Phuket: An expected Journey

Phuket is the most popular island located in the Southern of Thailand, one of the main tourist spots which offers a large diversity of activities, such a diving, snorkeling, sailing, yachting, swimming, sun bathing, surfing…

To get around the island most likely you’d need to rent a motorbike or car. Alternatively the public transport is not a bad option whether you just want to sit and rest and keep yourself safe from the hilly roads and its poor vision.

Rent a motorbike may cost about 150-200 bahts/day, slightly cheaper if you rent by weeks instead. For your info, both drivers and pillion passengers are required to wear helmets, this rule is sometimes ignored by locals, and tourists riding around without one are more likely to be taxed 300-500 baht by the police if caught. You must carry a valid driving licence with you, or you’ll be slapped with a 500 baht fine.

Rent a car may cost 1000-1200 bahts, and may be arrange through your hotel for both motorbike and car rentals.

HOW TO GET FROM AIRPORT TO PHUKET TOWN

At the airport you may grab a bus from the old terminal to Phuket Town. The bus stops in Ranong Road, since in this road there’s a mini bus station. The journey takes about 1 hour and the costs is about 100 bahts. From this bus station you also can get to all beaches by taking a local bus

For more info about the bus schedule, click here

map1

EXPLORING AROUND

During my visit, we rented a motorbike the first day to make a tour around the island to check the main spots. It was a really nice experience to explore the island by motorbike and see which of all spots are really worthy to visit any other day during holidays

The first stop was Rawai Beach in the South of the island. The journey from Phuket town takes about 40 minutes generously.

Unfortunately the high tide covered the beach and the views were not as beautiful as show in the photos

20170202_134436

map3

Leaving Rawai beach we reached to the next spot, Promthep Cape. The journey from Rawai to here took about 10-15 minutes

Promthep Cape is a frequented tourist spot but worth to have a look. Its sea views are well enough to spend 30 minutes. There is a parking where to keep your car or motorbike and many shops and stalls right in front of the parking

Once the motor has started, we headed to the next destination: Yanui Beach

map4

This beach was freaking crowded and really tiny. We didn’t spend much time on this place due to the inconvenient location and because it was not as nice as I read previously. The engine was not stopped for this place, so we run away as quick as possible to continue our tour

The road around Yanui Beach is a bit dangerous and with a poor visibility due to its curves and slopes, besides there are many buses on this area. So better be careful if you are renting a motorbike

Continuing the tour, we skipped Nai Harn beach and Ao Sane beach due to our tight time. Was getting dark and we were in the middle of nowhere amidst these crazy roads.

Decided to skip these beaches, the next destination was a bar near Karon View Point. A break after a long day journey has to be compensated with a soft drink with sea views (no alcohol while driving!)

map5

Finished the short break, we decided put end to this tour and back to Phuket town to visit the night market. Roads are dangerous during day time, I can’t imagine how is gonna be at night. From Karon View Point we headed to Phuket town coasting the island. The journey took about 1h 30 min but can be shorter if you go through the island instead

map6

NIGHT MARKETS

Phuket has several night markets. We only had enough time to visit 2 of them. On this markets you may find all kind of food and snacks, from bugs to delicious BBQ seafood

Phuket Walking street market

This market is located in  Phuket Town at few minutes walking distances from the Ranong Road (Bus station road)

map7

Malin Plaza in Patong Beach

This is one of the most frequented markets in Phuket and worth to have a look at least once. It’s a bit far away from Phuket town but if you are renting a motorbike won’t be a problem. Otherwise, there are buses passing by there and taxis are easily to spot

map8

For the rest of my days in Phuket, we visited the most recommended beaches within the island: Surin beach and Bang Tao beach

BEACHES

Surin Beach

This beach was really beautiful and white, far away from the town and with clean waters. We grabbed a bus from Ranong Road to this beach and the journey took about one hour. You may find frequent traffic jams which may delay your journey. Very common in Phuket, so get use to it!

map9

Bang Tao Beach

Personally this was definitely the best beach ever seen in Phuket so far. Its remote place makes it very quiet and not overcrowded. This beach is next to several resorts and is easily to find restaurants around.

We grabbed a bus from Ranong road to Bangtao beach. The bus dropped us near Mcdonald’s next to the main road. From the main road we had to walk to the beach. May it take about 20 minutes walk but it worth! To come back to the main road, better grab a taxi, easy to hire in one of the resorts next to the beach

map10

Our last day was spent strolling around Phuket Town, shopping and trying some local food within the area. The stroll was really pleasant and we could discover some spots that we missed during my planning

So in short, Phuket is not a bad place for 4-5 days if you really like to explore around and make tours driving. I guess there are much better places in Thailand if what you are looking for is relax and peace. These 2 words cannot be find in Phuket. Since is one of the most visited places in Thailand, wherever you are, you will be amidst the crowds most of the time.

Another thing is that if you are not keen to rent a motorbike, its remote places will be Phuket really tiring. Moving around takes hours and the traffic jam make it unbearable.

Between Phuket and Krabi, definitely I’d prefer Krabi. Best connected and easy to get everywhere

Hope this brief guide has been helpful and you may enjoy a trip in Phuket!

 

 

 

 

Koh Lipe Island: a big paradise in a small island

A well-known island located in Thailand, Koh Lipe is so far the best island I’ve ever visited in Asia. Probably helped that was low season during my visit and I did not face rains until the last day

kolipe

Koh Lipe is located in Thailand, but only accessible via Langkawi (Malaysia) by speedboat.

kolipe2

This island will offer you relax, snorkel and dive. The sea bed full of corals and marine life is stunning and its clear waters will let you enjoy of an amazing diving and snorkeling moments. In addition, you will find pretty good hotels at the foot of the beach with affordable prices if you have chosen to travel in low season, and less affordable prices whether you are thinking to travel in high season.

HOW TO GET THERE

There are 2 seasons in Koh Lipe, hence 2 different ways to get here.

  1. High season (December to April): a flight directly to Langkawi and take a speedboat to Koh Lipe. Can check Ferry and schedule here
  2. Low season (May to November): a flight to Langkawi. Then need to take a boat to Satun and arrange a taxi to Pakbara. You have to stay a night in Pakbara in order to grab a speeadboat the next the morning towards Koh Lipe.

journey

Despite it’s a bit troublesome to get to Koh Lipe during low season, has its positive things. You should check accurately your schedule and Ferry schedules to match everything well. Likewise, there are many websites to arrange van/taxi services from Satun to Pakbara at good prices.

EXPLORING AROUND

Arriving to Koh Lipe, you should start seeing its clear waters and beautiful beaches

Koh Lipe is split in 3 beaches: Sunset beach, Pattaya beach and Sunrise beach

During my stay in Koh Lipe, I spent 2 nights in a hotel at Sunset beach. This hotel has its own small beach for snorkel and completely empty! It’s a good idea to try different beaches and hotels if your stay is long enough.

The rest of my trip, I stayed at Sunrise beach. This is the most touristy beach and full of resorts and hotels at the foot of the beach. Also the best beach to snorkel. Right in front of the beach there are 2 little islands with deeper waters which you can easily snorkel or kayak towards there.

12006117_10206902502216590_4841382407686724632_nDSC_0057_5DCIM101GOPROGOPR0411.DCIM101GOPROGOPR0403.

Snorkeling near the Sunrise beach, you may find stunning marine life. However, the water was not clear at all due to the weather. For clearer waters, better in high season.

Relax at the beach with a beer is another option as well.

By walking through the centre of the island you may find restaurants, shops, 7eleven, bars, etc. and a way to get to the rest of the beaches.

During low season, some of these restaurants and bars were closed. However, many of them still open at better prices

12006140_10206902491696327_8732801347538423277_n

Summary, the island is a MUST to visit. If you really want to enjoy the peace and keep away from the crowd, better to visit during low season with the risk of clouds and rains.

Otherwise, high season will let you enjoy the sun with a clear sky and clearer waters with the risk of the crowd.

DETAILS

  • Location: Koh Lipe island @ Thailand
  • Time spend: 6 days
  • Season: low season
  • Weather conditions: Slight clouds and sun
  • Score: 9.5/10