Arrival in Phuket: everything fine till we had to organize the transport. The minivan we got was a typical tourist “trap”. It stopped before the destination, to a travel agent. We were about 9 people and 2 were interested in a tour or in a booking. We all had to wait before going on to Phuket. This resulted in arriving late at the guesthouse, the owner was not there and I had to call, with roaming costs (that’s why, buy a local sim card when you arrive in a new country).
I was impressed by the traffic just before and while in Patong. Many vehicles. Too many. I was also impressed by the disgusting smell of sewer in different occasions when walking the main road.
Anyway, some positive things about Patong:
- many places to find street food / hawker stalls
- good shopping places (cheaper than anywhere else in Thailand, e.g. some Billabong shorts for 150 baht, elsewhere -Khao Lak, Koh Tao etc.- I saw the same for 450 baht and could not bargain down to 150)
- many dive centers (but they are more expensive than in Koh Tao)
- interesting night life: if you like to party, this is the place to be
- many motorbike rentals (a must to explore the island at a cheap price): be careful and take photos of the vehicle before renting it, some cheasters try to charge tourists for scratches that were already there
Negative points (for me):
- if you don’t like to party, this place will get on your nerves soon
- the traffic sucks in general in Phuket, not only in Patong
- noisy party animals in the hostels / guesthouses. If you are looking for sleep quality, try a hotel!
We stayed in Patong for 6 nights. We escaped from Phuket after (highlight) doing some diving.
- Open Water Diver certification for Nastya (congratulations!)
- 2 diving daytrips for me
- Good and cheap street food
- Nice island tour with a private driver (very expensive -1800 baht- compared to renting a motorbike for about 250 baht/day…)