One cannot but picture Vietnam without the conical hat wearing farmers. You will see candy making, coconut coir art, coconut sweets being dished out at Mekong islands. We were taken to a restaurant that served a plethora of Vietnamese cuisine and meat. Actually live animals like crocodiles, turtles, snakes and of course the less exotic ones like crabs, fish etc. were among the picks. Being vegetarians, and having experienced the tough time we had in Maya Bay, Phuket, we were better prepared, this time. The cold Biryani that was cooked at the hotel seemed like heaven to us J.Locals use narrow boats to hop islands and the skilled boatwomen row you through packed traffic effortlessly!After some hammock perching and cycling, it was time to board the big boat back for the 2 hour ride back to HCMC.
I wasnt quite sure what to expect from Phuket, having heard from some people that its an overly commercialised party town and from some that it has some of the most beautiful beaches that one can go to.I had my share of partying and night adventure in Bangkok (about which i shall blog later).So i was looking forward to a more beach-and-chill vibe on heading to Phuket, ofcourse with a whole lot of exploration of beautiful places.I took an overnight bus from Bangkok from the Southern Bus Terminal for 700 Baht. It dropped me right at the Phuket Bus Terminal. The journey was pretty decent, the landscape was nothing short of beautiful, it already started to feel like a perfect vacation. I reached Phuket around 11am. From the bus terminal i took a shared bus to the downtown market and then another bus to Patong, all in an hour.I reached my accommodation by noon. I put up at The Little Moon Residence which was about 1.5km from the Patong Beach.First things first in any place, get a Vehicle. Be it a bicycle or a bike or a car. It just becomes convenient to travel and you'll save up on quite a bit. The public transportation in Thailand is expensive. One can rent a bike for 200-500 Baht in Patong.And for god sake the Thai accent is almost impossible to understand. You wont understand a thing the locals say and they wont understand a thing you say. You're just gonna have to rely on finding the thai written text for whatever you need and show it to the locals.Since i didnt have much time left in the day,i went to Phromthep Cape which is the southern most tip of Phuket, 22km from Patong. You get to see a beautiful view of the ocean from there but it gets pretty crowded around that time.You could walk all the way down to the end of the cape but on the way back uphill you might wonder why you had to inflict this upon yourself (as did i).For dinner, i went to the Malin plaza which is basically your organised streetmarket. They serve up beautiful roasted meat to yum thai food to delicious crepes and fresh fruits. A full meal can cost you upto 100 bahts on an average.If thai food isn't your thing, Phuket has a whole lotta multi cusine restaurants and bars and even your mainstream Mcdonalds and Burger King at the Banana plaza and Jungceylon. There are a lot of shops on the street offering you everything. Every other shop is a thai massage parlour or a 7-11 which is basically your 24*7 shop.
Pattaya is 3 hours drive from Phaya thai! In Thailand, Pattaya and Phuket are well known for beaches! Pattaya has a very good beach with a good marine drive. Pattaya Sea shore has people who give very good Foot massage for sun bathers! Cold tender coconut at Pattaya is the sweetest in its kind! Apart from those, Skydiving, deep sea diving and motor boating, biking adds to much fun! One day at Pattaya will be more than enough to experience all these! From phaya thai, there are buses to Pattaya. Near the beach, Gems Galleria is present where we can spend excellent 2 hours on seeing something about Jewelery! If you are from India, it is better not to buy ornaments from there as it costs much cheaper here!