Seen as the festive season is over, people are looking ahead to summer so I thought I would do some little guides to Phuket. Just incase anyone is heading there for their holidays or thinking about it.
So first up is Phuket. I lived in Phuket from when I was 12-18 and before that we were in Koh Samui where I moved when I was 9. Thailand is my home and I thank my parents every for bringing me and my sister up there. So here is my little guide of my favourite placeson the island, things to do and see…
1. Big Buddha
Buddha was still being worked on when I took this photo, and it was about to pour down.
I think everyone should see the cultural side of Thailand whilst visiting the country. It’s a bit of a trek to get there, you have to drive up a hill for a while and the walk up quite a few steps but it’s so worth it as you get pretty much a 360 degree view of Phuket. There is such a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere there also, as there is in any place of worship in Thailand – Buddhism is such a peaceful religion and I think you should try to experience it a little if you can. Just make sure you wear something to cover yourselves up – girls cover legs, chest and shoulders just out of respect. They won’t let you one other if you bare too much skin as its seen as disrespectful.
2. Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island
Just a short boat ride away from Phuket you can reach the beautiful Phang Nga Bay where you can see the famous James Bond island. We used to go most weekends and have the best time ever. The whole area reminds me of something from Jurassic Park, you’ll know what I mean if you’ve been. Its fantastic for snorkelling and if you go with the right person you can see these caves that you can canoe or swim under and once you get inside its like a different world. There’s huge trees hanging down into the water and bats flying around (hence the jurassic park statement earlier.)
James Bond island, made famous from the James Bond film ‘Man with the Golden Gun’ is obviously a must see. You can get off onto the beach and see it from there and drive around it on a boat, either way its stunning and iconic so make sure you take your camera and your best James Bond pose!
If you like big, bustling markets full of bargains, food and pretty much anything else you can image then this is the place for you. My mum and I often used to go down on a Saturday evening after sunset otherwise it can get unbearably hot. There’s heaps of food stalls and little cocktail bars so you can grab a mojito on the way round. Go with an open mind because its hot, sweaty and crowded and you may see a few things that will shock you a little bit. It is a weekend market so only open on Saturdays and Sundays from mid afternoon till late at night.
Nothing beats a Long Island Ice Tea whilst watching the sunset!
This is apparently the islands most photographed place and it’s not surprise. Maybe I am possibly a bit biased but if you hadn’t already fallen in love with Phuket, by the time you visit here you will have. It is the most southern part of the island and I suggest going up to see the sunset but it does get very busy as everyone will want to be up there for that time. I don’t think I need to any anything else so I’ll let the pictures say the rest.
5. Rawai Sea Gypsy Village
This was about 5 minutes from our home on Rawai seafront so we came down here often, sometimes just to grab a quick bite to eat after school or with family and friends for a big feast. It’s not huge but the concept is great. On one side of the street is stalls of the freshest seafood (it’s still live some of it) caught by the sea gypsies that day. You can then chose what you want and take it over to the restaurants on the other side of the street and they will cook it for you however you like.
Just slightly down the promenade you will find the craziest, most bizarre and fun bar I have ever been to – Sunshine bar. There is something for everyone here. I have blogged about Sunshine bar before so I won’t make you read again if you dont want to. If you would like to read about it in my dedicated blog post you can do here.
7. Nai Harn & Kata Beach
The majority of Phukets beaches are beautiful but Nai Harn and Kata are two of my favourites. Kata has beautiful white, soft sand and clear water as warm as a bath. Its great if you’re into water sports also, you can surf there, snorkel and kayak, jet ski and much more. Usually the water in calm and crystal clear, but it can get big waves (hence the surfing) it just depends on the time of year you go.
Nai Harn is is a lot smaller but just as beautiful, its right next to Phromthep cape also so you could always kill two birds with one stone and visit the cape after a day on the beach. There is some lovely little restaurants and bars, but the best thing is if you walk a little bit beyond the restaurants just opposite the lake there is some street food vendors. You will find some BBQ chicken and sticky rice, get it because it is the best street food you will ever try. Trust me.
8. Vset Restaurant.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more posh, perhaps you’re celebrating or just fancy a change for the street food I couldn’t recommend this restaurant enough. Its right by Chalong Pier, the chef is award winning and you can see why. It isn’t cheap but for a treat its worth it. We usually get the tasting menu and you can get to try a little bit of most things. But personally I would recommend the steak and the lobster bisque. Afterwards you can walk down the streets and find plenty of bars that will welcome you in if you don’t want the night to end there.
9. Bangla Road, Patong
You can’t go to Phuket without having a night out on the infamous Bangla Road. I spent many a Friday nights here and I know it’s not everyones cup of tea but its an experience. Hello lady boys, ping pong shows, strippers, drunk tourists, cheap shots and whatever else your heart desires. It is a crazy strip of madness but I guarantee you will have a good laugh. Seduction and White Room are good ‘normal’ clubs you can go to if you don’t want to be hassled by people but I think the bars on the streets are the best. Grab yourself a good seat, a nice cocktail and get people watching.
10. Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong is Phukets most famous temple. Visit this place of worship for a few tranquil and peaceful moments. Appreciate the beautiful temples and its surroundings because this is the real Thailand. As I mentioned before, Buddhism is such a peaceful, forgiving religion and they don’t discriminate. You can get blessed by a monk if you wish and light some incense and place some gold leaf on a buddha in one of the temples if you want to also, I would as it’s a really special experience. Just remember what I said about covering up and remember your wais (Thai greeting where you bow slightly and press your palms together.)
And there you have it, my top ten things to do whilst in Phuket. I hope you enjoyed reading and I would love to hear from you about your experiences on the island or what you’re wanting to do when you visit!
Thanks for reading!
Love Lucy x