The largest island in Thailand rightly known as ‘The Pearl of the South’, is a rainforested, mountainous island and has some of Thailand’s most popular beaches… in other words a tropical paradise.
Despite visiting it at the so-called rainy season, we were lucky enough to go through two weeks of beautiful sunshine, and hot humid temperatures. Even though it is a risky choice, if you have the weather on your side, the perks of the low season are many, as tourism levels decrease.
Phuket offers such a rich variety of experiences – of course the white-sand beaches, culture, diving, fabulous food, spas, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, nightlife – that visitors are spoilt for choice.
Over the course of our two week vacation we tried to do as much as possible to uncover the beauties the Island has to offer.
Here are some of the highlights…
The first hotel we stayed at was located at the 11km long Mai Khao beach. This was probably the quietest beach on Phuket. The area largely consists of the luxury hotels situated there but also a small outdoor shopping mall. There are local restaurants and pubs too where you can try authentic local food and drinks.
The beach is surrounded by nature, we saw different kinds of species such as a water lizard that looked more like a baby alligator, and butterflies in the size of a pigeon.
We were told that if we see a water buffalo in the road not to run since it might then attack us! Hopefully that didn’t happen.
The best way to discover the hidden gems of the Providence is to go on island hopping boat trips, so we took the opportunity and I can say that we were pleased with the experience!
By this way you can enjoy the beautiful views of hundreds of small islands. It was a really hard pick since there are so many different trips. Our first destination was the famous James Bond Island.
It was chosen as one of the locations for the 1974 James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun. The landmark is among the most popular activity in the region. Located in the National Park you will need to pay a little fee for entering the park, but if you are on a tour it’s usually included in the price.
After that came the adventurous part of the trip, canoeing! We canoed in the absolute quiet and peaceful ambience at Kong Island, along the amazing landscape before entering the beautiful caves and lagoons.
It got really dark in the caves and we had to lie down at some points in order to pass under the caves, but at the end of the tunnel the views are breathtaking!
We also stayed for 2 nights at Phi Phi Islands, which was probably one of the best decisions we made about our vacation.
It was a constant feeling of serenity… but how couldn’t it? Living in a cute little cabin right next to the beach, being surrounded by palm tries and nature, surely embraced that feeling.
I must add that the beach of the resort was like a postcard picture!
Moving around the island is interesting and quite unusual for a person like me that uses a car everyday. After the tsunami in 2004 the roads were re-built, however they are used only for pedestrians. There are cars but only those permitted for emergency services, so the only way to go somewhere is either by bike or by water taxi.
I don’t usually describe myself as an early bird, but waking up early in the morning to watch the sunrise, was totally worth it!
The Monkey Beach was definitely one of my favourite island hopping destinations! Although the beach didn’t have as many monkeys as I thought there were gonna be, they were a bit aggressive and it was quite crowed, you don’t get to swim with them everyday!
I love spas, I mean who doesn’t? But an outdoor spa that has a jacuzzi with this view? I think it totally exceeded my expectations!
Thai massage is among the most famous massages in the world. We couldn’t resist not getting spoiled by the traditional oil aromatherapy and natural scrubs.
After returning back to the mainland, Phuket we decided to visit the Big Buddha. They call it Big Buddha, but as I said after my first glimpse at it: “It should be called Huge Buddha!”.
It is a 45m marble statue of Buddha, on a mountaintop in the middle of the jungle, and offers panoramic views of the city.
An interesting fact of the temple is that it’s still under construction, since it is being built by the people. You can buy a brick at the entrance to help the work progress. However, that fact that it is still unfinished, doesn’t undermine it’s beauty at all.
Last but not least, Phuket Town is the capital of the Island and the old town is lined up with colorful 19th-century shophouses and buildings. It’s a perfect place if you want to find out more about the history and culture of Phuket, shop, or dine.