When I arrived in Phuket, Thailand, I bought my shuttle bus ticket, packed my duffel bag into the back and waited. We waited an eternity in a full van for the driver. I guess I shouldn’t complain as the shared bus is only 200 Thai Baht ($8 Canadian), but after spending 24 hours in a beautiful hotel and seeing Don Mueang airport twice within that 24 hours, I wanted my vacation to start! I chose Phuket over Pattaya – if you’re interested in learning more then check out I’m Voyager’s post here.
Having had a delayed flight and then another 2 hours to drop everyone off in Patong before heading to my hostel (the last stop in Karon), I arrived at my exhausted and mildly peeved. I knew we would have to make a stop at a Travel Excursion shop (go in, tell them your hostel’s name and that you’re not buying anything), but I didn’t realize just how long it would take. I’m not sure how much faster a cab would have been as the beach and most accommodations are at the south end of the island, but I was not a happy camper when I arrived at Doolay Hostel.
The hostel is in Karon Beach, which is one of the less popular beaches in Phuket. Patong Beach is the site of Bangla Road, which reminded me of Vegas, just on all kinds of drugs. This area is full of ladyboys, strippers, and the infamous Ping Pong shows. We’ll get to that. We were on the other side of all that: relatively empty beaches, street food, beachfront bars, and sunsets to melt even the coldest heart (read: mine, but again, we’ll get to that later…).
After checking in, napping a little, and taking a shower, I met my roommates. Our tiny female dorm (we had the smallest room, but the aircon worked, it was nearly bug-free [Thailand, guys], and the mattresses were comfy) was full of nurses from Kansas City who had just spent some time in Korea before popping over to Thailand. One of them had taught in Seoul, too. I was invited along to the Sunday Night Market, but wasn’t entirely sure I was welcome on their ‘Nurses Gone Wild’ trip, so when I saw a dashing, young, bearded man eating cereal and reading a book in the hallway I stopped to chat. I managed to convince this sun-kissed demi-god to come with me to the night market so I could finally get some authentic Thai food. About 45 minutes later we were ready to hit the road.
En route to find a tuk-tuk which wouldn’t gouge us we found banana pancakes. These crepe-like delights came topped with not only Nutella, but also condensed milk. I’m not certain how we never really saw overweight Thai people, but for 60 Thai Baht each (just over $2 Canadian) I can assure you had I stayed in Phuket obesity would have hit me hard and fast.
After eating out banana pancakes, singing Jack Johnson, and admiring the sunsets, it was off to the night market. On the East side of the island, the tuk-tuk cost us just over 200 Thai Baht each, so approximately $25 Canadian for the 3 of us. Tuk-tuks are not as cheap as one might think, and you really do have to haggle them down an excessive amount in Phuket because of all the tourism.
The Night Market was packed! Sunday nights tend to be the most exciting of the night markets in Thailand, in my limited experience. Everyone was in a good mood selling their wares. Nobody was too pushy, either. Those who could speak English were happy to explain what kind of dishes they were serving, and some of the jewelry and make-up vendors stopped to chat about my necklace. It was a really relaxing experience, and items were the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere in Thailand, which is interesting since I actually found Phuket to be quite expensive overall.
At the night market you can get all kinds of “street food” from meat on a skewer, to curry noodles or curry on rice with various types of meat or vegetables, cyclone potato chips, cupcakes, brownies, and tons more. The main thing to remember is that if it looks like it’s been sitting around at all? Don’t eat it. We had everything grilled or boiled right in front of us, and I think that kept up from getting sick. You can get your fix of make-up, handbags (knock-offs galore), jewelry, shoes (tons of Converse, Adidas, and Nike), and shirts at this market – it’s huge! I picked up a couple of beer label (Singha and Chiang) t-shirts at the night market in Phuket, but the prices were so good I wish I had gotten more (they were much pricier in Chiang Mai)! Each was 100 Thai Baht ($4). I didn’t even bother haggling because the prices on my t-shirts were so good. We also found places to buy beer even though it was still technically during one of the many drinking bans. Huzzah!
After the Sunday Night Market in Phuket, we headed back to Doolay. I hadn’t actually had that much to eat at the night market, so we stopped into 711 where Ham & Cheese toasties are essential to weary expats. If you’re in Thailand and manage not to taste the magic of a ham and cheese toastie, I’d begin to question whether you were even in Thailand at all.
We also found frozen Penang Chicken Curry with rice which may have been one of the best meals of the week. That, or it was in the wee small hours of the morning and we had been out swimming!
The tasty food continued the next day. Doolay Hostel makes some pretty incredible burgers which you can jack-up with bae (bacon and egg) or extra cheese. We opted for it all, and the burger did not disappoint!
The Doolay Hostel Pad Thai might just beat out my own creation in Bangkok.
The Tom Kha Gai was great, but I would opt for the Pad Thai. It had a solid amount of tender, roast chicken and the tamarind sauce was excellent.
Massaman Curry is FAMOUS in the South, so when I finally got my hands on a bowl it was well worth the wait. The creamy and delicious, spicy curry left me completely blissed out. Had I just come for the curry I would have been pleased with this particular dish in Phuket!
At #KaronBeach in #Phuket #Thailand. What a great day! #Beach #phuketthailand #phukettrip #phukettown #girlslovetravel #socialmedia #wearetravelgirls #digitalnomadgirls #travelista #seetheworld #instapassport #TOSocialThai #thailandtourism #travel #trip #traveler #travelblogger #travelblog #igpossetravels #blog #blogger #worldtravel #adventure #expats #커플스타그램 #Airasiatravels #myredtrip
Finally, welcome to The Toronto Seoulcialite, H, and welcome to Seoul as of September 21st! I can’t wait for you to arrive. Let’s try to cook Thai food once again!
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