Saturday, April 04, 2009

Phuket

Everyone loves vacation and they are much more fun when you go on an unplanned vacation. As I write this post I ponder into my thoughts and recollect my Pondicherry trip back in 2006 which was totally unplanned, yes we didn’t had a hotel booking and man it was so much fun.


So it happened again, I came back from India in the second half of March after almost a month of break and on Monday morning as I was looking from where to start the pile of work, one of my best friends (B) called and informed he is going to transit to India via Singapore this Sunday. I was excited to meet him again after three year since our Pondicherry trip.


After discussing the details and our plans of all we do when he is here, his dates of travel etc we hung up. I made plans for our visit to Malaysia for couple of days and started to look for details when on Wednesday (Tuesday for B) he calls up again and informed me that he cannot get Singapore Visa in short time and cannot risk in sending his passport and tickets to another city. That dented our plans for Malaysia as he had to apply for Malaysian visa after SG visa. So after discussing even more details we explored the idea of going to Phuket as the Visa was on arrival.


Being in Singapore for more than two years now and the process they have in place still surprises me. The only way to apply Visa for B was to apply online and the immigration officer on phone told me that it will take three working days to know the outcome of the visa application that meant till Friday I cannot make any travel plans. Any sort of travel seemed impossible nevertheless I applied visa online on Wednesday afternoon and to my surprise the visa application was approved in 3 hours flat. I don’t know what happened may be glitch in their system but I got Multiple Entry visa for B.


It wasn’t till Friday afternoon when the hotel confirmed my booking any by evening my travel iternary for Phuket was compete. Flying on Sunday and coming back on Tuesday. All set and done. Hey, wait what to see, what to do, how much currency to take .. Damn in rush to get the travel iternary done I forgot to make the list of what to see and where to go and where not to go.

I had to work on Saturday so as to compensate on my sudden absence of work, so I knew it’s going to be an unplanned (almost) trip.


On my way to airport we took a detour to the nearest library and borrowed two available books on Phuket and off we went to Phuket. After passing over crowded Phuket immigration there we were standing outside Phuket international airport waiting for our minibus to take us to a place called Patong.

Phuket is basically an island state of Thailand and is divided into different localities. Most popular of them all are Patong, Kata and Karon with the later two being most popular among Europeans, so a good place for family holiday planners. On the other hand Patong is the main party place of Phuket, the night life what Phuket is famous for is all in the Soi or lanes of Patong.

There are so many things in Phuket to see and do so one should come prepared with plan well in advance, however as for us it was just a vacation for 2 days and we are more spontaneous travelers so our main aim was to explore as much as possible and minimum sleep :)

Here’s what our travel plan for Phuket was when we landed --
1. Sunday:

  • Explore Patong .. pub hopping
  • Book Island hopping tour for Monday
  • Thai Food

2. Monday:

  • Island hopping
  • Thai Food
  • More pub hopping
  • Thai massage

3.Tuesday:

  • NO PLANS at all
  • Check out by noon
  • Thai massage
  • Fly back home to Singapore

Armed with our plan and 2 hand books about Phuket we marched on from our hotel in corner of Patong to the Patong Centre which by sunset was buzzing with activities with sea food restaurants buzzing with hungry sun bathers and surfers. Neon lights just starting to come up and the streets we filling with beautiful ladies.


Patong at night!


There are bars and only bars at Th. Bangla road and the road is closed after 7 pm or so for regular traffic and by 9 pm daily it’s full of party goers. If you are into rock music there is a bar right at the start of Bangla road, Hard Rock City, it’s a must go for rock music lovers with a live band its definitely worth the money. Our motto for the night was two drinks max and off we go to another pub. So after four more pubs which we thought were decent for guys like us ;) we decided to end our night in one of disco mentioned in one of the books we were carrying. It was good may be second best after hard rock city, they had awesome music and crowd.

After getting just hours of sleep the next morning we started early for our island hopping tour and I have to admit this was the highlight of our tour only second to what we did on Tuesday morning, which I would come to later. Island hopping tour comprises of visit many islands of which main attraction was Ko Phi Phi where movie BEACH was shot.


Koh Phi Phi.


However to me the best attraction was Maya Bay where we did snorkeling. The natural beauty was awesome.



Maya Bay.


After being with nature all day long, it was time to soak in some real authentic Thai food and pamper ourselves with some sea food delicacies Thai style.



FOOD :)


With our Phuket trip almost over we headed to the bars of Phuket one last time and after few pub hopping we finally sat down in one of the quieter place hearing jazz music and that’s when I passed on wacky idea to go Bungee on Tuesday afternoon after checking out. I don’t know if it was the drinks or sheer tiredness from trip we decided to go for it.

The next morning we got up late and checked out by noon and headed straight to Jungle Bungee.
Man 50m is high and to jump from there are u kidding me? And you have to pay 2000 THB for that... are u kidding me again? Well there is a separate post coming up so do check it out in coming days.

We wrapped up our trip with the rest of the day on Patong beach,



Patong Beach.

enjoying over cast weather and water activities. I have had great time in Phuket and can’t wait to go back there as soon as I get time :)




May be next time i would like to stay in Kata and visit James Bond Island!!

6 comments:

Raj said...

Wow! Phuket looks amazing. I so want to go there now :(

And what a great travel diary. I'll refer to it when I actually go there in a year or two.

Freeze said...

Long post!

I knew Phuket was a beautiful place, but I thought that food would be a problem in Thailand...

The beach looks amazing. And there is no one around! Damn cool!

Did people know English there?

Purva said...

woah! sounds a lot of fun! what was the expenditure like?

Abhinav said...

Raj: Thanks, by that time i think i would have another diary up here.

Freeze: Yes Phuket is a beautiful place. Food is problem if ur vegetarian, otherwise Thai food is awesome :D

Purva: Yea it was fun especially bungy jump. Dont ask abt the expenditure .. it was splurge .. i am yet to settle my expenses spread over USD, THB and SGD .. geez i shud get some of my money back :P

Purva said...

i wanna go bungee jumping too :(


btw have written second part on my blog. read it when you have time

Cuckoo said...

Hi,

Hmmm... Phuket looks very enticing. I have heard it being famous for beaches, food and massages and you enjoyed all three, eh ? :P

Waiting for your bungee jumping post. Let me know when you post it.

BTW, Thanks for dropping by my blog. Keep dropping.

Oops I mean keep coming. :-)