The best friend (henceforth known as Banana) & I took a short trip to #Phuket mid-March because we both wanted to spend time with each other while taking a break from our hectic schedules. We spent the first 48 hours in Phuket, then took a 4-hour ferry ride to Phi Phi Island where we basically did nothing but chill for another 48 hours before heading back to Phuket to catch our flight home. This is the first of two posts documenting our trip to Phuket; stay tuned for more about our time on Phi Phi Island.
If you (or a friend you're with) can ride a scooter, that's the best way to get around Phuket because taxis/Grabs are pretty pricey. Renting a scooter (can fit two people including the driver) costs about 250 baht/day (that's about 11 sgd); calling a Grab to get you from one place to another can cost between 400-700 baht/ride (that's a lot of money if you're travelling in smaller groups). Banana & I ended up spending a total of 2,500 baht within these two days just trying to get around (that's 50sgd per person).
Little Nyonya Hotel
63/2 Chaofa West Rd Wichit Maung Chang Wat Phuket 83000, Thailand.
We booked our accommodations on agoda.com (they really do have great deals I highly recommend checking it out). This hotel was perfect for us because we arrived on a Sunday evening & we wanted to check out the weekend market - it was our only weekend there. This hotel was literally a 10-minutes walk away from the Chaofa Variety Weekend Market, which was great because transportation is pretty pricey in Phuket. We also bought the hotel deal that came with breakfast, so we needn't worry about finding food in the morning - the breakfast was a good spread in my opinion. There were a good variety of food options though I particularly enjoyed the Thai food served.
Our room was super comfortable, and beautiful. We got the deluxe colonial room with the garden view; honestly the view wasn't great but the interiors of the room blew us away we didn't care much of the view. We had a bath tub in the middle of the room - Banana would be chilling in the tub for hours. Basic toiletries were provided (although they didn't have toothbrush which baffled me). Towels were clean; the room was generally quite clean. They even had robes/slippers provided, which I really enjoyed. Also discovered a quaint noodle stall right outside the hotel on our last night, and their meatball noodles are amazing - we packed them and enjoyed the noodles in our hotel room.
Chaofa Variety Weekend Market
Wichit, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand.
Opening hours: Fri-Sun, 4pm-11pm.
We spent five hours walking around the market and we were still not done by the end of the night. We started with the food section (walk through this structure as pictured above) and settled on having seafood for dinner at this particular stall after checking out a couple of places. BEST. DECISION. EVER. For a total of 1010 baht (that's about 44 sgd), we scored ourselves grilled lobster with cheese (i forgot what size this was but it was a good portion), seafood tom yum soup & fried ruby fish with garlic. The seafood at this particular stall was super fresh I highly recommend stopping by for dinner. Do also check with the owners how much the lobster/fishes are before ordering because they differ according to weight.
The night market also had a lot of food choices - we tried the coconut pancakes, the coconut shakes but we were too full from the seafood dinner to eat anything else. We were also spoilt for choices when it came to shopping (I was honestly quite taken aback at the amount of counterfeit goods). I walked away with shirts from some pretty established brands, all under 10 SGD; and a really cute bag (for 4 bucks omg). While I'm not sure if this is worth making a trip down especially if you live near the beaches where I'm sure there are other night markets, I'd say if you're looking for good & cheap seafood & to buy pretty cheap clothes/souvenirs/things, this is a good place to go to.
#Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83000, Thailand.
I love beaches - I love the sun, the sand & the sea. But I appreciate beaches a whole lot more when it's quiet so I didn't quite enjoy my time at Patong beach. The whole place was lined with tourists; maybe I went there with too great an expectation I was disappointed. It was definitely worth dropping by - i mean did you really go to Phuket if you didn't visit Patong Beach? Besides that, our time at Patong was pretty underwhelming. The great thing about Patong was that there were a lot of malls and stalls nearby, so plenty of things to check out while you were in the area.
Jungceylon Shopping Centre, Banzaan Fresh Market
ถนน ราษฎร์อุทิศ 200 ปี Tambon Patong, Amphoe Kathu, Chang Wat Phuket 83150, Thailand.
We didn't plan to come to the shopping centre, but we made our way there from Patong beach & it was a nice break from the sun. (The sun was absolutely vicious; my arm was tanned by the end of the day & I had sunblock on.) It was really a congregation of malls, so nothing phenomenal/unique to Phuket. If you were someone who wore coloured contacts, you could stock up on some while there - I got some for a friend in the Jungceylon mall for a pretty good price.
The Banzaan Fresh Market right across the road from all the malls was a pretty cool place to check out. This was less commercial, less touristy, although not recommended for the faint-hearted. You could see the insides of some animals. I will say no more.
Jungle #Bungy Jump
Kathu, Kathu District, Phuket 83120, Thailand.
Opening hours: Everyday, 9am-6pm; last jump at 5.30pm.
For the adrenaline junkie, this is amazing!!! You're surrounded by lush greenery while you're there, and it was pretty affordable. For the 50m jump, it was 2,200 baht per person (that's about 95 sgd) - you may opt to get wet or stay dry. I didn't prepare extra clothing so I opted to stay dry. Honestly, it was terrifying being on the crane up there, alone, knowing that if I didn't jump I wouldn't get a refund. (I took a good full minute to take off from the crane.) There was an option to pay an additional 500 baht for the dude up there with you to push you, but I ended up just doing it anyway and it was so liberating/thrilling. I wouldn't do this again for awhile, but the view/experience was priceless. Again, think about this carefully - I really underestimated the 50m height. 50m is basically the height of a 10-storeys building???
If you decide you wanna go ahead and do it, book your tickets at least 2-3 days prior on their official website. They also have transport arrangements (which is comparable to Grab fares so do a quick check before you do that.) I wanted to document the experience without spending extra money, so I got Banana to film me from below. Even if you had your own GoPro they charge you for using it if you chose to take it up with you, so just do it from below.
Kathu, Kathu District, Phuket 83120, Thailand.
We took a spontaneous 3-hours hike from the Bungy Jump place to Kathu Waterfall under 4pm sun, wearing slippers with nothing else prepared. Was it worth checking out? No, not really. We hadn't planned this beforehand, so we did not consider the fact that it hadn't rained for weeks so there was no water in the waterfall. It was a fun hike, since we got to explore the areas where the locals lived, but it really wasn't worth the journey. To get to any semblance of the waterfall, you'd have to climb up incredibly steep stairs (although apparently short compared to other hikes in Phuket) and feed some hungry mosquitoes. Online reviews are mixed, so I honestly don't know if it will be worth the visit; I'd much rather spend the time at a Thai massage place having gone to Kathu myself la. Then again, it could be that we went at the wrong time?
We were exhausted after the walk to Kathu waterfall we spent the night resting and packing for the next day's travel to Phi Phi Island. I do wish we had a little bit more time to explore more of Phuket, though we decided the next time we returned we'd rent a scooter because transportation took up way too much of our budget. (If you're traveling in groups of 4 and above though, Grab might be a wiser option.)
Again, a lot of my experiences in Phuket were limited to us only being there for two days. I think if you're heading to Phuket, figure out what you guys want to see before booking an accommodation. Banana & I were pretty sure we wanted to check out the night market, then spend the next day in the Patong area so that helped with our planning for transportation. If you are travelling to Phuket with the intention of being at the beaches more, then it would make more sense to book a room at a hotel by the beaches even though those probably cost more than a room in town - a friend of mine stayed in town but ended up spending a fair amount of money on transportation simply because there was more things to do at the area near the beaches.
I'm working on editing the next video documenting our trip to Phi Phi Island; school/work/film things have been taking priority in my life. This post was a great break I needed from school/work. Clearly I have not had a day to myself to do nothing/rest for months now and writing this was a way of taking myself out of that stress-zone. Honestly, I am horrified at the thought of graduating (in 4 weeks?!) but I can't wait for the supposed freedom (in the temporal sense) I will experience at the end of school...?
Phuket was a trip of spontaneity my best friend and I decided to go on a whim; it was somewhat of a dream. This writing was a way to relive that dream, so thank you for indulging in my musings!
I shall now return to the reality of being a student. I have 4 weeks left.