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One of the many hard decisions I have to make each and every day is where to have lunch. The mornings tend to be based around the villa as I catch up on emails and this blog, both of which take a surprising amount of time in a pleasurable sort of way. So the trip out of the villa for lunch starts the day in the external world.

As with all food related experiences in Phuket it is the level of choice which makes it hard. There seem to be a number of categories of where one can eat. These include:

* The mobile street vendors. These are sidecars attached to motorbikes and cruise the streets, sometimes ringing a bell when passing a regular customer’s business. You can just call them into the side of the road and buy whatever the speciality they make.

Street vendor

* There are the mobile vendors who seem to have a permanent or number of permanent spots. That is if you turn up at a particular time of the day or night you will find them situated in the same place. They seem to locate around a central attraction such as a 7 Eleven store, for obvious reasons.

The pancake man

* Then you find the permanent restaurants, which range from extremely basic, just a table and plastic chairs, which are more geared for Thai customers than the tourists. I go one one which does a delicious simple chicken and rice dish with accompanying chicken broth for TBH 50, around A$1.70.

Slightly more upmarket are those catering mainly to tourists on a budget. So a little more classy maybe with wooden furniture and a more extensive menu choice sometimes with some farang food offered.

Garden restaurant

One of the benefits to having transport is that I am not confined to eating in the main business areas. Kaun took me to two different places yesterday, which were in anything but main street locations. This one was the view from one we stopped at on the way to Kata Beach and is hard to find without a local to show you:

Restaurant overlooking Kata

It was closed for two weeks of renovations but well worth a revisit just for the view if nothing else.

The other one where we did have lunch is owned by a Swedish guy and his Thai partner in Rawai. Nothing from the road but once inside….wow

Rawai restaurant

Two main courses, a beer and water for $10 and a view like that! Not too hard to take.

* Finally there are restaurants that cater purely to tourists or foreign residents who can’t cope or just want a break from Thai food. You can get pizzas, spaghetti, steaks etc etc, for a price.

Phuket also has flash places to eat where you will be charged Australian prices. My budget doesn’t stretch to trying these and it just doesn’t seem to fit with the laid back lifestyle I am currently enjoying so much.