There’s a bit of rain around. No worries. It’s rainy season and the island looks a lot better when it’s all green and we have to fill up the dams. So get over it and try something on our instant list of the ten things you can do when it’s raining in Phuket. And, please, add to the list in the comments section on our Facebook page Phuket Gazette. We’ll amend our list with your suggestions.
Our completely random Top Ten things to do whilst it’s raining is in no particular order.
One of the best shows on the island. There’s pre-show ‘walk around’ displays where you can see MuayThai matches, traditional Thai villages and elephant shows (you can choose not to attend these if you’re sensitive about animal shows). Then it’s into the theatre for an astonishing show about Thai culture and history which will blow your mind. For everyone in the family. I’ve been 20 or more times – always take tourist friends there for a lesson in Thailand 1.0. Almost impossible to explain what you’ll see but, believe me, it’s worth the price. There’s also a mega-international buffet available before the show. Take your appetite.
Simon Star Cabaret
There’s the famous Simon Cabaret in Patong – this is the companion show in Samkong. Better parking and a newer theatre but much the same show. “The prettiest girls in Asia” they say. Same same but different. Completely family friendly but be prepared for a few questions after the show. Also, if you want to get a picture with one of the performers after the show you’ll need to hand over 100 Baht or so for the pleasure.
Head to one of the island’s big international shopping centres for some retail therapy. Both have plenty of label brands and excellent food options. There are also excellent cinemas at both locations where tickets will probably cost you a fraction of what you pay in your home country (unless you come from Nigeria where it’s quite cheap I here). Cost around 200 baht unless you go on cheap-Wednesday when the tickets are half-price.
Go to a jewellery store or rubber store
…and see where all those Chinese tourists are spending their time, and money. Duty Free stores, jewellery mega-shops and rubber warehouses are popping up all over the island to serve the growing Chinese tourist market. What they’re flocking to see and buy remains a mystery to most of us. Go and find out (then tell us). PS. Remember the buses and tour companies are getting around a 50% commission on everything sold.
Have a Thai massage or Spa treatment
You deserve it. There’s plenty of alternatives and style of massage all over the island, well, all over Thailand. A traditional Thai massage – firm, medium or light – will be an experience you’ll always remember. Don’t ask for firm unless you’re prepared for some PAIN! Despite the publicity, most massages don’t include a happy ending. Unless you’re in Patong, you’re probably not going to get that ‘optional extra’. There are also plenty of spas for all sorts of additional indulgences. Many of the bigger international hotels have excellent spas for ‘walk-in’ customers.
Go for a walk on the beach
It’s still warm, the beaches are still amazing, the monsoonal air is fresh off the Andaman Sea and you can enjoy the drama of nature doing what it does. Also, be amazed at the people who have paid their hard-earned money to visit Phuket and, whether it’s raining or not, are determined to go to the beach. And they do, sometimes with tragic consequences. Always obey the flags on the beach. Red means DON’T GO SWIMMING.
There’s bowling alleys at Big C in Kathu and Jungceylon. They’re really inexpensive and a great escape for a few hours. Strike or no strike you’ll always look like a star in those rental bowling shoes (who have been worn by thousands of people before you… hmmmm). Wear socks.
The Tin Mine Museum in Kathu
Before Phuket was a place to shop for rubber pillows and watch healthy people walk down the street with swords through their cheeks (Vegetarian Festival), it was one huge tin mine. All those lovely lakes around the island? Most of them are old tin mines. The Tin Mine Museum is located on the back road from Loch Palm Golf Course, Kathu to Koh Keaw, on the way to BIS Phuket.
Phuket Trick Eye Museum
We love this place. A few hours of optical illusions and laughs. Great for the kids and the big kids as well. Located in the middle of Phuket Town. Take your camera or your mobile phone. An interesting back-story to the franchise of Trick Eye museums about a South Korean artist… you’ll learn more about it when you go there.
A Thai cooking class
Admit it, we all talk about taking Thai cooking class but few of us do. Hey, why bother with all that pesky preparation, cooking and doing the dishes when we can get magnificent street food for 50 baht, almost anywhere (except Patong where you’ll pay a bit more). Most of the larger hotels all have their own Thai cooking lessons. But for the best of the best head to the Blue Elephant Restaurant right on the border of Old Phuket Town for a memorable experience. The Sino-Portuguese building used to be the old Governor’s residence
Go and enjoy Phuket, whether it’s sunny or not.
PHOTO: Kata Rocks
- Tim Newton