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‘A Chef’s Tour’ A Phuket Must

in Dining/Recreation by
Produce Market Phuket

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti

In 2017 Phuket was crowned a City of Gastronomy by UNESCO and anyone who has ever experienced real Thai food will agree that it’s arguably one of the best foods in the world. A balance between sweet, spicy, bitter, salty and sour is the main reason why Thai food is so special. But in internationally renowned Phuket, you find there’s actually much more than Thai cuisine to tantalize your taste buds.

chinese doors phuket

Having lived and worked in Phuket for the past 11 years I thought I had experienced most of southern Thai food, as well as some of the dishes from the North. In my culinary journey, (which does make me sound like a foodie millennial) have tried chicken feet and chicken heart, fried silk worms, raw prawns in fish sauce, chili and lime (this is one of my favourites to order) and a bitter-tasting green vegetable thing that to this day I have no idea what it was, although it was disgusting.

In May this year, it was announced that the legendary Michelin Guide will now include restaurants from Phuket and Phang Nga. With all the accolades that Thai food has received and now with the car tire manufacturer’s marshmallow man in the picture I thought it time to jump on the food cart wagon and see what is out there in terms of food tours and adventures.

Old Town Phuket

A CHEF’S TOUR

There are of course some fabulous cooking schools in Phuket that will teach you how to cook an authentic Pad Thai or a Green Curry, but isn’t it better to get out of the TV kitchen and hit the streets? I wanted to eat and drink with the locals. So, along with my friend we chose to go on A Chef’s Tour, which is a boutique tour that gives you a true flavor of food in Phuket and as you will find out, this tour gives you a whole lot more.

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • 4-hour guided walking tour of Phuket Old Town
  • Tastings at hidden “street eats” and local restaurants
  • History and culture lesson on southern Thai cuisine
  • Great photo opportunities
  • Drinking water and Thai refreshments
  • Private fully-licensed (foodie) guide

red Chinese lanterns Phuket

On the steps of one of Phuket Town’s largest indoor markets,

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Bali restaurants and party venues for groups

in Dining by
La Laguna

Bring a crowd. Bali loves a party and whether your crowd is 10 or 100 people, some of Bali’s best venues are happy to host and do it brilliantly. Here are our top picks.

Bali restaurants for groups

 La Laguna La Laguna

La Laguna

Spread out over a large garden, with views over the long stretch of beach from Kuta to Canggu, La Laguna on Kayu Putih Beach, is a fantasy. The whimsical restaurant and garden bar is festooned intimate corners, where creative moments are coloured by tumble-down chic. Choose your space, your menu, drinks and they’ll even lay down a soundtrack just for you. Villas Zelie and Avalon are right next door.

La Laguna
Jl. Pantai Kayu Putih, Berawa, Canggu
Monday-Sunday 9AM-12AM
+62 0812-3638-2272
lalagunabali.com

 Ling LingsLing Lings Ling Lings

Ling-Lings has brought Asian-fusion to a whole new level of delicious. The menu is a mix of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese street food, and the cocktails almost steal the show. The animated restaurant has a large terrace overlooking the street, a long bar, booth seats indoors and a funky backyard just made for parties. Choose from a la carte or cater for a crowd with finger food, sushi platters and canapés. Cocktails by the jug or served in real fruit containers add colour and fun to any event. Check their VIP room for a more intimate setting.

Ling-Lings
Jl. Petitenget No. 43 B, Kerobokan
Monday-Sunday 12PM-1AM
+62 819-1641-7867
linglingsbali.com

Da Maria Da Maria

This modern Italian restaurant will soon have you speaking Italian and dancing through their cocktail menu. With great wine, and great design, Da Maria turns on the charm from lunch to late dinner! Known for its Neopolitan pizzas (and the handsome pizzaiolo), and hand crafted pasta, Da Maria sings for its supper. Book tables inside, take over the bar or throw a cocktail party in the Capri-inspired entertaining space at the back.

Da Maria
Jl. Petitenget No.170, Kerobokan
Monday-Sunday 12PM-2AM
+62 361 9348523
damariabali.com

 
Bali party venues

Waterbom Waterbom

It’s not just for kids anymore. Waterbom has teamed up with one of the island’s top caterers,

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5 brilliant things to do in Koh Samui

in Recreation by
Boating and diving in Koh Samui

The range of things to do and see in Koh Samui, Thailand is extremely varied and interesting. The island offers a host of activities for those looking for adventure, sport, nature or just relaxing and enjoying a holiday at one of our Koh Samui beachfront villas. Discover Koh Samui’s natural splendour, modern man-made attractions and religious and cultural sights. Of course let’s not forget the perfect beaches, night markets and lively nightlife, either.

There is so much to see and do on this island, it can be hard to fit it all into one trip or, for that matter, one blog. With our guests’ invaluable feedback, our own local insight and some ingenuity as longtime villa holiday experts, we’ve narrowed it down quite a bit to five essential experiences in Koh Samui.

1. MAGIC BUDDHA GARDEN

Magic Buddha Garden Koh SamuiCopyright image from Magic Buddha Garden

This lovely and quiet place was created by a Thai farmer Nim Thongsuk. The whole area looks like a sculpture garden; it is located along a small mountain river flowing across the Magic Buddha Garden. Khun Nim wanted to build a place where people could enjoy peace and nature.

Statues here depict creatures and deities from Buddhist mythology. There are several viewpoints along the way to Magic Buddha Garden offering a stunning panorama view over the southern part of Koh Samui. There is also an artificially created waterfall named after the creator. The waterfall is located right at the entrance and greets the visitors of the Magical Buddha Garden. It’s a unique treasure best enjoyed in the morning.

2. BOAT TRIPS

Koh Samui boat tripsImage by Sailing in Samui

The Gulf of Thailand is an exciting sailing destination. There are five islands nestled closely together; Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Matsum and Koh Tan. Close by, and the famous Angthong National Marine Park. Each island has its own distinct beauty and offerings of unique terrain, beaches, and attractions.

Boutique Yachting based in Koh Samui offers luxury day trips and private charters to Angthong Marine Park and around Koh Samui. Boutique Yachting has two boats, Naga, which is a classic Turkish Gullet and Baidee, a traditional Indonesian Ketch, and if you chose the private charter or day tour you will be able to view all the stunning islands around Koh Samui from different angles and take in the breathtaking scenery from the sea.

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Lembongan Snorkelling and Fishing Trips

in Families by
Lembongan Snorkelling Trip - Pulau Boat Charter Bali

Dive into ten frequently asked questions about boating day trips in Bali. These honest answers can help you easily plan a fun-filled day on the water with friends or family. 

Top 10 FAQ

  1. Where are the best places in Bali for snorkelling and fishing day trips?
  • Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, east Bali
  • Amed and Tulamben, northeast Bali
  • Menjangan Island, northwest Bali

The best snorkelling and diving areas are offshore, so opt for a private boat charter to guide you. Not far from Bali, Nusa Lembongan is a popular island to visit for snorkelling, sightseeing and lunch on land. 

Bali Coral Reefs and Fish - Pulau Boat Charter

  1. What kind of fish and sea life can you see in Bali?
  • Butterfly Fish, Lion Fish, Parrot Fish and Angelfish
  • Striped Ribbon Sweetlips Fish, Oriental Sweetlips Fish
  • Triggerfish, Surgeonfish and Pufferfish
  • Endangered Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles
  • Blue Ribbon Eel, Yellow, White and Giant Moray Eels
  • Reef Octopus and Dolphins
  • Vivid living corals, Nudibranch, Anemone and Starfish

These are just a few of the exciting sights you can expect. SCUBA divers are also attracted to deeper waters around Bali to observe Mola Mola (Giant Sunfish) and gentle Manta Rays. The entire archipelago of Indonesia is a world-famous destination for snorkelling and diving.

  1. What kind of fish can you catch in Bali?
  • Tuna
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Wahoo
  • Snapper
  • Leather Jacket Fish

Fishing from a boat by trolling or using fishing rods are the best ways to catch ocean fish around Bali and you can also try coral fishing, too.

4. When is the best time to go boating in Bali?

  • Weather is usually best from April to November
  • Bali’s rainier months are December through March
  • Get an early start in the morning
  • Arrive back to shore well before sundown

Any day when the ocean is calm and the sky is clear will give you the best conditions for fishing and swimming. Postponing a trip due to rainy weather or choppy water is wise to ensure a fun day out.

5. What kind of boats are common in Bali?

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New things to do in Phuket

in Recreation by
Phuket paddleboard and kayak

Excited about your trip to Phuket, but don’t know what to do while you’re here?

Having lived in Phuket for 10 years I have experienced a multitude of the amazing activities that you can do while you stay on the pearl of the Andaman. Phuket attracts a host of different types of tourists, tourists from all over the world, all with different budgets and all with different needs and wants from their tropical island experience.

Phuket now has some amazing new and exciting attractions for you to come and try which will enhance your island experience. Here are some great activities that I recommend.

facebook.com/andamannaturephuket/

andaman nature tours bicycle tour phuket

Bike Tours

Biking and triathlons have taken the ball and rode with it over the past few years and become much more mainstream, and this has not been missed by businesses in Phuket and the amount of new biking companies offering a host of different tours has grown year on year. One truly amazing tour which is actually three tours in one is Andaman Nature Tours.

This tour starts on a boat and takes you to one of Phuket sister islands Koh Yao Noi for a biking tour. The terrain is relatively easy and has stunning scenery. You will ride through paddy fields and meet local farmers who are the real organic hipsters, then up into the rubber plantations, and then hop on a traditional Thai Longtail to take you for lunch on a secluded palm-fringed white sandy beach, back on the boat to finish the tour riding along next to the beach. This is my favorite tour 100%.

Wake Boarding and Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddle Boarding has been one of the fastest growing watersports in the world and Phuket has its share of SUP tours and adventures. Companies such as Skylas Surf & SUP club offer a range of SUP tours and trips as well as SUP Yoga and hire.

During the surf season May – November, they also offer surf courses and board hire. The west coast, during November to April, is the perfect flat water that you need to enjoy SUP, but if you are looking for more of an adventure then book on a SUP tour to the east coast. You will experience paddling through mangroves and seeing a host of natural wildlife.

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