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Found 21 results

  1. Josh Orawong

    Romantic Getaway in Phuket

    Phuket is the perfect romantic getaway for couples looking for more than just your bog standard ‘lovers getaway’. With tropical beaches, lush forests and plenty of delicious fine dining experiences, Phuket can play host to the trip of a lifetime for you and your loved one. There is a reason why it is the honeymoon capital of Thailand, and it will not let you down when it comes to making some magical memories. When planning a trip to Phuket, the most romantic setting is always that of the beach, and Phuket has some of the most amazing beaches in the world. We stayed right on the beachfront at a gorgeous and chic villa just a stone’s throw away from the ocean. There is something about the warm sea air, the sounds and smells of the ocean and the laid back way of life that makes the beach the ultimate paradise for couples. Beaches to visit - No trip to Phuket is complete without a trip to one of its many exotic beaches, the most notable being that of Pang Nga bay. Similar to Halong bay in Vietnam, its towering rock-scapes jut out across the ocean and emerge from the crystal clear waters like statues. For a list of must visit beaches, please check out our top 10 must visit beaches in Phuket. Boat trip through the bay Taking a cruise through the bay is one of the most romantic things you can do in Phuket. The best time to go if possible is at sunset when the rocks are turned into silhouettes against the golden sky. One of Phuket’s secluded beaches That is not the only beach to take advantage of though. Phuket has literally hundreds of stunning beaches to spend a day at, some busy with tourists and others deserted. Snorkeling - Phuket has some of the clearest waters in Thailand, and they are filled with an abundance of fish and other sea life. While many people enjoy scuba diving when in Thailand, in Phuket a snorkel and a pair of goggles will more than suffice. Snorkeling in an underwater paradise You will be amazed at the variety of fish that surround you and seem to have no fear. There is also the opportunity to see some real sea monsters if you are lucky, including octopus, eels and the occasional shark. Don’t worry though; they are not interested in having you for lunch. A snorkeling trip is the best way to go as the boats tend to know of the very best places to see. It can be very romantic enjoying an underwater world with your loved one, and even better if you have a waterproof camera to catch some magical memories together. If you're the adventurous type you can try these adrenaline pumping activities in Phuket. Food to try - It’s a no-brainer when it comes to the best food to try when in Phuket. Being right on the Andaman Sea means an abundance of delicious and exotic seafood is on offer wherever you go. Not forgetting the delicious local grown fruits and traditional Thai cuisine. We recently covered a list of 9 must try dining experiences in Phuket. Delicious passion fruit cheesecake topped with fresh fruit Many hotels offer a free breakfast from early morning until around 11 am. You may think that these will be generic hotel breakfasts, but you would be wrong. A huge selection of fruits, soups, rice dishes, curries and European style foods are available to suit every palette. Hotel fruit selection Some of the best food you can try in Phuket are Tom Kha Gai (a spicy chicken and coconut soup) Massaman curry (a deep, rich stew-like curry) Kai-Jeal talay (seafood omelette) and Bualoy (a coconut cream dessert with taro pearls and a poached egg) Massaman coated chicken drumsticks No matter what you try, you are sure to be delighted with the plethora of foods available. If you have more western standards for food there are many restaurants that cater for this, but seeing as you’re in Thailand, why not make the most of the experience and enjoy a romantic atmospherically lit dinner on the beach with your significant other. Romantic lighting on the beach Phuket is the ideal honeymooner’s vacation spot and makes for some wonderful memories surrounded by outstanding natural beauty. Every year tens of thousands of couples descend on Thailand for a romantic and relaxing getaway, and it’s easy to see why when you experience the country first hand. There really is no other place quite like it, and Phuket stands out from the crowd due to its lush tropical climate, serene beaches and all round romantic vibe.
  2. Alexander MacDonald

    Why You Should Visit Phuket

    Thailand seems to be on everyone’s bucket lists nowadays, and for good reason. This country is littered with tourist attractions, and other things that are foreign to those of us who live in the industrialized western part of the world. Many people who have traveled to this part of the world tend to agree on one thing; Phuket is a must see. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, it is south of the main land, and there are thirty-two other small islands that surround this area as well. After this article, I will dive into various tourist attractions and other excursions that make Phuket one of the most surreal places in the world. This article will focus on the incredible night life in Phuket that everyone seems to be enamored with. This island has something for everybody, and you will see what I am talking about upon reading this. They have many places where you can go if you prefer a quiet dinner with your significant other. Phuket Town is one of these places, in fact, many experts in the area refer to this place as very tame. This place is for those who still want to experience the Asian, and more specifically Thai culture without getting too rowdy. You will be able to find all the culture you are looking for in this part of the town. Montree road is another place where you can find a fun, relaxing time. You are certainly able to find parties along this road, but it is a comfortable atmosphere for families looking to have a good time. Montree road boasts hundreds of excellent restaurants as well as a few Irish pubs. Soi Romanee is another enticing street for those who love to see history and culture. This street boasts the Portugese architecture that has been a part of Thailand since the eighteenth century. There are also an abundance of cafes and bars in this area that suit everyone’s tastes. These are just a few options for those who are traveling with family, and for those who enjoy a more peaceful and relaxing travel experience. There are also just as many places on this island for those who love to party. Phuket has one of the most electric party scenes in the continent of Asia. In fact, many people who have been to both Phuket and Las Vegas describe how Phuket is much more crazy and unpredictable. One of your many options is Chana-Charoen Road, which has many clubs and pubs that are usually jam packed. The only problem with this road is the fact that everything is so tightly packed, and sometimes it is difficult to move around down there. I would highly suggest doing some planning before embarking on a night out along this street. Make reservations beforehand to ensure everything is figured out by the time you get there. For those who want to really party and live on the edge, I would recommend Patong. Patong is known to be the craziest spot on the island at night. There are many miscellaneous activities in Patong, and this area of the island is for those who want a crazy experience. Patong Beach also has live music at night, and this has been known to attract herds of people. Soi Bangla is known as the center of partying on this island, and the atmosphere here is extremely inviting. Soi Bangla is very safe, and you can go here to party all night as well as relax and enjoy a drink with your friends. These places are for those who like to party all night, and for people looking to have a good time. The island of Phuket is also very welcoming to the gay community. Gays and lesbians have many options on the island in Royal Paradise Phuket. Every year they have a gay pride festival that is renowned worldwide for its eccentricity and energy. There are also gay bars all around the island, and they all have excellent reputations. Another night activity that is very popular in Phuket is boxing. Thai boxing is one of the most popular forms of fighting in the world right now. Patong Beach has two venues for this sport, and there are fights all the time. In fact, it is possible to find an event five or six days of the week. The sunset bars in Phuket are also absolutely riveting, they boast some of the nicest views in the world. These are some extra activities that appeal to everyone who has visited this awesome island. If you are considering visiting Asia then Thailand, and particularly Phuket, is a must see. The night life in Phuket is perfect because of variety. You have hundreds of options on this island at night regardless of your personality. You can stay out all night partying, or just enjoy a simple dinner and get an early start on your next day. This island does not exclude anyone, so regardless of your personality you will feel like you are at home here. It is relatively cheap in comparison to any vacation in the western part of the world. Book your next trip to Phuket, and you will not regret it.
  3. Not only is Phuket famous for its beaches and nightlife, Phuket is also an island with a variety of cuisine and unique dining experiences. Below is our selection of 10 must-try dining experiences in Phuket that will leave you satiated with a full belly. Tamachart, Phuket Town - Tamachart or also known as “Natural Restaurant” is an unusual place for dinner that will make your dining-out a wonderful experience. Located in Phuket Town, it consists of four dining rooms on different floors that are connected via wooden stairs. What makes Tamachart unique is the decoration of the restaurant. You can find aquariums made from old TV’s, working train sets and sculpted masks. Not something you see everyday, let alone in a restaurant. You would be spoilt for choices as they offer 200+ variety of Thai dishes to choose from. If you can’t decide what to order, the owner of Tamachart, Khun Rose would be happy to suggest her specialties and what’s fresh for the day. Open daily: 10.30 am – 23.30 pm Kan Eang @ Pier, Chalong - If you are looking for fresh seafood, Kan Eang is the restaurant for you. The restaurant has an amazing view of the Chalong Bay and the Andaman sea. Great food and a great view, makes for a perfect dinner out. The bar at Kan Eang is also a great place where you can enjoy chatting with your friends or wife / girlfriend or both. I normally like pre-dinner drinks so the bar is a perfect option. The menu offers a diverse selection of Thai with emphasis on seafood. The price is a little on the high side and if you order a lobster, check the weight first or you’ll end up broke. 44/1 Viset Road Moo 5 T.Rawai A.Muang Phuket 83130 Photo credit: Darren Robinson Phuket Floating Restaurants - To get to these restaurants, you’ll need to take a long-tail boat ride from Laem Hin Pier. These floating restaurants are operated by fishermen in the area and they offer live seafood coming that are kept fresh in the floating wood and net enclosures. To choose your seafood is easy enough, just walk along the wood platform between the enclosures and choose from the variety of fresh seafood. The most recommended dish in these restaurants is the huge oysters, soft-shell crab and yellow curry with crab meat. Do be aware that if you take a cab there, they might try and convince you to go to another area. Mom Tri’s Kitchen, Kata Noi - This restaurant is part of the Mom Tri’s Villa Royale, a boutique hotel on Phuket Island. It belonged to Thai royalty but it was opened to the public some 10 years ago. Mom Tri’s Kitchen is a magnificent restaurant for unforgettable romantic dinners while overlooking the Andaman Sea and the white sandy beach of Kata No. With over 750 wine labels from vineyards around the world you can be certain of finding a wine pairing to go with your meal. If you are looking undivided attention and some privacy you can opt for the Owner’s Table, an exclusive private dining area complete with its own wine cellar, special menu and your very own sommelier. Open daily: 6 pm – 11 pm 12 Kata Noi Road, Kata Noi Beach, Phuket 83100 Thailand Dress code : Smart Casual Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sheila_dee/ Blue Elephant, Phuket Town - Blue Elephant is not only a Thai restaurant but it is also a restaurant with cooking lessons for everyone that wants to recreate delicious Thai dishes. With the lesson, you can bring your new found skill home with you and impress your friends and family. The restaurant is a beautiful colonial house with luxurious decorations, and the food is served in golden plates and cutlery. As a guest of this restaurant, you can also order some pre-packed Thai dishes that include instructions for preparation at home. If you are looking for an interactive dine-out experience in the, this place is a must try for you. I’m not one for preparing my own food, but it’s quite an experience that should be tried at least once. Photo credit: Mark Wiens Raya Restaurant, Phuket Town - Located in the heart of Chinatown, this restaurant will give you a charming and unique Thai dining experience. The restaurant is part of a restored Sino-Portuguese shophouse with zig-zag stairways and mosaic floors. If dine at this restaurant try the moo Hong (หมูฮ้อง), a slow braised Phuket pork dish. Hours: 10 am – 10 pm Ceramic Kitchen - Ceramic Kitchen is an artistic restaurant with a great atmosphere and attentive workers. When you dine here, you would question if Ceramic Kitchen is a restaurant that has a ceramic factory, or a ceramic factory with a restaurant. We leave it to you to find out the answer. If you already tried a lot of Thai food, Ceramic Kitchen will offer you a good selection of British roasts and Indian curries. In the evenings, there is a relaxing live music performance in the restaurant. Open for lunch & dinner: 12 noon – 12 midnight Le Versace, Patong - La Versace serves classic French dishes with a Mediterranean touch and prepared with the freshest ingredients. It is located on a hill with a remarkable view of Phuket town and Patong beach. If you’re tired of Thai food and looking for a change in cuisine, try the beef entrecôte served with truffle potato grain, lobster ravioli and foie gras. Menus http://www.leversace.com/carte-restaurant-corriger.pdf http://www.leversace.com/Chef-Menu.pdf http://www.leversace.com/carte-boisson-bar.pdf http://www.leversace.com/White-Wine-2015.pdf http://www.leversace.com/Red-Wine-2015.pdf Seafood at Trisara - Trisara is another pleasant way to taste fresh Thai seafood freshly caught from the Andaman sea. With a private entrance to the restaurant, you can either dine outdoor or indoor. With its stunning view of the sea especially during sunset, Trisara is one of our top picks if looking to impress a special someone. Open daily for dinner from 18:00 – 22:30. Advance reservations highly recommended. Menu http://trisara.com/pdf2016/Seafood À La Carte Menu.pdf We hope you found our ‘9 Must try dining experiences in Phuket’ useful. Drop us a comment or ten if you’ve tried any of the restaurants and let us know what you think.
  4. Josh Orawong

    10 Things to Do at Night in Phuket

    Phuket, Also known as the pearl of the Andaman Sea, is a tropical island province in the South of Thailand. Washed by the crystal clear waters of the Andaman and fringed by lush tropical beaches, Phuket is a must-see destination for every visitor to Thailand. There is much to do in this tropical paradise, from scuba diving to dancing the night away in one of Phuket’s world famous nightlife spots. So, what are the ten best things to do of an evening in Phuket? Here you will discover a mix of activities that are suited to those who live life in the fast lane and those who prefer a more relaxed pace of life ensuring that every type of visitor is catered for. Indy Night Market - Every town and city in Thailand has its own markets, and Phuket is no exception. For those who love to shop till they drop, why not check out the Indy market. Indy stands for independent traders, and here you can find a whole array of fantastic bargains. Although it is not the largest market in Phuket, it is the most creative and makes for an entertaining evening. Wander around the many independent stalls and stock up on some wonderful local wares, grab some traditional southern style food and watch the street performers as they sing, dance and play show off their talents. Open every Thursday and Friday evening from 4 pm - 9 pm, conveniently located opposite Queen Sirikit Park. Night markets: Shopping paradises – Of course, for those who are dedicated shoppers, Phuket also plays host to larger markets focusing on fashion, food and souvenirs. The biggest and best market for shopaholics is the Phuket weekend market. Separated into an open-air market and an undercover market guarantees that you can shop come rain or shine. As you enter you are confronted with the most delicious smells your nose could dream of, toasted coconut, sizzling roti’s and barbecuing satay skewers. As you make your way inside you will find almost anything you could think of from fashion and accessories, electronics, jewelry and handmade crafts. Located on Chao Fah West road, it is easily reached by tuk-tuk. Just ask to go to Talad Tai Rot. Bangla Boxing Stadium – Thailand’s national sport is Muay Thai, so it makes sense to have a night at one of the many boxing matches to absorb the thrill, adrenaline and excitement of the sport. Muay Thai is not just a sport; it’s also an art form. The best place to see a Muay Thai match is at Phuket’s Bangla Boxing stadium where you can spend a couple of hours enjoying a few boxing matches, perhaps have a few drinks and absorb the traditional Thai sport in its motherland. Bangla Boxing Stadium can be found just off of Soi Bangla in Patong Beach. Sunset bar – Heaven rooftop Restaurant is ideally situated in the mountains above Kata Noi bay. With unprecedented views of not one but three different bays, Heaven rooftop restaurant and bar is the ideal setting for a couple of drinks and a romantic meal. The best time to arrive is just before sunset, and once the sun has set you can enjoy watching the cities lights start flickering on one by one while relaxing in the gentle cool sea-breeze. Located at Moo 2, Soi Leam Mum Nai Ban, Phuket. Dinner cruise on the June Bahtra – Phuket has one of the most famous coastlines in the world. Pure white sands, crystal clear water, huge limestone formations jutting out of the ocean and a whole array of colourful sea life. One of the very best ways to take in the beauty of Phuket is to take a dinner cruise on the June Bahtra. Here you get to sail around the bay while enjoying a delicious a la carte meal and one or two cocktails. Say goodbye to the thumping music of the nightclubs and bars and say hello to a little bit of downtime to gather your thoughts and memories. Simon Cabaret Show – Thailand is famed for its temples, exotic locations and its Ladyboys. And no trip to Thailand would be complete without at least seeing one of the many Lady Boy cabaret shows on offer. The biggest and best cabaret show in Phuket is the Simon Cabaret. Here you will be treated to the glitz and glamour of a true life ladyboy extravaganza. Singing, dancing and comedy are all on the agenda and guarantees to be an amazing evening filled with love, laughter and lady boys. Easy to find at 8 Sirirach Rd, Patong Beach, Phuket. Phuket FantaSea – Fantasea offers a whole evening of entertainment that reveals the true beauty and history of Thailand. Inside you will be amazed as you watch dancing elephants, Traditional Thai dances and history come alive. Sit back and take in Pyrotechnics, acrobatics, digital wizardry and generations of cultural knowledge come together to create one of the most spectacular shows you will ever see. Inside there is also a 4000 seat restaurant, a carnival village offering the chance to do some shopping and plentiful opportunities to take photographs with the stars of the show. 99 Moo 3 Kamala Kathu, Phuket. Walking Street, Patong - Phuket is probably most famed for its nightlife, so a trip to walking street is a definite must for every traveller. For those who love to party the night away, you will feel like a kid in a candy store. Clubs, bars and beer gardens galore ensure that no matter your music preferences, you will be catered for. Take a walk down Soi Bangla to experience the wilder side of Phuket’s nightlife or stick to the main walking street for a tamer experience. Expect to see many gogo bars, karaoke clubs and beer gardens with staff beckoning you to go inside, be warned though that some ladies are scantily clad and it may not be what is classed as ‘family friendly’. Patong also has many hawkers going bar to bar selling their wares, so if you want to shop but don’t have the time to do so then this is an ideal opportunity to stock up on gifts. Viewpoints - The last two places of interest both fall into the same category. Phuket offers some amazing sights, and viewpoints are the ideal way to take in the beauty of the island. There are two well-known viewpoints that make for perfect photo opportunities while capturing the wild and free spirit of Thailand’s largest island. The first viewpoint is Phromthep cape located at Nai Harn and is possibly the most photographed location in Phuket.
  5. Danica Modesta

    8 Must Visit Places in Phuket

    Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and it is located in the Andaman Sea. With its 32 islands off its coast, Phuket caters to different travelers. By day, nature lovers can visit some of the attractions listed below and for the party goers, Patong, the sin city of Phuket offers endless night time entertainment. Apart from the famous ping pong show in Phuket, below are eight, family friendly attractions that should not be missed. James Bond Island - Khao Phing Kan or popularly known as James Bond Island after the island was featured in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, is an island northeast of Phuket. While canoeing through the limestone caves, James Bond Island is a sight to behold with its limestone formations popping out of the emerald colored water. Definitely a photo experience not to be missed. If you like your photos without crowds, try going after 5pm, it could make a great sunset photo experience. Phang Nga Bay - It's recommended to rent a kayak (or bring your own) to enjoy the full experience among the caves between the cliffs. Phang Nga Bay is scenically one of the most beautiful places in the world. If the tide is low you will be able to enter some of the tunnels, some have pretty low ceiling so you may need to fully lay back, definitely not for the claustrophobic. Big Buddha - Located on the peak of mount Nagakerd, the spectacular Big Buddha stands at 45 meters tall, 25 meters wide and covered with white marble. Set on top of a hill, the elevated view from Big Buddha is a breath taking 360 view of southern Phuket island. It's free to visit Big Buddha and its open daily from 6 am and closes at 7 pm. Wat Chalong - This amazing Buddhist temple has been around for over a hundred years and is open from 7 am until 5 pm daily. As a sign of respect, you are required to remove your shoes and women are required to cover their shoulders and legs but shawls are provided at no cost. There's no entrance fee but you can make a donation if you want to. As Thais are predominantly Buddhist, Wat Chalong is definitely a must visit for a little bit of Thai culture. Old Phuket Town - Here you will find an assortment of cafes, restaurants and Sino colonial buildings that were once occupied by Phuket's tin barons over a century ago. Walking along the streets, you can appreciate the local culture and a mix of different themed shops. While Phuket is famous for beaches, Old Phuket Town is a welcome change with its history, temples and unique photo opportunities. It's recommended to walk the streets of Old Phuket Town early in the morning when it's yet to be hot or in the evening when the sun is down. Patong Beach - You cannot visit Phuket and not go to Patong Beach. Famous for its nightlife with its neon lights, restaurants, Go Go Bars and nightclubs and of course, the mythical ping pong players, those that don't require paddles. Unlike Patpong in Bangkok, Patong is pretty much free of scams. Most bars don't require you to pay a cover charge for the shows, but you're required to purchase a drink which typically cost between 100 - 130 Baht. Sounds like a good deal, you get a drink while watching some entertainment. Phi Phi Islands - Pronounced as pee-pee, Phi Phi islands is 45 minutes by speedboat or 90 minutes via ferry from Phuket or Krabi. The Phi Phi islands are made up of a group of six islands. Ko Phi Phi Don is the largest and most populated of the Phi Phi islands followed by Ko Phi Phi Leh. The smaller uninhibited islands of Phi Phi are basically large limestone rocks popping out of the ocean. Remember the movie The Beach staring Leonardo Di Caprio? It was shot at Ko Phi Phi Leh and the release of the movie contributed to the surge of tourists to the island. Similan Islands - The highlights of Similan islands can be divided into two; above water and under water. On the island itself you can find piles of unique rock formations as big as trucks, thick forest and monkeys. These aren't normal monkeys that eat bananas, these are crab eating monkeys. Touted as one of the top 10 diving spots in the world, you will find a variety of marine life and corals under its crystal clear blue waters.
  6. Geleen Germino

    Beware of These Scams in Phuket

    It is a dream to travel abroad and experience a new adventure in life. Travelling to a piece of heaven on earth is indeed one of the most amazing experience. In the paradise of Thailand, there are numerous sites to see and adventures to take on, but it also hides some secrets. Even in a beautiful paradise like Thailand, there are certain people who are up to no good that targets innocent and neophyte travelers especially in the island of Phuket. Luckily, with proper information, scams can be easily identified and avoided. It is therefore imperative that every traveler should be familiar with the following scams in Phuket to avoid any unnecessary expenses. Scam #1: Tuk Tuk The most common public transportation is the Tuk Tuk. Riding them is one of the most recommended thing to do while in Thailand. But in Phuket, this can be very difficult since Tuk Tuk does not have any fare meter. Most drivers will request for a high fare price once you arrive at your destination. Photo credit: Raymond Walsh Another way they scam tourist is by asking passengers of their destination and after providing the places to go, the driver will sometimes claim that it is closed for the day or under construction. Then they will suggest a couple of alternative tourist spots to visit. They will eagerly bring the passenger to the alternative destinations and to different shops. There will also be other people telling them that they are lucky for visiting it and there is another place they should drop by. They will be the one to tell the driver where to bring the passengers and provide further details about the destination. Turns out, these are shops for souvenirs or jewellery where they over charge the customer and the Tuk Tuk driver will get a commission out of it. Scam #2: Trip packages by Tourism Authority of Thailand One of the known scam in Phuket is the travel packages and trips claimed to be duly owned and operated by the government. It should be noted that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) does not hold any business in travel and jewelry nor sell anything at all. They are a government agency set to promote the different destinations in Thailand and not to book tickets for bus rides and travel packages. Believe it or not, it happens with the involvement of a Tuk Tuk driver. It starts when the driver drops off a tourist in a jewelry shop or a public place. There, a well suited man will approach them and offer “affordable” trip packages by a travel agency operated directly by the government. It may sound good, but these are actually ridiculously overpriced. Scam #3: Broken Jet Ski Another must things to do in Phuket is to enjoy the sea with a jet ski. But even a simple ride in a jet ski can get a person to pay an arm and a leg for it. Photo credit: David Heard The modus operandi is to charge the tourist extra after using it. They will claim that the rented Jet Ski incurred damages and the rider must pay for the repairs. In any case that the tourist refuses to pay for the Jet Ski repair, they will call a man in uniform who happens to be walking around at the moment that the Jet Ski is found damaged. They will file a complaint and threaten to have the rider arrested for refusal to pay for damages. That is why renting a Jet Ski that are not provided by a legally operating resort or by a hotel are strongly discouraged for newbie travelers in Phuket. In any case that this happens, call the police hotline and wait for a police officer to come in and take the matter into their hands. Scam #4: Jeweler scam Another well-known scam in Phuket is the jeweler scam. Tourists are encouraged to go to a particular location to buy jewellery that are on sale with 30% discount or more that is only valid for the day. The suggestion would sometimes come from the Tuk Tuk driver, a man who introduces themselves as a former monk in a temple but doesn’t actually work there, a tourist roaming around telling people about the sale because he has been there too, or a shady travel agent on the street looking for tourists who are interested to book a travel package with a government operated travel agency. Photo credit: Raymond Walsh Once the tourist bites the offer and actually visits the jewelery shop, the shop will offer a piece of jewelry with a whooping amount of thirty thousand baht or more. But since it is their special discount day, the price will drop to a few thousands. It seems a great opportunity to grab but in reality it isn’t. The jewelry itself is cheap and would sometimes turn out to be a piece of fancy colored glass. Scam #5: You won a special prize Another scam are hustlers on the street giving away pamphlets, envelopes, or scratch card and claiming that they are employed in a hotel or travel agency that is giving away special promos and discounts. Photo credit: bangkokscams.com They will then provide a small envelop or a scratch card for the tourist to choose from. And once the envelope is opened or the card has been scratched, it will show that you won a special prize which is a special tour or get away sponsored by the hotel. And to be able to claim the prize, they will ask that you have to attend a short orientation about the trip. In reality, it is a three to five hours sales talk of an expensive travel package. Scam #6: Scooter scam This is like the Jet Ski scam but worse. Scooters are available to be rented by tourist who wants to drive to the beach instead of taking the Tuk Tuk or the taxi. The scam is when the scooter is returned and damages are found on the vehicle and damage compensation will be asked. Photo credit: YuryStroykin/shutterstock But there is more to this, sometimes they wait for the scooter to be parked by the rider and once the scooter is left on its own they would use a spare key to steal it back. Without any scooter to return, they will ask for a handsome payment for the “lost” scooter. Phuket is definitely a majestic island to stay for a holiday vacation in Thailand. Come and visit Phuket and experience first-hand its great food, lively nightlife, and extraordinary culture. Just stay safe, keep an eye out for scammers in the area, and enjoy every sight and experience.
  7. Phuket is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Thailand – an island off its southern coast in the Andaman Sea. It is an alluring locale with calm and clear blue waters, coconut palms, golden sands, cliffs and is appropriate for a tropical vacation. If you and your partner prefer a calm ambiance with a nice beach, Karon Beach is an ideal place. Book one of the hotels near Karon Beach, before you travel to Phuket. There are a number of decent hotels and resorts in this area, catering to a range of tourists from value for money to the premier segments. There are dorms starting at 200 Baht to 5 star luxury hotels. If you are in Phuket, make sure to stay close to the beach, where all the action is. Else, you may spend a lot of money on the friendly tuk tuks for travel to the beaches. You can find the full 4 day itinerary below: Day 1 Phuket Itinerary - A Serene Retreat in Karon Day 2 Phuket Itinerary - A Peace Loving Couple in Patong Day 3 Phuket Itinerary – A Trip to Phi Phi Islands Day 4 Phuket Itinerary – Phang Nga Bay To make maximum use of your time on Day 1, plan your travel to reach Phuket International Airport by 8 AM. On reaching the airport, and completion of immigration activities, you can either reach the Airport Transportation Booth for obtaining a voucher at a flat rate of 750 baht, or take a metered (yellow) taxi from the taxi stand outside the airport at a cheaper rate of about 600 baht, along with a 100 Baht airport surcharge. After exiting the airport building, turn right on to the walkway and at its end, you would see a metered taxi stand. A number of hotels also offer drops from the Airport to the hotels. Board your taxi by 8.30 AM. The road from the airport to Karon is winding, dotted with small hills and cliffs scattered on both the sides. The winding ride takes you till Chalong Circle, from where a right turn takes you through the hilly terrain touching Kata to reach Karon. It would take about an hour for the taxi to drop you at the hotel by 9.30 AM. Leave your hotel by 10 AM and walk down to the nearby Karon beach, which is one of the best beaches for enjoying the water. The sand here is fine and powdery, the water is clean, and the sea is usually calm during the dry season. Karon beach is also the third longest beach in Phuket, and lies between Patong in the north and Kata in the south. It is the second most favourite destination in Phuket after Patong. The beach is long, open and wide, having good spots for snorkeling, as well as diving. Unlike Patong beach, this beach does not get crowded and therefore is an excellent place for peace-lovers. Spend about 3 hours on the beach and return to your hotel for lunch around 1 PM. Take some rest after lunch, so as to be ready to venture out again in the afternoon. If it is a Tuesday or Saturday, the Karon Center would be open from 4 PM. Leave the hotel around 4 PM and walk down to the Karon Center. The Karon Center represents a small, lively city with ample opportunities for nightlife, shopping and dining and also has a beautiful Karon Temple Market, beside an elegant Buddhist Temple. This weekly market covers about 12,000 sqm, and offers an interesting assortment of items, such as Thai style scarves, sarongs, bags, fluorescent T-shirts, beachwear, swimsuits, soap carvings, Thai boxing ( Muay Thai) shorts, watches, handbags and cheap jewelry. Aloe Vera, virgin coconut oil and other natural skin treatment products, and various cosmetics are available at Karon Market. As you move out of Karon Market, plan for an evening stroll along the beach road. The road is flanked by beautiful resorts, shops, restaurants and the Karon Bazaar. Travel to the Bazaar around 6 PM. It is a large, covered shopping centre (covering 6,000 sqm area) between two resorts – the Mövenpick Villas & Spa Karon Beach Phuket and Woraburi Phuket Resort. After spending an hour at the Bazaar, walk to the Patak Road around 7 PM, and spend an hour exploring the bars and eateries along the road. There are a number of restaurants with sea food, served and prepared fresh, fresh fish, oysters, lobsters, crabs, prawns, shrimps, scallops, chicken, meat and barbeque. There are also Pizza houses and steak houses, bars with live bands, and food stuffs catering to the European tastes. There are numerous options available for Thai street food lovers as well. If you are a vegetarian, then opt for rice, in order to avoid the fishy stench in noodles. The PaPa Restaurant, Two Chefs, Karon Café are some of the eateries that are worth visiting because of the food they serve. Enjoy the Thai delicacies, spring rolls and soups, but avoid ordering spicy food in the eateries, as it is too spicy for foreigners. Instead, order a spicy sauce to add to your food, if you wish to have a generous dose of chilly. Return to your hotel by 9.30 PM after your dinner, so as to be in bed latest by 10 PM.
  8. Wake up early by 6 am, and quickly order your bed tea! Get ready for for a trip to Patong beach - the largest, and the most crowded beach in Phuket. It is also referred to as the “biggest party capital” of Asia. The trip to Patong is an outdoor one for the entire day. So, ensure that both of you have a shower, and freshen up before leaving your hotel for a long day outdoors. Be ready for your breakfast by 8 am. Plan to leave your hotel latest by 8.30 am. Ensure to carry a water bottle before moving out, since you need to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day on a sunny beach. You can find the full 4 day itinerary below: Day 1 Phuket Itinerary - A Serene Retreat in Karon Day 2 Phuket Itinerary - A Peace Loving Couple in Patong Day 3 Phuket Itinerary – A Trip to Phi Phi Islands Day 4 Phuket Itinerary – Phang Nga Bay If you cannot avail a car, then opt for the most used public transport - a Tuk Tuk . Be ready, however, to negotiate on the price. A 50 to 100 Baht bargain could be achieved with a Tuk Tuk driver if you are a good negotiator. On an average, a ride from Karon to Patong costs about 350 Baht. If you, however, manage to hire an air-conditioned taxi, then you would save the effort of bargaining. This could be an ideal option, unless you want to get exposed to the breeze in a Tuk Tuk. Check at your hotel, or resort’s front desk, and they should be able to arrange for an appropriate conveyance. Some hotels offer free shuttle services to Patong. Just check at the front desk if your hotel offers such a ride. The road from Karon to Patong along the sea side offers a scenic view of the Andaman Sea. Riding through lush green vegetation of the hills, you could take a breath- taking view of the blue sea water below. The ride is hardly 10 minutes, and you would be at the beach area before 9 am. Enjoy the cool breeze while strolling along the sunny beach. Do not miss out parasailing, jet skiing, swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving. Enjoy a round of Thai massage, or foot massage for about half an hour. Else, opt for a fish massage that costs about 100 Baht for 10 minutes. At the noon time, make it a point to visit the Jungceylon Mall. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and street food available on the way to this mall. If you are hungry, just stuff in some snacks on the way in any of these eateries. Jungceylon represents the largest shopping mall towards the south of Thailand, covers an approximate size of 2,00,000 square metres, and is located at the centre of Patong beach. The mall is operational from 11 am to 10 pm every day. This mall has 4 zones: the Silang Boulevard, which is the front building along Patong 2 Road, and has international food joints, sports complex, beauty salon, craftwork, massage centers, and the Food Bazaar, the Port, an outdoor section with plenty of shaded trees, a huge pond under a shady canopy, Sino Phuket, housing a broad range of bars, restaurants, international cuisines, and Phuket Square, the shopping plaza. Visit the different zones in this mall, and have lunch in one of the eateries. The mall has a wide assortment of food such as Thai, Korean, Japanese European, KFC, Macdonald, Pizza outlets and so on. You could shop from a range of items - branded clothes, sunglasses, spectacles, perfumes, cosmetics, shoes, computer games, DVDs, mobile phones, accessories and other electrical goods. As the heat dissipates, venture out to explore what the beach town has to offer for shopping. A wide range of products is on sale: gold jewelry, cheap jewelry, cheap DVD copies of movies and music, branded sports clothes, goods to beachwear, cheap international brands of liquor, health products, Thai-boxing paraphernalia and a lot more. Walk down to the beach after 5 pm to admire the sunset, which is usually crowded at this time. The view of the sunset is incredible, since the Sun slowly disappears behind a backdrop of hills and the shiny sea. Sit on the beach to admire the red Sun sinking into the horizon till it is dark. After sunset at 6.30 pm, walk down to the Night market at Patong, and view the restaurants and bars, which are lighted up for the guests to walk in. The bars are cheap, and a bottle of beer costs about 80 Baht. Snacks are plenty, ranging from chicken sate, pork, steak, Thai food, road side food and ice creams. A wide range of the Middle Eastern, Australian, Chinese and Japanese restaurants, apart from Burger King, Mc Donalds, and Star Bucks would surely satisfy your appetite. As you walk towards the Soi Bangla Road at 7 pm to get a glimpse of the nightlife, just peep into the shops selling various dress items and street food outlets that adorn the pavements of the main road. Once you reach the Bangla Road, have a view of the nightlife with certain people hunting for visitors in the crowded bars and restaurants. After 8 pm, the nightlife at Soi Bangla Road in Patong grows busy and noisy Flashy women and pimps completely change the ambience of this place, with blaring music making the place all the more shady! Prostitution activities are rampant here. Make sure to leave the place by 8 pm so as to avoid any embarrassing scenario. By the time you reach your hotel in Karon, you would be tired after a long day. Plan to go early to bed after dinner by 9.30 pm, in order to be ready for the next day trip!
  9. Are you planning to visit Phuket for the first time? Then Phi Phi Islands is a must watch destination for the first timers like you! These islands form an archipelago of six islands in the Andaman Sea. Located 40 km south –east of Phuket, they are Thailand’s some of the fabulous coral mountain islands, and are often considered iconic among the beautiful islands in the world. The 6 islands are – Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Phi Phi Leh, Koh Bida Nok, Koh Bida Nai, Koh Phai (Bamboo Island) and Koh Young ( Mosquito Island). The two most important islands are Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. Phi Phi Don is larger among the two, inhabited and attracts visitors to linger on its lovely shores. On the other hand, Phi Phi Leh is uninhabited, and yet, has stunning white powdery beaches and bays, including the world famous Maya Bay and the Viking Cave. You can find the full 4 day itinerary below: Day 1 Phuket Itinerary - A Serene Retreat in Karon Day 2 Phuket Itinerary - A Peace Loving Couple in Patong Day 3 Phuket Itinerary – A Trip to Phi Phi Islands Day 4 Phuket Itinerary – Phang Nga Bay The most popular option is the ferry boat ride to the Phi Phi Islands, as it is cost effective. A ferry boat ride to Phi Phi Don would be considerably slow, and hence, would take more than a couple of hours. If you wish to visit the islands by ferry, then make plans to stay back for a couple of days at Phi Phi Don Island, which is the only inhabited island, Also, plan your rides to the other islands from there. Since you have limited time, and you would like to complete most of the points of Phi Phi Islands within a day’s ride, it would be appropriate for you to book a speed boat ride in advance. Ensure that there is a pick up, and drop facility to your hotel as part of your travel package. Be ready at about 7.00 am in the morning for a pickup from your hotel. The drive from Karon to Rassada Pier would require the vehicle to cross the verdant Highland pass at Kata, drive north to the Phuket town, and then to the Rassada Pier. It would take an hour to reach the Pier. Take a speed boat at 8.30 am to Phi Phi Islands. Leaving early would help you to avoid the usual crowd. The first stop on your tour would be the Maya Beach. Spend about 30 minutes between 9.30 am to 10 am at the scenic spot. This beach had gained prominence due to the movie, “The Beach”, a film directed by Danny Boyle starring Leonardo DiCaprio released in the year 2000. The Maya Bay is sheltered by 100 meters cliffs on all the three sides, and is stunningly beautiful. The beach offers an opportunity to swim, walk, and offers a beautiful view of Lo Sama Bay. The next destination would be a snorkeling spot, which is usually selected based on the wind, tides, or what the other boats do on the day of ride. There are great places at Phi Phi Le and Phi Phi Don for snorkeling. While snorkeling between 10.30 am and 11 am, you would be able to see varieties of beautiful and exotic fish in the emerald green water. As you proceed for lunch, the speed boat would take you to the Viking Cave, that was once occupied by fishermen, pirates and seafarers. You would no longer be able to go inside the cave, since it is preserved for a collection of birds’ nest industry. These birds’ nest serve as ingredients of Chinese cuisine and medicine. The nests are formed from the saliva of swallows, and are believed to promote beauty, increase longevity, and act as aphrodisiacs. The next beach that you would reach around 11.30 am is the Monkey Beach. The name is derived from the apes inhabiting this island. You could get down at the Beach and feed the monkeys. Be careful if you interact with them while offering food, since they could be aggressive. It would be a good idea to avoid them altogether. Do not spend more than half an hour on this beach before moving back to Phi Phi Don island for a sumptuous lunch. As you land at Phi Phi Don island, have lunch, which is usually arranged as part of the package between 12.00 noon and 1 pm. Then travel to one more place where you would snorkel for about 30 minutes among the exotic shoals of fish. At about 2.30 pm, you reach the last spot, which is the Bamboo Island. This is a good place to spend your time, swim, take rest on the sands, or explore the island. The Bamboo Island is a relatively flat land, evergreen with white sand and crystal clear water. It offers snorkeling opportunities along the coral reef, which is about 50 meters from the beach. As you leave the island at 3 pm, and board your speed boat, remember the day well spent on the island. You would return to the Rassada Pier by 4 pm, and reach your hotel by 5 pm.
  10. Phuket offers a whole host of activities come day and night, but the best opportunities tend to be those found mainly during the daylight hours. There is so much to see and do and where to begin can at times be confusing. In this article, you will find the very best walk you can take that will enable you to enjoy the sunshine and help you see the sights along the way. The starting point is Patong Beach. This area is easy to find and tends to be the most central starting point for most visitors to Phuket. This walk is designed to last around 1 hour each way at a leisurely pace and will focus on scenery, relaxation and exploration of the local surroundings. You will find some of the best places to stop and have a drink or a bite to eat along the way while taking in some of the best views of Patong Bay. Walk Distance 4.6 km - Average walk time 1 hour excluding stops at places of interest. Walking route will take around 2 hours as a round trip – but well worth every step of the way. This walk is easy to take and minimises the chances of you getting lost along the way. There is only one road to take, and it hugs the coast nicely, so as long as the ocean is on your left, all is well. This route has been designed to be a pleasure walk and help you make the most of what is available in the local vicinity. It has been kept simple, and on a main route, and for those who love to use technology, Geolocations have been added. Loma Park Dolphin Statues Geo-Location for the Tech savvy travellers: 7.899258, 98.296577 So let’s begin. The first stop along this route is Loma Park. Loma Park is located on Patong beach just north of where you started off, and here you will find the dolphin statues that the small park is named after. There is also a play area for the kids and many shaded benches placed under the towering trees ideal for having picnics at. Loma Park also plays host to many of Phuket’s carnivals and official holidays and offers some beautiful ocean views. As you continue your journey from Loma Park, keep heading north with the ocean to your left. About 500 meters along the road you will come across the Belgian Beer café which is an absolute must for taking five from the intense heat of the sun. This stunning building is part of the Graceland’s complex and is located right on the beachfront offering a whole array of delicious food and European drink. Sit back and relax on the veranda and watch the people going about their day while enjoying a nice cold drink and some ocean views. Belgian Beer Café Geo-Location for the Tech savvy travellers: 7.903777, 98.297164 After finishing your drinks, continue in the same direction as before and keep walking until you reach the end of Patong beach. At this point, you will come to a roundabout which you just want to continue straight ahead at. You will know if you are heading the correct way if you pass the Novotel Resort on your right about 50 meters ahead. Walk up the small hill and continue forwards. On your left, you will notice many restaurants and beach bars which would be ideal to take note of for evening dining and entertainment. After about 200 meters the ocean will reappear, and another bay emerges. Along this stretch of road the ocean comes right up to the path and makes for some wonderful photography opportunities, you will notice that not many people use this beach and this is mainly because of rocks just below the surface of the sea. The halfway point of the journey As you continue your journey towards the end of the bay, you will come across Kalim Elephant treks tour office to your right, here you can book your elephant tour at your destination point which is just a further 2 km up the road. By this point you are probably feeling a bit peckish, after all, walking up and down sloping hills and paths can build the appetite nicely. Just 100 meters on your left you will come across Pantai Halal seafood. This small yet welcoming restaurant serves a delicious selection of fresh and local seafood cooked up in aromatic Thai style sauces that will have you going back for just one more bite. They also serve a rich and sweet iced coffee which will give you some extra energy for the walk ahead. Pantai Halal Seafood Restaurant Geo-Location for the Tech savvy travelers: 7.916258, 98.290871 Literally built on the beach, you can rest your legs and enjoy the fruits of the ocean. The Pad Thai Talay is absolutely delicious, and the restaurant location is ideally situated to take advantage of the stunning views and cool sea breeze. Pantai Halal Seafood Restaurant Geo-Location for the Tech savvy travelers: 7.916258, 98.290871 After you have had something to eat, continue along the route as before heading north. From here you will walk around 1 km before reaching Kalim Sunset viewpoint. Kalim Sunset viewpoint offers fantastic views overlooking the whole of Patong Bay and some open ocean seascape with perfect framing for your photos. Kalim sunset viewpoint looking out over the Andaman Geo-Location for the Tech savvy travelers: 7.917377, 98.282794 From Kalim Sunset Viewpoint you are just 700 meters from your destination where elephants await to take you on an unforgettable adventure through the forests that line the coast. Each trek lasts an average of an hour, and it truly is the most magical way to explore the wilderness of Phuket’s forests. Camp Chang Kalim rises above the Andaman Sea and is filled with lush tropical plants and wildlife that give off that eco-tourism vibe. As you rise further and further above the bay, the views become more astounding and truly makes you feel as though you are in the tropics. Camp Chang Kalim Elephant tracks Geo-Location for the Tech savvy travelers: 7.922521, 98.280017 Of course, you are not obliged to walk. This route is also ideal when hiring a motorbike or bicycle for a day. While not exhaustive, this route offers some of the very finest highlights along Patong and Kalim Bays.
  11. Mike Tur

    Staying Safe in Phuket

    The south of Thailand is very beautiful, as many tourists from around the world have already discovered. There is Phuket, Krabi, Trang and the hundreds of stunning islands and beaches to visit. Phuket is, of course, the most popular, with more than 5 million tourists visiting every year. In fact, according to estimates, more than 50 percent tourists coming to Thailand will spend a few days in Phuket. The good news is, Phuket is generally considered safe – as safe as most other tourist destinations. Most travellers come and go back without a problem. However, there can be issues at times, and they can go out of hand if you are not extremely careful. It’s good to be alert and careful and stay away from trouble. The Beaches - All the main beaches here now have lifeguards. But still, there are quite a few drownings every year, particularly between May and October during the southwest monsoon. Stay away from the sea if you see the beach lined with red flags. They indicate strong waves. Thai authorities are doing everything they can to warn visitors and keep them safe. However, still, these flags may not be present in the smaller beaches. So it’s best to check with the locals before venturing out. Rip Current - This is the #1 danger at the beach. Rip currents can be deadly. These currents are caused when the breaking waves funnel together, and the water gets sucked back into the sea. These currents happen throughout the year, but are stronger during the monsoon, and cause the most deaths. The most deadly rip currents happen at the Nai Harn Beach and the Karon Beach, but the others can have them too. It can be scary if you get caught, as you will have no control. Do not panic, and don’t fight, because you will simply tire yourself out. Swim parallel to the shoreline instead. You will still be carried out to the sea, but you can get yourself our quickly if you are swimming perpendicular. Rip currents are just a few meters wide – they are quite small. Swim back to the shore immediately once you are free. Once again, look for the red flags. They could be there because of these currents. There are yellow flags too, indicating the water is less dangerous. Use your own discretion. Just be careful. There is no particular reason to be scared of the beaches. Rip currents happen in many other beaches around the world, and are not exclusive to Phuket. Jellyfish - This is a common problem in Phuket. There can be a lot of jellyfish that sometimes sting fish and swimmers or snorkelers. The sting is rarely fatal, but can be very painful. Ask the lifeguards whether there has been jellyfish since the morning. Also, ask at your hotel whether the beach you are planning to go to, has a jellyfish history. Avoid the beach if needed. There are plenty of nice alternatives in and around Phuket. Get away from the fish immediately if you are stung, so that you don’t get more stings. Once on the shore, apply vinegar to neutralize the sting. Boating in Phuket - You will surely want to visit a few islands from Phuket, but before you hop on, ensure that there are enough lifejackets for everyone. Also, check in advance to make sure that the weather is good. Avoid booking a super-cheap boat trip. You can be sure they have taken shortcuts in equipment or crew training. Many tourists end up at the hospitals with back and neck injuries that are caused by reckless speedboats and long-tail boats. Thai authorities are doing their job, carrying out checks to ensure the boats are in good condition. The country attracts millions of tourists, and wants to keep increasing the numbers. But you will still want to do your own checks just to be sure. Jet Skis - Avoid jet skis not just in Phuket, but the entire country. If you are swimming, stay away from the areas close to these dangerous and loud motorized vessels. In fact, a few beachfront hotels have even cordoned off the sea with buoys and ropes to keep their swimmers safe. There is also the infamous Jet Ski scam of Thailand, which is very much present in Phuket. It is among the oldest scams of the country. This is how it works – You hire a jet ski for 150 baht an hour, but on return, the owner will feign astonishment and anger for the damage you have supposedly caused to the vessel, which in reality is untrue. You will be asked to pay for the damages. Many tourists call the police, but sometimes, they too are involved in the scam. Stay safe. It’s best not to rent a jet ski. There are plenty of other attractions and things to do in Phuket you can enjoy. Tuk Tuk Drivers - Tuk-tuks are fun and the most favored mode of local travel. They can however be uncomfortable if you have to travel for more than half an hour. Always bargain the fare, and write it down before boarding. There can be trouble if there is a dispute, especially around the touristy places. Keep a map with you to ensure that the driver is taking you there. Say “yoot tee nee”, which means “stop here” if you have a feeling you are being taken somewhere else. Take the taxi if you are worried. Thousands of tuk-tuks ply the roads of Bangkok, Phuket, and the other Thai cities. They are largely safe, but sometimes, there are negative reports. In case of a problem, approach the “Tourist Police”. There is a police force in the country just for the benefit of tourists, which you won’t find in most places. The Thai authorities are really thoughtful, and will go that extra distance to help you. Ladyboys - Kathoeys or ladyboys are men who look like women. Beware of the ladyboys in Patong and the Bangla Road. Laugh off their approaches with humor. Don’t be angry or intolerant. Fueled by drugs, hormones and alcohol, they can be aggressive. Finally, don’t wander off into unfamiliar or non-touristy areas, especially during the night, and more so if you are alone. Also, don’t carry a lot of money with you, and avoid looking too flashy. Most crimes are petty thefts here. The incidents of pick pocketing and snatching are on the rise. Scams are common in all touristy places. For instance, pick pocketing is common in Paris, there is the free friendship bracelet scam in Madrid, the friendly ATM helper in South Africa, and the fake services of Barcelona and Bucharest, among many others. Thailand, including Phuket, is safer than most other destinations. Thai people are very hospitable and welcoming by nature. But naturally, like anywhere else, there are a few bad apples. Just be careful, and you should have a fantastic vacation.
  12. Thailand is known throughout the world as one of the most stunningly beautiful tourist destinations to visit. Defined by its resplendent and vibrant history, culture and attractions, Thailand continues to be a place where tourists come to experience a lifestyle unlike any other on the globe. Be that as it may, it is a splendid and luxuriant island locale within Thailand called Phuket that people from all over the world are clamoring to. Over the last decade, Phuket’s popularity has grown exponentially with travelers. Remarkably, however, Phuket is no longer seen as just a tourist destination, but also a place where hundreds of thousands of expats from across the globe are now choosing to call home. As a result, Phuket has become internationally well known to people from all walks of life looking to relocate and to forge new destinies on this amazing island that offers everything a person could ever want, and for a fraction of the costs associated with living in western countries. Retirees are flocking to Phuket to not only relax and unwind, but also to start new life chapters in their golden years. The island offers peace, tranquility, an abundance of fresh air, crystal-blue beaches, and lush tropical trees. It is an environment resplendent with lush scenery that will delight the senses in countless ways, and will ultimately provide a tranquil setting for any person or couple who have long lived the harried, hustle and bustle kind of life that so often defines an existence within western countries. Younger people are also flocking to Phuket in search of a new and exciting life. Phuket accommodates the needs of the younger crowd very easily by offering night clubs, bars and lounges, evening street fairs, and a bustling city night life. In addition to the incomparably beautiful scenery and pulsing night life that Phuket offers, there are countless other benefits to relocating here. One of the most important benefits of living here is the incredibly high quality of life a person can provide for themselves at a fraction of the cost of living than what they were previously accustomed to. A quick cost/benefit analyses of quality of living versus cost of living can easily show that the benefits of moving to Phuket are immense. Phuket offers all of the modern amenities and conveniences of most western countries, including but not limited to, modern movie theaters, western-style malls that feature internationally-recognized brand names, spa and beauty services, golf courses and much more at ridiculously affordable prices. Phuket offers luxury homes, condominiums, and apartments that can all be had at comparably affordable prices. It has been well established that a couple choosing to rent in Phuket can live exceptionally well on $2800 a month, which includes gas, groceries, food, rent, entertainment, and much more. This is a veritable bargain in comparison to the cost of living in western countries. New residents of the island can easily explore the entire peninsula, as it is only 220 square miles. Additionally, gasoline is extremely affordable, and many citizens utilize scooters as their mode of transportation. Consequently, traveling around the island is a cost-effective and affordable activity to enjoy. The island is exceptionally easy to become acclimated to and comfortable with, and despite its small geographical size, it is home to some of the most vibrant, colorful, and exciting sights, experiences, food, and ways of life available to any person in the world. Moving to Phuket is something that would be of great benefit to any person looking for a change of scenery, a lower cost of living without compromising quality of life, or just someone looking for a new adventure, because after all, every day in Phuket is an adventure in itself. For retirees and younger people alike, the exploration opportunities in Phuket are vast. For those looking to connect with nature, there are 36 beaches that border the North, East, and West parts of the island. These tropical beaches offer a lush and peaceful sanctuary to those looking to relax and recline. There is also scuba diving, snorkeling, and boat tours for the more natural exploratory experiences. In contrast, there are exciting cultural opportunities to explore, such as Buddhist temples, neighboring cities like Wat Chalong, Phromthep Cape, and more. For those with a wild-side to them, there are kick-boxing classes, specifically the world renowned Muai Thai kickboxing style. For the more domestically inclined, there are a litany of cooking classes available, Naka Market (which is known as a market for foody-lovers) and a variety of other street markets that sell fresh and local produce on a daily basis. Phuket is one of the most exciting and beautiful places in the world. The benefits to living here are vast and limitless in scope. Thousands of people each year recognize the allure of living on this tropical island that not only features the amenities and conveniences of a western country but at a fraction of the cost, and as a result, are relocating here in droves. Come to Phuket and let yourself be opened up to the possibility of a new life, replete with endless possibilities and in a beautiful place that many call heaven on Earth.
  13. Mike Tur

    The Phuket Nightlife

    With those stunning limestone cliffs, boat trips, hongs, and beautiful beaches, there is always a lot to do in Phuket during the day. But it’s a different world in Phuket after the sun goes down. The evening going into the night is sure to keep you busy as well. The city has a huge reputation as one of the topmost partying hot spots in the world. There are plenty of clubs and discos, live bands, international DJs, cabaret shows, go-go bars, and a lot more. The loud music, bright neon lights, and crowd of international revelers is an experience for most first-time Phuket visitors. Bangla Road - Bangla Road or Soi Bangla in Patong is the place to be in Phuket after dark. It is the infamous party hub to some and a huge draw for others. There are those who come here just for the experience, while others get more involved. The lanes are full of bars and nightclubs with scantily clad Thai girls in almost all of them. Many of these friendly girls are likely to call you with a huge smile on their faces. It’s a dream come true, especially for men who are looking for some adventure. There are girls dancing on poles, ping pong shows, and more. There is live music and street performers as well. There is a constant tussle between Soi Seadragon and Soi Tiger for supremacy. Other attractions include Soi Gonzo, Soi Eric, Soi Sea Dragon, and Soi Crocodile. Soi Bangla is safer than Patpong in Bangkok. Go Go Bars - These bars offer girls dancing on a stage and performing various shows. Often, they used to very raunchy, but have become more modest now. But in many of these bars, the show can turn very sensual, even now. These are cheap places for a drink and some fun. Many of the go-go bars are located in Soi Bangla or the lanes that run up to it, but you will find them in other Phuket neighborhoods as well. Suzy Wong's, Harem A Go Go, Devil's Playground, Rock Hard, and Exotica are the top five go-go bars in Phuket. Sunset Bars - If you are looking for something quieter and more traditional, then why not head to one of the sunset bars in Phuket? Head to Kata Hill and you can choose from Small Viewpoint, Baan Chom, After Beach, Diavolo in Paresa or Joe's Downstairs. They all overlook the Kata Noi Beach and offer a stunning sunset view. There is Bob Marley music to give you company. Another option you can try is the Ska Bar. The food and cocktail is good. The sunset view is amazing. The ambience is fantastic. Simon Cabaret - Located at the Sirirat Road in Patong, this is a must-visit. Over the years, the Simon Cabaret has become an institution in Phuket, drawing in crowds by the thousands. It’s like the Las Vegas of Asia. There is glitter, the saxophone music of Kenny G in dimmed lights, clever choreography, and exotic girls in fabulous costumes doing their shows in shimmering features, except that these are not real girls. They are ladyboys dressed as girls. Many of these transvestite and transgender entertainers are extremely skilled. The show is outstanding. The dance and song routines are a treat to watch. What was once a single shop-house has grown to become a huge affair in Phuket. Thai Boxing - Don’t miss Thai boxing or Muay Thai. It’s the world’s most intensive body contact sport, where hand, foot, and everything else is allowed. This is martial arts at its best, and is going to be a hugely exciting and riveting experience for sure. There is drama and passion everywhere as the two boxers fight it out for glory. Onlookers cheer them on while there are drums, finger cymbals, and high-pitched Javanese clarinets that accompany the drama from beginning to the end. There is gambling as well, as money is invested on both the boxers. So the stakes can go very high. Muay Thai is among the most popular sports in the country, and is gaining popularity worldwide now. Visit one of the Thai boxing venues in Patong to see the lethal kicks, furious punches, and crushing elbow strikes. Girl Bars - Also called beer bars, you will find them all over the Phuket Island. There are a lot of ladyboys, men, and cute Thai women in these bars inviting you to come in, have a drink, and play some games. You are likely to be surrounded immediately once you enter, and treated so lavishly that you may feel you are a celebrity. Take a seat, pick your drink, flirt with the locals, and play the bar games you like. If you want, you may even take one of the girls to your hotel room for a small fee. Sports Bars - These bars are different than the girl bars in Phuket, and are more traditional. There are no girls or ladyboys here. So it’s a welcome break for many tourists. There are big-screen televisions all around showing sporting events. Watch your favorite team play with a drink in hand and a cheering crowd, egging on the players. It can be quite an experience, like being on the stadium itself. Often, there are dart games and pool too in the bar. The nightlife of Phuket is a huge draw. It’s one of the main attractions in this island-city. You are sure to be thrilled, no matter what kind of attraction you like. There is something for everyone here.
  14. Mike Tur

    Phuket for Kids

    In our last article we covered the Phuket Nightlife which was more adult oriented but Phuket is also an amazing destination for kids. There are lots of thrills and excitements the kids can enjoy alone or with their parents. Often, the kids become so immersed in these activities that parents finally have the much-needed time they can spend alone to relax and enjoy their own vacations. It’s completely safe here for the kids, so parents have nothing to worry about, which is a great relief. They are always looked after by attendants and supervisors, even when alone. Phuket FantaSea - This is a theme park not only for the kids, but the entire family. There are live performances with dozens of adult elephants, hundreds of dancers, and stunning acrobatic performances where they swing from above. The replica of a Thai palace is breathtaking. The performers narrate the story of Kamala, the mythical palace in a jungle. Phuket FantaSea show will keep you and your kids immersed for hours. Plus, there are shops, pavilions, fun fairs with games, stuffed toys, coffee shops, and the Golden Kinaree Restaurant. The Kids Club Phuket - This is a party venue and entertainment centre for the kids located at Patong, close to the famous Bangla Road. There are plenty of exciting games for kids of all ages, crawl tubes, ball rooms, slides, swings, and more. It covers the entire upper floor, so the club never gets crowded. Cleanliness checks are carried out at regular intervals. The security is tight. Seven full-time nannies are always supervising the kids, and they get involved in the games too. You can just leave your kids here and go. They are going to have a blast here surely. There is no need for parental supervision. Splash Jungle Water Park - This is the largest splash park in Phuket. Splash Jungle offers a range of water activities for the entire family. Enjoy the thrilling rides like Superbowl and Boomerango. Your kids are going to be all excited here. There is also an aqua pool for toddlers with many interactive water activities. Photo credit: splashjunglewaterpark.com For dads and moms, there is the wave pool. You may also laze and relax at the 335-meters long and winding river. Life vests are available for adults and kids without any charge. There are separate showers and changing rooms. Patong Go-Kart Speedway - Go to the Kathu side of Patong Hill for the rip-roaring Go-Kart Speedway. There are smooth bends, sharp curves, and the customary long and straight start/finish lane in the 750 meters race track. You can enjoy the track with your kids or do it alone with them cheering for you from the outside. Separate vehicles for adults and kids. The race track is in great shape, so there are no accidents. The track is wide. You can clearly see what is coming your way. White and red tyres are placed on both sides of the track for additional safety. ATV Tour - Go off-road to explore the interiors. You will pass through jungles, farms, and plantations in a 2-hour guided tour while exploring the 350-acre property. It’s a lot of fun for both the kids and adults as you zoom around obstacles, ride over the bumps, and splash over muddy trails. There will be rubber plantations, palm gardens, and mangrove swamps to cross. Photo credit: atvphuket.com Safety instructions are given out before you board these all-terrain vehicles. It’s a wonderful of getting close to nature, showing off the insects and Venus flytrap to your kids, and having loads of fun. Siam Safari - Your Thailand visit is not complete unless you ride on an elephant. For the kids, this will be an experience they will remember for a lifetime. Phuket is a wonderful place for elephant safari, as it’s in a lush forest setting. Along the 30-minute trek, you also get spectacular views of the ocean. Riding one of these gentle giants is also a unique way of exploring the countryside of Phuket. Try the 4 in 1 tour, where you and your kids can see coconut processing, Thai cooking, and rice farming. It also includes a dinner or lunch. Dino Park Golf - Another huge attraction for both adults and kids. The park with golf is not just entertaining, it is educational as well. The prehistoric jungle looks realistic and it is full of dinosaurs. There is an active volcano too, halfway between the Flintstones bar that serves Dino burgers and Jurassic Park. The golf course is 18-hole. The volcano blasts time to time erupting sounds and smoke. There are Triceratops, Brontosaurus, Dimetrodon, Stegosaurus, Eichynosuarus, and many other dinosaurs. Even the heat of the rainforest seems real. Challenges include obstacles made from bones, water, and even Dino poo. There is a hole inside the hot volcano as well. Most kids have never been to such an amazing place. Adults too will have a really fun experience. Camping for Children - Pack off your little ones for the entire day as you go on and do what adults do like snorkeling or some other more adult oriented activities. Don’t worry. This is completely safe. There are tents and camps at the Rang Yai Island for children, where they can enjoy all activities the island offers, like sea canoes, banana boat rides, beach volleyball, mountain bikes and more. There are separate activities for kids of all ages. The island is just 35 minutes away from Phuket town. It is mostly grass and sand, but there are paths. Adults can do their own stuff, spending time at the bar or a recliner on the beach while the kids have a blast. There are lots of attractions and things-to-do for kids in Phuket. You may also visit the Bird Park, the Phuket Zoo, or the Butterfly Garden and Insect World. In fact, there are so many attractions here that you cannot possibly do them all. So choose what you want to do with your kids, or the things they love.
  15. With all the beauty and tranquility that envelopes Phuket, you will not expect that there are activities that can give your body an adrenaline rush. For more adventures you can find part 2 here. Phuket doesn’t only have temples to offer, but they also have extreme adventures for the adrenaline junkies or for those who are looking for something new and thrilling things to do while in the island. Here are some of the exciting must try activities that you can do in Phuket. White water rafting - Enjoy a wild ride down Tonepariwat River at Phang Nga with your friends. This province is 80 kilometers away from Phuket. The course can either be five or seven kilometers long. Visitors can choose what intensity of river flow they want to ride on. They can choose from level one to level five. They vary in terms of river current strength, paddling difficulty, number of rocks to avoid, and wave intensity. The raft can accommodate four to six people and lasts about two to three hours. Training will be provided for first time riders. They will be given a helmet, life jacket, and paddles to use. It is also available all year round in Tonepariwat River. There are websites and agencies that can provide the tours with a hotel pick up from Phuket. One agency is the Thailand Travel & Tours located at Patong Beach, Phuket. Motocross in Phuket - If going down the river is not your taste and you don’t want to get wet, Phuket has a motocross nature race track that passes through the jungle and mountains. It is fairly new to Phuket and some tracks are still under construction to provide the best experience for riders. The track will start at the foot of the Big Buddha Mountain at Chaofa Village in Chalong Mueang Phuket, Thailand. It will pass through different areas in the jungle and often times all the way to the deepest part of it. To avail the adventure tour, you can visit the training camp at the foot of the Big Buddha and book the tour. Riders can use the bike for two to three hours but the price will vary according to the type of bike you will be renting. Tour package includes safety equipment, snacks, sightseeing stops, and discount for first time training lessons. Phuket shooting range - If shooting targets or having fun with a paint ball game is the adventure that you want, Phuket has a shooting range where everyone is welcome to visit and experience their services. There are three shooting range in Phuket that you can choose from. There is the Asian Shooting Range at Sa Khu, Thalang District, Kathu Phuket Shooting Range at Kathu district, and Phuket Shooting at Rawai, Mueang. All the shooting range has a wide variety of guns to be rented. The bullets has a fixed price throughout the island. For ten bullets, shooters will pay around TBH 1000. The bullets are a bit expensive but they also provide discounts. Every shooter has a supervising staff to ensure their safety and there are also instructors available for first time gun shooters. Guests can also bring their own gun. Asian Shooting Range is a few minutes ride from Phuket International airport. It is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. They can be contacted by calling the number +66 76 328 459. Kathu Phuket Shooting Range is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. For inquiries, call their contact phone number +66 83 509 5552. Phuket Shooting opens at 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. You can visit their website at phuketshooting.com for more details of their services since they also provide paintball, airsoft guns, archery, cobra show and much more. For inquires, their phone number is +66 76 381 668. ATV off road drive through a jungle - The most popular adventure ride in Phuket is the ATV rides. There are numerous tour packages to choose from and websites available for tourists to visit. ATV rides usually lasts from one and half hour up to three hours. Jungle adventure/Zip lining - For those who wants to explore the canopy of Phuket, take a zip line adventure to experience a one of a kind adventure. The Zipline Phuket is located at Paklok Thalang, Phuket. They provide diverse jungle activities such as the Tarzan adventure, Jungle Xtreme adventures, Cable Jungle adventure, and Flying Hanuman. Each ride will cost around TBH2,000 or more. Flying Hanuman is also a worthy place to visit for a jungle adventure. They are located at Kathu district and opens at 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Rock Climbing - There are two rock climbing options for those who wants to try this adventure. There is an indoor rock climbing and the outdoor. For the indoor rock climbing, the Rebel Rock Climbing is the place for you. They are located at Thalang Phuket, Thailand and opens at 10:00 am to 10:00 pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Wake boarding - Phuket Wake Park is located at Kathu, Phuket. This wake park is known for its 10.5 meter high tower, a cable speed of 30 K/Hr, a cable length of 700 meters and a 13 unit obstacle. They also provide other facilities for tourist to relax and have fun in the wake park. All of these adventures entails risks and requires bravery. If you are bold enough to conquer your fear and take a leap of faith, then these adventures will be thrilling and a never to forget experience in Phuket. Just remember to deal with accredited tour agencies. Look for their TAT certification and inspect all equipment before going for the action.
  16. There are still more thrilling outdoor adventures in Phuket that are a must to try. Here are some more of the adventurous thrills that you can find in Phuket. For more adventures you can find part 1 you can find it here. Jungle Bungy jump - There are several Jungle Bungy Jumps in Phuket. But the one that is most famous of them all is the Phuket Jungle Bungy Jump located at Kathu, Phuket. It is just twenty minutes away from Patong and definitely accessible. They are open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. They offer different packages and can accommodate bookings via online in their website at phuketbungy.com. They do not require an initial deposit upon booking online, but you have to pay full upon arrival. Though there are tour agencies that offers trips to this place, the packages Jungle Bungy Jump offers are exclusive with them and cannot be availed through other tour counters. Photo credit: Phuket Jungle Bungy Jump The Bungy Jump will cost THB 2200. If you have a go pro of your own, a surcharge of THB 500 will be imposed. Weight limit for jumpers is 35 kg as the minimum and 235 kg as the maximum. You can jump on your own or jump with a friend. Jumpers can also choose if they want to stay dry or have a dip in the water. Photo credit: Phuket Jungle Bungy Jump They can also be reached for inquires at their phone number (+66) 076 321351 or at their email address info@phuketbungy.com Patong Zorbing/Rollerballing - For those who are not familiar with Zorbing, this is an activity where a person goes inside a large plastic sphere that will be rolled downhill. If you want to try this Zorbing, the Rollerball Phuket is located at the outskirts of Patong going to Kamala. It is at Kalim Bay which is merely two minutes away from Patong beach and very easy to find. Photo Credit: Phuket Jungle Bungy Jump With a Zorbing length of 190 meters, this experience will leave you breathless and full of adrenaline rush. They also offer different programs. Program A which is THB 950, is a one roll ride downhill with a free drink. Program B is THB 1350, provides two rolls, drinks, chips or fruits, and a shirt. Program C which is THB 1950 gives the rider six rolls downhill, free drink, chips or fruit, and a photo souvenir. By the way, the free drink will be given after you roll down the hill, food and drinks are not allowed inside the sphere. Photo credit: Rollerball Co But if you want an added thrill, they have a Splash Ball available. Guests will be inside the sphere with 40 litres of water splashing inside. They are open daily from 10:00 am. It is advised that all guests must bring a towel and swimwear to enjoy better the Rollerballing. They also provide discounts per person for those who will book a program online by visiting their website at rollerball.co or email them at contact@rollerball.co. They can also be reached by phone at 089-872 6532. High water slide - There numerous resorts and hotels in Phuket since it is close by the beach. Today, these resorts and hotels and kicking things up a notch by installing water slides. One resort and spa is now known for its astounding 12 meter high water slide with a second tier slide at a height of 7.5 meters made for children. This monster slide is known as the Slippery Slip that can only be found at the Phuket Orchid Resort and Spa. They are located at Tambon Karon, Muang District in Phuket, Thailand. Photo credit: Phuket Orchid Resort and Spa They are open from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm for guests who wants to take a swim and experience the Slippery Slip. They can be contacted at their phone number +66 76 358 300. Another water resort to visit is the Splash Jungle Water Park located at Thalang district in Phuket, Thailand. They have different water entertainment for every age. For those looking for a thrill in the resort, the Boomerango is the most recommended water slide. It starts with going through a tube and exiting down a vertical ramp where you will meet a 15 meter high transition edge. You will then be shot up then slide to other side before falling into the splash pool. Photo credit: Splash Jungle Resort This can be very scary and heart pumping especially when you are about to reach the transition edge. The thought that you might go in too fast and shoot out of the slide will give you the adrenaline rush that you are looking for. They also have other attractions such as the Super Bowl, and Body and Tube Slide. They have indoor café, bar, and restaurants as well as lockers for the swimmers. Photo credit: Panoramio They are open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. The entrance fee will be THB 1,295 for an adult and THB 650 per child from the age of 5 to 12 years old. Any child under 5 years old are free of charge. Kart racing - For the kart racing enthusiast, the Patong Go-Kart Speedway is a few minutes away from the Jungle Bungy Jump. To avail the kart racing, drivers must be 16 years old and above. They have race karts with 400, 270, 200 and 140 cc engine. They go from 40k/h up to 110k/h. Price starts from THB 750 up to THB 1000 depending on the kart type and the time length that it will be used. Photo credit: Go-Kart Speedway For further inquiries, you can email them at gokartspeedway@yahoo.de or call them at +66 076-321-949 or 076-202-689. An alternative kart track is in the Phuket Kart Speedway located besides Go-Kart Speedway. They are open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm everyday. They also offer TV rides, archery and Elephant rides. However, they are more popular with kart racing. They provide kids kart, four stroke performance kart, fun karts, double seaters, 100cc Two Stroke, and 125cc Water Cooled Superkart. Photo credit: Phuket Kart Speedway You can contact them for further details at phuket_kart@hotmail.com or simply visit their website at phuketkartspeedway.com. Kitesurfing - For a fantastic kitesurfing experience, the KBA or also known as Kite Boarding Asia, provides an exhilarating experience. They are located at Nai Yang beach and Chalong beach in Phuket. Available all year round, KBA provide kitesurfing refresher course, private kitesurfing lessons, one day course, and a three days course. When it comes to equipment, they can rent full gear or just the kite if you have your own personal gears. They rent their equipment for an hour or for the entire day. In terms of safety, they provide a rescue craft to backup all kite surfers. They also have alert beach staff to assure all needs are addressed. For details of their packages, visit their website kiteboardingphuket.com or send them a message at phuket@kiteboardingasia.com. For convenience, you can also drop a message in their Skype at kbaphuket. KBA is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Surfing - Surf House Phuket, the top most rated surf destination. They have two locations, one in Kata Beach and the other in Patong Beach. They provide lessons for the beginner and surfing activity for an hour up to three hours. The cost for an hour ride is THB 1000, two hours will be THB 1800, and three hours for THB 2,200. They offer a private lane for THB 7,000 with a maximum of 10 riders. Photo Credit: Surf House Phuket For more details, they can be reached at their email address info@surfhousephuket.com or call them at (66) 81 979 7737. They also have a website surfhousephuket.com for you to check their surfing services. All these adventures are thrilling and definitely exhilarating. Take note, that every activity has risks that comes with it. Be sure that you inspect all gears and equipment. Do not be afraid to ask for help with the instructors or staff and be sure to enjoy your wild adventures in Phuket.
  17. Alexandria Faria

    Day 4 Phuket Itinerary - Phang Nga Bay

    Located just 21 miles north- east of Phuket, with numerous limestone cliffs rising from the water, Phang Naga Bay is an extremely popular tourist destination for the travelers visiting Phuket. The most famous cliff in this area is known as the James Bond Island, featured in the James Bond movie, “The Man with the Golden Gun”. With lush green limestone islands, honeycomb caves, and grottos soaring to heights of 984 feet from the calm turquoise waters below, Phang Nga Bay offers an idyllic setting for a day trip. You can find the full 4 day itinerary below: Day 1 Phuket Itinerary - A Serene Retreat in Karon Day 2 Phuket Itinerary - A Peace Loving Couple in Patong Day 3 Phuket Itinerary – A Trip to Phi Phi Islands Day 4 Phuket Itinerary – Phang Nga Bay Post lunch, cruise to the James Bond Island at 1 pm. The Bond movie, “The Man with the Golden Gun” was shot in the year 1974 with Roger Moore, and Christopher Lee standing in front of the island. This Island is also called locally by the name Ko Tapu (Nail Island), since it stands upright from within the verdant sea. Since the island is protected, observe the same from a distance.The cost of the trip by speed boat costs about 3400 Baht per person, and usually covers a round trip transfer from hotel, breakfast with tea, coffee, croissant, a guide conversant in English, tour insurance, life Jacket, lunch, mask and snorkel. Wake up early in the morning, and be ready for a pickup from your hotel by 8 am. Be prepared for a long day trip, and the last day in Phuket. Carry a bottle of water and snacks, since you might need them anytime during the long day. The drive from your hotel in an AC car to the Ao Por Pier would be more than an hour. The exact time would, however, depend on the traffic. The speed boat would leave the pier for National Park, Phang Nga Bay at 10 am. The first stop for sightseeing would be the Panak Island. As you reach the Island by about 10.45 am, be ready for some adventure. Take a canoe (“kayak”) to wander around the island, admire the ravishing and gorgeous wildlife, and explore the mangrove cave. Explore the honeycomb of grottoes, and tunnels across the Phang Nga marine park. Discover the ‘hongs’, which are hidden lagoons. Admire the stalactites along the corridors and caverns. As your paddler glides you into these lagoons, lie flat on the kayak so as to avoid the stalactites near the cave’s entrance touching your bodies. The Bat Cave, known for the number of bats hanging from the ceiling of the cave is the first destination. The Bat Cave Hong also provides an opportunity for monkey and hornbill sightings. You would reach the Hong Island at 11:30 am. Travel around the wonderful island. As you finish canoeing here, have a sumptuous lunch onboard. From James Bond Island, travel to the Khao Phing Khan, which is an inclined rock, a 164 ft massive natural behemoth located on top of other rocks with small caves. Explore the wonderful natural carvings here, or wander through the mango swamp. As you further carry out kayaking, explore the beautiful Kaew Cave. After spending about 30 minutes at the cave, plan to move to the next location by 2.30 pm – the Lawa Island. After a long day’s trip, the island is a good spot for some relaxation. This place is also devoid of noise and crowd. Therefore, it provides the right ambience for leisure time. Collect the beach chairs available here at some extra cost, if you like to take some rest. In case you want to swim, the Lawa Island provides a perfect backdrop. You may like to lounge on the beach, or enjoy the swing on the tree. During this time, you could be served with fresh fruit and soft drinks. After spending more than an hour on the beach, head south to visit Koh Panyee Village at 4 pm. Previously, Koh Panyee was a 400 metres by 80 metres limestone cliff with an approximate elevation of 80 metres. An entire village was built over it with stilts, and was established in the 19th Century. This amazing village is dotted with more than 100 houses, a mosque and an elementary school. More than a dozen sea food restaurants cater to the taste buds of the tourists who visit this ‘water city’ on daily basis. The stop here is mostly about shopping. You will be able to shop for clothes, souvenirs, dried sea food, and pearls. The shopping activities serve as livelihood for the Koh Panyee’s inhabitants. Take the speed boat back to the Ao Pier at 5 pm, so that you are dropped at your hotel by 7 pm. The four day trip to Phuket is complete with the visit back from Phang Nga Bay. Next morning, on the way back to the Phuket Airport, the memories of Phuket’s magnificence, and beauty would enthrall your minds. With the flight taking off from the airport, the beautiful verdant land of Phuket would slowly move away from you, far into oblivion. The fond memories of Phuket, captured in your mind, and in your cameras would stay on. These would remind you of the scenic beauty explored during your trip to Phuket, and would inevitably invite you once again to this lovely land.
  18. The Phuket Island has so many amazing beaches that you cannot visit them all in one trip. They offer it all – white sands, turquoise water, beach volleyball, shops, eateries, loungers, and water sports. Select the right beach based on your preferences, because you may want to come back again and again. Here are the top 10 beaches in Phuket. Kata Noi Beach - This is a great beach to laze around and take-in the beauty of Phuket. It’s perfect for long walks as you watch the sunset. You will have a more private feel here as Kata Noi is still reasonably undeveloped. There are just a few loungers and no vendors. You will find a few drink stalls and shacks here. There are a few banana boats and jet-skis. The soft gentle sand slopes gently to the sea. The seabed is sand, with a few rocks, so it’s a great place for swimming. Take the south entrance if you want more privacy. The south end is also better for snorkeling. Kata Beach - Close to Kata Noi, this is a popular, but very beautiful beach. You can relax in the shade of Casuarina trees that line this beach. Kata is a classic that helped Phuket become so popular. The number of umbrellas has come down remarkably after the cleanup of 2014, making Kata even better. You are sure to love the fine white powdery sand and the blue sea in this beach. It is a good spot for surfing in the monsoon. There is an annual surfing competition as well. Laem Singh Beach - This is perfect for swimming as the water is very clean here. There are a lot of tourists now, but Laem Singh is still beautiful. There are forests all around, so you have a lot of greenery too. Rock formations at both the ends give you a private feel. You will find a few vendors selling food and drinks, and others selling souvenirs. There was no water sports here only a few years back. But now you will find water skiing, para-sailing, jet skis and banana boats. The south end is good for snorkeling. Nai Harn Beach - Nai Harn Beach has survived the mass tourism onslaught. There are high hills on all sides and a coconut covered island close by. The surrounding hills remain natural as there are no private land titles here. Buddhist monks have built a meditation retreat close to the beach, thus granting it a sacred monastic title. These three reasons make the Nai Harn amongst the best Thai beaches. Take in the serene ambience or go for a relaxing swim. There are hardly any vendors, and just a few stalls selling seafood and Thai cuisines. The southern end is good for snorkeling, particularly the lagoon that empties and fills with the tide. Freedom Beach - This is one of the least accessible beaches in Phuket. You have to reach either by boat or after trekking for a kilometer through the jungle. If you are looking to spend a full day in complete privacy, then this could be it. The beach has been aptly named Freedom. Expect to find white sand, turquoise water, a few loungers, and complete peace here. Relax under a palm tree with a drink in your hand. The sea is full of marine life. There is beach volleyball too. Kamala Beach - Stretching for two kilometers, Kamala is one of the biggest and more popular beaches in Phuket. What was a small fishing village once is now a bustling small town. You will find many shops, bars, and restaurants, so if you like activity, then this is the place to be. Another popular beach Patong is close, but Kamala is more family-friendly. The ocean current, however, can be strong sometimes. The water is cleaner and clearer than most other beaches. You will find many tourists in Kamala, but there are few water sports activities, except a couple of jet-ski operators. Want to see local fishermen? Head to the northern section of the beach! Surin Beach - The kilometer long Surin beach offers you crystal clear waters and golden sand. There are casuarinas trees all along with restaurants between them. You can rent loungers for as little as 100 baht. The views are stunning. Snorkeling, though, is average. Activities include water skiing, jet ski, para-sailing, and banana boats. Of course, you can just sit back to relax and get that fabulous tan as well. The Surin beach can be addictive, making you want to come back again and again. Nai Thon Beach - There is just one resort on the beachfront, and so there are never too many people in this beach. Also, the Nai Thon is a part of the Sirinath National Park, so there are restrictions on construction. The beach has escaped over-development because of this. The water here is calm and clear. The bottom slopes easily as there is no reef, making this beach great for swimming. There are casuarinas trees all along the coast. There are no beach activities here because Nai Thon is part of the national park. a visit to the Nai Thon Noi beach, which is close, will be a nice excursion. Banana Beach - This used to be the best unspoiled beach in Phuket once. But the tourists have discovered its beauty since then, and now they come in droves. Also referred to as the Banana Rock Beach sometimes, it is still very beautiful. Don’t miss this beach when you are in Phuket. Bang Tao Beach - This is another stunningly beautiful beach in Phuket. You will find the Laguna Complex here, which consists of a golf course and many upscale resorts. Most of them are in the southern end. The northern end is quieter. There are loungers along the eight kilometer stretch. There are restaurants serving all kinds of food. There is Jet Ski and even a horse riding club. Phuket is rich with its beautiful and clean beaches and we hope you'll find one of your favorite beaches from our list of top 10 beaches in Phuket. Leave us a comment below once you have experience some if not all the beaches on this list, we would like to hear your experience!
  19. When we talk about lounges and bar, we immediately think of enclosed spaces with energetic people, bright flashy lights, and upbeat music. In Phuket, this is the common description of their bars and lounges. But not all of it are in enclosed places. Believe it or not, there are several rooftop lounges and bars in Phuket. Though they are not much known because when we say rooftop lounges, towering buildings comes into our mind and Phuket is a tad lacking in tall buildings. Still, they do exist in Phuket, Thailand. Here are the top rooftop bars and lounges that will not only entertain you but will allure you as well with its enticing view. Baba's Nest - Top of the list is the Baba’s Nest located at Panwa Beach. They are among the most stylish and exclusive rooftop bars in Phuket. The reason why this is at the top of the list is because of it view and the bar is surrounded by an infinity pool making it extra cool. And because of their uniqueness, they received international recognition for their rooftop bar. However, they are quite strict in entertaining guests for the Baba’s Nest. A guest has to spend a minimum THB 1,000 in their bar. This amount will be charged when a reservation or a booking has been successfully confirmed. The booking has to be made through a credit card and it is a non- refundable fee. They also advise their guests to book a reservation a few weeks before arriving. In any case there is bad weather on the day of the reservation, the minimum amount to spend in the bar is transferable to their pool club and soul food. For those interested, reservations can be made through their website at babaphuket.com by clicking the reservation button and selecting the dates. They can also be reached by email at chill@sripanwa.com. Quip Sky Bar - This is the first rooftop bar in Phuket. It features a mix of modern and traditional design making it relaxing and comfortable. It doesn’t have that extravagant flashing lights like the typical bars, but it is beautifully and brightly lit. The Quip Sky Bar is half bar half lounge. They serve a variety of alcoholic beverages such as beers and cocktails. If you want to be a bit fancy, don’t worry because they also serve wine. Typical drinks such as Mojito or Margarita costs THB 199 and their special signature drink For Love Quip Sky costs THB 299. They are also equipped with a flat screen TV for sport enthusiasts and serves international dishes. They also have a lobster pad for THB 390. Over all, the Quip Sky Bar is a place to just hang and chill out without the hard core music and noise of the usual bars. It is definitely a calm and relaxing place. For those interested to visit the bar, they are located at the 5th floor of Quip Bed and Breakfast. They are open from 4:00 pm until 11:00 pm. Kee Sky Lounge - Next in the list is a lounge on top of a resort. The Kee Sky Lounge is located at the very roof top of The Kee Resort at Thaveewong Rd in Patong Beach. This particular lounge is more on the modern side with bright neon colors but still maintains the tranquil and relax vibe in their lounge. They are open from 5:30 pm until 12 midnight. Photo Credit: Roger Wu They have a buy one take one Happy Hour from 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm. At 8:00 pm until 9:30, the happy hour continues but it will be buy two get one free. They have different drinks in their bar to choose from that costs from THB 220 up to THB 250, and the food they serve is scrumptious. They even have bartending shows for the entertainment of the guests. For reservation, you can email them at info@thekeeresort.com or visit their website at thekeeresort.com Le Versace Restaurant Lounge Bar - If you are one of those tourists looking for a marvelous and chic place to stay, eat, and relax, then the Le Versace Restaurant Lounge Bar fits you fabulously. This is a French themed restaurant located at Patong Beach that gives off a classy ambiance to guests. This is among the most recognized open air restaurants that offers first class service and French cuisine. It is also near the beach making it an ideal place to have a dinner and have a few drinks while watching the sunset. They are open from 5:00 pm until 2:00 am. They can also make the entire lounge private for a special occasion such as birthdays, weddings, business meetings and others. Wassa Homemade Bar - If you prefer somewhere more down to earth, isn’t crowded, and has a spectacular view of the city and the beach, the Wassa Homemade Bar is what you are looking for. The place is basic but very welcoming and clean. It can accommodate a decent amount of guests however they only have a shortlist of drinks. They do have fruit shakes that costs around THB 70 to THB 90 and beers from THB 90 to THB 110. Appetizers like fries, spring rolls, and chicken nuggets are available and cost between THB 90 to THB 120. They are open to guests from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. To get there, guests must try to overcome the Hasip Pee road. This road is known for being narrow and steep that guests would leave their cars and motorcycles at the bottom and walked all the way up to the bar. Though there are cars and scooters that can drive all the way to the top, it is recommended that you make sure that the breaks and the engine is in perfect condition before driving up there. Surface Rooftop Bar at La Flora Hotel - If you have acrophobia or better known as fear of heights, you can still enjoy a pleasant dinner and drinks in a rooftop at the Surface Rooftop Bar. The bar is low enough for you to hand reach the tip of the palm trees but high enough to see a fantastic view of the Andaman sea. The foods are decent and the drinks are varied giving guests different choices for a drink. The bar is open from 5:30 pm until 12:00 am. This gives tourists a chance to watch the sunset in the afternoon and a romantic spot for couples. For a dinner reservation, you can leave your inquiry at their website at laflorapatong.com. They can also be reached at info@laflorapatong.com or +66 76 344 241. These are just some of the best reviewed rooftop bars and lounges for its serene location and soothing ambiance. There are still more bars and lounges like these in Phuket waiting to be explored by an adventurer like you. Just take your time to wander around and sight see the different and wonderful places in Phuket.
  20. Alexandria Faria

    Day 1 - Phuket Itinerary with Kids

    A Sojourn Around the Tranquil Kamala Beach - Phuket, an island off Thailand’s southern coast, has a broad range of offerings for all kinds of tourists. It has beaches with calm and clear turquoise waters, coconut palms, golden sands, verdant greens, entertainment parks, and clubs that are appropriate for a tropical vacation for kids. Kamala Beach towards the west of Phuket is an appropriate locale for you and your family, as it is peaceful, has beautiful hotels or resorts, and also small 20-30 room hotels for the low or medium budget travelers. Complete your immigration activities after your arrival at Phuket International Airport at 8 am. The available options for you to travel to your hotel are limousines, metered taxis, car rentals, minivans and airport buses. While limousines are fairly costly, and tickets are available at the first floor of the airport, booking in advance before arrival saves time and energy. There is a taxi stand outside the airport, and if you want a metered taxi, then go ahead for it! A taxi ride from the airport to Kamala Beach costs about 750 baht. Besides, car rentals are available from Avis, Hertz, Alamo and National. If you have an International Driving License, then this would be a preferable option for your family. The travel from the airport to your hotel, or resort on the Kamala Beach would take about 45 minutes. It could also take an hour depending upon the location of your hotel. Get done with your check in formalities at your hotel by 9:30 am, and then freshen up for going out. Be ready for a drive to the Kamala Beach within 10 am to enjoy the quiet scenic beach. Pronounced as “Ga Ma Lar”, Kamala Beach is quieter than the rest of the beaches in Phuket. After an hour on the beach, plan to drive down to the Phuket Adventure Mini Golf, which is located close to the Bangtao beach about 5.6 km towards the north of Kamala Beach. This Mini Golf Park offers an opportunity for those who have never played golf. If you or your family members want to learn golf, then you could do so here. The park is an excellent place for the family to enjoy. Your kids would have a chance to learn golf on a field of smaller dimensions than a long golf course. Children above 4 years could play Adventure Golf here. Play a game for over an hour, and then, relax at the Offcourse Restaurant besides the Golf course at 1 pm. This restaurant serves pizzas, burgers and authentic Thai dishes. Admire the 18 holes miniature golf course in all its beauty surrounded by water, bamboo, palm trees, bushes and granite rocks. After a sumptuous lunch at the restaurant and some rest, walk down to the Bangtao Beach at 2 pm. This beach is about 5 minutes away from the Phuket Adventure Mini Golf Area. Click some pictures, and admire the water. Drive to the Laguna Phuket at 3 pm, which is one of Asia’s largest resorts. This occupies a huge area at the center of Bangtao Beach. After spending 15 minutes there, drive to the Anthem Wake Park, which is located in a verdant area between the Phuket Heroines Monument and Cherng Talay village. The Park offers ample scope for water sports with three cable options on a 50,000 sq meters fresh water lake – a main cable system measuring 647 meters in length, having six towers with five different ramps for experienced circuit boarders, and a second system for beginners with two towers. Spend some time experiencing with your family, the nuances of this sport. Drive further south for about 15 minutes to Surin beach at 4:30 pm. This exotic beach is a favorite among the high end holiday makers, and there are a number of lovely high end resorts to accommodate such visitors here along the Millionaire Row. There are five-star spa centers located on this beach. This place also has options for surfing, snorkeling, and kayaking in its blue-green waters. Enjoy the white sands, and turquoise water along this beach with your family. Plan your return from Surin Beach at 5.30 pm, so as to reach the Kamala Beach area by 5.45 pm. Then, travel to the Buddhist temple – Waat Baan Kamala, which is a spiritual center for the locals. The temples and the gardens have been renovated, since the Tsunami ravaged this place in 2004. The Kamala Temple has a main chapel, a bell tower, and a number of Buddha statues and images depicting the various stages of his life. Your family would definitely love a visit to this temple, and spend half an hour there. From Wat Baan Kamala, make sure to visit the local market in Kamala, which is usually open from 2 pm to 8 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays or Saturdays. If your visit occurs on a Friday, then the market would remain open from 2 pm to 7.30 pm. These markets provide a cornucopia of items – fresh vegetables, fruits, prepared snacks, food, computer games, CDs, DVDs, T-shirts, Jeans, handicrafts and so on. You would be back to your hotel by 8.30 pm to enjoy a dinner after an eventful day!
  21. Alexandria Faria

    Phuket The Spiritual Quest: Day 1

    As you reach the Phuket International Airport, and complete the immigration formalities by 9 am, move to the taxi stand outside the airport. Phuket Town is about 30 km south of the airport, and the travel time is about 30 to 45 minutes (800 baht). The other options are an hour by shared minibus (600 baht for 2 people, or 150 / 200 baht each), or 1hr 20 minutes by a government bus. You would reach your hotel in Phuket Town latest by 10.30 am by any of the above options. The old town has a number of options to stay at very reasonable prices. Take a break for about an hour at your hotel, get fresh, and plan to travel to the spiritual sites in Phuket. The first day of travel would be targeted in and around Phuket town with a focus on Chinese shrines. Leave your hotel around 11.30 am. Phuket is known for the various Buddhist and Chinese (Taoist) shrines. The first point to visit is the Bang Neow shrine. Located at the crossing of Phuket Road with Kra Road, the Bang Neow shrine is also known by a couple of names such as Thep Rasi Foundation and Tao Buang Keng Shrine. Depending on your distance of your hotel you could, either walk, or take a taxi. Nevertheless, since your plan is to visit number of shrines, a car or taxi would be a better option. Bang Neow shrine is one of the beautiful Chinese shrines, and has moved many times because of fire. It also has about ten doors, and has an elegant interior décor with beautiful color paintings that recount stories from the Chinese literature. The image of the Chinese dragon is well represented here in the paintings, or carved on the supporting columns, and the small administrative section in the main building gets converted into a vegetarian canteen and kitchen during the Vegetarian Festival. Leave the Bang Neow shrine at 12 noon, and proceed further down Phuket Road by a car to the Kiew Tien Keng, a stunningly beautiful shrine located in the lovely Sapan Hin Park area near the beach in Phuket Town. This spot is considered as a departure site for all gods and deities to return to heaven on the end day of the Vegetarian Festival, when the normal diet resumes. There are artistic images of deities on the altar with life-size statues, along with a silver statue of Ji Gong, a non-traditional smiling monk of Chinese folklore, who used to drink, eat meat, wore beggar like clothes, and carry funny stuff (like chicken on one knee as shown on the statue). There are also statues of eight immortals of Taoist tradition on the terrace overlooking the Andaman Sea. Exit from Kiew Tien Keng shrine at 1 pm, and explore the restaurants in the park – Issan-style (North-east Thai food), sea food, and Kanom Jeem (soft noodles) . After having lunch, leave this area at 2 pm, and move back north-west to the next destination the Jui Tui Shrine, which is located on Soi Phuthorn, Ranong Road, and is one of the respected and oldest spiritual . This temple plays a pivotal role during the annual Phuket Vegetarian festival. The principal deity of this temple is the Tean Hu Huan Soy, the god associated with the performing artists and dancers (considered as a patron by the Chinese Opera), has a special place in the hearts of the locals. His image set on the main altar on the highest position is accompanied by a dog and a chicken, his favorite pets on both sides. Besides the main building, there is also an associated fire cracker house for throwing burning crackers, thereby reducing noise and pollution. Take the Yaowarat Road at 3 pm for the next destination towards the north – the Samkong shrine. The shrine has been a part of the Samkong villagers’ lives, especially during their illness. As per locals, the deity was a human being, who used to work in the Chinese Imperial Palace, and the only way the locals used to communicate with the deity was through a spirit medium. Nowadays, people visit this shrine to pray for good health. Leave Samkong shrine by 4 pm for the last destination of the day – the Kathu shrine. The shrine is located in Kathu village, two km from the Kathu – Patong junction on the Samkong Kathu Road. It shares a history with the Phuket Vegetable Festival, and is considered as the festival’s original home. As per rumors, once, the Chinese Opera from mainland China came to Kathu, and their members started to fall ill without any reason. They soon realized that they had forgotten to carry on with their traditional diet, which was veg. So, they had a vegetarian diet festival at their house in Kathu, and within no time, the sickness and associated problems disappeared. Locals also had participated in this ceremony, and carried on with the same thereafter. Hence, Phuket became known for the annual vegetarian festival thereafter. Guests are allowed to visit this shrine to the extent that they do not venture into the private hall that is the home of the deity, and named as ‘chairman’ of the festival. Leave the Kathu shrine by 5 pm, and return to your hotel by 5.30 pm.

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