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This was the best way to get started on my trip to Phuket! I tried things I've never tried before - and probably would never have tried myself because I didn't know what they were. Barbecued chicken, coconut milk crepes, fried spiral potatoes, meringue pancakes, noodle dishes - the list goes on and on. We mostly visited street food vendors but did stop at one small restaurant. This is Phuket as the locals do it. I made plenty of notes and went back on my own at times during the rest of my stay. If you're into food and trying new things, you can't go wrong with this one. Knowledgeable guide, out-of-the-way stops, delicious food, and interesting tour mates. Highly recommended.
Our tour guide was one hour late! We were waiting at the meeting place in hot humid weather after an hour ride from our hotel.
Our driver was calling, I was calling the local contact and not successful. Upon arrival of the tour guide forgot her name, we were rush through the street vendors with no choice of the food her English also not easy to understand.
Overall I had a great time. We had a very small group with only 3 of us on the tour. Most of the food was the very good and really enjoyable. The silk worms and the crickets I could probably have lived without, but I did say I was willing to try anything once and it was certainly a unique experience.
While the walking tour we did near and on Thalang Road was interesting and I enjoyed hearing about the history and architecture, doing that tour after most of the stores had closed up was not as interesting as it could have been. The tour also never made it to the Khao Rang viewpoint that was advertised in the tour description.
I had a good time though and enjoyed the tour, but it also was not quite as enjoyable as other food tours I have been on.
So here we are 2hrs into this food tour the grand finale so to speak, so far not so good, we walk into a normal thai style restaurant common all over the country and a lazy susan awaits at a table that seats 10. I figure cool, finally a restaurant now lets bring out some various types of food that can be explained and share them all amongst our tour group of 6 right? Wrong.
I don't like to write bad reviews. I am however concerned, because my Viator tours have been 50/50 at best and I still don't understand why when I book things as I have done for years on Trip Advisor who owns Viator I never have issue yet Viator its like a roll of the dice everytime you book.
I was charged 120usd for this tour for 2 people. I hadn't heard from the tour company so I emailed 2 days prior, no reply. The day of I call them from my concierge to confirm there is a tour and a pick up of 4:15 after calling 2 different phone numbers I get someone to speak with. For 30usd you can rent a cab for an entire day who will take you wherever you want on the island of Phuket, these 4 statements are facts. The positive about this tour? The tour guide was polite, spoke great english, some of the food was good, we got to see some of Phuket Old town on the other side of the island albeit the closed version.
Here are the problems with this tour, if it was say half the price I was charged I likely would have sung a slightly different tune. First a 45 minute bus ride from Patong Beach, and I'm confused why this tour couldn't have just been in Patong, what exactly is it a parking lot full of street vendors could offer 45 minutes away that couldn't be bought at any market in Patong? Second at 60usd a person the tour guide bought us 5 items from a parking lot street market for around 5usd total per person at most, then took us to another street market for some bugs, yes bugs grasshopper and worms worth about 1. Third why would you take us to Phuket Old Town at 18:00hrs if you knew everything was closing as the tour guide knew and immediately pointed out when we got there? 90 of the shops are closed but we are allowed to walk around for 10 minutes?
Finally, the dinner was the grand finale, this was this tours chance to make things right, it didn't happen. We were escorted into a local restaurant and then 1 menu yes 1 for 6 people was passed around the table so we can order from a folder full of pictures just like we could at any restaurant in any city anywhere in Thailand. Nothing was really explained and it was a la carte meaning nothing was shared and no one who is hungry is going to try something new they are unsure of which was the reason I went on the tour to try new things. 30 minutes later we are all back on the bus on the way home in my opinion not really much more knowledgeable of Thai food than prior. I am basing my reviews and comparing my tour to food tour I just took in Vietnam around this time last year, to Viators credit it was booked through them and excellent.
Overall I feel gypped of my hard earned vacation time and money. I strongly urge the coordinator to get a real itinerary together and stick to it. This tour had 0 communication from the company, it appeared thrown together, uncoordinated, poorly planned and ineffectively executed. I would not recommend.
I was fairly disappointed with this tour. I think the highlight for me was the other tourists in my group, who were all really cool people. The guide was okay, but the entire tour seemed very rushed from beginning to end. We didn't have any time to explore any of the places on our own, which would have been nice to have had at least 5 or 10 minutes to explore the two main locations we went to, and the street food options that we tried were somewhat limited, at least for me since I don't eat fish. At the first location we went to, there were plenty of street food options like chicken, sausages, shrimp, etc, yet the guide kept picking fish, fish, fish, even after asking meat the beginning of the tour if I could eat fish, and of course I had said no. But no biggie to me, I had fun eating silk worms, crickets, and a huge grasshopper. We also went to a place in Old Town Phuket, and we stopped along the main shopping street where the food tour guide gave us some historical context about Old Town Phuket. This was cool, but again, this is time that I think would have been better spent if we would have been given a bit of time to explore and shop on our own at the street food stalls, which there were none where we went to in Old Town Phuket. Finally, we ended with some Pad Thai at the end of the tour. The thing that really made me give this tour two stars was the way the tour guide acted at the end of the tour. While we were at the final stop for Pad Thai, she handed out review forms and pens and asked us to fill them out while we were there. She then picked up all the forms, and proceeded to sit down and READ THEM while in front of us. She then came back to my table where she proceeded to chastise a girl who had I guess written that less spicy food options would have been appreciated, telling this girl that the purpose of the tour was to show everyone about local Thai culture, and food, etc. and how out of any tour, ours had the most variety because she was trying to be considerate of our needs, but that the girl was not the only one on the tour, and so she the guide had others to consider. While I somewhat agree with what the tour guide said, it was HIGHLY unprofessional on her part to 1 read the feedback in front of us, and 2 somewhat angrily single out and confront this girl in front of everyone else at our table. I don't know what the tour guide's name was, the form said her name was Benz but I'm pretty sure that wasn't her real name. Either way, if you take this tour, I hope you get someone other than Benz as your guide. And if you do, then make sure you don't put honest feedback on your review form.
This was very cool, we got to try a lot of different foods. Benz did a great job. Plus it was New Year's Eve so the streets were very festive. I would suggest a few little changes. We didn't know how far the tour was from our hotel this took 5 hours, not 3.5 so we got back much later than expected, and we were exhausted. Also, we had to wait 30 minutes for the van to pick us up at the end, which was not good. While I understand that there were some local road closures the driver should have been in the area and picked us up more promptly.
a great afternoon/ evening out, are guide was called Nat, and was one of the best guides i have had
so friendly and helpful
we first got taken to a local market where we were given a number of local dishes to try and i must say most tasted fantastic
after visiting the market , we were then taken up to the hills above phuket , and to a great vioewing platform overlooking phuket
the third stop was to a local restaurant where the locals go ,
the final stop was phuket old town
if you like tasting different foods and want to see parts of phuket . you would not normally see, i would recommend doing this tour , and hope you get Nat as your guide