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fieryfox Phuket - A travel report by Farizan
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Phuket,  Thailand - flag Thailand -  Phuket
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fieryfox's travel reports

Fond Memories of Enchanting Phuket.

  17 votes
Page: 1 2

Pristine beaches, breath-taking sunsets, night bazaars and traditional massage spas are some of the highlights of Phuket. Pkuket Island is located just off the west of coast of Thailand surrounded by the Andaman archipelago.


View from Hotel.
View from Hotel.

My trip began from Kuala Lumpur. I travelled to Phuket with a group of friends. We desperately needed a break from our busy daily lives and we decided to try one of the packages offered by Air Asia, Malaysia’s low cost airline. Phuket on a Budget, was captivating enough. Unfortunately for us, the tickets were not the cheapest as we booked too late. The Go Holiday package included air fare and a 4 night stay in a 2 star hotel with breakfast included for approximately THB8500 per person.

Upon arrival we hired a Toyota Altis 1.8 from a local car-rental which included insurance with fuel ¾ tank full at THB 1300 per day. It worked out well for us as we wanted to explore the island on our own.

A word of caution: Beware of touts as they would swarm all over you if you show that you are lost and unsure of where you want to go. Pick up a map at the tourist information centre right after clearing immigration. Get a taxi or hire a car from the counter at the airport. Believe it or not the rates are no different outside the airport as we soon discovered and we already had to drag our luggage on foot.

Phuket’s locals seem very used to the “Farang” (foreigners). Everyone seems to have some command of English and getting directions in the dark night turned out to be easier than we thought. Everyone we met along the way was helpful. It took us nearly an hour to get to Patong Beach in the dark before we found our hotel. Once we checked in we are all set for our R & R holiday in Phuket.

Overall, my Phuket holiday was just awesome and I’m already planning my next trip there in April.


Favourite spots:
Shops in Phuket Town
Shops in Phuket Town

There are many things to do in Phuket. Many touristy places and enough to keep you occupied all day and night. If you are into shopping, the place to head for is the Phuket Town. There are many Departmental stores like Central Festival, Big C, Robinsons and Tesco Lotus. The central wet market also has much to offer and at much more reasonable prices as it’s where the locals do their shopping. There are also special bazaars for tourists in Phuket Town. Mostly clothes and fashion accessories are sold. Prices are cheaper than the stalls along Patong Beach. Shops open from 9am to 9 pm.


What's really great:
Photo of Kata Beach
Photo of Kata Beach

My personal favourite spot in Phuket is the Patong Beach. It is supposedly the busiest beach but believe it or not, there’s enough room for everyone. Hire a shade in the morning and sunbathe, soak and swill all day – a perfect day out on the beach. After getting the tan you want, take a short walk to the Patong Street and drop by any of the lavish spas and pamper yourself to a relaxing Thai massage in the hands of highly skilled masseurs and beauty therapist. If you have sun burn, have no fear, get the sunburn package and have your skin treated with cool and soothing treatments. .

Drive down Kata Beach for a view of the breathtaking sunset while seated on the rocks just off the bay and take that prized shot.

Other activities that are recommended which I am saving for my next trip would be the jungle/nature hike, elephant ride and island hopping.


Sights:
Sunset in Kata Beach
Sunset in Kata Beach

Beaches, Breathtaking sunsets – great photo opportunities. Promthep cape, Patong, Kata, Khao Lak, Karon are all famous beaches with spectacular sights, both during the day and the sunset. Be sure to have that camera nearby, all the time.

Nature works – waterfall, elephant ride up to Phuket hill.

Cultural shows (Phuket Fantasea Cultural Park) and not so "cultural" shows – see Simons cabaret if you enjoy sort of live entertainment ala Las Vegas!

Temples – There are several old temples in Phuket like Wat Chalom and they are worth a visit too.


Accommodations:
Club Coconut Resort
Club Coconut Resort

There is one to suit every budget, from luxury boutique villas to the budget hotels and dorms. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend. Sea front hotels naturally cost more, especially those on Patong Beach and Kata. The Price ranges from US$100 – 260 per night.

As for us, we did not spend much time at the hotel as we were too busy exploring the island and enjoying our spa treatments. We only paid THB1300 per night for the Club Coconut Resort, on Nanai Street. It is opposite the Hideaway Spa about 5 minutes drive from Patong Beach. Be warned that although the hotel had all basic amenities, there is much left to be desired for, but for the price we paid, it was tolerable.


Nightlife:

There are many cafes and pubs on Patong Beach front and its is the place to be if you’re into live music, bands and open air dining. On the Back row, there are many bars, massage parlours, cabarets and even a kickboxing ring. Monday night is boxing night and it’s perhaps the busiest with non-stop live shows and everyone parties till morning. The fun begins at 10 p.m. So reserve your seats early folks! Don’t miss Simon Cabaret extravaganza and catch the Phuket FantaSea Cultural Show if you can.


Hangouts:
Baan Tamachart Thai Spa
Baan Tamachart Thai Spa

Monte’s, just off Nanai Street, quiet setting, play pool and enjoy great steaks and cocktails. My favourite western hangout.

My Favourite day time hangout, usually after a full day of sightseeing, walking, shopping is Tamachat Spa Resort. Indulge in a 4 ½ hour treatment spa, comprising of a steam bath, floral bath, scrubs and body polish, coffee/cocoa butter moisturising wraps and an aromatherapy massage all for just USD$100.00. They would even throw in a facial with an awakening cucumber mask!

Night markets are also popular hangouts and are not to be missed. The liveliest night market is the one on Patong Beach front. Art crafts, fabrics, jewellery, clothes etc are found here. My advice is to bargain humorously with these vendors and you would be pleasantly surprised as to how they would be prepared to discount for you. Another tip is to buy in bulk. You are not likely to get a big discount on just one or two items.


Restaurants:
Banana Split & A tomb raider - lethal combo
Banana Split & A tomb raider - lethal combo

Many restaurants offer local and western cuisine but most were catered for the tourist. It was too difficult to find genuine Thai food with the normal level of spiciness. Everything was less spicy but fortunately, we did strike some luck in Phuket town one afternoon were where found a small shop catering for the locals. Always ask for your food to be cooked fresh – Ala-carte. Never eat anything that is pre-cooked and displayed as you would never know how long it’s been there and what has been on it!


Other recommendations:
Poolside view from Kata Beach
Poolside view from Kata Beach

For the next trip, I would spend my time island hopping and following the nature trail route. Elephant rides, swimming near the waterfall and enjoying the nature hike.


Published on Tuesday January 30th, 2007


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Mon, Feb 26 2007 - 11:28 AM rating by trekkerman

well written report Farizan, loads of info, some great tips, sounds like a great experience. good pics giving me an idea of what the place looks like.

Trekkerman

Thu, Feb 01 2007 - 12:47 PM rating by marianne

This sound like the perfect holiday. I like the details you give which are very useful for anyone who wants to go.

Wed, Jan 31 2007 - 07:44 PM rating by mistybleu

Nice to have you back writing reports. It sounds like an enjoyable budget holiday.

Amanda

Wed, Jan 31 2007 - 09:20 AM rating by davidx

Another fine report; I love your plans for a future trip there - make it soon and we can look forward to another treat.

Tue, Jan 30 2007 - 07:55 PM rating by rangutan

Popular destination - a wonderful report

Tue, Jan 30 2007 - 07:05 PM rating by st.vincent

Very enjoyable report, looks like you had a great time.

Tue, Jan 30 2007 - 06:20 PM rating by eirekay

This is a terrific report! Sounds like a relaxing holiday - I can't wait to hear about your next trip!

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