Visiting Phuket, Thailand

I know, you should make hay while the sun shines. But what can I say? I finally managed to collect all the pictures and write all my thoughts about this trip.

I went to Thailand with my friend Nataša for more or less 14 days. The 6h travel from our city to the airport + the 12h plane to Bangkok (+ waiting to board) + boarding another plane from Bangkok to Phuket (2h) and then getting a minibus ride to our apartment (2h+ as it was one of those “we’ll take you to our travel agency and try to scam you with impossible trip prices and than we’ll drop everyone off and you’ll be the last one” kind of ride) = let’s say 24h to get there altogether. But you know what? Worth it!

I’ll start at the beginning. and do a couple of different posts about Thailand. This one will be for Phuket, another one for Bangkok and a third one just for the food.

1. Kata Beach

Our first destination was Kata Beach. This location is famous for its lovely beaches, good food and okay night life (nothing too wild). It’s perfect for people who love chilling on the beach and trying local food.

We were staying at the Aspasia, just a couple of minutes on feet from the beach (as their description said). But what they didn’t say was, that the apartment is on the top of a hill and you have to walk on a quite steep road to get to your apartment from the beach (or pay an absurd amount of bhakt for a 1 min ride with the tuk tuk). But anyway. The view was worth it, the pools were very lovely, the staff vas kind (although they spoke English poorly) and we were almost alone in the whole complex.

Aspasia pool

This is also where I started celebrating my birthday! 🙂

What about the Kata Beach?

The beach was lovely, but not very clean. There was some trash scattered along the beach, but that didn’t stop us from taking some nice pictures. Kata Beach is great if you love the sea. You can go swimming, sunbath, enjoy a coconut (or popcorn) on the beach, go shopping, surfing, stand-up paddling, snorkeling or go on a boat trip.

The thing with Phuket is that nothing is as clean as you’re probably used to. There is some dirt everywhere, trash on the beach and almost no trash cans. So that’s quite a shock if you’re loving nature and are trying to go zero waste or something like that (because you can’t).

Since we had a problem with the apartment and it was taking too long to fix it, Nataša managed to get us a relocation (#girlboss) They relocated us to the Sunset Plaza, 15 min further from Kata Beach. Luckily it was only for one day, as it was right on top of a very busy 4-lane road (we’d call it here a highway, but I doubt that was it) and you’d need to rent a motorbike or get run over by a car/tuk tuk/motorbike.

2. Monkey Hill

Our next destination was very close to the Monkey Hill.

We were staying in a lovely apartment with a nice pool in the atrium and on the roof, plus there were some great food spots around it. That’s also when we rented a bike. Actually renting a bike is the cheapest transport option. The taxis are quite expensive, the tuk tuks are negotiable, but still not cheap and the rented motorbikes are super cheap compared to this. We payed 200 baht or €5.5 per day (instead of €100 for the taxis).

So while staying here we went to the Monkey Hill to see the famous monkeys. They are very cute on the pictures but in real life you see that they are wild animals and not to be messed around with. At the foot of the hill there were some big boards with pictures what you can get from a monkey and how it looks like (rabies, tuberculosis, tetanus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B …). So you’re off for a nice start. From there you have to walk around 2 km uphill to see them. The higher you get, the more monkeys are there. If you’re not afraid of them at this point, you’ll enjoy the walk.

3. Big Marble Buddha

We went with the motorbike and it was quite a ride, because everyone drives on the left and it’s quite wild on the road. Also it’s not fun when you can’t read Thai and end up driving somewhere you’re not supposed to. But overall driving in Phuket was a nice experience. Everyone is very considerate of motorbikes and there is no road rage (as far as I saw).

The Big Buddha Temple was gorgeous and it left me in awe. Definitely something to see to “get it”.

On our way back from the Big Marble Buddha, we stopped to feed the elephants. There were a few spots on the road to the temple where you could feed, ride or bath the elephants. We decided just to feed them, as it seemed the lesser evil option.

3. Patong

The party place of Phuket, full of working ladies and ladyboys, where everything can be bought (if you catch my drift) and where is one of the biggest nightclubs in Thailand.

We went to check this famous spot (it’s actually a street where all this happens) and it was full of people. There are a lot of people trying to get you to their (ping pong) show or their bar. You can try anything that tickles your fancy!

Some tips for a stress-free visit:

  • Everybody is super kind. Genuinely kind. Get used to it.
  • The majority of the population is Buddhist and they believe in karma. That means there is almost no theft and you can leave your things on the beach while you go swimming. Or can be blackout drunk and people will try to help you and not try to take advantage of you. *But use caution as there can always be one exception.
  • If you’re planning on visiting Phuket, get the app Grabb. It’s an Asian Uber and it’ll save you quite some money. At least it did for us and we used it all the time.
  • Definitely get a SIM card at the airport, if you’ll be staying here for a while. The wi-fi is everywhere, but unfortunately is locked.
  • Get Google Maps for walking around or Maps.me (if you don’t have the data).

For the end of this too long post I’ll just leave you with:

5 top things you have to do while in Phuket!

  1. Get a massage. They are super cheap (around 250 baht or €7). You can get their typical Thai massage, an oil massage or even a foot massage.
  2. Rent a motorbike. It’s an experience for itself and you can go visit everything.
  3. Have a relaxed beach day filled with sea, sun and coconuts.
  4. Go to one of their markets and try their local food (and all the different fruits).
  5. Enjoy! Whatever you do and whenever something doesn’t go according to plan, just sit back and relax. You’re on vacation!

Till next time,
Helena

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *