Hello fellow travellers.
This December I headed for Thailand and my first destination was the beautiful island of Phuket.
To be completely honest, 2018 was a brutal year for me so I was ready to just laze around the resort pool and the beach and do absolutely nothing. But Phuket would not have it, it gave me adventures I will remember forever.
On arrival at the hotel we were absolutely exhausted from the long flight and decided to take a nap before taking to the Karon streets.
Our hotel was in Karon. I’m a city girl and when we were on our way to the hotel and passed by Patong which looks a little bit more comtemporary, I was a little bit envious.
With time, Karon grew on me. Our hotel was close to many restaurants and shops. The restaurants had many options from Thai food, Indian food, Chinese food to burgers and fries. There was also an abundance of seafood restaurants. We are up eating at a different restaurant each night.
We hit the Karon streets to get some dinner and see what’s out there. We had our first dinner at The Spicehouse. It was so tasted. I had Pad Thai (cliche I know) but this was the original Thai version with the tastiest slightly charred and crunchy vegetables.
We spent the rest of the night walking around and exploring the clothing stores. Maybe I should call them a clothing market, it was more of a market type of vibe. We noticed massage places at every corner at reasonable prices so hubby got a foot massage while I got my nails done.
If you are looking for ambiance and serenity, while you get your massage, it’s probably better to go to the spa in your hotel but be prepared to pay more. The massage places on the street just get down to business, no music, champagne and candlelight there.
We came across a tailor who claimed he could make custom suits for us in two days. Hubby then spent an hour doing measurements. (Not the most exciting part our trip).
We had planned some activities from Day 3 of our trip so we decided to hit the mall in Patong (Jungceylon) to see what Thai shopping had to offer. The mall had beautiful Christmas decorations up which gave good photo ops. Other than that, it was just a mall. I however fell in love with one store called Jaspal. Their clothes and me, same WhatsApp group as we say in South Africa.
On our way back from the hotel we rode on a Tuk Tuk. It was a lot of fun and made the trip back interesting. There are times when it got scary because for some reason people in Phuket drive quite recklessly and on scooters for that matter.
We had to get up very early for our trip to James Bond Island and Pha Nga Bay. I was nervously excited if that even makes sense. The weather was not looking great and I was sceptical about speedboats, rain and the ocean. It was my birthday though and I was ready to have fun.
We got onto the speedboat nonetheless and headed for Hong Island where we canoed through the diamond cave which is a limestone rock cave. The speed boat stops close to the cave where there are some local people who come and collect you on canoes to take you through the cave.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the whole experience. The beauty of all the natural scenery had me in awe. The air was fresh, and it was so still.
Let’s spend some time discussing the stillness. As we canoed through the cave we came out into a lagoon. The first thing I noticed was a stillness and silence like I had never experienced in my life.
I understood in this moment what Oprah meant in her book , “What I know for sure”. I too, like Oprah felt like taking that moment and bottling it up forever. It however remains in my memories. I now seek more moments like that in my life and the only thing that brings them out is nature.
After our canoeing, we headed for lunch at the floating island. The lunch was prepared by local village people and tasted like a meal from home. I was shocked at the state of the village and how people there actually survived. The village smelt of sewerage and was not very clean.
The beauty of every place however, are the people, who seemed happy as they went about their business. There are approximately 1000 people living there including kids. The village even has a school and a football field.
After lunch we headed for the highlight of the trip (or so they say) which was James Bond Island. The island was made famous by a Bond movie shot there in 19whatever… (haha). You can google the story.
For me the highlight was the canoeing but the James Bond Island made for some good photo ops. I had fun taking pictures imitating the famous 007 pose with hubby.
We then headed for Rang Yai island for some swimming and relaxing. It was a lovely swim. The water is walm and calm.
After a long day we headed back to the hotel for some rest and oh yes, almost forgot, more fittings for hubby (yawn).
This day was for relaxing at Karon beach and getting massages. Like most beaches in Phuket, the water is warm. This beach had some big waves which I loved. I felt like a little kid again, not wanting to get out of the water.
We also got a massage by the beach. Like I said before, no ambience, the ladies just get straight to business. It’s a massage nonetheless.
We had to wake up early again to go to Phi-phi island. We had booked this at the last minute after we enjoyed the James Bond Island trip. We were deciding between Phi phi island and a Thai cooking class.
We decided we wanted more water and sunshine. If I had to compare the James Bond and the Phi Phi trip, the latter takes the cup.
The speed boat ride to Phi phi island is a little bumpier than the one to James Bond Island, so if you get see sick, be prepared.
We started the day off with a swim at Pileh Clove. Boy was this fun! It was my first time jumping off a boat into the water, it was amazing. I stayed in the water until it was literally time to go. I love swimming, it’s one of my top ten favourite things to do.
We then went from swimming to snorkeling at Phi Phi Ley. If you are not one for the water, you might get bored on this trip. It was my first time snorkeling and I fell in love. My hubby who can’t even swim would not leave the water (he had a life jacket on of course).
I fell in love with being under water and seeing all the beautiful fish. It felt surreal. I have now added snorkeling to my favorite things to do.
At some point we went past Maya Beach which was made famous by some movie. The beach was closed for some rehabilitation so we could only take pictures. We also went past Monkey beach for some photo ops but I’ve seen enough monkeys in my lifetime so I wasn’t that interested.
We then went for lunch at Phi Phi Don. Lunch was lovely and had a lot of variety.
After lunch, we headed for Bamboo island for some more swimming and snorkeling. It was a bit more shallow than Phi Phi Ley but still fun. The water was so clear you could see the fish even without going under water. This time it was hubby who didn’t want to get out of the water.
That ended our day and we headed back to the hotel. We needed to collect all of hubbies suits because we were headed for Bangkok the next day and also needed to explore Bangla Street. I forgot to mention that during our third day in Phuket, hubby convinced me that I needed some suits for work so I ended up getting two suits and a dress made. I couldnt believe they finished making them in just two days.
How can you mention Phuket and not talk about Bangla Street? Honestly, the only reason I wanted to go was to tick the box. I am not much of a party person.
What I saw was young Thai girls dancing on tables in bars, men that looked like women (convincingly so), and people on the street trying to get us to go to a go go bar or a strip club. Hubby seemed to be having more fun than me. I was over it quite quickly. Sorry I have no juicy Bangla Street stories for you (haha). But you should go and see it, you might enjoy it more than me.
My Phuket trip was relaxing and fun. I wish I could have done more sight seeing but I was exhausted and focused on a few activities.
I hope my blog gave you an idea of what to expect in Phuket.
Till next time…