After traveling to Bangkok, I went down to Phuket. Phuket is the big beach resort area in Thailand. It is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Asia and is filled with big hotels, resorts, beaches, bars, restaurants. and much more. There is some great diving here and they even filmed a James Bond movie here.
After being in Bangkok for awhile, I needed a break for the beach. I’d heard a lot about this area so I figured I would test it out. Normally, I prefer more off the beaten path destinations but everyone was raving about Phuket. You can’t hate a place you’ve never been so I thought I would try it out. I looked for some good Phuket hotels and finally settled on a place just south of Patong beach. Patong beach is where all the action is and I didn’t want to be surrounded by drunks and sexpats for my whole time there so I decided to get a place just south and then travel there. Better to only visit the craziness than live in it.
I spent my time in Phuket doing what I wanted- sitting on the beach. I thought the beaches and water were very nice. But they were very crowded with people and it was hard to get some “peace and quiet.” One thing I really hated were all the hawkers trying to sell me something every five minutes. If you go to some of the beaches on the southern part of the island, it’s a bit nicer, quieter, and with less hawkers. I ended up going down there for a few days to avoid the crowds.
One of the big activities to do here is to go diving. There seems to be a dive shop on every corner here- it’s like Starbucks! It was hard picking which one was good or bad but I just used the hotel’s advice. I ended up going to a dive shop on Patong and learning how to dive. I’d never dove before so I was a bit nervous. But after my first dive, I can see why everyone loves it. I’m hooked. I didn’t have time this trip but next time I am going to get my PADI. I’ve heard that many of the Phuket accommodation booking sites do a combo where you can do a dive/hotel package so I am going to look into that. But then again, I also heard it was better to do that in Ko Tao. Thoughts?
Overall, I liked Phuket but I’m not 100% sure I’d go back. With nicer and quieter beaches elsewhere in country, Thailand has a lot more to offer.