Phuket is a destination where I’ve been four times, but most of them as a way to move to other islands without ever giving it a chance to stop by and live it.
The Emirates route, connecting Dubai to Phuket in six hours, made this island a more desirable place. With all this, Phuket has been growing and developing, having even recently opened an international airport.
The island has dream beaches, friendly people, wonderful food, smells of enchantment … And when you’re tired, you always have the chance to take a boat to another dream destination. Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, Koh Racha, Koh Khai, Similian, are just a few of the islands you can reach through Phuket.
Once you arrived at the airport you will have a huge offer of taxis ready to take you anywhere. There is a fixed price table.
WHAT TO DO:
GO TO OLD PHUKET TOWN
Old Phuket Town has a unique charm. The low houses, colorful and with unique details, reveal many surprises. Going on adventure and without a map, we emerged into what the city had to offer us and be caught by surprise in every step of the way. After arriving, we were received by chants, echoing from a temple. The monks were giving the afternoon prayer. Without disturbing them, we took some photos. One of them, passed by us and smiled. I asked him to take a picture, which he agreed instantly. Clumsy as I am, I grabbed him by the arm and softly pulled him against me. The poor guy just panicked and started to run. . Rule Nº 1: Never touch a monk! After me apologizing to him, we had a huge laugh and finally took the picture. Night came and the cafes were getting full of life. Modern, full-bodied coffees in the middle of a simple and relaxed Thai life.
Visiting this area is the contemplation of modern and traditional life at the same time.
I recommend a stop at: Eleven Two & Co. (On the main street, Thalang Road) for dinner, shopping or just drinking anything and enjoying the surroundings. There, we could taste the best Fried Rice of the whole trip.
SHOP ALL NIGHT AT THE WEEKEND PHUKET NIGHT MARKET
This market is must-go place! Everything you need is there. Open on Saturdays and Sundays at night, it is the place to go for shopping. There is everything from almost perfect replicas of “Chanel” bags to Adidas sneakers, to teas, creams, bags … There is a bit of everything. The food aisles are a mixture of interesting smells and eye candy. The trick is to go at the end of your vacations, to spend money without compromising the rest of the days. If it is to buy a lot, do not comit the mistake of going on a motorcycle, as I did once, where you can’t carry all of your bags. You can get a driver to take you, wait for you up to 4 hours and get you back. Bargain as much as you can but never pay more than 2000 baht = 53 euros
VISIT A TEMPLE
Although Bangkok is the preferred destination to see many of the temples, there are some in Phuket. It is true that they are more simple, but also very charming.
EAT STREET FOOD
I’ve run more than 30 countries and never seen so much street food, as in Thailand. There is a wide variety of chicken, sausages, seafood, cakes, fresh fruit, nooddles, cockroaches, beetles … There is something for everyone. Believe it’s worth it and it gets well on portions by paying a low value. Just to be aware, a chicken kebab costs 10baht = 26 cents
AND EAT THE FAMOUS PAD THAI
Going to Thailand and not eating Pad Thai should be considered a crime. By the way, I’ve spent all day eating only this typical Thai dish. I ate chicken pad thai, sometimes with shrimp, or with vegetable. For me, this is a sacred dish.
HAVE A MUAY THAI CLASS
Speaking in Muay Thai immediately sends us to Thailand. Although I already did two years of kickboxing, I did a muay thai class and I was delighted. The teacher also helped a lot, always available and smiling, ready to correct our mess. We liked so much that we are considering having these classes in Portugal, so be careful with us!
SUNBATHING AT THE BEST BEACHES
The island has lots of beaches to please everyone. If you want to be in the mess, go to Patong Beach. If you want to be with the Russians, go to Kata Beach. If you want clear water, fine sand and tranquility, I advise Kata Noi or Surin Beach. I have heard very good things about Nai Harn Beach, further south of the island, but I haven’t been there yet…
SEE THE SUNSET
There are several areas where seeing the sunset is truly magical. As I really like to enjoy the beach to its fullest, I end up seeing it on the beach. But I’vealso seen it twice at Karon Viewpoint, which is south of Kata Noi, and is known by locals as Khao Saa Haad (Three Beaches Hill).
SPEND A NIGHT IN ANIMATED BANGLA ROAD
Visiting Bangla Road in Patong is almost mandatory. The most well-known street on the island, due to the diverse offer of nightlife, is a box of surprises. I never felt insecure, just “shuffled” with so much light and sound. When walking you will be approached a number of times to watch the famous ping pong shows. They present a menu of offerings, the entertainers perform magic tricks with the vagina, they open bottles, they throw bananas, they shoot frogs, snakes, ping pong balls … I went to see it out of curiosity, but after five minutes, I left. It bothered me all that environment and the face of suffering that the entertainers presented. Before accepting to see the show, negotiate the price, otherwise they will charge you a lot. We bargained for 300 baht = 8 euros a drink. These shows are in a kind of sub-basement, do not be scared, go relaxed and everything will be alright!
CREATE NEW FRIENDSHIPS
We all know Thailand as the land of smiles. So get in the spirit, put on your best smile and make friends.
MAKE SOME OF THE AVAILABLE TOURS
Everywhere there are agencies selling excursions to the neighboring islands. You can go for one day, or stay there. I have done many of these excursions and it is always an adventure, even if it means surviving a boat full of Chinese.
I advise you to go to Similian, Koh Racha, Bond Island, Koh Lanta and Phi Phi (although this is always full, taking all the magic out of the place …).
With prices from 1500 baht = 40 euros
WALK IN TUK TUK DISCO
It is certain that taxiing is safer, but we were fans of the tuk tuk “walking discotheque”. The drivers, understanding that we were a well-disposed group, put the volume to the maximum, the blinking disco lights on, and we went there to enjoy the curves at a crazy speed.
RENT A MOTORBIKE
The motorbike is the most used and cheapest way to get around the island. But you should have some experience, because there are many bumps. As there are so many on the island, when you park it, decorate the license plate, because when you return there will be so many sequal motorbikes next to yours, that it will be difficult to locate it..
200 baht per day = 5.35 euros
40 baht = 1 euro = 1 liter of gasoline sold in glass bottles by the roadside
MASSAGES AND MORE MASSAGES
Thai massage? It’s what you hear all the time. For me I spent the days doing them at the seaside … Or brought a masseur with me back home … I had both experiences, the SPA with all the pampering, but more expensive and the beach, more relaxed, listening to the sound of sea and for only 300 baht = 8 euros. They are both equally good, each in its own way. The true Thai massage is more aggressive, covers the entire body and stretches you bones to you did n’t even know was possible. But the feeling is light. Then there are those of relaxation, equally good and that have already made me sleep many times …
Another attraction is the fish spa, where we put our feet in an aquarium full of fishes to tear off the dead skin. It’s one of those things that strangles at first, it tickles, but then it feels pretty good. The prices? 150 baht = 4 euros for 15 minutes
WHERE TO SLEEP:
There are deals for all the wallets. I slept in a guesthouse in Kata Beach, where I paid 10 euros a night. Everything clean, comfortable bed, clean bathroom and very kind owners. As I have slept in the most luxurious hotels. It all depends on the spirit and $$$ of each, but believe me that you will always be received in a genuine way.
I would advise:
– The Melody Phuket (next to a road in Kata, but a 15 minute walk to the beach). Modern rooms and very comfortable. Average price = 55 euros
– Sawasdee Village (a 5-minute walk from Kata beach, but if you find it easy, the hotel offers round-trip transfers). Small but charming hotel, full of Thai details. Average price = 90 euros
– Keemala (Opened a year ago, inserted in a context of nature, where there was a concern to respect the environment. It was considered the most beautiful hotel in the world by the renowned travel magazine Conde Nast and the truth is that it deserves the title. It was without a doubt the most wonderful hotel I have ever stayed in. Average price = 600 euros
– The Surin (located on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, It has its own private beach. It’s located on Pansea Beach, and only the guests of the hotel and the neighboring Amanpuri have access to the beach). It is definitely worth repeating! Average prices = 500 euros
– Kata Inn Guesthouse (a ten minute walk from Kata beach, this guesthouse is a good option for those who do not want to spend a lot of money on sleeping. Clean and comfortable, the owners make you feel at home. Price = 20 euros
– Bargain a lot! It’s just not worth bargaining in the shops, because here the prices are fixed.
– All over the island there are many 7Eleven shops , where you can buy everything you need, from food to toiletries and drinks …
– Relax and let yourself go in the flow, nothing feels better than flip flops in your foot and feeling safe.
Thailand is a destination that never disappoints me and that always fills my heart. Here, I feel at home!