christine's Massage address is: 206 Rat-U-Thit Road, Patong Beach, phuket

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    Use the Swimming Pools During the Night

    by machomikemd Written Oct 27, 2012

    Different Resorts have different policies on the time the swimming pools are closed for the guests and here in our resort, you can only swim from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm everyday ans they don't have bright lights around the swimming pools so that you can only do night swimming from 6:00 to 7:00 pm so the best thing to do is go to the beaches first then go back at 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm and then have a dip at the pool before it closes then shower at the room then have dinner and go to the bars afterwards. If you are staying in a resort type of hotel in Phuket, do try to use the swimming pool facilities of the resort specially if it is far away from the hustle and bustle of the beaches ad in here you can have privacy and some solitude and you can do some relaxation away from the maddening crowds. you can have some snacks or drinks or some brewskies while lounging around at the swimming pool.

    This are pictures of us swimming at the swimming pool of our hotel at the Duangjitt Resort Hotel during the night

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    Use the Swimming Pools During the Day

    by machomikemd Updated Oct 27, 2012

    This are pictures of us swimming at the swimming pool of our hotel at the Duangjitt Resort Hotel during the day.

    If you are staying in a resort type of hotel in Phuket, do try to use the swimming pool facilities of the resort specially if it is far away from the hustle and bustle of the beaches ad in here you can have privacy and some solitude and you can do some relaxation away from the maddening crowds. you can have some snacks or drinks or some brewskies while lounging around at the swimming pool. we were fortunate to use 2 of the three swimming pools of our resort in Duangjitt Resort Hotel during our stay and also having some pictures taken in the pool, that is the advantage of having a water proofed camera and it is a must to have it when travelling and going to beaches. Do Some Time Management so that you can savor both the beaches and the swimming pools.

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    Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park Phang Nga Town

    by Cathy&Gary Written Feb 24, 2012

    Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Public Park is a beautiful public park surround by Limestone Mountains that you can actually drive around and through a cave. It is extremely popular with locals having picnics and we did not see any tourists at all while we were there.

    There are two adjoining caves called Tham Ruesi Sawan and Tham Luk Suea, where you will see lots of stalactites and a little stream flowing through.

    This really is a beautiful place to visit and there is a lovely lake and good playgrounds for the children. Be careful around the caves as there are also a lot of monkeys. The Park has free entry and is on the main road of Phang Nga Town on the right hand side if driving from Phuket.

    It is about a 1.5 hour drive from Patong.

    Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park Phang Nga Town Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park Phang Nga Town Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park Phang Nga Town Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park Phang Nga Town Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park Phang Nga Town
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    Kids Play While you Shop

    by pammo Updated Apr 4, 2011

    There is a great kid's ball room with tunnels and slides and balloons etc. located by the food fair on the 2nd floor of the Tesco Lotus. For just two 10 baht coins, the kids can play as long as they want! There are supervisors outside of it. The entrance is very cute. The child sits in a rocket type ride and puts the coins in. The rocket makes noises and rotates to place the child facing the inside of the play room. There is a turnstile to exit from, but make sure they use the washroom first as once they leave, they have to pay to reenter. Our kids got thirsty after running around in there, so we gave them juice from a straw through the net (ha, ha) since food and drink is not allowed inside.

    The parents are now free to shop at leisure!

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    Khao Lak accommodations

    by bulldogtwo Written Nov 5, 2008

    Welshwanderer,
    Khao Lak is located about an hour north of Phuket, or about an hour north of the airport by bus. The resort that I mentioned was Phukhaolak resort, you can contact Jim at phukhaolak@hotmail.com. She can answer any questions you have, Or if you have more specific ones I can maybe answer them as well for you. From what you have described as to what you are looking for, I think you'll enjoy this.
    Let me know if you have any more questions.
    Have FUN!

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    Khao Lak Thailand

    by bulldogtwo Written Nov 2, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are not interested in the commercial areas, then why not head an hour north to Khao Lak? Great place, great beaches, quiet, tranquil and off the beaten track, but yet still close enough and enough to offer you a comfortable stay. We stayed at Phukhaolak resort. Family run, Mom and one of the daughters run the restuarant and it's one of the better plces in town as many from other places come there to eat. The resort is set into a coconut grove and is very picturesque, the bunglows look boxy but are very comfortable and exceptionaly clean, we thought we were the very first ones in the place, but were'nt. Also fits right into your budget range. They don't have TV and radio but we didn't care. It's also not right on the beach but you can walk across the road and be on it in a few minutes. We rented a moped for a few $$ a day to get around to it was easy. Has to be one of the best stays we've ever had in Thailand, and I used to live there.
    If you're interested in more let me know.
    Have fun and good luck

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    suplus military/camping gear

    by bulldogtwo Written May 17, 2008

    Sorry that I was not able to help more. Another thought though. As you pass through towns you will often see markets, sometimes at night, hence, night markets. Check these out as they often sell suplus miltary supplies and some of it can be camping gear of sorts. Much of it may not be the traditional camping gear but you should be able to make due, at least find tarps to keep the monsoon rains out!
    good luck!

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    Khao Nor Chuchi

    by roamer61 Written May 11, 2008

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    This is a fine nature reserve favored by birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts located in Krabi Province. Many people come here in search of a rare bird called Gurneys Pitta. I did not see it. There are numerous trails, a wodden boardwalk and a lovely emerald pool for swimming.
    Its a nice experience to go swimming in the jungle.

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  • volun-tourism in phang nga

    by sallybrit Written Feb 15, 2008

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    I’ve just spent a month with the NGO 'Andaman Discoveries' and it was the best month of my life!! They're based on the North Andaman Coast and do eco-tourism with villages that were destroyed by the tsunami. In fact it was the villagers who came up with the idea after having lost everything and realising they were in need of finding a new way of income and sustainable livelihood. I did a mixture of things, from jungle hikes and snorkeling off deserted islands, cooking with my home-stay family, orchid and mangrove conservation, soap making and batik work shops etc etc... Then I spent two weeks teaching in the local school. They do so much other cool stuff as well but it depends how long you want to stay and what you decide to do with your time. You can stay for anything from one day to a few months, unlike some other organizations like this which make you commit for a long time an pay a shed-load!! That’s another great thing is you get to choose your itinerary yourself so you can have as much work and as much play time as you want!! It's like nothing I've ever done before. I really felt like a part of the community- they take you in as one of their own and the interaction is like you'd never get in any of the popular destinations like Phuket and some of the other islands. I'm going back next year to teach again and revisit the villagers. I really recommend it for anyone really- single travelers or groups, families...apparently the youngest volun-tourist they ever had was 7, and the eldest who is coming back for a second time is 73!! So if you’re specifically looking for something interesting to do this holiday, or you’re in Thailand and fancy a change for a day or two, go see them coz they’re wicked! Everyone should do it, it's the best thing ever!!

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    RANG HILL

    by STRATOS79 Written Sep 30, 2007

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    On the northeast side of Phuket town following Yaowarat road there is Rang hills. In the middle of the park there is a statue of Khaw Sim Bee (1857-1913) government of Phuket for 12 years since 1901 also from the top of the hills there is a wonderful view of the south part of the island

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    • Hiking and Walking

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