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5 things to do in Phuket

I recently came back from a 4D3N stay in Phuket and it was great fun! I stayed 4D3N at a resort near Patong Beach which was a good length to cover all a lot of things I wanted to experience. Of course, there were some tips and tricks I learnt which I will share in another post, so keep a lookout for it!

Swimsuit from ASOS

I stayed at Sawaddi Resort because there was a discount on Agoda plus it was supposed to be 'walking distance from Patong Beach'. The photos on their website look nice and all, but some of the rooms are facing a construction site, which is terrible. We were given a room like that in the beginning but we kicked up a mini fuss so they transferred us to another room with a pool view. Yay! The walk to Patong Beach took like 20 minutes? It was pretty dangerous because it's kinda dark at night and there's a four-way intersection you have to jaywalk across. We had an international breakfast which was pretty decent, any place that has a chef to cook your eggs just the way you want it always gets extra points with me.

If you're going there with your family I wouldn't recommend it because it's quite a walk away from the main 'happening' streets!

I've compiled a list of things to do in Phuket but be wary that everything is overpriced and it's a complete tourist trap.

1. Check out their red light district - aka Bangla Street

Photo credits to Alvin

When you find Bangla street, a huge sign welcomes you and draws you in. It starts to get busy from sunset onwards and there are tons of things to see in that 5min stretch. There are many people touting you to watch a 'Ping Pong Show' or 'Tiger Show', kids running around putting flower garlands on you and refusing to take it back so you have to pay for it, men holding up gibbons (type of monkey) and monitor lizards which have been drugged to make sure they are tame. It's pretty chaotic.

The first night I was there, I was positively terrified. If you look into the eyes of the gibbons (how could you not when they are shoved in your face?) you see sadness... and fuzzy eyes. I saw them being roughly treated and these gibbons just hold on to the keeper's fingers for their dear life in case they fall. It's terrible. When these keepers see a policeman, they immediately stuff the animals into a sling bag and walk around normally.

Photo credits to Andy Storm

Kids were tip-toeing and just about to throw the garland over my head when I did a 360 degree turn and managed to avoid them. After that I just kept saying "NO!" in a stern and annoyed voice. It worked. Then I giggled at those people wearing flower garlands because they've been conned.

Transsexuals on the street will entice you to watch their cabaret shows or take photos with them. Scantily clad girls in bikinis or tiny shorts with stripper heels dance on bar tops as horny men look on. Well, that's the red light district for you.

We found a clean looking bar in a corner which marketed themselves on being a husband babysitter sports bar, where wives could leave their men there and just pick up the tab after. There was no dancing on bar tops or skanky women drawing you in, plus there were 4 pool tables and television screens showing different sports matches. Each pool game was less than SGD$1, a bottle of Heineken beer was about SGD$5 which was pretty decent. All in all, the company was more valuable to me!

2. Go Parasailing

If you're adventurous and not afraid of heights, why not try parasailing? I went to Phuket during the rainy season so the winds were much stronger - perfect weather for the sport! You're strapped to a parachute and attached to a speedboat and fly around, so make sure you've got those arm muscles stretched out before you go or it's going to be muscle aches for the next few days. Get to Patong beach if you want to try!

There will be someone directly behind you to steer and direct you around, and help you land safely. That dude isn't even wearing a lifejacket. #respect

It costs between 800 to 1,300 baht (about SGD$32 to $54) for about 5 mins and usually a tip is expected for the dude that just helped steer you back to shore. A small price for gratitude, no?

3. Snorkel at Phi Phi Islands, or just chill by the beach

We've heard soo many good reviews about Phi Phi Islands, so we just had to make a stop there. Unless you want to swim there yourself, you have to get a tour or a ferry across. We walked around Patong Beach looking for a trustworthy agent and found a guy who was really patient, explaining the different options we could pick from (eg Speedboat vs Cruise) and advising us based on our preferences.

In the end, we picked a cruise because it was cheaper and because the boat had a toilet. That's very important when you have a day tour, unless you would like to relieve yourself in the sea. On hindsight, I only used the toilet once and it was positively disgusting due to the sea-sick people. Sigh.

However, a really compelling reason to pick a speedboat was because it could venture into more shallow waters due to its size and you could snorkel at more places!! Too bad the waters were really choppy and would cause motion sickness much easier so we picked the safer option.

It was cloudy weather when we were in Phi Phi and the boat stopped us at Monkey Island for snorkelling! The guide told us that there usually is a beach but because of the high tide it was covered. So no monkey sightings or feeding for the day!

Was happily feeding fishes some bits of my custard bun I brought though.

After the snorkelling stop, the cruise stopped us at Phi Phi Don for a buffet lunch and some free time to roam around. The fried chicken drumlets were good! We took the chance to explore the really tiny island and admired the bluish green waters...

You have to pay $ to sit on these deck chairs. Like whaaat? You're better off just lying on the sand.

We happened to be at Phi Phi Islands on the 9th of August, which explained my red and white stripes outfit. On instagram it looked white and pink. Happy National Day Singapore and thanks for the long weekend holiday!

We got back on the boat, and sailed back to Phuket where a van picked us up and dropped us back to our hotel.

PSST! One way to avoid getting motion sick altogether is to sleep. That's what we did for most of the journey to Phi Phi Islands because it was an hour away! Also, bring medicated oil to sniff just in case you really do feel unwell, and be sure to close your eyes and sit down.

4. Get an amazing view at the Great Buddha

Though I'm not buddhist, the trip to the Great Buddha is worth it because it's on a mountain and you get a great panoramic view of the area! The best view is on the way up so be sure to stop at a picture point just to enjoy the breeze. This area was not affected by the tsunami which wiped out much of Phuket, and there were tourists who were at the same spot looking at the view when the tsunami hit.

 You can leave a donation as the construction is not fully complete!

Shorts bought from one the roadside stalls along patong beach for only SGD$8, super comfy!

Obligatory jump shot with the girls. Photo credits to Alvin! The colours on his Olympic pen epl3 are superb!

You could also get a ATV to tour the area, though I figure going up must be pretty boring. The van we hired was chugging slowly upwards and we were worried we wouldn't be able to make it!

PSST! It's advised not to go up when it's raining as the roads are really slippery and there's a high chance of lightning! There's also not much cover so you'll be pretty much stranded if you go up. Stay safe!

5. Visit the Southern Beaches

There are quite a number of beaches in Phuket so be sure you pick which beach you want to visit very carefully to plan the most efficient route. The ferry that brings you to Phi Phi Islands is somewhere near Phuket Town, so you can imagine how far away it is from Patong Beach!

During my 4D3N in Phuket, we covered all the beaches from Kamala Beach to Nai Harn Beach and our favourite beaches have got to be Kata and Nai Harn because of their cleaner waters and less people on the beach! Kata Beach is great for surfing and to catch the sunset.

 We started with Nai Harn beach and moved up! The water at Nai Harn was the bluest :)

Absolutely gorgeous. You can rent surfboards here at Kata Beach.

Witness the changes in the colour of the skyyyyyy

The last pic was taken by Alvin and I love it!! We were so hungry after a day of activities we went to have really good steak. A little pricey but yummm.

By the end of the trip, we were significantly tanner, even sun burnt, but a well deserved break from our daily routine. I didn't do much shopping but the whole point of Phuket was to enjoy the sun, the sand and the sea. Company was awesome and we also played 3v3 BB Air Soft, which turned out to be kinda painful.

Will be posting about some tips I picked up in Phuket soon, so keep a look out!

where to stay in phuket, family fun in phuket, what to do with friends in phuket
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