Three years ago, Saucer and I went to Phuket for the first time. When we returned, almost everyone who had been to Phuket asked us if we had visited the Phuket FantaSea show and we said no. When we had the chance to visit Phuket again three years later, we vowed not to give this a miss, and made arrangements with the hotel to visit on a Sunday evening. Phuket FantaSea is a famous Thai cultural theme park that is only open at night, starting from 6pm. To enter this park, one has to purchase tickets for either its buffet dinner or its Fantasy of a Kingdom show or both. We opted for both since they cost cheaper in a package.
Phuket FantaSea rock at the entrance
Tickets for the show cost THB1500 each, and the upgrade for standard buffet dinner was THB400, making it a total of THB1900. For a better dinner experience with fresh seafood, one could top up another THB700 to the package price, making it a total of THB2600. That was what we did, since we heard the seafood there was fresh and plenty. The shuttle that picked us up was pink in colour and we reached our destination just before 6pm.
Our pink shuttle
The first thing to do was to convert our voucher to tickets at the ticket counter. Even though the queue seemed long, it moved very fast with the numerous ticketing counters within. We managed to get our tickets in about 10 minutes, and headed to the entrance excitedly.
Queue moving fast
The whole place was heavily influenced by Thai culture as can be seen from the gold patterned ceilings, the golden elephant pillars as well as the giant Thai statues decorating the surroundings.
Golden elephant pillar
Giant statue at the entrance
Pool of koi
With our tickets ready, we proceeded to the entrance where each of us was given a sticker, pasted on our shirt/dress. This sticker served as the entrance ticket to the show and the buffet, since our seat numbers were stated there. Upon entering the theme park, we were greeted with plenty of colourful stalls and decoration, not to mention smiles. Just being there lightened our mood!
Colourful decorations welcoming us
One of the many stalls
The park was not very huge, since one was supposed to complete visiting it within a couple of hours of the night. There were several grand buildings within the park that served as jewelry store, souvenir shops, restaurants or even bars. I was most impressed with some of the building designs that looked so grand and elegant. It would seem that they spared no cost in building this park.
Benjarong souvenir store
Iyara jewelry store
Even the place for our buffet looked like a place for royalty. It was majestic, intricate and golden! We were in awe. The Golden Kinnaree houses both the standard buffet and the seafood buffet. I admire how organized this place was run. Every one had a table number for the buffet, so there was absolutely no chaos or disorder even though the place could fit hundreds of people.
Golden Kinnaree Restaurant
Suriyamas restaurant on the lake
On the way to our seafood restaurant Suriyamas, we passed by the standard buffet area. Look at the amount of chairs and tables within the hall. There were several halls just like this and they were all filled up in no time.
Standard buffet dinner at Golden Kinnaree restaurant
Walking further down towards Suriyamas Pavilion, we were transported to a whole new environment. The self-acclaimed 5-star dining restaurant was extremely grand and golden, we paused for a few seconds once we entered. The place had Thai palace decor, with golden sculptures of mythical angels and intricate golden carved pillars. Everything just seemed a little shinier inside the restaurant. So this must be how it’s like to have a room decorated in gold, me thinks.
Suriyamas seafood restaurant
We were greeted by a smiling lady in no time, and with a glance to our sticker, she led us to our table. On our table was a stack of small papers with a list of seafood available, made-to-order. We were asked to order as much seafood as we liked and had them cooked our way.
The order chit
Dining like a royalty
Apart from the made-to-order seafood, there was a rather extensive buffet spread at the restaurant. The dishes were mostly Thai with some Western dishes. In general the quality of the food was above average, but that was not our main purpose here. 😉
Sample of appetizers
Before long, our seafood order arrived, with a plate of sauces. We ordered one of each of the seafood on the list, and most of them were grilled. The one seafood that caught our attention was the tiger prawn. It was very large with firm and succulent meat. I almost flowed tears of joy knowing that I could order this as much as I wanted to.
Platter of seafood – tiger prawn, rock lobster, tuna, salmon and cuttlefish
Platter of seafood
The tiger prawns were indeed the main star of the platter. Each bite was crunchy, firm, juicy and tasty. If I wasn’t thinking of cholesterol, I could have eaten 10 of these. The rock lobster paled in comparison to the prawns, so we did not bother with a second order. The mussels and tuna were not very fresh that night, much to our disappointment. The cuttlefish was commendable too, fresh and chewy but since the first serving was rather sizable, we did not reorder it.
Superb and succulent prawn meat
If you ask me, whether it was worth it to pay an extra THB700 for this, I’d say yes, at least for the first time experience. The dining environment was regal and the tiger prawns were enough to make me a happy girl. 🙂 Which explains a second order for prawns alone!
Second plate of tiger prawns
After the satisfying dinner, we had about an hour to walk around the theme park before the show started at 9pm. Right outside the restaurant was a booth for elephant ride. It cost about THB590 for a 15-minute ride per person, which we thought was more expensive than the safari ride that we’d signed up for (yes, that’s coming up in the next post!).
Around the park, the atmosphere was lively and loud. Music was filling the air, and performances were held on the Carnival Village stage. It was festive!
Just nearby the Carnival Village, we spotted something that caught our eye – Tiger Jungle Adventure. It seemed like an interesting place to go and since we still had time to kill, we entered to see a room filled with nocturnal animals. It was like a very mini zoo, with animals staying behind glass walls in a room that was designed to replicate their natural habitat.
Tiger Jungle Adventure
We spotted the room for white tigers and saw two of them walking around and another lying down staring into space. It was quite a beautiful sight, I must say.
Soon, it was time for the highlight of the night – The Fantasy of a Kingdom show, which was held at the Palace of the Elephants theatre. This palace is really a state-of-the-art theater that could house up to 3,000 guests while hosting Vegas-style productions.
Entrance to Palace of the Elephants
I would have shown you more pictures of the show but all cameras and recording devices were not allowed into the theatre. We had to pass on any cameras we had at a counter and collect them after the show. Even though there were thousands of us that night, the process was rather orderly without a long wait. Their system was working very well.
Palace of the Elephants
In essence, the show incorporated Thai culture with magical illusions, aerial ballet, acrobatics and elephant stunts all in one. To be honest the Thai cultural show and story were nothing too interesting. The most entertaining part of it was the aerial ballet, where 8 dancers were hung high up in the air swinging on their trapeze in the dark. The hall was pitch black but they were wearing glow-in-the-dark costumes, so it was a sight to behold when they swing and flung themselves in the air with grace.
Elephants in a row (source)
The elephants were also a delight to watch, especially when they formed the formation just like the one shown in the picture. If you ask me, FantaSea is the type of show that you would only go for once, just for the experience. It was grand and fascinating but for that price, it is perhaps not worth a second visit. Still, now that I have been to Phuket FantaSea, I felt like I could leave with no regrets this time around. 🙂
Us at Palace of the Elephants
For more information on Phuket FantaSea, check out their website here: www.phuket-fantasea.com