Kid-free time in Phuket

Justin and I try to get away a couple times a year for some kid-free time (thanks mom!!!). This time we were lucky enough to jet away for 5 days in Phuket.

Why Phuket?

We LOVE Thailand! We love the food, we love the smells, we love the heat, and we love the people. Did we say we love the food?

While we’d usually rather either a quieter island like Koh Lipe or the bustle of Bangkok (Justin’s fav), with limited time we chose the closer, direct flight option of Phuket.

Flying (without kids)

HEAVENLY. We started the trip by lounge hopping, because…it is so easy to do without kids! We flew to Phuket on Jetstar (Australia’s budget airline). So, no frills. No free entertainment. No free food. And yet this 9 hour flight flew by! It was SO relaxing to just sit, rest, watch our shows and even play some team games with our Nintendo Switch 🙂

Where we stayed

There are a million places to stay in Phuket. We decided on Karon Beach — not as busy as Patong but not as quiet as some of the other beaches. It was great to have enough restaurants and shops around to explore while also being relaxed and a bit quieter. The beach was still busy during the day but less packed at night around sunset.

Justin booked us in at a great hotel called Avista Grand, across the street from the beach. We chose an amazing room with a shared long pool right outside our room. It was such a game changer to have our own private lounge area during the day and to be able to jump in and out of the pool. No reserving lounge chairs all day. Tons of privacy. We even got to do some laps each day.

The food

This is the best part. We ate so much great food. Even the worst restaurants still had some of the best food. Here are some of the highlights:

No. 6 Restaurant in Patong. We came over here just for the night and ended up walking by this place. It was packed and had a line out on the street. And it did not disappoint. We got a Panang curry, a Massaman curry and some broccoli. Wow. Super super delicious. With rice and water and all under $16.

I had read about this place in Karon called the Pad Thai Shop. It is the #2 restaurant in on Trip Advisor in Karon (after the one fancy restaurant at our hotel). The pictures online looked promising (dry erase prices on a board and a menu consisting of just Pad Thai and noodle soup). When we showed up at 2:30pm, it was packed and with more than half the people there were locals. We definitely found a good one. And wow, the pad thai was delicious! We got one egg and one shrimp Pad Thai and a chicken noodle soup which was amazing. Super super yummy. Best Pad Thai for sure.

We also had a great dinner at Kalika. Really good Pad Thai here also and some good curry (can you tell these were some of our favourite staples to try everywhere?).

The second best curry we had (after No. 6 in Patong) was from Elephant Cafe in Karon. Their red curry was incredible. And on a hot day, a cold, sweet coconut hit the spot!

A day in the life…

Our perfect world consisted of waking up and going to our massive hotel buffet breakfast. Nine long counters of food with everything from Thai food, Western food, Indian food, cheese, salad, fruit, pastries, breads, juices, smoothies, an egg station and our favourite — a new Thai dessert each morning. We had purple rice pudding with coconut, a coconut sago with cantaloup and colourful glutenous rice balls in coconut milk. It was the best way to end the meal! By the last day, we realised we could skip lunch after a breakfast like that!

We’d then come back for a lounge and swim. Then a walk on the beach to go get lunch or explore. The walk consisted of a sweaty, sunny adventure. We’d come back hot and wonderfully satiated from lunch and then be ready for another lounge and swim. Then back to the beach for sunset and a walk around town for dinner and browsing the little shops on the street.

We always finished the night with two things: massages and then dessert. We’d get one hour oil massages for 400 Baht (~$16 AUD) which usually consisted of some elbows, cracking and maybe even a short snooze. We started to mix up our dessert choices. It was usually a banana roti pancake with condensed milk but then had fun with the rolled up ice cream so that entered the rotation a couple of times.

Not a bad day!

…remember the day I thought we’d skip lunch after our big breakfast? Well someone got peckish after a morning of lounging and swimming so we went back out to the Pad Thai shop and got our egg Pad Thai takeaway (wrapped in a paper bundle with a rubber band), and then picked up some jackfruit, mango and a fresh coconut on the way home. Couldn’t help ourselves…when in Thailand!

A happy man with his spoils

Street food

There is so much amazing fruit and street food in Thailand and we loved getting fruit on the street (cautiously). On the first night, we got to our hotel late (~10pm, felt like 2am) but without having any kids to put to bed we went out walking to explore and get a snack. The first fruit we got had to be jackfruit (YUM!) and a roti banana pancake with condensed milk — both of which have become a daily event for us. But don’t forget the stop for durian, which we both like — in moderation — this time they gave us a glove to eat it with.

Epic food tour

We found a really well-rated food tour that we decided to book for our last day after we checked out. We love food tours since we always get to try foods that we never would have found or tried on our own.

This food tour took us through Old Town Phuket and we had very local dishes which were so interesting (none of the expected noodles or curries). It was delicious.

It was amazing watching how this froth was made on this Thai iced tea — YUM!

And how good was Justin?!?!


  • Pre-book your airport transport. Justin pre-booked a car to pick us up from the airport — made it so much easier upon landing and removed the hassle of haggling for a ride upon arrival
  • Arrive with cash. We had Thai Baht from our last trip but it is so nice arriving in a new country with some local cash. It meant we weren’t scrambling to find ATMs right away and could jump right into things upon arrival (good thing since as soon as we got to our hotel, we went straight out for a late walk and some street fried pancakes and jackfruit)
  • Download the local ride-share service. We went to Patong for an evening and booked a Grab car to get there — it was less than half the price of a negotiated TukTuk. On the way home, we logged into the wifi at the restaurant to book a Grab for the ride home (no international data plan needed!)
  • RELAX. There is often so much pressure to maximise your time or pack things in. We thought about doing snorkel trips or excursions, or spending more time exploring. But at the end of the day, our time lounging (and blogging), reading, meditating, swimming or playing Exploding Kittens while listening to the music from the pool bar downstairs was the best time we could spend. Epic trip!

This was such a special trip and thanks, Grandma, for giving us these days away with no kids!

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