We debated a lot about going to Phuket, known as a big party island full of crowds and seedy nightlife. We weren’t in the mood for noise and partying, we just wanted to go somewhere to relax on a beach without much worry about changing hotels every day and dealing with logistics.
We ultimately decided to visit Phuket despite the notorious reputation. Traveling in India taught us not to judge a book by its cover, or based on what other people say something is like. We needed to make up our own minds. Phuket was also the primary hub for connecting flights/ferries to other Thai island.
Alison found a budget hotel in the less busy area of Kata Beach and this is where we stayed for two nights. Most tourists stay near Patong Beach. We never ended up visiting Patong, just driving through on our way from the Airport. From what I saw I’m glad we didn’t stay there.
There were a few beaches within 10 minutes walk from the hotel. The weather was hot – low to mid 90’s – sunny, and moderately humid. Perfect for lounging around.
The Kata Beach location turned out to be quite nice, given our tempered expectations. The beach was not too crowded and the water and sand were clean. Compared to India the traffic was nothing and the streets were clean (though still busy). We spent our days lounging by the water and looking for good vegetarian food, which mostly comprised of pizza, pasta, the occasional banana pancake (they are everywhere) and tons of fresh fruits from roadside stalls.
The most noticeable thing about this part of Phuket was the number of Russian tourists. We didn’t hear much English walking around, as most people were speaking Russian. Even many signs were written in Russian.
We didn’t do much exploring on Phuket, and now that we have been there, don’t see a need to go back. Next time we visit we will spend our time seeing other Thai and Malay islands.
After Phuket, we caught a van transport and ferry to Ko Phi Phi island. We expected Ko Phi Phi to be a more beautiful, remote, pristine and relaxing place, but we were in for a surprise.
More about Ko Phi Phi in our next blog post.
We can’t find the rest of our pictures from Phuket, we will update this post when/if we find them.