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One Day In…Phuket, Thailand

One Day In…Phuket, Thailand

Traveler Profile: Katie, UK

Location: Phuket, Thailand 

Time of Year: April 

Travel Goals: An ethical elephant sanctuary, art, adventure, Thai food 

Having lived in Phuket for several years, I share some of my favorite experiences for you to discover. Phuket, the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’, is a destination that seamlessly blends its rich cultural influences with the breathtaking beauty of its natural surroundings. My guide will help those looking to experience the essence of Phuket in just one day, from sunrise to sunset, offering a curated itinerary that highlights the island’s diverse attractions.

Breakfast on Karon Beach

Image credit: Soul Phuket

Start your day with breakfast at Soul Phuket. The restaurant is environmentally sustainable and dedicated to your wellbeing, promoting mindful eating choices that positively impact your health and ecological balance. The restaurant specializes in whole-food vegan cuisine, aiming to provide meals that benefit physical and mental health, facilitating the body’s self-healing and regulatory processes. The entire team strives to create harmonious connections. The menu accommodates various dietary requirements, including gluten-free and low-glycemic index options. You’ll meet the furry family members, Lucky, Dodgie, and Brownie.

My Insider’s Tip: Chat with Adelaide and Oliver, the founders of Soul, about living their vegan passion every day. I can highly recommend ‘the complete’ for a hearty breakfast with scrambled tofu, homemade vegan sausage, bacon and hash brown, avocado toast, mushroom, spinach, tomato, and beetroot hummus.

Website: https://www.soulphuket.com/

A Morning with the Elephants at Hidden Forest Elephant Reserve

Image credit: Hidden Forest Elephant Reserve

Hidden Forest Elephant Reserve offers an extraordinary sanctuary for elephants, providing a refuge that emphasizes ethical treatment and conservation. You’ll have the unique opportunity to interact with elephants respectfully and learn about their previous lives in the tourism industry, where they were used for ‘entertainment’ and ‘trekking’. The experience is an educational journey into the lives of these magnificent animals, highlighting the importance of conservation efforts and ethical wildlife interactions. Walking with the elephants through their natural habitat, guests gain insight into their daily routines, behaviors, and challenges in the wild.

Lunch at Hidden Forest Elephant Reserve is an extension of the morning’s immersive experience, with a menu that celebrates the bounty of Phuket’s local produce. The dishes served highlight the flavors of Thai cuisine, prepared with plant-based ingredients sourced from the surrounding area. Lunch offers simple and authentic Thai dishes, prepared with care and served in a setting that is in harmony with nature. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the morning’s experiences and continue watching the elephants play in their natural pool while enjoying Phuket’s culinary delights.

My Insiders Tip: Chat with Louise, the founder of The Hidden Forest; there’s nothing she doesn’t know about elephants! She offers an emotionally fascinating insight into their treatment in the tourism and logging trades and how they slowly learn to be ‘elephants’ under her care. You’ll never consider riding an elephant again. 

Website: https://www.hiddenforestelephantreserve.com/ 

An Afternoon in Phuket Old Town

Phuket Old Town is a vibrant celebration of history, culture, and art. The area is renowned for its beautifully preserved Sino-Portuguese architecture, a reminder of Phuket’s past as a trading hub. A graffiti tour through the Old Town reveals a modern expression of creativity, with stunning murals that provide perfect backdrops for Instagram enthusiasts. Art lovers will find a haven in the numerous galleries, including the notable Mr. Zen, which showcases contemporary works by the local artist. This exploration of Phuket Old Town is a journey through time, from its historical roots to its contemporary cultural expressions. If you are exploring Phuket Old Town on Sunday, stay a while and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the walking street market, which offers endless street food, souvenirs, and art. 

My Insider’s Tip: Walk around Phuket Old Town until you get lost; you’ll find masterfully created graffiti at every turn. 

Website: https://www.wua-artgallery.com/

Dinner at Black Ginger at The Slate

Image credit: The Slate Phuket

Dinner at Black Ginger is a culinary highlight, offering a dining experience that is visually stunning and gastronomically satisfying. The restaurant, set on a lagoon and reached by raft, serves innovative Thai cuisine that draws on Phuket’s rich culinary heritage. Executive Sous Chef Piak is the guardian of Black Ginger and has decades of experience in Thai cooking. She has an immense passion for her craft and takes pride in preparing simple, traditional recipes with complex flavors. The menu celebrates local flavors with familiar and surprising dishes and is about experiencing Thai culture and hospitality in a uniquely Phuket setting.

My Insiders Tip: Dine on the Black Ginger Experience menu bursting with flavors and shared dishes. 

Website: https://www.theslatephuket.com/dining/black-ginger.html

Overnight at The Slate

Image credit: The Slate Phuket

Conclude your day in Phuket with a stay at The Slate. This hotel embodies the island’s industrial heritage while providing a luxurious retreat away from the busy streets. The quirky design of The Slate is a nod to Phuket’s tin mining past, blending industrial elements with tropical luxury. The hotel offers a tranquil end to a day filled with exploration and discovery, providing a space to unwind and be pampered.  

My Insiders Tip: Stay in the Bensley Residence for an opulent experience. 

Website: https://www.theslatephuket.com/stay/bensley-residence.html

The History of Phuket

Image Credit: Shutterstock / XiaoToey

Phuket’s history is a rich narrative of trade, cultural exchange, and transformation. Once a significant trading post between India and China, Phuket has seen influences from Portuguese, Dutch, and British traders, which is evident in its architecture, cuisine, and cultural practices. The island’s tin mining industry played a significant role in its economic development, shaping its landscape and society. Today, Phuket celebrates this diverse heritage, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in history and culture.

When to Travel

The best time to visit Phuket is between November and April when the weather is cooler and dry, offering ideal beach activities and exploration conditions. Don’t worry if it’s raining; elephants love to play in a downpour! 

How to Get There

Phuket is accessible by air, with the Phuket International Airport welcoming flights from major cities worldwide. Alternatively, visitors can arrive by road or sea from mainland Thailand, making it a convenient destination for travelers.

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The post One Day In…Phuket first appeared on The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / NDAB Creativity.

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