Temples, Tuk Tuks and Thai Cooking – Phuket
by Grove Travel
The next leg of our journey took us to the island of Phuket, Thailand – its just a one hour 10 minute flight from Bangkok.
I had booked the resort of Karon on the South West coast of Phuket staying at Centara Karon and arranged for the hotel to pick us up.
On the rainy drive (!) to the hotel it was a complete contrast to Bangkok and the hustle and bustle of the city, relaxed and casual looking.
The check in took longer at this hotel and was teeming with Australian families, we had chosen a Tropical room with club room access. This gave us pre dinner drinks every evening from 5.30pm-7pm and was well worth having. The rooms in my opinion could do with a revamp as they are looking a little tired, although the rest of the resort is clean with good facilities.
The resort of Karon is friendly and relatively small, the sea front is a long stretch within a 5 minute walk from the hotel.
There are plenty of little bars and restaurants and one of favourites was Baan Thai where we ate twice during our 7 nights there. We enjoyed lobster, oysters and king prawns as well as red wine and a shared starter which came to a total cost of £40 for the two us.
There are plenty of excursion offices in Karon and I would suggest seeing what you want to do when you get there. We decided on a speed boat all day trip to Phi Phi Island and it was well worth the £80 cost for the two of us and included lunch and hotel pick up. The beach is beautiful and the sand is like talcum powder, there were a lot of other boats there which spoilt the effect somewhat but that’s tourism for you and they certainly need it after the effects of the Tsunami.
We also saw the Simon Cabaret which is a (how shall I put it?!) low budget lady boy show, it just needs to be taken with a pinch of salt and is a bit of fun.
One evening we ventured into Patong which is an £8 taxi journey from Karon, this is NOT for the faint hearted!!! There is one main strip which is a walking street called Bangla Road, it was packed full of people. There are bars lining the streets and some rather “colourful” nightlife!! We walked through it twice before we’d had enough and managed to escape to the beach road for a bit of peace, we had a couple of drinks and then made it back to the safety of Karon.
The other end of Karon beach is the resort of Kata which is also very nice with some lovely restaurants, we went to On The Rocks restaurant which can be reached through The Marina hotel gardens. You dine on the terrace overlooking the whole bay, we chose the fresh fish which is cooked to order and was delicious.
On our last day I signed up for the Thai Cookery lesson. I met my 6 fellow cooks at the hotel reception where we all boarded the hotel minibus with our leader who took us to the food market of Patong. I was mesmerised by all the different fruits and vegetables some of which I have never seen before. There were 5 different types of crabs (who knew?!), lobsters, live frogs (yes, really!) and a coconut milk machine amongst hundreds of other things.
After the joys of the market we were taken back to the hotel to meet chef Smwah who went through the ingredients for Tom Yum Soup, Thai pork curry and Chicken and cashew stir fry. We all had a lot of fun and best of all we got to enjoy the fruits of our labour with a glass of wine after.
So I am now a Thai cooking expert, yes I have the apron and certificate to prove it!!!!!
When we booked our 10 nights in Thailand everyone said it wouldn’t be long enough but I honestly feel we did everything that we wanted to and any more may have been too much.
I look forward to planning your trip to Thailand so come in soon and see me!