Who wants to join me on a quick flight to Phuket? This summer I had the chance to fly from the Philippines to Thailand for a few days. After spending some time in Bangkok, I boarded Air Asia for my trip from Bangkok to Phuket.
Why did I choose to travel to Phuket? While I had spent time in the glorious cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai, I was ready to tackle the beach and the tropical island of Phuket. While Bangkok offers a metropolitan look at Thai life and Chiang Mai is full of culture, Phuket is something entirely different.
The short 1 1/2 hour economy class flight from Bangkok to Phuket included a vegan meal on Air Asia. While it wasn’t anything I would’ve chosen to eat, it was nice to have it as an option.
Instead of eating, I enjoyed the views overlooking the water in preparation for landing in Phuket.
After arriving safely in Phuket, I was off to my hotel situated between Patong Beach and Jungceylon Mall.
The island of Phuket is the largest Thai island and is located in the Andaman Sea. Most of the island is covered with mountains. The most densely populated area is Patong Beach, which is filled with tourists year round.
For my stay in Phuket, I decided to find a hotel that was near Patong Beach. If it’s your first time to Phuket as it was mine, you might find yourself here.
During the day the beach is busy, but at sunset it wasn’t terribly crowded. To access the beach, you’ll probably walk or get a ride via Bangla Street.
For a less touristy beach area, I highly recommend Karon Beach. Situated just over 4 miles (7 km) from Patong Beach, this family friendly beach can offer guests a more tranquil, yet still great beach day.
If you’re feeling hungry, there are several restaurant and bar options also near the beach. I stopped in for lunch at one little restaurant immediately ordered a pineapple shake, of course.
Then for lunch I enjoyed a simple, but delicious lunch of sunflower sprouts and white rice before heading back to Patong Beach.
Bangla Street By Day
During the day, Bangla Street is like a ghost town with only a few people walking through to get to the beach. You can find things to do on the street, but most just use this as a way to get to the beach.
As for me, I was usually looking for food and drink, like some yummy Pad Thai with tofu. Can’t go wrong with lots of veggies and tofu when you’re hungry.
Bangla Street By Night
Bangla Street is open only to pedestrian traffic and once the sun starts to set, the party gets started.
Here you’ll find loads of restaurants and bars as well as shops, vendors, and yes — even the infamous ping pong shows. Ff you have to ask, then you don’t want to know. All I’ll say is they have very little to do with actual ping pong and are the sort of thing you’d find on a porn website. Although not in Thailand, as interestingly porn sites like Pornhub are censored. You can bypass this, and the instructions can be found in this blog post called ‘How to unblock Pornhub‘, but these shows will probably suffice for many.
Anyway, it’s not all crazy shows and chaos. There are lots of bars with music and even live music. One night I sat and had a few drinks at one bar with a live band. Even though it was 80’s rock, it was an interesting mix of people in the audience that made for an enjoyable night out.
TSG Tip: My takeaway on this is to not start out judgmental. Instead, be open to the possibilities as you never know what can happen.
If you’re looking for a quick bite, there are always restaurants or areas with several vendors set up in a market style set up.
I couldn’t resist some noodles and a mango shake one night while I was out. I love Thai mangoes and can eat them (or drink them in a shake) day and night.
TSG Tip: Check pricing at the different venues and you might find that a lot of the food and drink is the same as are some of the menus. If you’re on a budget, street food serves its purpose without having to pay high end touristy prices.
What else was I going to do while in Phuket but get a tattoo, of course.
I chose a lotus in the same style as the rest of my arm that I’ve been working on for a while. I’ve been trying to fill in the empty spaces to complete my sleeve and I have to say, I really love the way my tattoo came out.
TSG Tip: There are dozens upon dozens of tattoo shops in Phuket. Do your research, talk to the tattoo artist, and really think about what you want before you go in. I saw a young woman get two tattoos on the back of her arms that were funny for now, but in a few years I predict a tattoo cover up in her future.
Ok – I freely admit that going to a mall while on holiday is not my idea of a day trip. But when the temps go up and you’re looking for somewhere to cool off, why not go to Jungceylon Mall? It’s Phuket’s first modern mall with air conditioning and a super cool food court in the basement. You have to pick up a card that you pre-load with money before you order your food from the different vendors. Why? Because they don’t accept cash.
TSG Tip: I found a way to avoid overloading my card. I walked around and found what I wanted, got the total, and then picked up my card. This way I only had on the card the exact amount of my meal. Clever, right?
There are several food vendors from which to choose, most serving meat, but I was still able to locate some food I could eat.
I chose the tofu, rice, and a fresh coconut to get some cold coconut water while I ate. Yum! I watched the young women slice through the coconuts with a machete like it was nothing while I held my breath. Those machetes are huge and dangerous looking.
??? ??????????? 200 ?? Tambon Patong, Amphoe Kathu,
Chang Wat Phuket 83150, Thailand
Overall, Phuket was definitely a change from Bangkok and Chiang Mai. If you’re looking for a beach vacation, a place to party, and just let loose, then Phuket is definitely the place for you.
For my next post I’m traveling from Patong Beach to Phi Phi Don Island. Make sure you come back to read about my experience there and you can share your comments, too.
Have you visited Phuket? Can you suggest other destinations in Thailand that you found equally exciting? Leave your comments below. Discover some other great destinations and travel ideas here on the Travel Shop Girl website .
On my new SPONTANEOUS TRAVEL SCALE of 1-5, with 1 being super easy and spontaneous and 5 being you better plan far in advance, Phuket scores a 1 for spontaneous travel. It’s definitely easy to get a flight or even a bus from Bangkok to Phuket so if you can go, do make the effort.