Our next stop after Bangkok was Phuket. Roughly 500 miles south of the capitol, Phuket is a 10 ½ hour bus ride or 1 hour flight. Admittedly, I was really anxious about flying around Thailand. Recent events involving Asian low-cost carriers gave me nightmares for months. I even researched Thai airlines that follow FAA guidelines. (TIP: there aren’t very many that fly domestic). While we kept inter-Thailand air travel to a minimum by sticking around the West coast, we weren’t about to let fear get in the way of our adventures. Plus, the flights ended up being pretty pleasant.
Important TIP: When booking your flights in and out of Bangkok, be sure to note the airport. Bangkok has two: BKK for most International flights and DMK for most domestic. However, always double check because the 45 minute distance could make the difference between making and missing your flight. This almost cost us a day at the beach but luckily our friends at W Bangkok helped us out.
In Phuket, we stayed at the Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa. The resort was a modern oasis with everything you could possibly want. We were really happy with our choice, which was located in quieter, Northern Phuket. We stayed two nights and it was the perfect amount of time to unwind and switch gears to beach mode.
After lounging by the pool and indulging in Thai massages at the beach ($15 each!!!!) the first day, we decided to head into Phuket Town to explore the next day. We booked a shuttle bus to town through our hotel. Upon arrival in town, we were greeted by a local tourist guide who offered to take us around town and to Patong Beach for 1000 Baht ($30). This ended up being a perfect choice as we got to explore some unique spots we wouldn’t have otherwise found or ventured to in the heat.
Our first stop was Khao Rang Hill View Point, where we hung out with some locals.
These monkeys were pretty docile, but beware of their little fingers – especially if you have snacks.
The view from the hill was spectacular and well worth the air-conditioned ride. We even found a shaded spot to relax.
On our way down, we stopped at the Sitting Buddha – another must-see in town – before heading to Patong Beach.
Famous for its nightlife, Patong Beach is a people watching paradise. From tourists to massage parlors and street hawkers to lady boys, there’s never a dull moment here. We spent the afternoon exploring the shops and had dinner at Hooter’s. We’d heard the food wasn’t great in Patong, so we took a break from Thai food to nosh on beer and wings. Tim had such a great time, he was ready to join in as a Hooters Lady Boy.
From there, we parked at a street-side bar on Bangla road to take it all on. TIP: This is definitely not a kid-friendly area. Be prepared to be accosted about Ping Pong shows and other raunchy things.
Overall, we both enjoyed Phuket but we were glad we only booked two nights here. However, had we stayed longer, we would have booked excursions to some of the smaller islands in the bay.