Dive deep into a cultural exploration of Phuket; shun those crowded attractions, chaotic parties and overpacked beaches. Instead, make your way to intriguing off-the-beaten-path ventures. Steeped in history and culture, these sites offer a fascinating sight, revealing a side to the island and its people that are not known to many…
A colourful night of fun, food and entertainment awaits at Siam Niramit. Tuck into a buffet spread before the start of a dazzling performance, made up of traditional Thai golden finger nail, sword and bamboo dance performances, as well as shadow puppet shows, folk songs and Thai boxing matches. The addition of special effects lend a unique touch to the show. There is much to see and do even before the show starts; arrive early to take a tour around the fascinating Thai village displays and pre-show demonstrations. At the end of the evening, you will leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of Thai culture and history.
CHINA INN PHUKET CAFE
Enjoy a cultural dining experience at the atmospheric China Inn Phuket Cafe, a charming restaurant set in the heart of Phuket’s old town. Steeped in history and tradition, this beautifully restored Chinese shophouse serves as both a shop and restaurant. The front of the store displays a tasteful collection of oriental fixtures, such as figurines, furnitures and artifacts. Venture to the back, and you arrive at the restaurant, run by the genial Khun Noi. It is not hard to figure out why this place draws a consistent crowd; the setting is lovely, the homecooked fare delicious and the service, absolutely fautless.
KO SIRAY SEA GYPSY VILLAGE
Venture off the beaten path from Phuket’s crowded coasts to her tranquil western shores. There lies Ko Siray Sea Gypsy Village, home to the Moken sea gypsies. Known as ‘chao ley’ in local terms, they are believed to be the original inhabitatns of Phuket. This quiet village emits a sense of peacefulness hardly found in other areas of the island. Take an exploratory stroll around the area, and you will find little else apart from a couple of beachfront restaurants, and a handful of stalls selling pearl jewellery and seashells.
For a more insightful discovery, engage a guide from organisations such as Phuket Heritage Trails. Conversant in Thai, your guide will be able to strike up a conversation with the villages, providing you with more information about lifestyles and culture of the locals.
ELEPHANT SHRINE AT PROMTHEP CAPE
Take a flight of steps from the car park, and it will lead you to an elephant shrine dedicated to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. This well-preserved attraction, enveloped by thousands of wooden elephants of all sizes, offers a sight that is colourful and mesmerising. Be sure to stop by the peak of Promthep Cape during the magical golden hours of the day; arrive in the wee hours of the morning to catch the sunrise, or linger about in the early evening to secure your spot for an unforgettable sunset show.
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