It’s always tough on deciding where to travel to next… After much thought, we (husband & I) decided we needed a beach holiday after the hectic year we both had. We finally decided on Phuket, Thailand.
Arriving in Phuket at 17:00 we were both excited, after an hour’s drive we finally reached Kata beach. The first thing I wanted to do is wear less clothes! It is extremely warm in the evenings as well.
The first night we could not decide what to eat, the food options were amazing, from eastern to western food. The food options increased as we walked further and further along the street, with most restaurants having a live band. Warm tropical weather, music in the air and different food smells in the street made it very difficult for us to decide where to have dinner. If you love seafood, then you will love Phuket. Daily there are fresh seafood being served at most restaurants, and you get to pick which fish you would like to try.
The streets are bustling at night with tuk-tuks (local transport vehicle), motor cycles, taxi’s and tourists and not forgetting all the vendors trying to sell you something or the other.
If you in need of a massage, there are massage parlors everywhere… when I say everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE!! They all are priced relative to each other to minimize competition. The massages are really good and the best part is they are cheap. After each day activities we pampered ourselves to a massage. The most common word we heard in Phuket were the locals screaming “maaassaage” and we became accustomed to greeting the locals with our palms together saying “Swaadeeka”. There are plenty of agents near all the beach areas selling currency (legit vendors), they are much cheaper than purchasing currency at the airport.
There’s lots of walking so be prepared… we enjoy both city and beach, so each night we would walk in a different direction to see the areas. The night markets are good, with lots of tourist souvenirs. Bargaining is a must! If you like me, I don’t buy much souvenirs so I can walk through a market without purchasing anything (unless there are beautiful handbags and sandals), however I always have to bargain on behalf of hubby.
Ice creams rolls… mmmm.. are a must!! It’s just amazing to watch them make it. The servings are very generous which is great! Try every fruit flavor available, they are yummy!
Visiting Patong was overrated from previous reviews I’ve read. Patong is exceptionally busy, many tourists stay here and hence there are many vendors trying to sell you something. The beach in Patong has completely recovered from the Tsunami it had years ago, with warning signs indicating to move to higher ground in the event of a Tsunami.
Bangla Road is extremely busy, with many lady-boys, bars, clubs, etc. Phuket offers a variety of shows from ping-pong shows for the adventurous to cultural shows.
The Phuket FantaSea cultural show was amazing! It was great seeing and learning about another culture. The theme park is so beautiful, so make sure you get there early to experience the park before the show starts.
Besides massages and markets, the beaches and islands in Phuket are beautiful. We did not pre-book any island tours, there are a number of agents on the street walk selling tours for each island. Hence we booked our tours at a number of agents on the sidewalk.
Our first island trip we booked a speedboat to Maya Bay, Phi Phi Island, Monkey beach and Viking caves. As its peak season for tourists, our speedboat was packed to capacity. The trip to the islands were quick as we went bouncing over the water… Maya Bay was beautiful, but packed with tourists, just like me. None the less, we had a fun time. The ocean water was cool, making it more enticing in the heat! We snorkelled a few times that day, with many different types of fish to see.
Our second island trip we decided, there’s no need to rush to each island and hence we booked on a big boat. Shucks! We loved the big boat! We didn’t bounce around the water. There was lots of space on the boat to walk about; and has a 360 degree view of the water, it was breath-taking! The lunch served on the Big Boat was delicious, finishing off with freshly sliced pineapple and watermelon. That day we visited Naka Island and the famous James Bond Island – the island is very small with most of the island being used as a market. The big boat is much cheaper than the speedboat, and I preferred the big boat to visit the islands.
Canoeing at Bat caves and Hong lagoon was magnificent, this was definitely the highlight of my day. Canoeing through the Bat caves was an experience! The cave is absolutely dark with thousands of bats hanging from the top. Our guide was funny and warned us not to keep your mouth open, you never know when bat droppings may fall… haha.
Truly a memorable experience!
Places visited: Kata beach and surrounding areas; Karon; Patong beach and surrounding areas; Maya Bay; Phi Phi Island; Monkey beach; Viking caves; Naka Island and James Bond Island
Food Experience: Ice creams rolls; fresh fruit cocktails; traditional Thai food
Essentials to pack: Sunblock; sun hat; mosquito repellent; rain jacket; swim wear; beach slops & summerwear
Local currency: Thai Baht