Tag Archives: phuket

Phuket memories

Bus in Patong with some scooters escorting it. Instagram @firepol

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.

Phuket temples. Flickr set @firepol

 

Phuket views. Flickr set @firepol

Good memories:

  • 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…)

Escaping Bangkok, heading to Phuket

Bangkok, police block (seen during shuttle transfer to Don Muang airport). Instagram @firepol

During Christmas Eve I saw some news about the protests in Bangkok and thought “oh shit”. Yes, because I initially planned to stay 5 nights in the big city, as the flight I booked was for Bangkok. Luckily, the hotel booking I did was via hrs.de, which often offers a cancelation of the booking with full refund. The deadline to cancel was the end of the year (3 days before arrival). I canceled a few days before, and booked a flight to Phuket. I thought, let’s go to the beaches and nice water instead of staying in the smog and risk some slowdowns because of protests…

…of course, reading the news after my decision, I saw that I missed something. I missed Bangkok. Well, I was there already, with one of my best friends. It was fun. I think I’ll head to Bangkok in the future, if the situation will become stable. For now I keep my itinerary quite flexible.

What to say about Bangkok, not that much besides the fact I did a mistake by not buying a sim card directly at the airport (it would have saved me time and money later during the same day when I arrived at the guest house in Patong and nobody was there for the checkin…).

Besides that, everything worked smoothly, the free shuttle transfer from the main airport to Don Muang was punctual and worked perfectly.