Chie and I decided to celebrate our 10th anniversary in Phuket. Given that we only had a few days to spare we chose Phuket due to its close proximity to Singapore (approximately one hour and forty minutes by air), plus we loved our recent trip to Bangkok a lot and we were terribly missing Thai food and massage so we decided to give Thailand another go.
We flew by Jetsar Airways from Changi terminal 1, round trip ticket costs around S$90/person.
We arrived at Phuket International Airport at 3:45PM (there’s one hour time difference from SG to THA). After exchanging currency, we went off to look for transportation to Patong. There were a lot of booths offering tours as well as taxi service for 700 baht and up inside the arrival area but we opted for the cheaper choice which was the shared minivan for 180 baht. Just go straight out of the airport and you will see their ticketing booth right away. If you are not in a hurry and only got a few stuff, I guess it’s an okay choice. But be warned! After a few minutes on the road the van will stop at a shop to “sort the passenger’s destination” which they could have done in the airport right away. After asking which hotel you will be staying they will actually try to sell you some tours. Don’t get fooled as you can get the same tours at a fraction of a cost in various tour booths in Patong.
After about an hour on road, we finally reached our hotel, The Aim Patong. It’s a nice hotel with modern design and it’s strategically located in Patong, about 10 minutes walk to the beach, near Banzaan night market, Jungceylon Mall and the Bangla Boxing Stadium. It has a rooftop pool with a nice view, but unfortunately it was under renovation when we were there. It has a 24 hours restaurant too. Overall it was a pleasant stay and I would recommend it.
We settled in, rested for a while and headed out to explore the vicinity. Patong is very lively. You’ll never run out of restaurant options. Bars, tour booths, clubs, salon and spas were everywhere!
The following day was spent for island tour. We chose the one which included Khai Island, sightseeing in Maya bay, Monkey island snorkeling and Phi Phi island. Published rate was 2,000 baht/person but we got it at 1,100 baht. Hotel transfer was via air-conditioned van, tour was via express boat. Unlimited drinks and buffet lunch was included in the tour as well, not bad eh?
It was a great experience. Thailand islands and beaches were awesome but it has nothing we haven’t seen before. Coming from the Philippines, we have seen similar and even greater beaches such as that of Palawan and Boracay. The islands were too crowded, you can’t even take a decent selfie without having a photo bomber.
We arrived at the hotel around 7PM, rested for a while then went out for dinner followed by a quick stroll. Oh, and we did Thai massage too. I don’t know if there are different types of Thai massage but this one was definitely more painful and brutal than the one we had in Bangkok, but in a good way. I couldn’t help but laugh every time I hear Chie’s moans of pain during the session. Afterwards, we felt very relaxed and had a very good sleep.
On our final day, we woke up early to catch the sunrise at the beach. Little did we know that the east was at the opposite side of Patong beach so we failed to capture the perfect sunrise. It was okay though, we just relaxed and enjoyed people-watching.
Since our flight back to SG is at 10PM, we checked out at 12:00 PM, left our luggage at the hotel and went for a half day city tour for 600 baht/person. The tour included air-conditioned transfer, Kata View Point, sunset Big Buddha, photo op with a baby elephant, cashew making, Wat Chalong, old Phuket Town and Bee Farm.
We headed back to Patong after watching the sunset from Big Buddha. It was already 8PM when we reached the hotel and we were so worried that we will miss our flight. We immediately grabbed our luggage from the hotel and gave in to the fixed taxi rate of 800 baht. Luckily there wasn’t any traffic and we arrived at the airport just in time (whew!)
Overall it was a great experience but I don’t think I’ll come back anytime soon. Maybe I just enjoyed Bangkok so much that I had high expectations from Phuket. Honestly, I think we have better beaches in the Philippines. If you want a quiet and very relaxed atmosphere then Patong isn’t for you. Most places in Phuket are very touristy and crowded, I felt that Bangkok gave us a more authentic Thai feel. There’s so much going on in Patong, it’s also too liberated for my taste. I don’t know if I’m already getting too old for the party scene or it is really just too crazy. Lol. Nonetheless we still had an awesome time.
That’s it for now. Until our next travel! 🙂 R.