Thailand: Highlights from Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Phang Nga Bay
9 Days; return flight from London: £400; everything else: cheap!
Matthew and I took one and a half weeks of holiday in May 2017 to spend some time in the sun and eat great Thai food. Thailand was my first experience in Asia, and I believe there would not have been a better country to introduce me to this continent. From the weather to landscapes, culture and food, everything about Thailand made me feel glad to have been there and it is a shame I didn’t have time to see the whole country. But heeey, we need to be wise with our 25 days of annual leave huh?
Thailand is now one of these famous tourist hot points, and I know I am just one of the many people who have been there, but I want to share my highlights with you.
Our first evening in Thailand was spent here. We arrived at the hostel at about 9pm and took a stroll down in the Old Town. Unfortunately when we arrived it was a Buddhist holiday, so most shops, cafes and restaurants were closed, and they couldn’t sell beer (big big problem for me). But the town was worth seeing for its architecture alone. Not a bad way to start our mini adventure in Thailand.
This beach was a quiet little piece of heaven, which was close to our villa in Phuket. It is approximately 15 minutes away from Patong on a scooter and it is worth checking it out if you want to steer clear from crowds.
Nai Yang Beach
The best beach in Phuket in my opinion. Situated north-west of Phuket island, near the airport, we stayed near this beach on our last day in Thailand. It was nice, quiet, pretty, and the sunset was really beautiful.
Wat Chalong temples are definitely worth taking a look in Phuket. I had never seen anything like it, so to me this was a really nice experience as I got to know a bit more about Thai culture. I also loved the architecture of this place, it was incredible.
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
WHAT an experience! We went to an Elephant Sanctuary in Phuket where people go to feed and spend time with the elephants. Here no one rides the elephants, we just feed them and bathe with them. However one cheeky elephant caught me off guard, lifted me up and put me on her back for a couple of seconds! How did that happen? She started putting her trunk in-between my legs and I had no idea what was going on, but her carer told me to let her do it. It all happened so quickly and I got a bit scared, but this was such a great experience. It was a bit pricey for what it was, about 2500 baht each, but if you want to see one of these creatures up close then I would say you can’t put a price on these things.
Koh Phi Phi
Walk from Ao Tonsai Pier to Long Beach
Phi Phi island is such a beautiful place that it is a pleasure to walk around the island instead of taking a taxi boat. We stayed on the south-east side of the island, at the end of Long Beach. Walking is the best way to get around if you are staying on the south part of the island. It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk from Ao Tonsai Pier to the very end of Long Beach.
Long beach was gorgeous, not crowded and very spacious. It had a lovely view overlooking Phi Phi Leh. I would definitely recommend staying on this side of the island if you want to stay away from all the noise near Tonsai Bay.
This will be the place you might love and hate at the same time. The view is beautiful, but the place is crowded. You pay 30 baht to “go in” and also struggle to find a quiet spot. But… you can’t miss it, it is indeed very beautiful.
Nightlife in PhiPhi is like being in a big bar crawl. Do not settle just in one place. Get the “traditional” bucket and walk around from bar to bar. Loh Dalum Bay was a nice place to chill with a bucket!
Maya Bay and Phi Phi Leh Lagoon
Maya Bay is beautiful without a doubt but unfortunately its beauty is overshadowed by all the tourists. However, the famous beach is a must-see if you go to Phi Phi Island. Phi Phi Leh Lagoon was also beautiful
Tips for Maya Bay:
– Take your own private longboat. It will cost between 1000 – 1500 baht per person.
– Go early. The earlier the better. We arrived there at about 8am and there were already quite a few people on the beach.
– Do not stay on Maya Bay for too long. Go and enjoy the Lagoon instead.
Phang Nga Bay – Captain Mark’s Boat Tour
Captain Mark’s boat tour was a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Definitely a must if you are in Phuket.
We were looking for a more private boat tour and this was definitely a great choice. There was only about 20 of us on the boat, the food onboard was amazing and the places we went were stunning. Places we visited included Lawa Island, a couple of caves in Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island (we did not get off the boat here – which is a good thing considering the amount of people I saw on one little piece of land) and Panak Island.