A GUIDE TO PHUKET (IF YOU’RE AVOIDING BANGLA ROAD)
Happy hump day guys! I’m so excited to share some tips and advice on my recent trip to Phuket with you today, if you’re planning a trip to Thailand soon, considering it for your honeymoon or are simply dreaming up new places to visit in the future then be sure to pin this page to your travel board for future use! I’m going to be sharing places to visit, where we stayed, what to eat, my favourite moments and what you should pack!
Obviously one of the best things to do if you’re staying in Phuket is to visit Phi Phi Islands, they’re a set of 6 beautiful islands each with their own unique qualities! The most famous of the bunch is the uninhabited Phi Phi Leh since that classic scene with Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘The Beach’ was filmed there. Beware though it can get RIDICULOUSLY busy! We visited Phi Phi with a tour called Simba Sea Trips which got us to Phi Phi Leh for about 6:30am, the sun had just rose and we ate breakfast on the beach which was beautiful. When we arrived there was maybe less than 30 people there but our tour guide informed us that by lunch time there’s normally around 1000 people! And let me tell you, it’s a small beach. So get there as early as you can if you want to get some nice photos and really soak up the atmosphere undisturbed.
Once we left Phi Phi Leh we headed over to Phileh Lagoon where we dropped anchor and just spent an hour jumping off the boat and swimming in the amazing ocean. It was so warm and a beautiful colour! Next we headed over to Ko Phi Phi Don, we didn’t get off the boat we just floated near the edge and soon we could see all of these amazing monkeys hanging from the side of the rock! They were super friendly, obviously very used to tourists (and the bananas they bring!) and one even jumped on the front of our boat to have a snack! We stopped off at a couple more islands to snorkel and finished the afternoon at Phi Phi Island Beach Village Resort where we had a delicious thai lunch and walked around the pretty island! This trip was definitely the highlight of our time in Phuket, it was incredibly the beautiful and the staff were brilliant, I would highly recommend it!
Another thing on the list of ‘to do’s’ in Phuket is to the see the big buddha, we actually didn’t do this for a couple of reasons, firstly I got super sunburnt and the day we were going to go I was worried about being out in the beating down sun again and we also thought the taxi was pretty expensive, if you visit the big buddha which I wish we would have be sure to do it as part of a day trip to visit a couple of other places at the same time so that you’re not travelling all that way just to see the buddha for half an hour or so.
One of the best markets we went to was the Karon Temple night market, it runs every Tuesday and Saturday and was full of souvenirs, clothing and a big section of street food!
We spent one afternoon/evening in Old Phuket Town which is a beautiful town, I really really wanted to visit here since there are lots of colourful houses and pretty streets to explore! The best street is called Soi Romanee so ask your taxi driver to drop you there and have a wander! I also hear Old Phuket Town is the best place to get coffee (although I don’t drink it so I couldn’t vouch for that!)
I recommend getting a massage at Anda Massage, I had three different treatments on different trips there, one aloe vera massage (when I was badly burnt!), one coconut oil massage and a foot scrub! All treatments were fantastic and really cheap, the ladies were so friendly and I left the massage parlour feeling so much lighter and taller somehow! My sister also had a cucumber face mask there and while it looked hilarious she said her skin felt great afterwards!
It’s also really nice to see the sunset at Kata beach one evening! We picked a restaurant along the coast line, ordered some delicious thai food and watched the sun set in the distance! It was a lovely end to a lovely day!
We stayed at The Old Phuket in Karon Beach, and it was really beautiful. It sounds ridiculous both the bathroom was insane! ha! The bath looked out over the pool and the shower was a lovely waterfall one. We also had a room that walked out onto the pool with your own little area with private chairs, it was a nice retreat if you didn’t want to sit out in the sunshine. We ordered room service a couple of times and I thought the food was delicious!
My only slight issue was the wifi was only good by the pool, you could barely get it in your room and it wasn’t available anywhere else in the hotel. I’m sure this is great for some people who want a disconnected trip but for an instagram lover like myself I found it a little frustrating at times!
The location of the hotel was fantastic though, we were pretty much next door to Anda Massage which I mentioned earlier and the hotel backed onto a street full of restaurants and bars that served great food! It was probably a 3 minute walk to to the beach too.
Being a vegetarian I have to admit that I did struggle with the food a tad. I absolutely adore thai food and I will eat the odd bit of fish every now and then but I found myself eating prawn stir fry’s most nights! Don’t get me wrong they’re were plenty of western food options available like pizza and pasta but I found it quite difficult to find a variation of vegetarian Thai food.
Some of my family members still eat meat though and they loved the street food! Everywhere we went there were skewers of different meats being cooked in different sauces and plenty of fresh fish available. Make sure you order yourself a pad thai at some point and we were also recommended to get a thai latte!
Bangla Road if you’re not interested in heavy nightclub scenes, ping pong shows and lots of lady boys. I had read a few reviews about this before we went and already decided that I didn’t fancy going but a lot of people have said ‘you need to do it for the experience!’. Apparently it’s very touristy, a lot of places are a rip off and there’s a lot of chain restaurants and Starbucks there!
Please please please also avoid any of the shows that have animals in, we didn’t see any animal cruelty while we were out there but there are plenty of leaflets in the tourist places and in taxis encouraging crocodile shows, dancing monkey shows, carnivals with elephants in and of course Tiger Kingdom. The animals are not looked after in these places and the less people that visit and promote this sort of behaviour the better.
WHAT TO PACK…
Everyone dresses very casual in Thailand so vests and shorts and little playsuits with sandals or flip flops are really all you need! If you’re going to be visiting any of the temples then you need to make sure that your arms and legs are covered but you can grab yourself a pair of beautiful elephant trousers for about £3 out there that are super comfy! I also took a pair of comfy trainers just for days when we were doing a lot of walking (and when I burnt my feet!)
Take lots of insect repellent, mosquito spray and hydrocortisone cream with you! We all got bit ALOT. Flat rate for a tuk tuk is 200 baht, even if you’re only going 5 minutes up the road, you can’t barter them down on that. I also found it really useful to download an app on my phone called DooCurrency , it helped me quickly convert the currency back to pounds so I figured out what I was paying for things because it got a little confusing to me when we were up in the thousands of baht territory! Obviously only drink water from bottles and make sure that the bottles are sealed before you open them!
So guys there you have it! A little guide to Phuket and what we got up to while we were there! I’m going to be talking soon about Bangkok and visiting the elephants in Chang Mai too so stay tuned! And if you have any more advice about Phuket please leave us a comment below and let us know! It’ll be even more helpful for readers planning a future visit! xx