Visiting Phuket Island, Thailand
View Taken From Plane
From Airport to Patong Town
During the recent Labour Day weekend, I made a short trip to Phuket. I have always heard a lot about it and as it is just a short flight from Singapore, it is no hassle at all! And I was not disappointed by the beauty and fun island tours. However, in terms of shopping, Bangkok definitely still wins over Phuket.
From the airport, we took a taxi for about 45 minutes to Patong Town. Between Patong and Phuket town, we decided on Patong in the end. Due to the limited time, we did not manage to explore Phuket town. Oh well....there can always be a second visit =)
Exploring Patong Town
In Patong, one of the major attractions is Jungceylon Mall which has a variety of shops selling clothes, shoes and bags. This is also a good place to go to for food. During the time we were there, we ate at the food court at the basement. It has food from the different regions of Thailand. Try the papaya salad. Spicy and sour! I like....
If you are looking for a cheap and good massage or facial, you will find many shops offering various packages. You can go for the cheapest package to a more expensive one at the Millennium Resort Patong (a 5 star hotel) which is connected to the mall. The basement level near the food court has the most massage shops there. You can survey the area first and compare prices before deciding which one is the right one for you.
Cave at Phang Nga Bay
Many many islands at Phuket
There are many smaller islands around Phuket. As we had limited time, we had to choose between Phi Phi Island and the Phang Nga Bay tour. After browsing through the itinerary, we went ahead with Phang Nga Bay as it offered a chance to go kayaking a few times. Our choice of Phang Nga Bay was awesome. The view was great, it was fun and relaxing and I had the chance to go kayaking/canoeing for the first time in my live. Will be back for Phi Phi the next time =)
Beautiful Phang Nga Bay
Visiting Phang Nga Bay
The tour started early with the tour vans picking us up from our hotel at about 8am. After getting onto the huge boat, we remained at the dock for a while as other tourists had yet to arrive yet. While waiting we had some soft drinks, biscuits and bananas which are also part of the package.
Soon, all was ready and we set off. Our first stop was at Panak Island where we took a canoe to explore the inner areas. The caves were not lit up but the guides had flashlights on their caps and we could spot the bats in the caves.
Eating Thai Food: Green Curry
After that, there was another stop at Hong Island where the entrance to the caves were really low and narrow. It was challenging to go through and we had to actually lie down flat on the canoe to go through. Luckily , the guides were really professional!
Soon, it was time for lunch. We had a sumptous lunch which included fried rice, fried fish, vegetables, fried chicken and so on. Fruits were also served. By the time we finished lunch, we had reached James Bond Island. There we had to switch to a longtail boat to reach the island. Here, there were stalls selling drinks, bags and so forth. Do note that you should not drink alcohol on the island as you could be heavily fined.
Pink Volkswagen Van : A Mobile Bar
A Wonderful Tour Package
Next up, was time for relaxation. From the cruise boat, we kayaked to an island where we could swim. It was just a short 40 minutes but we enjoyed ourselves. And with that, we went back up the big boat and soon we were back on the mainland. We took a van and reached Patong at about 5.30pm.
All in all, we paid 1200 Baht for the entire tour. Quite worth the money!
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Chilling Out in Patong
In Patong, there are also lots of pubs around with beer priced from 60 baht onwards. The Bangla road area is closed off to transport from evening onwards till early morning so you can walk about freely!
At night we walked over to Hard Rock Cafe where we spotted a cute Volkswagen pink car. It is a mobile bar......a few people were drinking there. Really cute and unique! Just opposite the Hard Rock Cafe is the OTOP market where there are many small shops and open bars. However, we felt the variety was not up to Bangkok's standard.
The next day we caught an early flight back to Singapore and hence our short but fun Phuket trip came to an end! I would highly recommend this wonderful island as a short weekend getaway especially if you live within the Southeast Asia region!