Phuket, Thailand

Harry & Susan at the Phuket Thai Cookery School

Phuket (pronounced Poo-KETT) is a resort island located off the west coast of the Malay Peninsula in the Bay of Bengal.  It is a popular vacation destination.  For this port we were anchored off shore and had to take the tenders in.  The dock here is a moveable series of platforms and walkways, for want of a better description.  This time it was much more stable than the last time, but it was totally unsuitable for anyone who could not walk.  

Our visit here was one Susan had looked forward to for a long time because we had signed up for a special excursion.  For this return visit we had scheduled a Thai cooking class for Susan; Harry kindly agreed to doing it, and he actually enjoyed it.  For this tour we had a group of 10 people, a nice size for any tour, but especially for a cooking class.  Our first stop was a large, traditional market, where one could find prepared foods as well as fresh produce and seafood and chicken.  At one stall they had huge bowls of curry paste.  At another they were making coconut cream and coconut milk; the former comes from the first pressing of the coconut meat and is not diluted, the latter comes from subsequent pressings and is diluted with water.  The guide for our half of the group bought each of us a bag of little rice and coconut milk pancakes. They made a tasty snack.  There was plenty of produce as well as packaged goods and prepared foods for sale.

From the market we proceeded to the cooking school, which was an open-air school located right on a beach.  They outfitted us with aprons and invited us to have coffee, tea or water.  We then went into the ‘lecture hall’ where we received cards with our recipes for the day and Chef Waida demonstrated our first dish, Chicken in Coconut Milk Soup.  After we tasted hers, we went to our cooking stations and each made and ate our own bowl of soup.  This pattern was repeated twice more for the remaining main dishes.  After we completed each dish Chef Get demonstrated one of the steps of making our dessert, Mango with Sticky Rice. The second course of our meal was Pad Thai and the third was a Labb Kai (Chicken Salad).  While we were eating the Chicken Salad course, they brought us our finished desserts.  We left most of the chicken salad in favor of eating the dessert…  By the time we got to the chicken salad we were so stuffed that we had to set our priorities, which clearly were in the right place!  The dessert was very nice.  Our whole experience at the school was very pleasant.  It was a great way to become more comfortable with cooking Thai food.  If you have any interest in Thai cooking, this is a great excursion choice.

On the way back to the ship we stopped at a mangrove thicket to see the monkeys that live on the island.  It was easy to get them to come out: our guide was throwing the small Thai bananas and peanuts to them, and they were more than happy to eat the food.

Photos of the monkeys as well as other memories of this excursion are in the photo album. 

Thai Long-Tail boats

© Susan L. Stone 2015