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.
Krabi Phuket Thailand
Beach fun of course. The main water activity in Krabi is enjoying the waves and kayaking. Because of its rock formations jet skiing, banana boat riding and water skiing are not common in Krabi. Some of the islands boast great diving & snorkelling, so that’s a must do. Rock climbing is another perfect adventure activity if you aren’t too scared (I was). Walking around and discovering our island was a brilliant way to spend one day, we realised the east side and the west side of Railay are just 15 mins away by a small path, and both had a charm of their own. A little beach on the west side had the prettiest rock formations and mountains you could either climb or swim under. A makeshift cave-temple dedicated to fertility was a fun picture opportunity.
Similan Islands Lam Kaen Phang-nga Thailand
The Similan Island is an archipelago consisting of nine smaller islands. The coral white sand beaches are sometimes completely deserted and make for a perfectly idle vacation spot. One side of the island is dominated by huge boulders while the other side is covered by thickets of bamboo and jackfruit trees. The islands have breathtaking diving sites. Beautiful tropical fish and massive coral gardens can be found at just 6 or 7 m into the water. With an impressive marine biodiversity comprising several unique fish species, sea fans, barrel fans, underwater caves and shallow reefs, Similan Islands are a haven for divers and snorkelers.4. Floating Markets
Phang Nga Bay Phang-nga Thailand
The Phang Nga Bay is popular for its ‘James Bond’ Island (the island was part of a Bond movie). The island offers a spectacular view of the surrounding green hills straddling the bay’s jade green waters. But, visitors are quick to notice the island’s most distinct feature – the limestone karsts sticking vertically out of the ocean floor. Phang Nga has many unexplored caves on the sides of its many limestone rocks.
Khao Lak Lam Kaen Phang-nga Thailand
I returned to the Phuket area again this year but decided to stay in the small beach town of Khao Lak instead. Khao Lak is a thriving tourist destination for backpackers, up-scale tourists, adventure tourist and scuba enthusiasts, the 17-mile Khao Lak coastline was the Thai area hardest hit by the Asian tsunami of December 2004. Fortunately, most of the town has been rebuilt. It's about a 90-minute drive from the airport but totally worth the drive to escape the crowded beaches of Phuket. For my last day, I drove around exploring the Khao Lak area a little further. I made a visit to the Tsunami Museum to make a donation and then contributed my last bit to the local economy with one final massage.
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.
Kamala Kammala Phuket Thailand
Well the most important step was choosing the right accommodation. What wanted was optimum comfort as well as a luxurious stay. That when I decided to choose a private Villa from Live Phuket. My partner and me both decided that we would choose a Villa on the Kamala beach. We choose a pool villa Shenling Villa 1 at Kamala, Phuket. In simple words, the services offered by Live Phuket was simply mind blowing. This villas was sheer combination of privacy and comfort. We got complete complete peace and seclusion there. We got transferred to Villa upon arriving in Phuket on Thursday. We decided to spend that day at leisure on our villa spending quality time with each other. I am extremely grateful to the professionals at Live Phuket for their generous services. After a complete day and night rest, we decided to explore Phuket. After an sumptuous lunch at the Villa, our tour began
Mu Ko Similan National Park Phang-nga Thailand
Established as a national park in 1982, Similan Islands are an archipelago of 11 islands in Phang Nga Province 70km off the coast at Andaman Sea, covering an area of 70sqkm. With a rich marine life consisting of magical hard/soft coral reefs, crystal clear waters and white beaches it is concidered to be one of the best diving sites in the world.”Similan Islands” is an underwater paradise teeming with life at large. The coral And among fishes. The water was crystal clear glass and has a beautiful white sand beaches. Similan is famous for its beautiful deep water, 1 in 10 of the world’s top sailing and rock as a symbol of the Similan Islands National Park. Leasing is located at the island, 8 (Similan Islands) that is very beautiful. And is a highlight of the Similan Islands. Consists of numerous islands with high and steep granite mountain, beaches and rocks formation of many shapes. The shoreline of each islands are of inconsistent curves since they are situated in the outer part of the sea and are worn away directly by waves. Part of the water lies in the Andaman Sea and eastern side of the Indian Ocean while the shoulder of the continent borders the western shoreline of Phang Nga province and Union of Myanmar, paralleling the Nikobar Islands of India. There is no mud at all along the beaches, so the sands are very clean, white and very fine. Some islands do have hills in the area, which are usually quite tall with the highest top of 244 meters above mean sea level, while some islands are of flat area surrounded by sand dunes and coral reefs.Summer begins in mid February and ends in May. Rainy season starts from mid May till October with North – Western wind. Average annual temperature is 27๐c with average of approximately 83% humidity all year round. Average annual rainfall is measured at 3,560 millimeters with evaporation rate of 1,708 millimeters per year. In rainy season, the national park will be closed during 16 May – 31 October every year for visitors safety.
Khao Sok National Park Khlong Sok Surat Thani Thailand
Spend a night at a rainforest bungalow at the Khao Sok National Park
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.
Ko Hong Nong Thale Krabi Thailand
Koh Hong Island is just stunning. I spent my full morning Snorkeling in Koh Hong Island, only 30 minutes away from Phulay Bay in Krabi. Literally a paradise on earth, and supposed to be one of the top ten beaches in the world. KOH in Thai means Island and HONG means room, therefore the Island of the Room. Access to the island is possible only by rented long tail boats, private yatchs or hotel transfers. You sail through a huge pool of fresh water coming from the Andaman Sea only during the High Tides. So shallow that if I would have jumped into the water I would have have half of my body out of the water. During the Low Tides, this is a valley of sand and beautiful surrounding nature, with direct access to the sea.
Phang Nga Bay
Day 3 was my last and most eventful day in Phuket.Woke up at 6:30 am with the intent of driving down to Phang Nga Bay which is 90km outside of the Phuket island .Usually people take the ferry tour of Phang Nga which can cost upto 2500 Baht per person,but since the Road travel is supposed to be scenic we thought to test it out for ourselves.We left at about 7 am and reached Phang Nga around 9am. The roads are excellent and there's no getting lost if you have google maps. ( God's gift)On reaching Phang Nga we went to the pier via the visitor center where we were able to bargain and get a private ferry for 1300 Baht. If you're ready to go on a longtail with 20 people you can get a tour for 250 Baht.Our ferry took us to Khao Mahgu,Koh Panyee, the famous James Bond Island,and then to Koh Hong and Koh Panak. We later got our own canoes that took us through the limestone karsts that jut vertically out of the emerald green water for which Phang Nga is famous.We later stopped at this isolated spot on some unnamed island where we swam for about an hour (in the fear of some sea creature grabbing our legs underwater, though our driver had assured us that there were no crocodiles there..honestly we hadn't even thought of that till he said it)Our driver then took us back to the Phang Nga Pier, the entire journey was so beautiful and nothing like I'd ever seen before. And a whole lot of pictures clicked!After lunch at a local restaurant there where i took about 20 min just to explain my lunch to the restaurant lady (Heads up- learn a bit of the local language), i headed back to Patong.As soon as I reached Phuket, I headed out to Kata beach for some surfing. It had been 3 months since i last surfed in Gokarna but i couldn't wait to see what the waves in Phuket had in store for me.There is a small surfboard rental shop on one end of the Kata beach where one can rent long and short boards for 150 baht an hour and for 1000 for a whole day.I took a longboard for an hour and headed out to surf around 5:30 pm , thats when the waves started to kick in.10 min into the water, i was thrashed here and there by the massive hard hitting waves. It was scary, i hadn't ever been this scared while catching a wave and i was SO exhausted.There were about 10 other people surfing out of whom barely 1 could catch a wave successfully. 7 waves one after another that would take you away with them and then there would be stillness, like the calm before another storm. But nonetheless it was exhilarating. I wish i could surf for more than a day there, it was nothing like the waves I've seen in India.Its just been 3 days but it feels like I've been here for longer . The town has a comforting vibe. Phuket is beautiful and i only wish i had more time to explore and live a bit more on this island. I wanted to attend a MMA Muay Thai class and an Aerial silk class too but couldn't find the time. Phuket has plenty to offer for all kinds of travellers, which i think is the best part about it.You could just lie down on the white sand of the beaches and say to yourself - Laissez moi là (Leave me here). But I am now off to the Phi Phi Islands for some more sun,sand and surf!
Fantasea Tour Kammala Phuket Thailand
Fantasea show, Las Vegas style Thai cultural show inspired with number of new technology and must visted place for those who wants to know about Thailand culture.. The show is really fantastic - but also very touristy .I first wandered through all the souvenir shops and some games stalls and finally I Watch live dance stunts that tells stories of ancient Thailand. The show creates beautiful moments of emotion. The hundreds of actors are very energetic and generous. it's true that it's a bit pricey (1500 baht =2900rs approx) .show is only of 2 hours and it is of great quality.Must visit place.
Siam Niramit Phuket Koh Keaw Phuket Thailand
Shows - Thailand has a rich cultural heritage. There are a lot of night shows like the Siam Niramit show, Calypso Lady Boy show, Aksra Puppet show. I watched the Siam Niramit show. It is a mixed show which shows the history, culture and lifestyle of Thailand. Worth a watch for the sets and how quickly they change them after the end of one show. Tickets cost 1500 baht for a normal seating and 2000 baht for a VIP seating. They also offer dinner prior to the show at an extra cost. Dinner starts at 6 pm so you can skip buying tickets with dinner. Nightlife - Without any doubts Bangkok has the most happening nightlife. I had visited the Skybar Rootop at Lebua, the place where Hangover 2 was shot. Worth every penny you spend. It is on the 64th floor and from there you get a panoramic view of Bangkok.I stayed in Bangkok for 5 days and enjoyed every minute of it. If you still haven't added Thailand to your bucket list, visit it once and I bet you will visit again. Do find your reasons to love Bangkok !!
James Bond Island Thailand
One of my favorite experiences in Thailand...I drove to Phang Nga (from Phuket) and hired a longtail boat for a day tour of Phange Nga Bay. It was a perfect sunny day for a cruise around the bay and of course there were a ton of other boats out there. But having my own private boat was definitely the way to go. The craggy limestone cliffs that dot the teal waters of Phang Nga Bay reminded me a lot of Halong Bay in Vietnam. Just as beautiful but much better weather! I cruised the bay for a while lingering around some of the more popular tourist stops – caves, limestone carvings, fishing villages, etc. Finally, I approached the most popular tourist stop in Phang Nga Bay – James Bond Island. Made famous in the movie, “The Man with the Golden Gun,” the movie had the location set in China but Thailand is its true home. It was an extremely popular stop with the jam-packed tourist boats so the island was crawling with people.