A Look Around Phuket
Earlier this spring, just as the Covid-19 pandemic was ramping up into full swing, my wife and I were rolling through week #3 of what was scheduled to be a 5 week trip through the South Pacific, Thailand & Hawaii (had to cut the Hawaii leg short due to closures in mid-March)
It was another “trip of a lifetime”, and just about everything went according to plan (of course there are always small surprises). But, so much about Covid – how was Thailand?
Well, you hear lots of things, many of which are true.
- Would I recommend Phuket for a fun-loving group of party animals who feel right at home at 3am on Bourbon Street in New Orleans? Yes!
- Would I recommend Phuket for an older couple who wants to relax, experience an affordable tropical paradise, a completely different culture, do some serious shopping and come home with a couple new Hand-tailored suites? Yes!
- Would I recommend Phuket for a Honeymoon couple who wants something amazing and unforgettable on a secluded pristine beach? Yes!
- Would I recommend Phuket for a wellness retreat, or just a traveler who appreciates a terrific 90 minute massage from a trained professional – and costs a fraction of what it does in the states? Yes!
But I would recommend different areas for the varying styles because there are completely different vibes from one neighborhood to the next.
For the party crowd there is nothing quite like Bangla Road at Patong Beach – words cannot describe it fully, but it is party-on!
The street is lined with bars, clubs, restaurants shops & vibrant video displays. There are dozens and dozens of vendors selling tickets to the “ping pong show” (you’ll have to google that) as well as plenty of clubs with bands playing covers of Heart, Bon Jovi and Journey. The streets are packed with tourists from everywhere. It’s easy to wander down a back alley to find a toilet and thus see the real sights and smells of what’s cooking with the locals but you may just want to forgo that if you have a weak stomach. It is clearly a sight to see.
James Bond Island
A complete departure from the party and nightlife of Bangla Road is a day-long excursion to James Bond Island – an unforgettable little corner of this amazing world of ours…
Famous for a scene in the classic Bond film “Man with the Golden Gun”, this is but one of many such geological formations in Phang Nga Bay. Is it a bit of a tourist trap? Sure – you can buy some souvenirs, but it’s really more of a stop for a photo op, just one of several on the tour.
There are some caves to explore….
and a village to wander through at lunch…
Another of the coolest aspects of the day is sea cave canoeing around the bay – then later on there is a chance to chill at the beach for a swim. All in all it’s a terrific and unforgettable day.
Another terrific experience while visiting Phuket is the trip to Phi Phi Island – similarly epic scenery and fun in the sun!
Buddhas and Temples
A trip to Thailand would certainly not be complete without touring some of the country’s rich history and culture – and of course that means visiting temples and shrines to Buddha.
This “Big Buddha” smiles down on Phuket from high up on a hill overlooking much of the southern end of the island.
Several other temples and shrines exist in the area…all beautiful and lovingly cared for.
As with any similar church or temple, proper attire is required to enter and pay your respects. Both men and women should take a wrap to cover their knees and shoulders.
The natural beauty is at every turn – you must only open your eyes….
Terrific resort options exist in secluded areas – things you might not even imagine….for example imagine yourself in this room….
with your own private plunge pool
or as you relax at this pristine pool
in a “treehouse at this resort…..
Indeed, there are many good and great things about this destination
Wrapping it up-
For me, the Thai massage was something new and hopefully not the last time I will let a fully grown ninja turn me into pretzels in ways I thought I could no longer bend…..
Another cool experience was buying a custom tailored suit. It took a few days, and a few visits, but picking out the material, the style, being measured and fitted was a real treat that would be un-affordable to most in the US, but is possible for a small sum in Thailand!
But of course not everything is good….
A big disappointment was that there is a significant amount of trash that ends up in the ocean. Particularly disturbing when you take a boat to a nice reef that is polluted with human waste (plastics in particular).
Of course this is a foreign country and they have a different pace, a different style, and a bit less space per person than you may be accustomed to at home – and there are the smells in the cities…..but overall I look forward to returning again to visit some areas that we were not able to get to on this trip – areas such as the nearby Koh Samui (another popular beach area) and Chang Mai (a completely different area in the Northern Hills with jungles and elephants and a completely different feel.
When you are ready to kick off your own trip to Thailand, or other similar destination, then turn to “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad for the best advice possible – because you deserve to make every moment..and every dollar count!
If you are going and planning excursions, or just want to check out some of the top options for Phuket see these top tours below-