Perhaps the longest standing vacation plan I have ever had was Thailand. It was supposed to be our quick vacation, bachelorette party, a winter break, and so many more things – that absolutely refused to materialize. But 2019 was kind. And I planned one of those lazy vacations, yes to Thailand. The main intent was to unwind, so I set about designing an itinerary that would let us travel but also chill and soak in the sun.
Thailand is a big country, and there is a lot to do and see. There are gorgeous, pristine beaches. There’s a LOT of adult entertainment. The food is world class. You have cities and bays and temples and markets. And a lot of natural beauty. For our first trip, we wanted to keep it simple. We flew to Phuket from Bangalore, there are direct flights by Go Air and Indigo. Thailand offers visa on arrival for Indians, and visa is free until October 2019, which is awesome! Phuket doesn’t see much immigration queues, so you can pretty much breeze through!
Phuket: 3 days – take boat to -> Phi Phi: 3 days – take boat to -> Krabi: 3 days – fly to -> Bangkok: 4 days
We flew to Phuket from Bangalore, there are direct flights by Go Air and Indigo. Thailand offers visa on arrival for Indians, and visa is free until October 2019, which is awesome! Phuket doesn’t see much immigration queues, so you can pretty much breeze through! Just ensure you are carrying your photos in the format required, and evidence of stay just in case.
I didn’t plan much of the touristy stuff for this trip. So, we didn’t make it to Fantasea or cabaret shows.
What we did
- Karon Beach – this beach has resorts to stay and is the quiet part of Phuket. It is great to just head here and enjoy the quiet beach.
- Big Buddha – A nice view from up there, and the statue is really, really big.
- Bangla Road or Soi Bangla – The nocturnal hub in Phuket, catch ping pong shows, drinks, dance, Bangla Mall, Seduction Complex – honestly, it’s like an overwhelming assault on all senses.
- Old Phuket Town – The Sino Portuguese architecture, shopping streets – perfect to walk around and just soak in the culture.
- Night Markets – Phuket has some good markets, I have some really good buys – clothes and accessories, so head out and check those out.
- Patong Beach – this was nearest for us, just walking distance from the hotel and in one end of Soi Bangla. Good for water sports, but usually quite crowded.
- Wat Chalong & Phuket Temples – Beautifully decorated with ornate pagodas, the temple complexes are important as spiritual centers. These are not only for tourists, but locals too – so there is dress code. The temples do have skirts and shawls available for free in case one need to cover skin.
We spent time walking around the old town, going to quiet beaches and pretty much just chilling.
We stayed at the The Marina – a neat hotel about 10 minutes from the Patong Beach. It was a fabulous property with a gorgeous rooftop pool and a city view. Food was great, staff is amazing and friendly. Night markets are nearby, starting from right opposite the hotel. Soi Bangla is 10 minutes by walk. Loved our stay! The hotel arranged for our pick up and ferry to Phi Phi Islands, super convenient. For details, stay tuned to my next blog.