It was a longtime that we had been to any real Vacation and we were planning for it from a Long time. While looking out for destinations, Thailand came as a natural choice given its proximity to India (Long flights with Baby can be daunting n tiring) and the variety that it offers.
However, the toughest part was to choose the destination in Thailand, given an array of options available. After some research, we zeroed down to Phuket.While making trip plan, I thought 8 days might be too much for one place, so we added next closest Destination, Krabi in our Tour Plan. However Phuket has so much to offer that if you really want the have a leisure trip, you need a week for sure!
Phuket is Thailand's largest islands and most popular one also. Surrounded by many smaller islands, Phuket not only offers some of the most beautiful beaches but also a vibrant and happening nightlife.
Best time to Visit - Best time to visit Phuket is from November to February when weather is pleasant & dry. You can also visit during May- August, if you don't mind strong sun and rains (We visited during first week of May). Advantage is you can get the best deals on Flights, accommodations etc (this being off-season). In addition to you can avoid the crowd and enjoy the beauty of this amazing Island in peace.
Getting there - Phuket has its own International Airport, From India we took a connecting Flight via Bangkok, which took us 1.5 Hours (from Bangkok to Phuket)
Where to stay - Patong is the most happening Area in Phuket.It has got numerous Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Pubs, Bars by the Patong beach including the famous Bangla Road,which is the party Hub. So if you are fond of parties, bustling nightlife and lively crowd, stay in Patong.
However if you want to be away from all the noise and crowd, you can choose areas such as Karon or Kata. We stayed at Baan Laimai resort, which was right on the Patong beach.
What to see
Phuket offers plethora of options and cater perfectly to all. Be it nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, family vacations seekers, art & culture lovers or party animals. If you are planning for DIY vacation, my 4 days itinerary to Phuket may help you plan better.
It was already 4.30 p.m. by the time we reached and could manage to check in at the hotel. Tired from all night travel, we just crashed in. Night we took a stroll to explore the surroundings and lively streets of Patong. There are many Indian restaurants in the vicinity, which was a relief since we were travelling with our 2-year-old toddler.
We decided to laze around rather than rushing for sightseeing tours. We spent first half of the day in the Pool relaxing, later pampered ourselves with Thai massage, which is a must in Thailand and walked to the Patong beach, which was intriguing during Sunset. In the evening, we decided to visit Phuket old town (highly recommended on the travel forums). Since we wanted to try local transport instead of Taxi, we hired a tuk tuk (being with a baby I dint find it very safe and comfortable, it was also quiet hot and humid). We discovered only later that, we landed at Phuket town night market instead of Old Phuket town. The night market is set only on weekends and was really big, with numerous shopping options, ranging from Local cuisine, fruits, handicrafts, clothes and what not. So we decided to drop the plan for Old Phuket town and splurge in Shopping.
Realising that we had only 2 more days left, we decided to explore must see in Phuket and hired a taxi. Our tour included visit to Karon beach, K ata and Kata noi beaches. Needless to say these beaches were clean, beautiful and were not at all crowded.
Next stop was Karon viewpoint, an iconic location showcasing the best of the island: sparkling blue sea, white-sand beaches, an exotic nearby island (Koh Pu), and the lush green hillsides. After spending sometime here, we moved towards the next destination. Travelling through lush green mountains, finally we reached the famous Big Buddha. This larger than life idol sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills. It offers 360-degree panoramic view of the island, which is mesmerizing. After soaking ourselves in the beautiful surroundings, we headed to the last point, the Wat chalong temple.
While returning, we saw the Elephant Jungle safari boards and spotted couple of Elephants.We also came across many travellers ridding ATVs. For adventure enthusiasts these can be a good option to try. Wat Chalong was a huge complex with 3 -4 temples; the grandeur and beauty of these temples are intriguing. The combination of bright hue along with gold was really eye catching.
It was a day for a trip to Phi Phi Island by speedboat, but after reading bad reviews about speedboat prior night (specially with Babies), we changed our plan to next available option- James Bond Island on a big boat/Cruise. And I am happy to have made that decision. The Big boat or cruise was slow but very comfortable. Breakfast, tea coffee, lunch and evening snacks were provided at the Cruise.Day tour included cruising in Phang Nga Bay. The first island was Koh Hong where we stepped down from the cruise to a kayak with a peddler. We were very hesitant to get down from the cruise in the sea because our todler refused to wear the life jacket. But tour guide assured us that water was very shallow and calm, So we got down and I am glad that we dint miss this, as it was worth experiencing. Peddler took us around the limestone formations and into the lagoon. Next was Koh Tapoo or James Bond Island! What you see is this one big pilar of a rock and not as impressive as its hyped up. We had our lunch on the boat itself.
The last stop was at Lawa island where we sat down and relax. It was the best island and the beach that I witnessed in Phuket. We enjoyed swimming here.
Thanks to good weather it was not very hot or sunny and we had a very pleasant experience soaking in the Sea and beautiful rock formations. We returned to our hotel in the evening. Offourse thai massage on the last day in Phuket was a must. Refreshed, we enjoyed the live music performance at our Hotel followed by a stroll to Bangla road and Patong beach.
This was our 4 days of memorable holidays, especially first International Holiday with our baby.
Budget & Expenses
Hotel stay for 4 days - 22k Tuk tuk for Night market - 800 Baht ( to and fro) Taxi charge for Watchalong , Big Buddha, Kata, Kata Noi , karon , Kata view point - 1200 Baht (it was for 4 hours) Cruise to James Bond Island - 1500 Baht per person (no charge for baby) Meal expenses (Indian restaurants) -500 -700 Baht per meal
Happy Travelling !