Review: Paresa Vegetarian Street Food Festival Package

15th October 2014

During our stay at Paresa Resort, our Vegetarian Street Food Festival Package included a Vegetarian Street Food Cooking Class, Heritage Discovery Walk and roundtrip airport transfers. These are just a few of the special activities and amenities that can be tailored to your individual needs at Paresa Resort.

Vegetarian Street Food Cooking Class

Paresa Resort, Phuket, Thailand

Schedule: Cooking classes are personalized and as such, schedules vary. If you opt for the local market visit, expect to depart the resort in the early morning prior to your class.

Duration: approx. 3 hours. We were given ample time to photograph and enjoy our freshly prepared dishes at leisure.

Summary: Learn to prepare a highly personalized menu during a private cooking class with a Thai Master Chef. Enjoy the meal you’ve just made with a lovely view over the Andaman Sea.

Paresa Resort Cooking Class

Since we opted to take our cooking class on the day we arrived, our late arrival to the resort precluded us from having a market visit in conjunction with the class. We’ve visited local wet markets in Thailand before and it’s a wonderful experience that stimulates all your senses. If you’ve never been, then we would highly recommend including this in your cooking class.

Cooking classes are held in the purpose built, state of the art teaching kitchen at Recipe, located below the restaurants Talung Thai and Diavolo. It’s an easy location to find on the grounds of Paresa and shares the same stunning 270-degree view of the Andaman Sea as the restaurants above.

Paresa Resort Cooking Class

When we arrived for our cooking class, all the ingredients were prepped and the cooking stations were set up and ready to go. Our instructor was Chef Noon, and after some introductions we got right into it. Chef Noon was a wonderfully happy and friendly host as well as a patient and helpful instructor. We never felt rushed and always felt like we could ask Chef Noon questions. We definitely took our time and had some lovely conversations with Chef Noon throughout the session. We mostly talked about food but our conversations occasionally strayed onto other topics as well. Being able to make a personal connection with Chef Noon made this a memorable and engaging experience for us. What we took away from this was a fun experience, a hearty meal, fond memories and some newfound skills for preparing Thai food back home.

Cooking classes at Recipe are private, so personal requests can be made to customize your course to suit your own dietary needs or preferences. Our course was, naturally, entirely vegan and absolutely delicious.

Som Tum Jay

Som Tum Jay: Traditional spicy green papaya salad with peanut, fresh chili, garlic and lime/sugar vinaigrette (Vegan)

Vegan Thai Clear Soup

Geng Jeed Taou: Clear soup with cabbage, Thai yellow tofu and vegetables (Vegan)

Wok sautéed vegetables and soybean sauce

Pad Pack Med Mamuang Him ma pan: Wok sautéed bell peppers, mixed vegetables, white onion, cashew and soybean sauce (Vegan)

sweet sticky rice and mango

Khao Nhiao Mamuang: Ripe yellow mango with sweet sticky rice and coconut milk sauce (Vegan)

Our Vegetarian Street Food Cooking Menu:
Som Tum Jay
Traditional spicy green papaya salad with peanut, fresh chili, garlic and lime/sugar vinaigrette
Geng Jeed Taou
Clear soup with cabbage, Thai yellow tofu and vegetables
Pad Pack Med Mamuang Him ma pan
Wok sautéed bell peppers, mixed vegetables, white onion, cashew and soya bean sauce
Khao Nhiao Mamuang
Ripe yellow mango with sweet sticky rice and coconut milk sauce

‘Market visits and picking herbs from our garden make this a truly unique and interactive experience.’ – Paresa Resort

Paresa Resort Cooking Class

Paresa Resort Cooking Class

Paresa Resort Cooking Class

Phuket Heritage Discovery Walk

Phuket Town

Old Phuket Town

Old Phuket Town’s Ex-Red Light District

Schedule: Depart in the morning and return in the early afternoon. We departed shortly after 730am and arrived back at Paresa before 1pm.

Duration: approx. 5 hours

Summary: Learn more about the culture and history of the island on the streets of old Phuket Town with the unique knowledge of a local expert.

Following an early breakfast, we were greeted by our guide Glee and escorted to a cushy van to make our way to Phuket Town. The drive usually takes just over half an hour and since we were visiting during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, we actually ended up in the middle of a religious procession heading from one temple to another. It might have slowed us down a bit, but it also gave us an opportunity to watch some of the customary rituals on the way. Once in Phuket Town we were off on foot to a visit shops, markets, restaurants, religious landmarks and cultural and historical points of significance.

Old Phuket Town

Glee was a tremendous guide with a vast knowledge of the rich and diverse history and culture of Phuket. Along the way we grabbed some snacks, received a few gifts from Glee, purchased some souvenirs and took plenty of photos. The tour was taken at a comfortable pace with a clear direction. By the end we were amazed at how much we learned about the island of Phuket and the history of Phuket Town.

It is an early start, it does take up an entire morning and it can be borderline exhausting but if you want to leave feeling like you’ve learned a bit about the culture and history of Phuket, I can’t think of a better way to do it. This was a wonderful experience that allows you to see deeper into the island and have a greater understanding and appreciation for the unique culture of Phuket.

The Phuket Heritage Discovery Walk was coordinated by Paresa Resort and operated by Khiri Travel. We never put much consideration into hiring travel guides, but after this experience we would love to hire Khiri travel for future endeavors in Southeast Asia. In addition to Thailand, Khiri Travel also offers services in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Old Phuket Town

Central Market (Talad Sod Satarana), located just west of the Suriyadej Roundabout, on Ranong Road, in Phuket Town: On the top left is a ‘money tree’ to support the monks and local temples. You will see these ‘trees’ during your journey in Thailand. We also saw some fresh turmeric, shredded coconut, Thai pumpkin, freshly made curry pastes, and so much more.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival Stall

Phuket Town: As a vegan in Thailand, the most important word to know in Thai is “Jay” (Thai: เจ) (the alphabet looks like number 17). Jay is the closest equivalent in Thai culture to vegan and essentially means: No meat, seafood or animal byproducts. Jay will also usually mean no garlic or onion along with certain herbs. Overall though, most importantly, knowing that something is Jay/เจ will assure you that it is also vegan. Jay is typically displayed using the colors red and yellow. Read more here.

Phuket Vegan Thai Rice Dishes

Phuket Town: This is also one of our favorite savory meals from the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, deli-style wrapped, savory rice with fresh cucumber slices and mock meat (first plate). There’s a curry version as well (second plate).

Phuket Vegetarian Food

Phuket Town: Vegetarian Food from the Vegetarian Festival. For more details regarding the festival food, read here.

Jui Tui Temple

Phuket Town: Jui Tui Temple

Jui Tui Chinese Temple

Phuket Town: Candles at Jui Tui Temple

Phuket Heritage Discovery Walk by Paresa Resort

Phuket Town: Dropped by shops, markets, restaurants, religious landmarks.

Phuket Heritage Discovery Walk by Paresa Resort

Phuket Town: A refreshing snack during a hot afternoon. Phuket’s famous and unique dessert, ‘Oh-Aew’, which is a slightly sweet jelly made of cultivated banana and Oh-Aew seeds and served with boiled red beans, crushed ice and sweet syrup.

Old Phuket Town Souvenirs

Airport Transfer

Paresa Resort, Phuket, Thailand

Paresa Resort Airport Transfer

Our package included roundtrip airport transfers and it really was a relief to be able to sit back and relax given the stresses of travel. Upon arrival we were greeted by a man holding a sign for Paresa and quickly ferried away to the resort. We especially enjoyed traveling through the flatlands of Phuket and seeing the scenery prior to arriving at the resort.

Rates are surprisingly competitive with private companies operating airport transfers in Phuket. We highly recommend booking an airport transfer directly with Paresa if your package does not already include it.


49 Moo 6, Layi-Nakalay Road, Kamala, Phuket 83150

Disclosure: Thank you to Paresa Resort Phuket for hosting us and providing their Vegetarian Street Food Festival Package inclusive of two nights accommodation. All opinions are our own.

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