During our last visit to Thailand almost a decade ago, we didnt visit Phuket. Friends, family and country men told us that we had committed the biggest mistake by excluding Phuket from our itinerary. With a resolve to undo the sin committed years ago, we booked ourselves an entire vacation just there! Phuket is synonymous with its glorious sun kissed beaches, however there is much more to it!
After our wonderful experience with Airbnb at Srilanka, we decided to use the same app and booked ourselves an entire apartment instead of just a room in a hotel @ Phuket. This apartment was beautifully furnished, centrally located and just 0.5 kms from Patong beach – one of the poplular beaches in Phuket.
Since we travel with a 6 year old, our itinerary includes a few child centric places. The Dolphin bay is one such place. The dolphins along with their trainers put up a great show. It is no match to the dolphin shows at Florida or California, but the children will enjoy it in any case. We got an opportunity to touch dolphins and also click pictures with them.
Fantasea theme park was another place we visited. It is hyped and highly priced. The atmosphere created inside is lovely however it is not enough to justify the ticket price.
The reason Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world is because of two stunning islands – Phi Phi islands and James Bond island. No words can do justice to these two gems.
Several travel counters are set up along the popular beaches of Phuket – Patong and Karon. Just pop into one of the counters and sign up for full day tours of these two islands at good prices. The first island we chose to visit was – Phi Phi island. A bus picked us up from our hotel to the pier. At the pier we were given a general set of safety instructions and then we boarded into the speed boat. While the speed boat is fast, the view is hindered by the windows that run along the sides of the boat. Slower ships will offer a better view.
After a good 50 minute ride we reached our first spot – Maya bay. The bay is beautiful but it is very challenging for the boat to remain steady.
Our final stop on this boat ride is THE PHI PHI ISLAND. Deep blue sea, white sand, azure skies, tall mountains and the bright sun – picture perfect in every way.
The best way to enjoy phi phi is to jump right in!! The water is chill yet very relaxing and none of us wanted to come out but we had to, since we had to board the boat back.
Just before we reached the pier, there was one more stop -Khai beach. The beach with its clear waters is great for swimming.
After a joyful day at the beach, we returned to our apartment tired, content and full of wonderful memories.
After an eventful day at Phi Phi, we decided to keep it light the next day and planned to visit the Karon beach and Promthep Cape – the island’s most photographed location. Unlike the Patong beach, the Karon beach is very clean and less crowded. After a couple of hours of beach fun , we headed towards Promthep Cape to catch the sunset. The location is mesmerising.
A beautiful road runs alongside the beach. A walk on this road with the sun setting behind us is beyond words and a sight that no lens can capture.
Our visit to James Bond island was the highlight of our trip. It is different from Phi Phi in many ways. After having an average experience in the speed boat, for the James bond island we decided to go on a ship. The ride was awesome with never ending stretches of deep blue water on all sides. A sight to behold! The ship , the panoramic view and the ride were all magnificent.
The James Bond island got its name after becoming famous when a Bond movie was filmed here several years ago.
After a satiating sight of this island, we hopped on to the ship and were taken to our next attraction as part of our tour. To experience this , we had to use canoes and ride through caves.
The ceilings of the caves are so low, that it required us to lie completely flat on our canoes.
The caves were beautiful and they opened out into some beautiful clearings.
The beaches are less blue than phi phi and have more rocky ocean beds. After a tired day out , we hit the bed and slept to our hearts’ content.
No trip of ours is complete without wildlife. Needless to say, we made sure that we do some wildlife spotting. On our last day at Phuket, we visited a turtle conservation hatchery which houses and breeds many different types of turtles. From the hatchery we continued our journey into the wild to meet one of the most revered animals of Thai culture – the elephants. Here we had an opportunity to give bath to a little elephant in the rivulet.
For the first time ,we had an opportunity to ride along the river on an actual bamboo raft. Water crept into the raft and made the ride more exciting especially for my daughter.
All good times come to an end and so did our vacation at Phuket. Head full of memories and heart full of feelings, we returned to India to join in for the Diwali celebrations!