So what can I say about Phuket that hasn’t already been said… well, as with any other paradise island getaway Phuket’s got it all. The sun, sandy beaches, clear blue water, lush greenery, bustling local scene and I could honestly go on…
I was recently in Phuket for a good friend’s wedding which was just… Spectacular (as with almost every other beach destination wedding). This was my first beach wedding so I was properly excited and it didn’t let me down one single bit! Having made it all the way to Phuket from Sydney, I thought I’d better make the best of my time and try to get a bit of sightseeing in. It was pretty tough to get away from the whole wedding thang and meeting friends and family, but I was able to squeeze in about a day of “my time”.
Just putting it out there, Phuket as a destination as a whole is very touristy. A lot the island has to offer has been commercialised either by resorts or by heaps of local businesses which offer services/tours which are aimed at “Farangs” (Thai for foreigners). Now if you’re one of those who prefer immersing yourselves into the local culture and community, I’m sure there’s something out there for you, but I highly suggest somewhere besides Phuket. In my opinion, Phuket is perfect for a quick getaway for some well-deserved R&R. Pamper yourself with Spa treatments, long days sipping drinks on the beach under an umbrella and maybe an elephant ride through the jungle.
The island is loaded with sandy beaches and resorts, which also means that Phuket is riddled with tourists and holidaymakers. Now that’s not saying you can’t find pockets of secluded serenity, you just need to know where to go.
So for my lone day out in Phuket, I did a bit of sightseeing. One of the biggest attractions apart from the beaches is the Big Buddha statue, which sits on top of Nakkered Hills. A 30 minute drive from where I was staying it was a must see, and honestly once you get to the top… The views are just breathtaking. BE WARNED, there are a fair few stairs to climb to get there. Myself, I like adventure… And no holiday is complete without some high adrenaline craziness.
This trip was no different. I spent the morning on an ATV across the mountains and jungles (instead of an elephant). And by late afternoon I was back to the beach for some high-octane jet skiing to a random offshore island, and a race or two to the closest private beach pestering peaceful holidaymakers.
I spent the night just having a peaceful stroll down Karon beach, which was just a few steps away from the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort where I was staying. Unsurprisingly, the beach was next to empty. Everyone was probably at Patong beach living it up at a Cabaret show, or at Kamala beach checking out the Vegas styled light and fireworks show called “FantaSea Show”. Back to the beach… There was this savvy local businessman selling paper lanterns to people (mainly couples) walking past for just THB200 (AUD $8). I haggled him down to THB100 (AUD $4) for 2, because we burnt the first one! Nothing beats sitting on the beach at night with the one you love, watching your lantern rise up and fly offshore… Taking a turbulent ride, then crash into the ocean. It was honestly a moment I will never forget!