Floating in the Andaman Sea off Thailand’s coast, Phuket lures you in with its white sand beaches and ancient temples, but you’ll stick around for the food. In between shaking the sand from your sandals and admiring Wat Chalong, your nose will catch the scent of banana pancakes and noodle soup that wafts through the air. Food is everywhere during a Phuket holiday—nibble by nibble, you can try it all with just a few dollars and a big appetite. We asked the travel experts at Expedia Australia to recommend the best Phuket food adventures…
One of the most rewarding activities you can schedule during your time on Phuket is a cooking class. Not only do you get to try scrumptious Thai dishes, but you can re-create them once your holiday is over. Some of the most popular classes on the island take place at Phuket hotels, like the Boathouse Resort, which has classes on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday led by Executive Chef Brian Burger. You’ll learn about Thai herbs before diving into a wok demonstration and learning how to make a sweet massaman curry.
Another popular class takes place near Kata Beach at Kata Thai. Your instructor Sally opens each session with lemongrass tea before walking you through making green curry, pad thai, and other savoury meals from scratch. Classes are offered Monday through Saturday, and most also include a tour of the food market across the street. Your dinner parties back home will never be the same.
UNESCO has honoured Phuket Town as one of the “World’s Leading Cities of Gastronomy”, and its food tours let you sample it all (or at least, enough to brag about). Embark on the Old Town Phuket & Peranakan Food Trail tour and you will eat local delicacies including dim sum and rice vermicelli, moo hong, and charcoal-fried roti pancakes. After mingling with locals and soaking up the charm of Phuket Town, your day will end on Khao Rang Hill. This lookout point is the perfect spot to grab dessert as you gaze out on the city.
If you’re on a budget, we recommend seeking out street food when you need to refuel. You can grab a filling plate or bowl for under 50 baht. You won’t have to break out your binoculars to find food stalls on the island, but the street food does tend to congregate in certain areas, including Phuket Town. Some of the best cuisine from street stalls includes satay skewers, noodle soup, dim sum, roti pancake, and o-tao omelettes. If you’re not in Phuket Town, don’t worry—street food is also set up on most busy corners and outside any event centre or mall.
Markets are a big part of daily life in Phuket, so they’re a natural part of any foodie adventure. One of the most popular public markets is Banzaan Market on Patong Beach. Go upstairs to eat at the food court, or stick to the produce market where you can grab a bag of peppers and plantains before you pick up some fresh flowers and a tasty guava juice. Phuket is also known for its night markets, and one of our favourites is the Chillva Market. It opens every day at 4 pm, and it’s the perfect place to listen to live music as you taste homemade fruity ice cream or sip on a beer while you devour pad thai.
There are loads of things to do in Phuket, but one thing is certain: you’ll leave with a happy heart and very full stomach! With an open mind and a pocket full of change, you can try a bite of just about everything—and your next holiday destination will have a lot to live up to.