Phuket – A Perfect Holiday Destination
Thailand makes for an absolutely brilliant place in the world to travel to. With friendly people, scrumptious food, a varied range of destinations and, best of all, a low price-point – Thailand is my most favorite place in the world!
Phuket, the pearl of Andaman, is the Thailand’s largest island and there’s a lot to see and do here and around. The gorgeous long sandy beaches, huge rock formations, sunset and sunrise points, nightlife, shopping – Phuket has everything and more that a traveler looks for.
We planned to spend five days in Phuket and chose to stay at the hip and happening . Patong is the busiest and certainly the best place to stay for travelers who have partying on their mind. AY (my childhood sweetheart and now husband) and I kick started our time in Phuket by visiting Jung Ceylon Shopping Mall because, well, yours truly wanted to shop! Jung Ceylon is the largest shopping mall in Phuket and was barely 7 to 10 minutes walk away from our hotel. We meticulously browsed through all the Thai handicraft stores, massage parlors, clothing stores and eateries before actually making a purchase. Isn’t it always good to see around and then crack the best deal? 😉 Jung Ceylon mall, every shopper’s dream, has got to be the best place to shop from in Phuket – hands down! After spending hours shopping here and eating – we headed back to our hotel and called it a night!
We started our second day really early and we headed to the Old Phuket town unlike the fellow tourists who were packing their bags to go to the beach. Phuket town offers a beautiful Sino-Portuguese architecture anda riot of colors – the prettiest sight in inland Phuket! So, there we were – the starry eyed travelers, at the famous Thalang Road to explore the Old Phuket Town Historical District bustling with locals and travelers from all over the world to see the famous temples, shrines, quaint little cafes that serve some REALLY good food and a few museums too. We strolled around and stopped for breakfast at a lovely looking café called “I 46 Old Town”. The place is owned by the Chan family and they have been in this business for generations now. Nong, the owner of this beautifully bright café, warmly welcomed us with a smile and we ended up chatting away with him for quite a while – savoring on some Chinese cake,banana waffles, muffins and the best cappuccino in the whole of Thailand. Its experiences (and breakfasts) like these that one takes from ones travels – it was great to see how Nong was SO proud of the place he owns in the Old Town and his love reflected in every inch of this cozy café!
Later, we elatedly rode to the famous Tiger Kingdom. Both of us were just ecstatic at the thought that we could pet these ferocious felines – even though these wild cats are tamed and live in specially designed cages. We saw that the tigers here at the famous Tiger Kingdom ranged from the smallest to the biggest ones. Both of us petted a big tiger and felt quite brave till he opened his mouth to yawn and there we were – ready to run away! Our time at the Tiger Kingdom gave us the heebie-jeebies but it has got to be one of the most exhilarating experiences from our trip to Thailand.
We spent a little over an hour at the Tiger Kingdom and were then transferred to the Big Buddha Templeatop a hill. Our drive to the temple was greatly scenic and lots of fun – we kept halting at various places to soak in the wide expanse of the gorgeousness that Phuket is.
The astounding white statue of Buddha that we had been gazing at from far away was right in front of us as we made our into the temple premises. On climbing even higher, we were greeted by the resplendent views. After spending some time devouring on the views and the larger than life Buddha statue, we boarded our tour cab and halted at Rawai beach.
The street side restaurants at Rawai beach have converted the sidewalk at the beach into a makeshift open seating for diners. The empty plastic bottles have been cobbled together to make lamps, the rugs, mats and the cushions on the sidewalk overlooking the sea make for the most cozy, exotic and cheap dining experiences in Phuket. Being a vegetarian in Thailand might appear to be difficult but every restaurant helps the guests to convert most of the delicacies available on the menuinto vegetarian.
Satiated, we headed towards Patong for a night stroll. Walking through the Jung Ceylon Shopping Mall, Bangla Road, Promenade Mall and the Patong beachside was a fun way to end the super exciting day. These places are popular with the tourists and come to life at night – a must do for everyone!
Our tour agent had rightly recommended us to spend a night at Phi Phi and experience the awesomeness it had to offer. We packed accordingly and were all geared up for exploring the island we had crazily researched for.
Our trip to Ko PhiPhiIsland had us excited and the sleepy heads we are – waking up without an alarm clock the next day just spoke volumes about our eagerness to explore the natural wonder that Phi Phi is! So, Ko Phi Phi is the most popular tourist island in Thailand. The best thing that we did around Phi Phi was to dive the King Cruiser Wreck – the passenger ship that hit the Anemone Reef and sunk a couple of decades ago. The experience of diving here is exquisite – we were surrounded by clown fish, sea anemones, tuna and various other colorful fish! We heard that several divers saw leopard shark which thankfully we didn’t get to meet!
Renowned for the famous Maya Bay (from Leonardo Di Caprio’s The Beach) and Monkey beach, Ko Phi Phi tends to steal hearts instantly. Maya Bay is small, stunning and exactly how it looks in the movie with just one difference – hordes of tourists! After snorkeling and relaxing for a while at Maya Bay, we walked to our hotel in Ko Phi PhiLeh.
We went to a beach bar after settling in our hotel room and realized that the nightlife scene here at Ko Phi Phi is massive!! Massive beach parties are hosted by restaurants and hotels with fireshows, dance performances, live bands playing and Thai boxing matches – you name it and they have it. Ko Phi Phi will blow your mind in every possible way! The water activities and the late night party hopping had us exhausted and we slept like babies.
Next day early in the morning, we took a long tail boat to the Monkey Beach. The gorgeous beach with soft powder like sand, blue sea and numerous monkeys sitting and jumping around make this beach a fabulous spot for a day outing.
Back in Phuket, with the help of our travel expert, I had booked an eight hours long class for learning how to cook traditional Thai food. Meanwhile, the better-half chilled all day long with multiple beers relaxing at the beach. The local Thai chef, Ben, who is also an excellent teacher, helped me learn the vegetarian versions of all the Thai salads, curries etc. Learning the basics and realizing that no quick fixes result in an authentic Thai meal. The aroma and the taste of everything that we cooked with fresh ingredients spoke volumes for how well the chef knew his thing. It’s still quite unbelievable how quickly I can make coconut milk at home now!
Phuket is synonymous with every fun and relaxing! The blue water, delectable food, water sports and activities, various shopping options, the colorful old town and so much more – Phuket has a world of things to offer and we can hardly wait to go back!