My first destination in Thailand was Phuket, via Bangkok. Tired and exhausted, husband and I had our first cup of coffee at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, but all I could think of was the amazing time that we were about to have in this fortnight. We were told by friends to stay awake during our flight from Bangkok to Phuket because you shouldn’t miss the landing at Phuket airport for the world. Our excitement has just begun!
The flight across the Andaman Sea to reach Thailand’s largest island was exhilarating. All we could see was a vast stretch of beautiful hues of the sea beneath, even when the aircraft lowered for landing. For a moment, I thought we were landing right into the ocean! Don’t believe me? Watch this!
As soon as we got out of the airport, we were bombarded with taxi drivers and tour agents enquiring about our place of stay and where we hailed from. Honestly, they were put off when we said we were Indians (and not from Dubai as they believed we were from). Never knew why, though! Maybe, they thought we were a bit smart enough not to accept the expensive tours laid out in front of us!
We got past through this sea of organizers after taking some free pamphlets which included the Phuket map and information about various Island tours and shows. We let out a sigh in relief when we saw public taxi service outside the airport. Forty minutes and 500 baht/pax (cheap when compared to 1500 or 2000 Bahts as quoted by tourist taxis) later, we reached the busiest and bustling part of Phuket – the Patong City, about 40 kms from the airport, where we had booked our hotel room.
Phuket is Thailand’s most popular island and is situated along the clear waters of the west coast of the country. It is one of the southern provinces of Thailand and consists of 32 islands off its coast. Wikipedia tells me that ‘phu’ means mountain and ‘ket’ means jewel and I could totally see why. The landscapes and scenic background adds to its charm and beauty. Did you know Phuket is pronounced as “Poo-kay“? Well, I didn’t and wondered why the locals never understood what we were trying to say!
Phuket City is the capital and has old shophouses and busy markets. Home to many high-end seaside resorts, spas, and restaurants, budget hotels, hostels, bars and cafes, Patong is the place for you. It is the main resort town and has the busiest beach overpowered with tourists. The heart and soul of Patong is the infamous Bangla Road. During the day, it is just a busy street, full of tourists eating and drinking at various restaurants and bars. The night transforms it to Phuket’s sin city where you can see scantily clad women, beachaholics sizzling off their hangovers, pole dancing girls and go-go girls playing ping pong! Oh, No! Don’t let that put you off (or on! Whatever that means!). There’s space for all kinds here.
Things to do in Phuket
You can choose to spend your days in Phuket like a dream. For the adventure enthusiasts, there are water sports including deep-sea diving, paragliding, and jet skiing at Patong Beach. Go for high-end dining, swanky spa sessions and luxury shopping at Thailand’s swankiest hotels or rented yachts, at your fingertips. Take an exhilarating speedboat trip for Island Hopping. Or feel as if you are part of a Hollywood movie, visiting James Bond Island or Maya Bay(coming up tomorrow). Head to the blissfully laid-back southern tip of the island, Rawai. Else, go away from the hustle and bustle of Patong to the twin west coast beaches of Kata and Karon. Or choose to witness some spectacular scenery, fabulous white beaches, warm blue sea and tropical sunsets at the island itself.
You can learn about Thai culture by going for a magnificent show like Siam Nimrat or have fun watching the ladyboys groove to Beyonce’s Single Ladies at Simon Cabaret. Furthermore, you can also get off to Krabi by a ferry in a couple of hours.
Don’t forget to taste the delicious Thai cuisine as well.
Phuket is a perfect cocktail of silky soft white palm-lined beaches, superb hospitality, and great value accommodation. It makes you forget to leave.
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STAY TUNED AS I WILL BE TALKING IN DETAIL ABOUT SOME OF THE EXOTIC ISLANDS AND SHOPPING, AND OTHER ATTRACTIONS THAILAND HAS TO OFFER.
I am writing all about Thailand this April for the A to Z Challenge 2017. Thanks for all the love you’ve showered on this space! You can also check out my food blog for A to Z Indian Dishes to Die For.