Phuket, Thailand - Week 3
My 3rd week in Thailand started off with some much needed beach hopping along the coast. I decided to check out Karon due to it being close to where my sister was working for the day. Before heading off I had a call to let me know my suit I had commissioned was ready to be collected so before heading up the coast I went for my final fitting and collection at the tailors.
Karon is a long, blonde beach with a wide range of beach activities available. Due to the length of the beach, it’s quiet easy to find yourself a spot without many people and can collect a little peace and quiet if you’d like to, but Karon isn’t particularly a Thai style beach, you could have easily been in Spain if the water hadn’t been so warm.
Since my sister thought she’d finish work at 2:30 I made sure I was at the Marriott resort in Patong for that time. The Marriott is a beautiful resort with its own private beach and drive franchise store (hence why my sister was working there for the day). When she’s finished with her clients and packed away we headed into Patong for the afternoon. Patong is the infamous party hub of Phuket, so during the day it’s a pretty drab, dull and quiet place. The food is generally quite expensive (due to being popular with tourist and most of them being hungry and drunk at all hours) and the beaches are really crowded. I’m so glad this wasn’t the area we stayed it, Patong is a great experience and considering the island isn’t that big, it’s not hard to be involved in the entertainment nightly, but I am terrible on a hangover and considering it was over 30degrees everyday, I would have wanted to cry if I’d enjoyed myself too much.
I decided to carry on the “cultural” excursions and head to Phuket Town for the day. The island capital is full of beautiful, brightly coloured Portuguese style buildings. With dirt cheap amazing food and lots of market stall selling your classic backpacker attire, selfie sticks and fruit, you could easily spend a lot of time here, it was so calm and peaceful. The only issue for me.... it’s not particularly great beach wise, but the same as every part of Phuket I’ve been to, if your not willing to take the time to search for your perfect beach, you’ll be stuck on all the tour guide recommended ones with all the other tourists.
Having already been to Maya Bay I thought it would be rude to not visit the other famous island around Phuket, Khao Phing Kan (the nail shaped island used for the backdrop of James Bond: The Man with the Golden Gun). I’d heard that the easiest (and cheapest) play to do this would be at the north of the island, this being because you’re then closer to the Island. This meant waking up early to beat the crowds - which were obviously still there. Going to the north of the island allowed us to also stop at an amazing view point that, if you don't fancy getting any sleep, you can camp at and watch the sunrise. This view point is however in most guide books and is done on a first come first served basis, you can't book, so be warned before you embark on the 20 minute hike! (It was not a 20 minute hike by the way, the guide book lied.... they offer a 4x4 ride to the top for 90B, i highly recommend it).
After the view point I headed to the small dock I had been instructed to go from. For 3,500B about £70 I could hire a long tail boat for roughly 4 hours and be taken on a tour of the islands. This included limestone caves, hidden lagoons and "James Bond" island. The whole experiences was amazing, the island is exactly what I had imagined Thailand to look like and I'm so glad I made the effort to get up early and travel up north. This was an important part of my trip because my mum had been to Phuket 29 years ago (i'm 24 so before I was even thought of) and had her photo taken looking out at the island. As a family we always try and recreate photos of our parents so this was something I really wanted to make sure I did.... AND I DID!! Although the island has obviously become far more touristy in the last 29 years, I was still able to stand in (almost) the exact same spot as my mum.
The weekend was spent enjoying my favorite beaches again. Bon Island (I told you I'd be back) and Lemka Beach, having not long left of my trip I wanted to make sure I topped up my tan as much as I could and also spend as much down time with my sister as possible. We were luck enough to have acquired a drone prior to our trip so having sussed out the beaches before we were able to establish the best locations to take it out for a test drive and managed to get some amazing footage on Bon Island (this will hopefully be in my Thailand vlog!!!!!)
I've had such an amazing time in Thailand and I'm so sad to have to say goodbye. I'm hoping to return again next year or pay a little visit to so few friends living out in Australia, a country that will always be so close to my heart, so I'd really love some ideas for where I should be heading. Either send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), leave a comment or DM me on Instagram! I'd love to hear from you!
I will be keeping track and updating on here what I've been up but also on my Instagram account, so make sure you follow me on there if you don't already! @beesrichards