The allure of Phuket is difficult to explain… While its natural attractions are indisputably gorgeous, they are overshadowed by the (over)developed and (over)crowded beaches, teeming with selfie-obsessed tourists looking for an FoMO holiday destination!
Having said that… there is some positive aspect to Phuket! The island’s reputation makes it more accessible for travel (more/direct flights) and offers plenty of things to do! Ultimately, this location makes for a highly customizable vacation – based on what YOU want to make of it!
We chose to stay away from the masses (read:over-crowded areas) due to the timing with the Chinese New Year, and skipped things like the Big Buddha, Fantasea, etc. but still managed to get a good flavor of the town. Here’s a list of what we thought were Top Experiences in Phuket
1) Pick a nice Hotel – Phuket offers a wide variety of luxury hotels, with private beaches and gorgeous picture-worthy pool settings. We selected the LeMeridien for its beach, and SPG
points standards 😉
The hotel lived up to its standard and did not disappoint! The breakfast every morning was delicious – especially since we would wake up each morning with a voracious appetite for dinner ‘cos of jet lag! (be nice, don’t judge!)
2) Start the day with coconuts – Because nothing screams “vacation” louder than kicking back your feet and sipping on coconut water with cute umbrellas
And of course, it doesn’t hurt to stop and pet a baby elephant on his morning round – this little guy is named Valentine!
3) Relax and take a dip at Karon Beach – Beautiful pristine beach with cool turquoise waters. (read more in our post here)
4) Check out Ko-Phi Phi – Because you simply can’t fly out to Phuket and NOT go to Ko Phi Phi islands! (read more in our post here)
5) Watch a Muay Thai fight – Bangkok may offer a larger and more professional stadium, but the one in Phuket is less crowded and less expensive, and still packs a great experience! (read more in our post here)
6) Experience the night life in Patong – Walk along Bangla road at night and experience the raucous nightlife! Lots of outdoor “salesmen” pulling you aside to sell you the night show tickets and trying to convince you about the next cheap-yet-a-secret hotspot. Not our cup of tea, but an interesting experience walking down the street to see this aspect of Phuket.
Plenty of bars with blaring music Top 20 hits, loud beats and crazy gyrating women attracting customers in for a drink…
7) Food, Food, and Food – We firmly believe that food is what makes a vacation! (thus spoke the roaming pear 😉 ). Finding cheap local food is not that easy in Phuket (as compared to Bangkok or Chiang Mai), and we rated our eats in the order below:
Restaurant Savoey (Patong)
Pick your seafood (jumbo prawns; tiger prawns), get it weighed and pick your curry (we picked: spicy red curry; Garlic & pepper curry)
Restaurant Seahag (Patong)
A tiny restaurant but highly recommended on TripAdvisor. The food was good but not all that exciting…
Meals at the LeMeridien (Karon Beach)
And mangoes, pineapple and papaya that we picked up at the street vendor…
or at this local market in Patong
8) Get a (live) pedicure – Or not, I simply could not bring myself to dip my feet in a tank of little fish nibbling away at my toes! And I did give this a fair amount of thought… Seems to be quite benign (just a li’l gross and ticklish), I didn’t wait to see a “before” and “after” of anyone’s feet, but might be an interesting adventure if you’re up for it!
9) Ride a flashy tuk-tuk – Thailand’s auto-rickshaw or “tuk-tuks” are a great way to get around and definitely more fun way to experience the streets than the boring ‘ol taxi! Get the price right by negotiating a fair rate (generally the same as a taxi) based on distance. Since the weather was great, we looked for the flashiest and loudest (all of them play catchy Thai music) to travel back to our hotel in style!
Videos of us jammin’ our way back to the hotel! 🙂
10) Experience the sunset – We were supposed to go view the sunset at Promthep Cape but heard that it was ludicrously packed with tourists for CNY, so we stayed at Karon to watch the setting ball of fire…not a bad choice (read more in our post here)
11) What we will be back for? Snorkeling & diving in the Similan islands marine park; Rock climbing at Krabi Railay beach, and Krabi Night Market
Hope you enjoyed reading!