After having a fabulous time in Bali, second part of our honeymoon continued into Phuket Thailand. Though it was peak summer, we thoroughly enjoyed the beaches around the islands of Thailand. Referred to as the Pearl of the Asia, Phuket is Thailand’s largest island. It’s very popular spot for visitors of Southeast Asia – and for good reason too. With an impressive coastline featuring long stretches of white sandy beaches with dramatic rock formations and sea adventures, it’s been attracting a lot of tourism to its shores for decades.
Sandhya has written about traveling to Phuket with kids and here is the link.
Phuket is indeed touristy, but also has nice, quiet and less visited spots and you can really do a lot on this island. The food markets in Phuket has so much to offer and if you love shopping, this is the place to be. We mainly focused on James Bond, Phang Nga bay, Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi islands near Phuket and had lovely Thai food plus the Thai massages (massages on a daily basis are a must!).
Tips before flying to Thailand
1. It is pretty hot and humid during summer time, remember to carry sunscreen and suitable clothes
2. Need to take local currency Baht; can take USD, Euro or GBP and get it converted as well.
3. There is not much public transport around Phuket. Best mode would be to hire bike, car or private tours.
4. Tap water is not safe to drink as in Europe or UK. Best to have bottled mineral water which is safe.
5. In local markets and small shops you have to bargain a lot, so that you save some money.
Top Places to visit around Phuket
James Bond Island : It was a gorgeous sunny day, typical for March in Phuket. It is one of the must-see places in Phang Nga Bay people want to tick-off their bucket list when in Phuket. Before the old Bond movie ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ with Roger Moore, no one knew this island. After the movie, the popularity of this remote island literally exploded. The place is a natural curiosity and a great insta-worthy opportunity, the reason why it was selected for the movie. The main attraction of this island is the standing rock. You can’t see it from where you land, have to walk up to get views of Thailand’s most famous rock.
Hong Island : Its the most beautiful island around Phuket Province. The bay is hidden by amazing sea caves that make Hong Island unique plus has clear water and sandy beach all year. The many kinds of fishes, coral reef and other marine life can be easily found by snorkeling. The island has a pretty lagoon, a natural pool surrounded by cliffs. We took a small canoe and our boat entered through various small openings in the rocks. Rowing around the caves we saw colorful fishes and sea creatures in water. It was such a memorable experience and a day to remember.
Koh Phi Phi islands : It is the most visited islands with boats departing from Phuket or Krabi. Phi Phi island doesn’t need an introduction – Leonardo DiCaprio took care of this with the movie ‘The Beach’, and since then, the place keeps growing busier. We took the speed boat from Phuket and what a ride it was – with pristine waters and amazing breeze. This lovely island is very well known for divers as a clear site for scuba diving, snorkelling etc. Diving in Phi Phi Island is a fantastic experience that you shouldn’t miss. Not many places in the world can offer such unique dive sites. The place is superb, but it can be busy and quite crowded.
Phi Phi Don : We loved the landscape postcard views and it had views of Maldives or Mauritius beaches. It’s the main island of Thailand’s Ko Phi Phi archipelago, known for its white-sandy beaches including Long Beach and Loh Dalum Bay. It looks like a mad maze squeezed between two bays. There are plenty of small restaurants for all tastes and budgets. All around Phi Phi Don there are beaches of different size. Ko Phi Phi Don has great beaches and popular diving and snorkeling spots. Much of the island is a protected marine reserve.
Maya Bay : Phi Phi Leh is where you will find the famous Maya Bay and Viking Cave, its such a stunning beach which we definitely wanted to visit. However it has been closed for last few years as part of a rejuvenation program aimed at reviving the area’s decimated corals. We just saw the bay from a distance and then went off. Hoping to visit during next trip to Thailand.
Well, that’s is it from me for now – you can read more on what can be done in Phuket if you have kids – here is Sandhya’s blogpost.