Your bags are packed and you’re ready to go, where will your adventures lead you this time? Having explored all the Thai restaurants Oxford has to offer, it sounds like a trip to Phuket might be in order. The island and province is located on the south west coast of the Andaman Sea, connected to the mainland by the Sarasin Bridge.
Beaches for Days
A beautiful island, with mountains covering 70% of its landscape, Phuket is also home to 36 sandy beaches where locals and tourist alike can enjoy a day of relaxation in paradise. Daytime isn’t the only time to experience the beaches, as they also play host to a bustling nightlife. While most beaches have some formof nightlife, Soi Bangla in the Patong Beach area is meant to be the hottest place on the island, with closing time at 2am – but you can expect the party to continue well past that!
If you’re looking for some culture, just a 45-minute drive from Patong Beach is the Phuket Big Buddha.This 45-metre tall statue, made of white marble, is located on top of a hill which offers spectacular views of the island.
The Spicier the Better
If you’re looking for some delicious and spicy Thai cuisine, you’ve chosen the right place – Phuket is known for having some of the spiciest food in Thailand. Some popular local dishes include Tom Yum Koon, Tom Ka Kai, Som Tam, HorMok, KuayTiew and an all-around favourite, Phad Thai. It’s of course recommended that you try the food as is – however, if you can’t handle the heat, just remember the phrase ‘Mai Pet’, which translates to ‘no spice’. Another speciality of Phuket? Well, seeing as it is an island, it should come as no surprise that seafood is the answer. Where else might you find delicious pan-Asian cuisine? Banana Tree in the UK offers an array of dishes from all over Southeast Asia, such as their fresh Thai Calamari, mouth-watering Thai Green Curry and of course the ever-popular Phad Thai as well.
The Vegetarian Festival
If you happen to visit Phuket in October, you’re in for a real treat. Starting on the 9th of October and ending on the 17th is the annual Vegetarian Festival,a Taoist event celebrated in Thailand and across Southeast Asia. Other names for the festival include the Nine Emperor Gods Festival or the Kin Jay Festival.
Running for nine entertaining days, filled with chanting and dancing, devotees give up meatand the chosen ones, called mahsong, wear elaborate costumes. Other practices of the festival see the mah song walking across hot coals or laying on beds of knives.
And oh, the food! Everything served during the festival is vegan. Participating restaurants and food stalls create wonderous vegan versions of meat dishes, with the same texture and appearance of the meat they are recreating – to try some of this food for yourself, look for a yellow flag with red Chinese lettering that signifies that the place serves special food during the vegetarian festival.
Hopefully you’re now convinced that Phuket is the place you need to go, to enjoy one last summer getaway – or an Autumn retreat to experience all that the vegetarian festival has to offer. Happy travels!