Maitree Yaipun, concierge at Anantara Mai Khao Phuket, Thailand, has the honour of being the only Les Clef d’or concierge in Phuket, and one of just 95 concierges ‘holding the keys’ across Thailand. Maitree loves the fact his hotel is surrounded by lush Nature: Forests of trees; lagoons; the Andaman Sea; and Sirinath National Park, a peaceful area of natural beauty. Let’s join Maitree as he takes us on a guided tour of his own personal highlights of his workplace…
Most popular request
To experience the wonders of Phi Phi and James Bond Islands. Guests can take either of Anantara-owner William E. Heinecke’s boats to the island. The boats offer a sense of luxury, whether on the powerful speedboat, Siam Seas, or the magnificent private yacht, Major Affair. More low-key forms of transportation can also be arranged.
Favourite locale when enjoying a day off
I recently moved to Phuket, having spent the previous 18 months in Koh Samui. I am originally from Sakonnakorn, so am very much enjoying exploring the island myself. I like to wander off the beaten track and away from the tourist hot spots. I particularly enjoy searching among local restaurants for the best spicy crab curry with mee huhn noodles, a famed southern dish only found in Phuket.
I am not really a coffee drinker and much prefer fresh juices and punches. Monkey Pod café, is a healthy coffee bar and is not far from Anantara Mai Khao.
Where we must go for lunch
Mee Sa Pam, on Thephasatri Road, a great local restaurant that serves Phuket-style dishes which are heavily influenced by the Chinese history of the island.
It’s a rainy day outside but we want to explore, what we should do
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is a must! The resident rescued elephants LOVE the rain and the sanctuary provides welly boots and umbrellas for guests.
An absolute must-do or must-see before leaving
Phuket Laad Yai Market in Phuket Old Town, every Sunday afternoon and evening. It is a traditional, walking market, brimming with atmosphere, fabulous street food, arts and crafts. The main street is home to the colourful architecture from the Chino-Portugese era.
Anything else we should know about when visiting
I’d suggest experiencing Phuket City and the traditional Chinese-style temples. There is a famous, annual, vegetarian festival which stems from Chinese folklore. The diet offers good health and peace of mind. The festival is full of interesting traditions, firecrackers and great food. Also, on the east coast of Phuket is Ao Por Marina. Excursions run from here to Phang Nga Bay. This is a rugged coastline and seemingly impossible limestone outcrops that appear, as if from nowhere. It is the home of James Bond Island. You can also explore the pristine mangroves by kayak and, if you are lucky, will see wild otters playing in the water or monkeys swinging from the trees.
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