Travel | 72 Hours in Phuket
Thailand is a land well versed in smiles, tropical fruits, and rich traditions that separate it from its Southeast Asian neighbours. While there are many destinations to discover in this luscious land like Bangkok’s bustling concrete jungle, Chiang Mai’s ancient mountain temples, or Pai’s relaxing rice field scene, we could only spare 72 hours and decided to explore paradise in the southern tip of Phuket. The largest of the Thai islands, Phuket offers a plethora of authentic cultural immersion while somehow holding a space for contemporary capacity with an abundance of vegan cafes, yoga studios, and other wellness related aspects found throughout the island. A balanced blend of maintaining cultural roots while creating an awareness for the modern age, there are unique elements of Thai traditions that catapulte it to a destination seeped in respect, connection and a deep consciousness to our ancient human narrative. Driving through the dense jungle of Phuket in a tuk-tuk you feel a freshness to the air and a tenacious pull to the natural surroundings of the island lifestyle. Here shoes come off, hair comes down, and the boho traveller inside awakens, eager to climb out and dive into the cloudless turqouise salt water sea.
Where We Stay:
The Shore at Katathani is one of our top spots for a secluded seaside sanctuary that celebrates the simple pleasures in every moment. A luxurious collection of private pool villas makes for the ultimate romantic getaway. Spoils with sunken lounges, bath with rain showers and panoramic views of Kata Noi beach below. This hotel embraces the philosophy when the kids are away adults will play and does not permit children under the age of 12.
Discover the island in chic style at the Twinpalms Phuket, a Garden of Eden oasis experience that includes hip bars, restaurants, beach clubs and contemporary designed interior that harmonises with the natural beauty of surrounding tall palm trees and a lazy lagoon pool.
If you’re like us and constantly on the lookout for the weirdly unqiue and wildly luxurious hotel hotspots, welcome to The Naka. Where industrial rustic meets urban jungle carved into an untouched hillside overlooking the exclusive Nal Yae beach on the western side of the island. Each villa features a private infinity pool with spectacular views of a sparkling Andaman Sea. Among its world class facilities, a personal favourite here is the Meka Sky Lounge where you can sit back, relax and enjoy a panoramic sunset view over a sumptous meal.
Escape from reality and step into the whimsical tropical wonderland of Keemala. A haven deep in the rainforests of Keemala where the focus is to cultivate a deeper quality of life through embracing immersive activities that reflect a Thai cultural philosophy. Relax and revitalise your energy amongst enchanting evergreens, enjoy the wide range of spa treatments, holistic programs, gastronomic opportunities, and indulge your inner child at the awe inspiring beauty of Keemala.
We decided to adopt the Thai mantra of “Mai Pen Rai” and dared to live our best life at the Rosewood Hotel Phuket Private Island. A dizzingly dreamy hotel experience awaits as you walk around the celestial space that seamlessly combines unearthly luxury with tropical paradise. Here you can have fun in the sun with the whole family as the Rosewood encourages all ages to bask in the beachside beauty while offering an exquiste selection of spa pampering treatments and delectably unique restaurants.
The Racha is a postcard-perfect backdrop. The five star eco-chic luxury island resort is tucked away within Racha Yai’s white sand crescent bay surrounded by an azure Andaman sea. A sanctuary not only for guests who wish to get away from the mainland, but also for the environment with the resort’s eco conscious ethos.
Where We Eat:
We know more than anyone how difficult it can be travelling for those of us with food allergies. In our case gluten is not a friend and gluten free options are pretty hard to come by in Thailand. So you can imagine our excitement when we happened to stumble upon the little gem Bake Free whose gluten free bread just might beat the real thing! In addition to a dynamite breakfast menu they have soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods (gluten free of course).
Coffee Tribe is the ultimate fusion of Thai and Western, with innovative and healthy choices like their Panang Wrap and a natural interior that gives all the good vibes. This cafe ranks high on our list. If you’re craving a little nutrition and bold enough to get a little spicy, welcome to the Tribe.
The Acai Ship has set sail and landed on Phuket’s shores. Nana Bowls took over the town last year winning the Thai Business Awards “Health Food Brand of the Year” by taking smoothies to another level. The smoothie bowl revolution was started by Phil Anthony and Jessica Moses who decided to pack their bowls with protein using 100% natural ingredients free from dairy, gluten, soy and artificial flavours with no added sugar… and somehow make it taste damn amazing! You can find Nana pretty much in any health conscious cafe around town so keep your eyes open!
Rarely is there a restaurant where locals share their secret with travellers. Luckily for us, the Thai people wish nothing more than to bring smiles to farangs (foreigners) through their deliciously bold (& sometimes spicy) cuisine. Street Hut is the place to be whether it’s your first time or your daily grub it’s the best place to get a quick cheap bite without compromising on quality.
While there is no shortage of good seafood in Phuket, we were on the hunt for something special. We wanted to dive head first into an authentic Thai gastronomy experience and we found Kan Eang to fit the bill just right. It’s location next to the Chalong pier made for the perfect place to watch the sunset over the horizon, we got to choose what we wanted to eat straight from the tank!
As much as we love to explore a destination through experiencing local delicacies we couldn’t resist the mouthewatering aroma that ascended from the hidden Green Tamarind. The veggie burger was out of this world and for the meat lovers among us, they satisfied their fill with GT’s deliciously juicy patties.
Where We Play:
With the influx of tourism Thailand has received over the past few years, it has without a doubt brought a lot of benefits to the Kingdom. However, there have been some negative consequences like the increased abuse of elephants for human pleasure. These magnificent mammals have long been a target for logging and circus shows, but now a new threat has emerged and it’s places like Phuket Elephant Sanctuary that are trying to put an end to the abuse. We spent an afternoon playing, feeding, and bathing with the elephants all the while learning about the sad truth of how tourism has brought an increased number of trekking camps to Thailand. The best way we can help these gentle giants is by being a voice for them and educating ourselves about the reality and only giving our support to sanctuaries like this one that aim to provide a final safe space for retired elephants.
Regardless if you’re a talented dancer, (we’re certaintly not) when it comes to Thursdays you’ll find us at Chalong Bay Rum Distillery getting our sweat on with Salsa Night and staying hydrated with their killer list of cocktails. Unless you happen to be Cuban and salsa runs through your blood, you’ll be thankful for the professional that MC’s the evening and breaks down the moves!
Where We Get Our Zen:
Phuket Cleanse is among Thailand’s top wellness and fitness detox centres that offers a personalised program to help you meet your goals. impressively cutting edge cuisine that somehow manages to infuse a strictly nutritious menu with classic choices, a medley of activities to get your blood flowing like yoga, Muay Thai, HIIT, strength training, beach workouts, panoramic hikes, SUP boarding, and so much more. If spiritual awakening is what you are seeking then PC is the place for you, offering a variety of meditations, workshops, and the occasional cacao ceremony! PC is the essence of a changemaker community that aims to help you get the life you deserve by opening up their doors and hearts to anyone willing to take a chance on themselves.
We decided to tap into our inner zen and try a yoga class at Action Point. Let me tell you, we walked away feeling everything but dissapointment. This is a utopia for fitness and wellness activites that nurture the physical, mental, and spirirtual journeys we are looking to fulfill. Get your sweat on with AP’s weight lifting, Muay Thai, cross training, beach workouts, or hot yoga and wind down with a hot steam room and ice bath before you head to the beach to waste the day away. Just make sure to stay hydrated by sipping on some fresh coconuts!
If you’re fitness oriented then Tiger Muay Thai Street is definitely worth checking out. This street is pretty much gyms, Muay Thai studios, and the rest are the cutest little cafes that serve deliciously fresh and vegan food! Also a little secret, there’s an amazing little froyo store with all the toppings to take you out of this world.
You can’t go to Phuket without at least walking around Old Phuket Town. The most historical part of the island you can see brightly painted, century old Sino-Portugese townhouses that are still well preserved along Soi Rommanee. If you happen to be here on the weekends be sure to stick around for the Sunday Night Market where you can taste special Thai street food and get all those souvenirs you’ve been putting off!
Walking through Patong Beach feels like you’re back on Khao San Road at the beach. Buckets of mystery alcohol, bright body paint, weird snacks on sticks, and nothing but bars and clubs for as far as the eye can see. While we’re not the biggest boozers, we still decided to experience Patong in all it’s glory and after an hour we defintitely felt like we got the full experience!