Thailand is one of those amazing places where there is something to do for everyone.
From relaxing and chilling on a beach or being pampered at a luxurious spa to having a night of non stop partying in Patong or at the infamous Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan (we did this in 2013 while staying in Koh Samui). Thailand also has many island excursions to Koh Phi Phi or Khao Phing Kan better known as James Bond island (where Tomorrow Never Dies was filmed), all accessible from Phuket.
However when we arrived in Karon we were really excited to explore the local area and visit the many beautiful beaches along the west coast of Phuket, that we didn’t have time to fit in any excursions.
We had also chosen Karon as a location because it was in an area with enough interesting things to do, but was more laid back and away from the bustling wild parties of Patong beach. We did however visit Patong twice during our stay to mooch around the shopping mall called Jungceylon, because sometimes you just want to go shopping in paradise, but we gave the partying a miss this time.
Do your research on the area you are visiting, especially if you are only visiting one place in Thailand, to make sure you get the experience you are looking for. For us the Karon location was perfect because it was laid back and not as bustling as Patong.
Before visiting Karon I had read about the night markets of Thailand, and Karon was known to have its very own night market by the Buddhist Temple. The Temple market was very popular but quite modest in size, it sold food to go as well as having large stalls of fruit and vegetables aimed at the locals.
A couple of stalls did catch our eye, including the stall selling fried insects. Jun had been itching to try some and see what the fuss was about. I must admit the smell approaching the stall was not appetising at all and I would like to say I am not often put off from trying new foods, but fried crickets and worms were not top of my list.
However, when in Rome….
The stall holder was very accommodating and requested a small donation be given to him, for the Temple in exchange for a photograph which we were happy to oblige. Jun picked the coconut worm (because it sounds like it would taste nice) and the fried crickets.
I agreed to try the worm but I just couldn’t bear the thought of the cricket’s little legs and what not in my mouth….As a source of protein, I can see the appeal, but taste wise it didn’t taste great, it was mostly oil and the worm was quite chewy. Jun told me the cricket lived up more to his expectation, being crunchy, I decided to take his word on that one.
Also doted around the local area of Karon were many fruit stalls and on a few occasions we stopped to grab some fresh coconut and mangos. In Thailand they have the best soft yellow mangos that are so sweet!
Following the Temple market in Karon we decided to try the Weekend Market in Phuket Old Town. I had been reading about this market as THE market to go to and was a large market that many locals visited. So come that Sunday we took a taxi (which took us about an hour from the Karon area and cost 600 baht each way) and explored the Weekend Market.
We arrived around 6pm as the market opens at 5pm and it was such a large vibrant place to be.
On entering the market area we were immediately enveloped by the smell of frying food and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
Walking through the market there were rows of stalls selling interesting foods, fruits and vegetables alongside clothes, second hand shoes and more insect stalls. There were also lots of fresh curries, sushi and frying fish.
Jun managed to find his favourite treat – Takoyaki – fried battered octopus balls, and I found my favourite treat… DONUTS AND CAKES!!! In the blistering heat there were these amazing cream cakes and donuts! HEAVEN!
This taro flavoured donut was amazing! I wish I had bought more!
I was hoping to find some unique souvenir or some local art, but again it was mostly clothing and fake designer goods. I did see some leather belts being made and there were some handmade clothing items too. It was quite pricey to get there from Karon because of the distance but you could easily make a night of it gorging on all the delicious street food on offer.
The Weekend market is just outside Phuket Old Town and we had hoped to be able to walk there for dinner following the market. However after a chat with our taxi driver we were informed that the Old Town was too far to walk to. So we decided to save exploring the Old Town of Phuket for another day and caught a taxi back to Karon.
In my next blog post I will take you on our adventure to Phuket Old Town including an unexpected cute discovery!
Thanks for reading.