After leaving the Elephant Park and Chiang Mai we started the next leg of our Journey, this next leg was Phuket, Patong beach to be specific. We had both been there before but not together and decided that this would be the place to enjoy some chill time. We reached Patong at 2:30 in the morning, by this time we were exhausted!! Bare in mind if you are arriving late like we did the taxi’s all charge 800 Baht (approx €22) for a one way journey into Patong….which for Thai standards is a total rip off!! We managed to blag our way on to one of the mini busses that carry 12 or so passengers and it cost us 180 Baht each (approx €5)……although they stopped …at 3:30AM!!!!….at the taxi office to try and sell us tours!!! We were far from impressed but still, don’t jump into the first taxi, all the different companies are stepping over each other for trade so be forceful and you’ll probably manage to get there without having to overpay.
We were staying at the Forty Winks Hotel, it was a really good deal at €120 for 5 nights including breakfast. The room was lovely and only 5 minutes from all the action, we were really happy with our choice. The hotel had a lovely pool which we chilled and enjoyed during our first morning. Mick is the kind of person that loves to explore as I do too so time spent at the pool was very minimal…..we live in Cyprus after all so pools and beaches are something we are lucky enough to enjoy here :)))
The following days we really enjoyed as we visited local markets, had countless massages, ate street food and enjoyed the great nightlife of Patong, the only negative about Patong is that is has become extremely touristy, but hey it offers all kinds of things for all kinds of people!!
One of our plans was to Zipline in Phuket, so once we got there we arranged with one of the local tour agents (more like a little pavement kiosk), they are dotted everywhere selling all kinds of excursions but make sure you bargain with them, don’t accept the first price they offer you, as with most things in Thailand, there is always wiggle room on the price. We used Patong Zipline Adventures it cost 1600 Baht for both of us (€21 each). They offered 3 different adventures, A, B and C. We chose Plan B that included 19 zip-line platforms, 3 abseils, pick up from hotel and a small lunch. Plan A was 32 platforms, in the end 19 was more than enough so we were pleased we chose B. The drive to the Zipline was awesome, we were in the rear cab of a pickup truck and the ascent up the mountain was breath-taking and ridiculously steep most of the way up. We were a group of 8 and after receiving some safety instructions we donned our safety straps and harnesses and headed for a 10 minute trek to the first platform…..then, without a moment to catch our breath we were flying through the Jungles of Phuket, 50 meters above ground. It was heaps of fun and very exhilarating, we loved every moment. The guides were pros and they made us laugh all the way, which was good as a few of the group were scared stiff!! Once we had completed all the platforms we were taken back to base for a small lunch and some fruit, the views from the base area were just beautiful. You can also purchase a photo of yourself, taken by the resident photographer while you abseil, for 150 Baht (€4). The whole excursion took around 3 hours and when done they drive you back to your hotel.
The nightlife of Patong is pretty crazy, you must have an open mind when going out as you will be confronted by all sorts of people trying to lure you into their club, bar and whatever else they offer. Bangla Road is without a doubt where all the action is. From Ping Pong shows (Google it, I’m not going into detail here!!), to open bars, Happy Hours (all night long??!), to ladyboys on parade, to fine dining restaurants, everything is there. Its all about letting your hair down and enjoying it for what it is. It can get a little tiresome, the volumes of peddlers sticking flyers in your face but just humour them and they tend to move on. No matter where your fancy takes you, you can be sure you’ll enjoy a fun filled evening.
Shopping in Patong is good, as it generally is throughout Thailand. The Jungcelyon Mall is the main focal point in regards to shops. You can also get a massage and there are beauty parlours, souvenirs shops, restaurants and cafes. There are heaps of tourist shops and local markets on the main roads where you can definitely bag a bargain.
For food at Jungcelyon we tried the Sushi box, they had the most amazing Thai dishes. The Wine Connection, after a few days of Thai food you may opt for something a bit closer to home food wise, this’ll be the place for you. Super Grill bar had great Thai food but slightly more expensive than the other restaurants. Higher Restaurant situated on Bangla Road was amazing, it’s a rooftop Bar/Lounge/Restaurant and the food was yummy. It’s a fine dining establishment with service to match….the funny thing is, as I mentioned, it’s on Bangla Road….so while you’re sitting in this 5 star ambience you can hear all the crazy mayhem unfolding on the street below!! And boy does it get rowdy?!?! As far as all the restaurants go, on average were we paying around €17 for two people.
On our second last day we hired a motorbike for 200 Baht for a 24 hour period….that’s €5.50?!!?!!. Again you can find heaps of places to rent a bike. We paid the 200 Baht but she held my passport for security…. I know?!! a bit scary as you can never be sure if they’re going to try and charge you for damage on the bike and stuff and use the passport as a bargaining chip but in the end it was fine….when we returned she didn’t even check the bike…but do make sure you keep the motorbike safe and we also took pictures of it from all angles as proof, just in case. We decided to explore the nearby towns so we started off at Kamala Beach, its about 6 kms from Patong and the scenery along the way was beautiful. Once we got there we took heaps of photo’s and just chilled along the beach, it’s a lot quieter than Patong though. The following day we had breakfast and started our journey to Kata, Karon and Phuket town. Our first stop was Karon, beautiful beaches lovely cafes and great for chilling out…although Mick was getting a bit bored of all the guys offering to make him a suit….every second shop was a tailors!! We headed towards Kata and I must say that it was my favorite of all the places we visited. The Scenery is to die for, the beaches were beautiful and overall is was just amazing. We had a pit stop and went through to the Big Buddha, the ride was fun but we saw quite a few Elephant trekking camps and it made me really upset, I wish I could save all the Elephants in the world :(((( The Big Buddha is an astonishing site and is big as the name suggests…..very, very big and it sits on top of the mountain, there is no entry fee but you can leave donations if you wish. It’s great for taking photo’s and the scenery is amazing. We managed to have a drive through to Phuket town but it was very rushed as we needed to return the bike……my passport was on the line don’t forget!!
Would we visit again? probably not, not because we didn’t like it but we have both been there twice now but for a first time traveler you should definitely go as it truly is a beautiful place and a place to remember.