Just Phuket

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It all happened by chance that I got to spend the week in a beach resort town called Patong on the island of Phuket located in Thailand. I was attempting to attend the Full Moon Party, and it was not until the day before when I flew into the Phuket airport that I realized that I had flew into the wrong island, leaving me too far from Ko Pha Ngan to make the parry. So knowing absolutely nothing about Phuket and things to do there, I picked up every brochure imaginable and started to plan my holiday. Most of you know that I do travel alone and luckily on this trip on the airport shuttle from the Phuket Airport to Patong, I met a lovely couple from Michigan who adopted me for the week and planned many activities and excursions with me. This is everything I recommend you to do, if you plan on visiting Phuket in the future.

Bangla Walking Road
  • For the hottest shopping, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs in Patong check out Bangla Walking Road, especially in the nighttime when the street really starts to come alive.
  • Check out Illuzion Night Club Phuket, which happens to be one of my favorite clubs I have ever been to in Asia. Free on the weekends before 11pm and after 2am. Cover charge other times.
  • Also check out the world-famous Monsoon Bar, which has live music almost every night of the week, drink and food specials, and a packed mixed crowd inside.
  • Aussie Bar, which also had live music and drink specials was especially crowded most nights of the week.
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Phi Phi Island Excursion
  • Home to the island Ko Phi Phi Lee where Maya Bay is located, which is where the movie The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed.
  • Also home to the island Ko Phi Phi Don where the famous Monkey Beach is located.
  • You have the option of either taking public transportation out to Phi Phi Island if you desire to stay there for a few days, or if you just want to organize an excursion for the day you can do a group tour with many of the tour companies in Phuket.
  • The brochure lists the price for the full day tour for 3,900 Baht which includes pickup/drop off at your hotel, buffet lunch, snorkels, water/soda and snacks, and the actual boat ride to and from the island. After negotiating the price with the travel agent I would expect to pay around 1,500- 1,800 Baht for the tour. If you are going to do the tour with a big group you should ask for a discounted group rate.
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Similan Island Excursion
  • A bit further out from Patong and less visited, the Similan Islands are unparalleled when it comes to stunning views, random rock formations, and the best snorkeling.
  • Visit these islands for a unique snorkeling adventure, unlike any other experience you have had before where the fish are not scared of you as you snorkel around them.
  • Since these islands are much further out, expect to pay a bit more for the tour, with priced starting around 1,800 Baht. Usually two meals are included as the day is quite long.
  • The tour companies that offer these tours usually offer round trip hotel pickup/drop off.
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ATV & Elephant Trekking Adventure
  • You can book these two excursions together, with the same company offering both.
  • Additionally you can negotiate whether you want the ATV trek for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or one hour, and the same with the elephant ride.
  • We paid 1,000 Baht for a 1 hour ATV ride, and a 30 minute elephant trek.
  • The main company that offers these adventures also includes round trip hotel pickup/drop off.
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Renting a Motor Bike
  • If you plan on exploring other parts of the island that would be hard to get to otherwise, consider renting a motor bike, and exploring on your own or with friends. Expect to pay about 200 Baht a day for the motor bike rental, and about 30-40 Baht a liter for fuel. For more information about renting motor bikes in Thailand click here.
  • A huge shopping mall located in the center of Patong. The mall offers many shops, restaurants, and a pharmacy.
  • Usually always possible to get Tuk Tuks or taxis around the mall area.
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Big Buddha
  • Just like Hong Kong, Phuket also boasts it's own Big Buddha Temple. a bit outside of the beach town of Patong, you have multiple options for reaching the temple. You can either book an ATV tour that includes a stop along the route at the Big Buddha, or you can rent a motor bike for the day and drive out to it yourself.
  • Keep in mind if you plan on visiting the temple, traditional attire should be worn, which means no shorts above the knees or tank tops for me, and shirts with sleeves and no short shorts for women. If you need the temple provides a free (based on donation) borrowing clothes service if you need proper attire.
  • Enjoy breathtaking views of Phuket from the temple.
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Where to stay?
  • Sira Grande Hotel: the hotel I stayed out for the week I was in Patong. Built about a year and a half ago, my room was a bit less modern then my friends but still nice. Enjoy a nice central location especially to many other hotels and the Jungceylon shopping mall, walking distance to Bangla Road, rooftop pool lounge and bar, complimentary breakfast, and welcome fruit. Travel agent is available in the lobby to help you book tours.
  • Sleep With Me Design Hotel @Patong: my friends from Michigan stayed at this hotel and it was gorgeous. Enjoy a new modern hotel, centralized location to Bangla Road and Jungceylon Mall, and a rooftop pool lounge and bar with views of Patong Beach. Travel agent is available in the lobby to help you book tours.
There is no need to book any tours in advance, as there are travel agents virtually on every corner who are open extremely late, if not 24 hours a day. Often times you can book an activity the evening before if there is still space available. We had no problems booking any of the tours we wanted to do in peak season at the last-minute, often times for a price much cheaper than what is listed on the brochure or online. Remember to negotiate the prices, as often times you can get the tour for much cheaper than advertised.

Hope these tips help you enjoy what I think is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever visited. To see more follows of my travels in and around Phuket follow me on Instagram: @thenycwanderer. Comment your feedback below, I'm interested in knowing if you enjoyed it as much as I did. As always, until next time, XoXo.