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In search of the lush life on Phuket

Times Staff Writer


From LAX, connecting service (change of planes) to Phuket is available on Thai Airways, China Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $823.


To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 66 (country code for Thailand), 76 (code for Phuket) and the local number.


JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa, 231 Moo 3, Mai Khao, Talang, Phuket, Thailand; 338-000, fax 348-379, This hotel, which opened in 2002, has two pools with stone elephants that spray water, a water slide and shallow sections for children, lush landscaping and an open-air lobby. Doubles from $150.

Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket, 10 Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Road, Talang, Phuket, Thailand; 324-101, fax 324-108, The hotel is on a lagoon, so its calm waters are handy for jet skis and boating. Large rooms have king beds, bamboo furnishings and Thai decorations. Doubles $120-$185.

Amari Coral Beach Resort, 104 Moo 4, Traitrang Beach, Talang, Phuket, Thailand; 340-106, fax 340-115, A friend stayed here and loved the hotel and the service. It's on a secluded headland on Patong Beach. Doubles about $100-$200.


Marriott's Sala Rim Talay, an open-air seafood restaurant on the beach. You choose your own seafood, displayed on ice or in tanks, and how you want it cooked. Entrees run $8-$17. My favorite appetizer, which I ordered nearly every day, was crispy duck spring rolls with a tangy, sweet-sour, slightly spicy dipping sauce with vinegar and chiles for $5.

Baan Rim Pa Restaurant, 100/7 Kalim Beach Road, Patong; 340-789. A hotel guest recommended this restaurant in Patong Beach because it overlooks the ocean from a rocky cliff and the food is gourmet Thai. Spicy beef salad, prawns with curry paste and any of the exotic soups were recommended. Entrees $7-$25.

Phuket Seafood, in Phuket Town. (Cabdrivers probably get a tip for taking foreigners here. There were many cabs in the parking lot and an abundance of tourists. No phone.) Restaurants outside hotels are cheap; the food everywhere was exotic, spicy and delicious. At Phuket Seafood we ordered steaming bowls of rich tom kha gai (chicken coconut soup) for $2 and fresh fish entrees for $4. Blended fruit drinks were 50 cents.


Tourism Authority of Thailand, 611 N. Larchmont Blvd., 1st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90004; (323) 461-9814, fax (323) 461-9834,

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