There are loads of things to do in Phuket apart from just the usual island hopping and beach activities. Given that there are so many tourists visiting Thailand especially during its peak season within January to April, finding ways to enjoy can be a bit tricky if you’re not too keen having random people photobombing all your selfies. Patong, Kata and Karon are packed – from their beaches, restaurants and bars! Especially the islands like Phi Phi, Krabi and Samui are crowded at this time.
So if you are like me, who prefers a more steady way of exploring a city, while still having a taste of its culture and traditions at the same time, then here are a couple of fun activities we did, which allowed us to experience Thailand’s beautiful culture, sans the hectic crowd.
Visit the Tigers – Getting up close and personal with these amazing tigers isn’t exactly how our average day looks like. So we thought we’d give it a shot, especially since the Tiger Kingdom wasn’t as packed with tourists. We of course had our reservations after watching a lot of Animal Planet and reading horrifying zoo mauling accidents. But after talking to an 8 year old American boy about his experience with the baby tiger, and telling us coward adults to just give it a go, we then went for it with me silently praying for a safe encounter.
The cage guides will of course give you safety instructions (for strict compliance) on how to proceed as you enter the cage, how to touch the tigers (always from the back!) and no camera flashes. You then proceed to the cage of the tiger you picked based on their sizes : small, medium or large. We, feeling mighty after our pep talk with an 8 year old, picked the large tigers.
Our cage had 5 huge tigers in it. One was happily swimming in the pool, the other lazily sleeping under the sun, while the rest were just playing around. They turned out to be very nice and gentle, as long as of course we humans follow the rules strictly. Over all, despite me still having a bit of fear the entire time we were in the cage, I was still glad we went for it.
Take a Thai Cooking Class – Ok I’ll be honest, the top reason why we are here in Thailand is because of their food! Mathias is most likely a Thai Chicken and Cashews certified addict by now, and so learning how to cook Thai food just made perfect sense. We enrolled in our villa – sponsored Thai cooking class, a private class done by their own resort chef. (Other resorts and hotels have this class too, together with Muay Thai and Yoga classes, plus massages!) We had it at the villa patio right across the glistening ocean. We learned how to cook 4 traditional Thai dishes : Tom Yam Goong, Chicken Curry in Coconut Cream, Crab Meat Curry in Coconut Broth, and of course what we came here for, Stir Fried Chicken and Cashews! Best part was, we got to eat everything we cooked, with the ocean as our view. And because we got too hungry, we didn’t get to take any food shots (which I hardly ever do anyway hehe). Such a perfect lunch treat for us!
So there you have it, two great and delicious ways to immerse in Thailand’s culture! Hope you find these tips fun and useful should you be visiting sunny Phuket anytime soon! ☺