phuket beach aerial shot

48 Hours In Phuket

17 December 2017

As seen on the The 48 Hour Destination TV series, Flight Centre consultant Greer Gardiner meets Thailand travel expert Rhiannon Doran in Phuket, a rainforest-clad, mountainous island surrounded by the shimmering Andaman Sea. Follow along as they step onto secluded beaches, and explore cultural landmarks and hidden gems to experience Phuket in just 48 hours. 

Day 1

greer on the speedboat transfer to Santhiya Resort Not your average resort transfer – Greer is off to Santhiya Resort.

3pm: Koh Yao Noi

After touching down in paradise, aka Phuket, Greer is escorted by a private speedboat out to Santhiya Resort, on the small Thai island of Koh Yao Noi, where Rhi has been eagerly awaiting her arrival.  Greer is filled with excitement over the very comprehensive 48 hours Rhi has planned.

greer and rhiannon cycling in phuket Cycling is one of the best ways to explore more of a destination, as Greer and Rhi would attest.

4pm: Cycling, Koh Yao Noi

Not wanting to waste a minute of their time in Phuket, the pair hop on bicycles to explore the Koh Yaoi Noi scenery, and ride off that jetlag.  To Greer's surprise, the island contains rubber plantations, which consist of tall trees adorned with little black cups that collect rubber from the trunks.  Greer and Rhi ride their bikes through the lush greenery via quaint fishing villages with smiling locals and out to the coastline, taking in the peaceful serenity of Koh Yaoi Noi on their way.

Greer and Rhinannon enjoy sunset drinks Cheers to a memorable first day in Phuket

6pm: Jetinn Teppan Pier, Koh Yao Noi

As the day draws to a close, the girls hurry to a thatch-roofed bar with a prime position at the end of Jetinn Teppan Pier. It's Rhi's favourite spot to take in a Thai sunset.  They sip cocktails under fairy-floss skies as the sun sinks on their leisurely afternoon.

7pm: Khantok Restaurant, Santhiya Resort, Koh Yao Noi

A girl’s got to eat, and that's exactly what's left on the day’s itinerary for Greer and Rhi. They enter Khantok Restaurant to the welcoming, soft sounds of traditional Thai instruments, before taking a seat amid bejewelled dragons and artisan timber decor. Greer and Rhi enjoy myriad delicious morsels from spicy prawn appetisers and traditional Thai curries to freshly caught seafood. What a way to end day one.

Day 2

longtail boat in Thailand from above Aquatic adventures await!

8am: Longtail boat tour, Koh Khai Nok

Today, Rhi is taking Greer on a traditional longtail boat to visit nearby beaches and the secluded island of Koh Khai Nok. They grab their snorkel gear and dive straight in; frolicking with colourful sealife, exploring sandy coves and sunning themselves aboard the wooden boat. They sail around stunning limestone rock formations, taking in the impressive natural architecture. 

11am: Catch Beach Club, Twinpalms Phuket Resort

Next is a brunch stop at Catch Beach Club, part of Twinpalms Resort. They sip fresh orange juice by a private beach with pristine blue water as a backdrop and fresh fruit before them. After a quick croissant they feel satisfied and ready to take on the rest of the day.

greer and rhiannon on quad bikes in the jungle Speeding through the jungle

1pm: ATV & whitewater rafting, Phang Nga

Rhi introduces Greer to Kno, their guide for the next adrenaline-fuelled hours. They jump on four-wheel ATVs and let the engines roar as they explore thick jungle areas, following the Song Phraek River. Next, it's time to get wet and wild with a splash of whitewater rafting, and Kno knows where it's at. He takes them to a stretch of the river that’s perfect for this kind of fun; they raft up and take to the rapids. Greer and Rhi make it out soaked and smiling – it's a new must-do for Greer.

 

street snack in thailand food market Lard yai street markets are full of tasty Thai dishes to try.

5pm: Lard yai street markets, Old Town, Phuket

Rhi and Greer meet Nat from Buffalo Tours to check out a local hidden gem, one of the area's most popular lard yai (street markets). It's one of Nat's favourites with local provisions that are unknown to many tourists. They taste their way through the markets, enjoying everything from fishcakes to soybean sweets and the favourite of the night, kanom krok (coconut pancakes), a typical sweet Thai snack. Set among beautiful pastel Sino-Portuguese-style architecture reminiscent of the area's history, a stroll along these streets is a lovely way to wrap up the day.

Day 3

greer and rhi at a private beachfront breakfast Filling up at breakfast before another big day of adventures

8am: Katathani Phuket Beach Resort

Breakfast overlooking Kata Noi Beach marks a great start to Greer's final day. The girls enjoy a little caffeine hit, fresh fruit and Thai omelettes with private beachfront table service. 

pat's cooking school No doubt Pat let Greer and Rhi in on a few of her cooking secrets

9am: Pat's Thai Cooking Class, Phuket

Next, Rhi takes Greer to a local market where they meet Pat, who will teach them her secrets to traditional Thai cooking. They stroll through the markets, stocking up on ingredients as Pat explains the typical Thai produce, before heading to her home where she hosts the cooking school. On the menu is a green chicken curry and tom yum goong, and with her tips and tricks, they prepare the ultimate Thai feast.

greer and rhi dancing with locals at wat chalong temple Wat Chalong is one of 29 beautiful Buddhist temples in Phuket

1pm: Wat Chalong, Phuket

Considered the most important of Phuket’s 29 Buddhist temples, Wat Chalong translates as 'celebrate'. Greer and Rhi explore the grounds, leaving offerings of incense and lotus flowers, and join the locals as they dance to traditional music in celebratory festivities. 

greer with notes Love letters to Thailand – until next time!

2pm: Big Buddha, Phuket

As her 48 hours draws to a close, Rhi takes Greer to an iconic landmark, Big Buddha, the largest Buddha on Phuket, which boasts spectacular 360-degree views. They take a moment to reflect on their journey and partake in a popular custom – hanging a handwritten message on a gold leaf upon a grand tree. This traditional offering is the perfect way to complete their 48 hours in Phuket.

 

Jess Holmes

Jess Holmes refers to herself as a walking contradiction, yearning for life's little (or large) luxuries one minute, eat-drink-treking her way through offbeat destinations another.  She's just as happy exploring the street(food)s of Oaxaca, putting her body through its paces atop Peruvian mountains, and sunning herself on Sri Lanka's secluded beaches as she is wandering through Napa Valley vineyards, indulging in NYC's best spa treatments or sipping Chianti on the Amalfi Coast.