My girlfriends and I went to Phuket for our annual trip in 2015. Let me share with you just some of the things I learned about Phuket while planning for the trip. Here’s a list of all the beaches I chose from with quick information on each. As you see, I have the tendency to go overboard in planning especially when the place is totally new to me. I hope this helps you too! 🙂
Patong Beach – most popular beach in Phuket and the primary nightlife destination. Top tourist destination.
Kata Beach – beach is ideal for surfing on May to October. Nightlife is fun but not as loud as that of Patong. Ideal for families.
Karon Beach – ‘Patong’s little sister’. Location is very near Patong. Third longest beach. Has little bit of nightlife, not too busy but not too quiet either.
Surin Beach – highly expensive, usually where celebrities go. Few attractions to see.
Kamala Beach – short distance to Patong Beach. Quiet atmosphere, usually for retirees. Lots of spas, villas, and quality hotels with sunset view.
Nai Harn Beach – not over developed, popular for locals
Bang Tao Beach – second longest beach. From what I understood, it’s sort of like el nido with expensive properties and budget hotels.
Mai Hhao Beach – longest beach in Phuket and is located away from the rest. Offers luxury resorts, ideal for honeymooners. Giant Radley Sea Turtles lay their eggs here from November to February.
So guess what I ended up choosing? I didn’t want to stay in Patong, I knew that for sure. My top 2 were Karon and Kamala, i liked how they were both near Patong so it would be easy for us to just go whenever we wanted to but it also gives you that peace and quiet ambiance, which is what my friends Lala and Lyn requested for.
Where to stay
You see those beautiful Phuket villas online? We actually wanted to stay in one but it was just too expensive 😦 so after further research, i decided to stay in Thavorn Beach Village and Spa in Kamala. It offers rooms with own access to the pool with reasonable rates so we thought, that would do the trick. AND IT DID! The resort was soooo beautiful and traditional. I liked how it was so peaceful and quiet yet it’s only 10-15 mins away from Patong madness (the best of both worlds!) They even have free shuttle service that can bring you there, how convenient! 🙂
What to see & do
Since it was my first time to go to Phuket and it was an all girls trip, I thought it would be best to ask help for the tour arrangements. Thanks to Mia and Pao of Destination Getaways for making it hassle free for us! Allow me to share with you our itinerary. We had 4 full days in Phuket and decided to have equal amount of time for adventure, exploration and relaxation.
Day 1 – James Bond Island Tour
- At 10AM we were picked-up from the hotel by minibus to the pier in Phang Nga province
- Visited Monkey Cave (Suwankuha Temple)
- Sightseeing in Phang Nga Bay National Park by longtail boat.
- Set lunch in the Muslim fishing village on Koh Panyee Island and experience the local life style.
- Explore the nature and sea caves by canoe at Talu Island with experienced paddlers as guides.
- Visited James Bond Island
- Arrived back at the hotel around 6PM
We went to the tour wearing our bikinis and cover-ups expecting that we’ll be able to swim or at least lounge on the beach but NO. It was very touristy – go to one destination, take pictures then on to the next destination. There wasn’t really much time to lounge around. Overall, it wasn’t the kind of tour i was looking forward to.
Day 2 – Phi Phi Island & Bamboo Island
- Departure fom Chalong pier to Phi Phi Islands by speedboat at 10AM
- Snorkeling outside Mosquito Island in the crystal clear sea with colorful fishes over the huge Hin Klang Coral Reef.
- Bamboo Island for relaxing on the white sandy beach
- Buffet lunch
- Sightseeing at Phi Phi Don Island and relaxing on the beach
- Sightseeing at Monkey Beach
- Sightseeing at Viking Cave
- Explore Pileh Lagoon
- Snorkeling at Loh Samah Bay
- Relaxing at Maya Bay, the beach featured in the movie “The Beach”
Now this is the kind of tour we were expecting – lounging on the beach, snorkeling, meeting new friends and the best part is the speedboat! How I wish we have the option for speedboat tours here in the Philippines too! What do you guys think? 🙂
Day 3 & 4 – chill, chill & chill
As requested by my dear friends, Lala and Lyn, we spent the rest of the trip relaxing in our resort and exploring Patong Beach. Thavorn Beach Resort in Kamala, unlike Patong, has its own private beach – perfect for those who prefer peace and quiet. They also have a lot of activities and amenities that will keep you occupied (yoga by the beach, horseback riding, cooking classes, spa, fitness center, a pool, etc.). The pool is considered one of the largest in South East Asia and since we had our own private access to it, we can swim from our room going to the beach! 🙂
Either via the shuttle, taxi or motorcycle we went to Patong Beach a couple of times. Here’s a tip – never accept their first offer. HAGGLE! Haggling is very common in Thailand and they set prices soooo high that you can bargain for half (or even more!) of what they charge. Take our transportation for example taxi drivers would charge 400baht from our resort to Patong (only 10-15 mins away) but we’re able to haggle down to 200baht. I don’t know about your haggling skills but that was the best we got. Now that you know this very important tip walk the streets of Patong where you can shop and dine. Oh, and don’t forget to try their street food – milk tea and pancakes! 🙂
(Photos were taken using iPhone 6 and go pro)