I visited Phuket, Thailand about a year ago. This province in southern part of Thailand is very popular amongst tourists from all over the world due to its beautiful beaches like Patong and Karon. But there are other beaches surrounded this island such as Surin, Kata, Kamala, Rawai, Nai Harn, Bang Toi and Kata Noi. But Phuket is most famous due to Phi Phi Island where a popular movie starred by Leonardo DiCaprio “The Beach” was set in that area, as well as James Bond Island where many scenes of a James Bond movie titled “The Man with the Golden Gun” released in 1974 took place.
Patong beach is also well-known as the world’s popular diving site where many best divers come to this beach to witness its magnificence underwater world. This beach’s length is around 50 km and width 21 km with its fine white sand along the way. Since Patong lays on the west side of Phuket, you could enjoy the beautiful sunset — when the sky is clear, of course.
It takes about 30-45 minutes by car to get to Patong from Phuket International Airport. When you reach the airport, there are taxi drivers outside the arrival gates offering you a service to get to your hotel. It is recommended to take a van (instead of a taxi) where you can share with other passengers with the unidirectional destination, to save your budget. The van will make a stop in a certain travel agent office where you are offered tour packages to some islands around Phuket, like Phi Phi Island, James Bond Island, and some beaches nearby. If you missed this by any chance, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get them near your hotel. There are travel agents everywhere offering tour packages to travel around the Province.
Many people said that Phuket is quite similar to Bali, especially for its atmosphere and night life. There is a place called Bangla Road which is always crowded by both international and domestic tourists. Along this road, there are bars and restaurants serving foods and beverages which are mostly open for 24-hours. Live musics, street attractions, and cool crowds are worth-visited. The only difference here lays on its constant raining. During my stay, it was almost raining every day. So you’d better bring a raincoat or umbrella to keep you from raining especially in rainy season.
Beside its beautiful beaches, Phuket is also best known for its foods and fruits. Their jams are the best I’ve ever tasted because they are made of original fruits without any preservation or even sugar. So they are very fresh and tasteful. You should try them yourself! And since Phuket is an island surrounded by ocean (Andaman Sea), their most recommended cuisines will usually contain seafood, such as Tom Yam Kung, Thai Seafood Curry, Phat Thai Kung, and many more.
To travel around the island, there is a traditional land transportation called Tuk Tuk ready to send you to places in Phuket. Or, if you prefer a modern transportation, there is always a taxi standby to be at service along the road. But be careful to make a good bargain before you agree to take their service, otherwise it will cost you a fortune. It would be safe to ask the hotel staff to get you a hotel taxi instead.
The last but not the least, the shopping arcades! If you are talented in price bargaining then you are very lucky, but mind the excessive baggage. Phuket is a shopping paradise where there are cheap merchandises with good quality such as t-shirt, shoes, scarfs, accessories, jewelries, and so on. So, make sure that you have enough space in your luggage before you buy up those merchandises.
What I like most about Phuket is that I can put on clothes I want to wear without any feeling of under-dressing. It is not called an over-dressing when you only wear a boxer, tank top, and sandals to go to malls! I would never do that back home because I don’t live in a place like Phuket! It’s so carefree and overwhelming, and I would definitely go back there if there is a second chance.