Arriving at Phuket Airport, meet your English-speaking guide for your private transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure for relaxation or exploring.
Late in the morning, meet your guide for a Private Street Food Walking Tour. Phuket town's wide selection of rustic food courts, side-street stalls and markets make it a hot-spot for local delicacies. Here, Thai cuisine takes on its own distinct character; spicy, salty southern Thai cooking collides with Chinese and Malay flavors and influences.
Many stalls have been run by the same family for generations, their ancestors bringing dishes from India, China and Malaysia. With your local guide you can sample a variety of foods and learn how dishes have been adapted to absorb Thai ingredients and influences. Try moo ping (marinated grilled pork), eaten straight off the skewer, is a popular local choice. It's served alongside a variety of barbecued sausages and chicken satays. The haw mok are a surprise - looking like little custard tarts, they're actually filled with crab or fish mousse and served with coconut milk, all neatly wrapped in a banana leaf.
In the afternoon, stroll around Phuket's Old Town. A hundred years ago, Phuket attracted ambitious entrepreneurs from all over Asia, keen to make their fortune from tin mining. The rows of grand Sino-colonial (Dutch architecture with a Chinese influence) mansions in Phuket's Old Town are proof that many realized their dreams. The area is compact enough to discover on foot, and amid the historic buildings are quirky cafes where you can try oliang - a Thai iced coffee made with condensed milk. The Thai Hua Museum is a good option if you're interested in learning more about the confluence of cultures on the island, while the Phuket mining museum is a good excuse to explore the lavish Portuguese mansion it's housed in. Visit on a Sunday and the Lard Yai, or 'big market' is open, showcasing everything from herbs and vegetables to fluorescent t-shirts. The quirky Phuket Trickeye Museum is the first of its kind in Southern Thailand, The museum is an interactive museum set up with the purpose of stimulating your imagination and creativity, combining art with high-end technology. You can blend in with 3-D paintings and take epic photos to send home.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Phuket)
Today you'll enjoy a shared full day Phi Phi islands tour*. Begin the morning with a transfer from your hotel to the pier. From here, you'll take a speedboat to reach Phi Phi islands. The journey will take approximately 45 to 60 minutes. As you approach the islands, they appear to rise from the sea like a fortress. Sheer cliffs tower overhead, then give way to beach-fronted jungle. Definitely love at first sight.
You're first stop will be Bamboo Island, where you can enjoy some free time to swim, snorkel or simply lie and rest on the beach. After lunch, we'll continue to Phi Phi Ley, home to the Viking Cave, a large limestone cavern where ancient rock paintings can be found. Your next visit will be to an amazing beach spot to relax and snorkel. You'll return to the pier in Phuket late afternoon, and then transferred back back to your hotel.
*What to bring: Swimming wear, shorts, Light T-shirt, Beach Towel, Sun Block, Sun Cap, Sunglasses, Camera, Light Deck Shoes and a little money for sundries.
After breakfast, meet your guide in the hotel lobby for your private transfer to the airport for your return home, or onward to your next Avanti Destination!