Our trips are usually hectic as we try to see and experience everything the place has to offer and end up returning exhausted from the holidays! However, we planned to take it easy on our five day trip to Phuket and indeed returned back rejuvenated. My husband and I were accompanied by my sister – in – law, her husband and their adorable twin daughters.
Best time to Visit
Summers in Phuket (Thailand) are unbearable due to the scorching hot temperatures and high humidity. The best time to visit the place is between November and February. Although we visited Phuket in late November, the heat was torrid!
Currency & Visa
Baht (THB) is the currency of Thailand. It is equivalent to 2.18 INR and 0.031 USD.
Indian passport holders visiting Thailand can avail Visa on Arrival. The Visa on Arrival fee for Indians is around 2000 baht. However, around the time when we visited Thailand, the visa fee was exempted for Indians (the fee exemption for Indians has been extended until April 2019).
We stayed at the Novotel Phuket Resort which was a 10 – minute walk from the Patong Beach. Overlooking the Andaman Sea, it had the best view in Phuket. It’s interior and the 3 – tier pool was mesmerizing! One of the best parts was their lip-smacking food spread.
Our first day was all about relaxing in the hotel pool accompanied by a few drinks and trying Thai cuisine.
If you wish to explore Thai cuisine, you must try Tom Yum Goong (spicy shrimp soup), Som Tum (spicy green papaya salad), Pad Thai (Thai style fried noodles) and Pad Krapow (Fried basil and pork served with steamed rice).
Almost at around 10:00 PM, we got to know about the Full Moon Party which is held on every Full Moon night on the Paradise Beach and we had to experience it! It was a crazy gathering under the glowing Moon with music playing and everyone dancing around! There were a variety of fire acts too. It was a thrilling experience.
To enjoy the city views and travel privately, one can easily rent scooters in Phuket at 150 Baht per day. We rented two scooters and headed towards the Big Buddha statue atop Nakkerd Hill. The Buddha statue depicts Gautama in a sitting position and is 45 metres (148 feet) tall and 25.45 metres (83.5 feet) wide. It is made of concrete and covered with Burmese white marble.
Since the statue is located at the top of a hill, the upward inclination was a little risky to cover on the scooters (some people do reach atop on scooters). So, we decided to stop mid-way and hire a small truck which would take us to our destination. They are easily available for tourists in case you wish to rent one.
The Great Buddha of Phuket is a sacred place; hence visitors are expected to wear clothing that covers shoulders and knees. The view from atop is breathtaking. The trees here are covered with bells, each with a wish written on them. It is believed that the blowing winds would ring the bell and make the wishes come true.
We ended our day with a walk on the Patong beach after having dinner at a nearby restaurant.
If you are traveling to Phuket, do cover Phi Phi Island which is a two-hour ride by ferry. The ferries are equipped with food and drinks. You may also take speed boats which take an hour lesser to reach the islands.
Once we reached Phi Phi, we were taken to the Monkey Beach for snorkeling. Yes, the Monkey Beach is named so because of the many monkeys that live there (don’t worry they won’t trouble you until you don’t trouble them). You can snorkel in the ocean water for as long as an hour. We then headed towards the city area for our lunch and spent some time in the beach area.
As the day was a little tiring, once we reached our hotel back in Phuket, we ordered room service and called it a day.
Beach holidays can sometimes get tiring due to all the time you spend in the waters. So, day four had to be about Thai spa! We shopped in the local markets along the Patong beach first and then headed towards Let’s Relax Spa, the best massage and spa chain in Thailand. The two-hour massage was the ultimate relaxant. I strongly recommend the two-hour Thai massage at Let’s Relax Spa. Don’t worry about the price, each penny will be worth when you walk out.
We then enjoyed the calming sunset on the Patong Beach and made sand castles!
As this was the last day in Phuket, we relaxed in the pool attached to our room (we literally stayed in the pool for four hours straight).
In the evening, we attended the very famous cabaret show at the Simon Cabaret Show. The one-hour long act was simply mesmerizing! We were awestruck by the sets, costumes, and performances. The performers swayed on songs from various countries in the world, including a Bollywood number “Dilli Wali Girlfriend”. After the show, the performers stand in a queue outside the auditorium and one can click pictures with their favorite character(s). They charge 100 baht per performer, per photo.
As the next day we had an early flight to catch, we concluded the day with dinner at the hotel restaurant. If I could, I would bring the Thai cuisine and the Thai spa along!