"What? Why did you choose Phuket? You should have gone to Bangkok!"
"There's nothing to see in Phuket except the beaches."

It's common to hear such exclamations from friends around you, no doubt. Unlike the vibrant street life in Thailand's bustling capital city, Bangkok, Phuket is usually known only for their beaches and island-hopping day trips. However, my third trip to Phuket island got me exposed to many discoveries through local delicacies, amazing picturesque viewpoints and even interesting finds from their local convenience stores. Today, I'd be sharing some of my favourite finds in Phuket and showing you a different side of little Phuket island.

1) An afternoon of cafe-hopping


Nicky's Handlebar


First stop, we made our way to Nicky's Handlebar — a biker themed bar and hotel in the heart of Patong beach. Whether you're a Harley fan or cafe-hopping enthusiast, you'd definitely love the vibes of this open-concept restaurant. With an assortment of Thai and international dishes, the dishes were reasonably priced for its location, with attentive staff at your service. You'd be in for a surprise when you visit the back of their restaurant, with a row of cool biker merchandise and even a fancifully decorated washroom. 

Bookhemian

Phuket Old Town is not only a historically rich part of town frequented by tourists, it has also developed a strong cafe culture over many years. At Bookhemian, we were in awe with the antique interiors, art works and bookshelves that shaped its lovely cafe space. We tried the mashmallow coffee and I'm not even kidding about how perfect the entire consistency was! Check out their art gallery on the second floor too, and make sure to bring your cameras along.

UnforgetTable


Stumbled onto another hideout in Phuket Old Town when settling for our mid-afternoon desserts. The cafe name, UnforgetTable, says it all. We were (very) warmly welcomed by the friendly owner, and the tiny tea cup decorations in the cafe space that made it feel like a little wonderland. We were recommended their new blueberry cheesecake creation, and gave their local mango sticky rice a try. We could actually stay here for half a day! 

2) Interesting snack shops


7-11 convenience store

So, my boyfriend and I were walking along the streets of Patong Beach and decided to enter their local 7-11 convenience store to escape the heat. Little did we know that it was a little snack heaven, starting from prices such as 30 cents for their delicious sliced milk and butter bread. They even have the highly-raved honey butter chips from Korea, except Thai-styled, and unique beauty drinks for extra collagen or Vitamins. Some things that you wouldn't see in our 7-11 outlets in Singapore — or even so, at a cheaper price!

Local stalls by the streets

While wandering along Phuket Old Town, we chanced by a small mama shop selling local bites and snacks at only 5-20 cents per item on average! From butter biscuits and coconut candies, to sticky mochi and Thai crackers, there's just so much to love about these street stalls in Thailand! Best of all, these are really affordable options to bag home as souvenirs for your friends and family, and given how these snacks bring back fond memories of our childhood days, that's extra plus points. x

Supercheap Phuket

As true as its name, this outlet sells super cheap products 24 hours a day! We were lucky to have found a SuperCheap convenience store a stone's throw away from our Airbnb apartment, They sell everything and anything, from alcohol and Thai snacks, to detergent packs and household necessities. Totally recommended to pop by any of their outlets in Phuket to take a look!

3) Instagrammable Photography Spots


Big Buddha Phuket

Phuket Big Buddha, a 45 meter tall white marble statue, is one of the must-see attractions in Phuket if you're planning to visit their local temples and historical places — and on top of that, free entry! However, the steal of today's article is the journey up to Big Buddha when we stopped by a nearby open-spaced restaurant for a breathtaking view of the island. Plus, you can enjoy the view over a nice local meal and just take in the moment. 

Phuket Yacht Club

Another lovely space we chanced upon was whilst making our drive to Phuket Yacht Club before stumbling upon this lovely lalang field along the small roads. The locals were spending an afternoon fishing nearby, and once when you reach Phuket Yacht Club, you'll be greeted by a spread of sea and blasts of winds to cool off in this scorching weather. 

Karon Viewpoint

We were intending to catch a sunset at one of the famous viewpoints in Phuket, but the skies were looking a little gloomy due to the rainy season. That didn't deter us from snapping pictures, and soon it cleared for the better. Phuket has a couple of fantastic viewpoints overlooking the skies and beaches, so try to head down during the non-rainy seasons to catch the sunsets at a perfect timing. 

Laem Hin Seafood

Laem Hin Seafood is an all-time favourite restaurant frequented by the locals. Not only does it serve up fresh seafood dishes at reasonable prices, they also have beautiful bridges for phototaking spots and strolling before dusk. In fact, there is more to Phuket than just these Instagrammable spots listed above. What we loved about the island is the timeless beauty that Mother Nature had to offer, something that's harder to find nowadays with the continuous effects of globalization. 

4) Local Street Food


Kota Khao Mun Kai

If you're a fan of Haianese chicken rice or craving for local Singaporean dishes all the way at Phuket, look no further. We drove to Kota Khao Mun kai and were really impressed with their famous Thai chicken rice! The chicken slices were tender and juicy, best coupled with their unique spicy sauces for flavour. Not only was the food delicious, but prices were reasonable too and service was great! Anyone along the Old Phuket Town has got to give it a try at least once.

Lock Tien Food Court

One of the other popular stalls among the many cafes and shop houses in Old Phuket Town is the Lock Tien Food Court that serves up a variety of delicious meals from a couple of stalls. Their Hokkien Noodles, pork satay and spring rolls are the more popular dishes among visitors, and we also gave the famous Phuket dessert, shaved ice and banana jelly, a try!

Other Parts of Phuket

Thailand serves up really delicious local delicacies in general, and we had many other yummy food served up to us at other locations. In fact, I'm a huge fan of the Thai stir-fried omelette from Laem Hin Seafood, we actually went back there for a second serving before our flight departure on the last day of stay. Trust me, it's a never ending food paradise in Thailand, and Phuket offers no less a string of appetizing food dishes all over the country.

5) Cheap Fashion Apparels


Nanoi Road, Phuket

While driving along one of the roads around Patong Beach, we chanced by a fashion store selling many apparels, from work attire and casual wear to cardigans and killer heels. They also have basic singlets, tops and denim shorts further indoors. Of course, if you're comparing to Bangkok, there's definitely more that the latter has to offer. However, I believe you can still find hidden gems such as these along corners of the streets for a little surprise!

All in all, we had a brilliant time in Phuket and really enjoyed discovering interesting local finds the most. Hope you've gained a different perspective of what Phuket island has to offer :) Find out more details on the stay in our accommodation, or even check out HotelsCombined to compare the best hotel deals for your next trip to Phuket!

Love,
Chelsea x