On the Ground in Phuket. Some Advice
Phuket, Thailand – truly one of the most unique places I have ever visited.
I have been fortunate enough to travel throughout many European cities, so making my way over to South East Asia has been a completely unparalleled experience.
“Just like everyone says that has ventured abroad to this side of the world, there is something inexplicable about the way of life here.”
It’s what keeps people coming back time and time again. When originally asking others about Phuket I had heard mixed reviews. Some believed that it was too touristy for them, while others raved about the food, views, and people. Personally, I would absolutely recommend visiting Phuket.
Some Phuket Advice
In terms of my time there, I have a few helpful things to share. Firstly, be prepared not to be able to communicate as easily with the working Thai’s. English speaking people are very fortunate to typically have a fine time traveling around European countries, but in Asia, it is not as common to find someone who can fully understand what you are asking. Still, there are plenty of signs, and hand signals worked well enough to get myself and my friend to our hotel. Also, brace yourself for the customs line once arriving. My friend and I waited in line for close to two hours. While not too painful, just don’t expect to get in and out quickly.
Some Phuket Food
Once you are settled into your accommodation you must make sure to immediately savour some of the amazing food available. My favorite dish was the typical Pad Thai. If you have never tried it, be ready to be addicted once you first order it. I ate it twice a day almost every day I was there. Another favourite is the yummy fried rice in a pineapple boat. People are always very hesitant to try food in Asia out of fear of getting sick, and this is legitimate, but just make sure to go to popular places and try to avoid raw vegetables or lettuce.
Some Phuket Beach Time
One of the main attractions of Phuket is Patong Beach, or Bangla Road. It is the busiest and most touristy section of the island. Once you arrive at night you will see what makes it so unique. Walking along the main strip was definitely one of the most overwhelming sensual experiences I’ve ever had. Every single inch of the street is occupied by people advertising for different clubs, restaurants and shops. You cannot stand still without having someone grabbing you and telling you their own personal deal. The signs are bright and the music is blaring. This might sound jarring to some, but I personally found it exhilarating and entertaining to be a part of.
Some Phuket Phi Phi Island Time
After visiting Patong, you must take a tour of the Phi Phi Islands. It was truly one of the most stunning sceneries I have ever seen. Your boat takes you across the ocean to see Maya Bay which you must look up in order to comprehend the beauty of it. Definitely an unrivaled sight. My friend and I then laid on the beach for a few hours and took in the views before heading back. We were given about three hours to explore before having to take the return ferry, which I think was too short. There are many places to stay overnight, which if I were to redo this trip I would have definitely booked one night on Phi Phi Island.
Last Phuket Advice
My last piece of advice would be to stay as close to Patong Beach as possible. This is the hub of the island and if your hotel is farther away from it, you will end up spending a decent amount of money on taxis. Our hotel was an hour drive away from the places we wanted to go; unfortunate in terms of money and time. So, if you are looking to be near the center of the energy and viewpoints, look into hostels or hotels within a walking or short car ride distance of that location.
Overall, Phuket is a great place to visit because it is a major international airport which you can touch down for a few days before traveling on to smaller Thai islands. It also gives you the opportunity to see Phi Phi Island and Patong Beach which present remarkable views and a calming contrast to the forceful energy of Bangla Road. After visiting you will never forget the incomparable experience you realized from visiting this island.
Greer is a third-year political studies major at Queens University in Kingston, Canada who has a passion for newness. She has lived in 7 countries and hopes to have that number grow. Traveling hobbies include finding the best smoothie, pub crawls and sunset views from every destination.
World Traveler, Writer, and Blogger, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the followsummer.com travel blog. A former Actor, current shower-singer, and non-hipster foodie. Loves his week-end house in St Marys, Ontario. Happily married to John Mountain and Dad to Sophia and Ariel, two of the best cats in the world.