Landed Friday morning from Bali (around five hours in flights), and took a paid shuttle from the airport to our hotel villa. Took a cab to Chabad of Phuket’s pizza store (about a 20 minute drive), and also picked up our Shabbos food while we were in town. That block was also mini Israel, with tons of Hebrew writing and services everywhere… beware there are other restaurants in the area that claim to be glatt kosher and are not. Thailand also has more 7/11’s than in America, but there are no slurpees! There are red cabs everywhere along the streets – they don’t have doors or windows, just as a heads up. Got massages in our hotel room and got ready for Shabbos.
SUNDAY – it was a fast day (shva asar b’Tammuz), so we tried to do more chilled out activities. We went to the Thalang Maneekram Floating Market, which was under repair, so we had to do more indoor shopping, with a boat ride as well. You have to walk into this white building, and beyond that is the whole village of activities. The Thalang Maneekram village also has many cultural activities available, such as cooking classes and shows. You can also rent a Thai outfits to wear as you explore. After that, our driver took us to Phuket Old Town, where there are a lot of colorful buildings, and more markets where we got cool souvenirs made for us.
Then we went to a viewpoint (giant misunderstanding, he took us to the Big Buddha instead of the other one that’s not near avodah zara), and then got dropped off at Chabad where we broke our fast on really yummy and cheap food. Highly recommend the chili potatoes! They have classic Jewish food, as well as more cultural food options.
MONDAY – 6:00 a.m. pickup for Phi Phi Islands tour. First they give you breakfast (not kosher), and you go on a boat ride as the sun rises. They take you to all the popular islands – we recommend sitting outside in the front of the boat, lots of fun! The first island is called Bamboo Island, where we chilled on the beach with mats. We davened shacharis there 🙂 We basically had awesome tour guides, beautiful islands, and lots of snorkeling available at all times!
At night, we went to FantaSea, which is a cultural “theme park” – there’s a big show at 9 PM (they take your phones away during said show), but if you want to do other things like ride elephants (the elephants looked real sad in our opinion), those things cost extra. Fell asleep again during the show – whoops.
TUESDAY – took a two hour flight to Chiang Mai! Lookout for Thailand part #2 🙂