Back in 2012, my friends and I decided to go on our first out of the country trip as a group. I don’t remember exactly how we ended up with Phuket, Thailand as a choice, but it was an awesome decision nonetheless.
We were able to buy discounted tickets from Tiger Air and booked a hotel room through Agoda.com. For the duration of our stay in Phuket, we survived mostly on street food. Not only is it affordable, but it’s also a good way to enjoy the food culture. There’s also a really inexpensive place near our hotel where they serve seafood in traditional Thai cuisine and we ate dinner there every night.
It was very fortunate that our hotel was a short walk away from the main beach, Patong. I really appreciate that there are no structures along the beach or very close to the beach. It allows people more access to the area because it is very much public.
Phuket is quite famous for its beautiful islands, which were featured in Hollywood movies like James Bond and The Beach. We were able to visit Phi Phi Island, a.k.a The Beach, in our island hopping tour. Unfortunately, there were a lot of tourists at that time you can barely make your way through the crowd, let alone swim because there were many boats parked on the shore. Our tour guide thought it was best for us to go back to the boat and take us a little farther from the island so we can swim and snorkel.
Aside from spending our time on the beach, we also visited temples and landmarks like the The Big Buddha. My biggest achievement in this trip is getting to ride an elephant. Crazy as it sounds, but I am terrified at the thought of being so close to an actual elephant. The ride turned out to be quite pleasant, as we were able to experience nature and enjoy the sceneries at the same time.
Phuket night life also has quite a lot to offer. My friends and I were able to do our shopping at the weekend night market. I literally lost my way among the many stalls, selling souvenirs and the most colorful of all street food.
We spent our last night in Phuket at Bangla Road. It was quite an adventure, with lady boys in their Victoria’s Secret Angels costume parading on the street, pole dancing and other performances visible from the outside, neon lights covering the facade of structures, and cops stationed in front of major establishments. All of it makes a very exciting yet intimidating image of Phuket night life.
Suffice to say, going to Phuket was indeed a great choice for a newbie traveler like me. Aside from it being affordable, the places to see are just marvelous. Being a country that was never colonized, Thailand’s rich culture has remained intact over the years, which also makes it a unique place with much to learn from.