TBEX Asia 2021 Blogger Preview Trip to Phuket

Today I’m flying down to Phuket for three days. On Thursday I will be attending a press conference about TBEX 2021. This is an international blogger conference which will take place in October next year. It was last in Thailand in 2015 when it was attended by around 600 international bloggers.

I’m looking forward to visiting Phuket. This is my first trip there since COVID. They need all the help they can get as it was mainly a destination for international tourists. Now it needs to reinvent itself for the domestic market and lose the reputation as an expensive destination.

Map list of places that we visited: https://www.google.com/maps/placelists/list/4yFnR0sCE5NxPdXEH7FCxXRT3c6gWg

Date of travel: 6-8 October 2020

Boarding Thai Smile WE203 from Bangkok to Phuket. Flight time is just over an hour. Looks like it’s nearly a full flight. I got a free upgrade to the emergency seat row and so plenty of leg room. I’m happy.

Baan Ar-Jor (บ้านอาจ้อ), Phuket

Lunch today was at Baan Ar-Jor (บ้านอาจ้อ) in Phuket. This is a traditional Chinese style family home that is now a restaurant, museum and guesthouse.

The food was absolutely delicious. My favorite was red curry with rambutan and prawn.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/XATT7bGaAixbhL8QA

Baan Ar-Jor Museum

After lunch, we visited the museum at Baan Ar-Jor. This is an 84 year old house that belongs to one of the richest Thai-Chinese families in Phuket.

The house has been converted into a living museum dedicated to the grandparents of the owners. It’s a unique opportunity to glimpse into family life during the last century.

There is also an opportunity to stay a night or two in one of the guest bedrooms. This is a relatively new attraction in Phuket that is run more out of love than for profit.

The 200 Baht entrance fee goes to a charity that helps local children. Even the restaurant helps the nearby community as everything is locally sourced.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/z9k1AqRZHsfUziaz8

Phuket Old Town

This afternoon, we explored Phuket Old Town. In the past, everyone just headed to the beaches and bypassed the city center. But over recent years, the old town with its colorful Sino-Portuguese buildings, boutique hotels, coffee shops and street art, has become very popular with both Thai and foreign tourists.

In fact, this part of the island seems to be surviving the COVID era better than others. Despite it being a week day, there were surprisingly quite a few tourists around taking pictures. I’m told it’s popular at night here too in the restaurants and bars.

📍 MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/wYd1KWMqXV5Hr39E7

i46 OLD TOWN, Phuket Old Town

Our first stop in Phuket Old Town was at i46 OLD TOWN. This is an old family run establishment selling tea and local desserts.

The cost is only 150 Baht to have a tour of the house together with drinks and snacks.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/L1scKc1bCxCPkVhE9

Iron Factory, Phuket Old Town

Our second stop in Phuket Old Town was to visit the “iron factory”. This is another local business that has been passed down the generations.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/ZwP9zh9szBw3m8tJA

Tonight I’m staying at the iconic The Memory at On On Hotel on Phangnga Road in Phuket Old Town. This is where Leonardo DiCaprio shot the “Khao San Road” guesthouse scene for The Beach movie back in around 1999. The rooms are unrecognizable now as it’s more of a boutique hotel.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/64ANwUzLAehDydVu8

Dibuka Cafe & Restaurant, Phuket Old Town

Dinner tonight was at Dibuka Cafe & Restaurant on Dibuk Road in Phuket Old Town.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/HR28857NR6YLW3Mw8

Dibuk House, Phuket Old Town

Tonight, I went bar hopping in Old Phuket Town.

🍷First stop was at Dibuk House on Dibuk Road.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/34cTCGPSD49tD2gT6

Tantitium, Phuket Old Town

🍷The second bar tonight in Phuket Town was Tantitium which is also on Dibuk Road. No, that’s not a cup of tea. There’s alcohol involved.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/Wv7Q8LbzrqPPsh8r6

Bebop Bar, Phuket Old Town

🍷The third bar tonight in Phuket Old Town was Bebop Bar on Takuapa Road. This is the best one so far, mainly because of the live music. There’s a few other bars on this road that look popular too.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/s5TNgZhQX7hFZA4L6

DAY TWO:

Good morning from Phuket Old Town. I’m out for an early morning walk but it’s raining quite hard now. The forecast is for rain for most of the day.

Some photos from my wet walk around Phuket Old Town early this morning.

Hanuman World, Phuket

This morning, we visited Hanuman World in Phuket. This is an adventure park in the rainforest where you can do activities such as zipline, rollercoaster and skywalk. They have another one here in Phuket called Flying Hanuman which I visited about six years ago.

They have a special promotion price at the moment of 800 Baht for the zipline, 400 Baht for the rollercoaster and 100 Baht for the skywalk. There is a combined price of only 990 Baht. I only did the skywalk on this trip as I felt the weather wasn’t good for the zipline. It rained on and off all morning. But I will be back soon.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/jNCj3ThMEomvjjZH9

Three Monkeys Restaurant, Hanuman World, Phuket

Lunch today was at Three Monkeys Restaurant at Hanuman World in Phuket.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/qWxMoc6vXxbpNHYX7

Jui Tui Shrine, Phuket

This afternoon, we visited Jui Tui Shrine which is the largest Chinese Shrine in Phuket Town.

We also visited Put Cho Shrine next door. This is probably the best place to be during the upcoming vegetarian festival. Their processions are supposed to be very good.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/34d3XxXtvgmPxwsBA

Tha Chatchai Pier, Phuket

This afternoon, we visited a lobster farm at the northern end of Phuket. We took a short boat trip from Tha Chatchai Pier.

We then went to a nearby restaurant to have a demonstration on how to cook lobster.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/AYDsM39gA4YuQ9iV6

Ta Tuay Restaurant, Thalang District, Phuket

Dinner tonight was at Ta Tuay Restaurant near Sarasin Bridge in Thalang District of Phuket

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/fxA5tTPCCXG3gywU6

DAY THREE:

Good morning from Phuket. It was wet and windy last night. I was planning on walking to the beach for a sunrise this morning but it started raining again. We didn’t get to our hotel room until 9pm and I have to check out soon and so I don’t have any pictures to share of this nice looking resort. That’s often the life of a travel blogger. A new hotel each night and no time to relax and enjoy.

Press Conference for TBEXT Asia 2021

This morning I’m at the official announcement of #TBEXAsia2021 which will be taking place in Phuket #Thailand from 21-22 October 2021.

The location of the conference is Angsana Laguna Phuket. There will be a pre-trip from 19-20 October 2021. The early bird price for bloggers is $247. You can register here: https://tbexcon.com/Asia-2021/register-now/

Chalong Bay Rum Distillery, Phuket

This morning, I attended a workshop at Chalong Bay Rum Distillery in Phuket. We were taught how to make a mocktail.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/nMvmFx1R3dPxQ51u6

Chomchan Restaurant, Phuket

Lunch today was at Chomchan Restaurant in Phuket. My favorite dishes were crab meat curry with rice noodles and deep fried tiger prawn topped with tamarind sauce.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/xjc6sVw82nqksgUF7

Food Souvenirs, Phuket

A quick stop to buy some food souvenirs on the way to the airport. It’s expected in Thailand to buy something, particularly food, for family and friends back home if you go away for a few days.

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