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.
Patong Beach Patong Phuket Thailand
My first day diving began with an 8am pickup at my hostel in Patong Beach. This was followed by a forty five minute drive to the pier. Here I was introduced to my instructor (Bryan) and two other Americans who were doing the course along with me. I was much less experienced (four dives) than the two other guys, who had over a hundred dives logged.
Bangla Patong Phuket Thailand
I stayed at Bodega Hostel which is very close to the famous Bangla Road. This is probably the best hostel I stayed at in Thailand, in terms of the complete package i.e. atmosphere, great dorms and friendly staff. I stayed in the right person mixed dorms and it was a wonderful experience. I met a lot of people from all across the globe and the entire vibe about the place was really friendly. Every evening we would start with a few drinking games followed by a bar crawl in which we would go to a few bars on Bangla Road.I would highly reccomend staying here. I am sure Dan, Ben and Jake (the owners/staff) will make you have a great time.
White Box Restaurant Phuket Thailand
After the hectic day, we decided to choose a place where we can dine out in in peace. We choose the White Box Restaurant located at 245/7 Prabaramee Road offering an elegant interior with floor-to-ceiling windows with splendid terrace offering panoramic view of the ocean. The menu is a marvellous combination of both thai as well as Mediterranean flavors. The dinner cost approximately was 3000 baht. After dinner we decided to spend some leisure time on upstairs trendy open-air lounge. Here you can taste foods like made with vodka, galangal,spicy Tom Yum martinis, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaf and chili priced at 280 baht.
Roots Rock Reggae Bar & Shop Patong Phuket Thailand
On our night out at Roots Rock Reggae, we were utterly joyous to discover a Thai Ska band, their trumpets and trombones calling back memories of nights in Brixton and at Glastonbury watching The Specials. I came to the conclusion that you could spend a whole year in Festival Land (Chiang Mai) and still not absorb everything on offer. Jon said it reminded him of Melbourne, for myself it felt more like Perth due to it's situation on a river, the very relaxed atmosphere and the arty scene and hidden gems every where you go. It was like when someone hands you a cake box as a surprise and you peer in the white cardboard to find a carefully sculpted delicious treat waiting for you.