April 4, 2019
Phuket | Racha Yai Island | Coral IslAnd (Day 8-11) 🌴☀️🇹🇭🌊
First of all I would like to apologize for the late update. I have been struggling with uploading pictures. That is why I have been waiting to publish that blog entry.
However, five days ago we left Chiang Mai to go to Phuket, Thailand’s biggest island which is located in southern Thailand in the Andaman Sea. We had to get up quite early again in order to catch a flight at around 11. Our flight took around 2 hours. After arriving in Phuket, we checked how we could get to Phuket town without paying a fortune. Most taxis wanted to charge us like 650 Baht (18€), which is way too expensive for what we would normal get in Thailand. That is why we ended up taking a bus which only costed us like 100 Baht a piece so not too bad. The only detriment was that we had to wait for another 45 minutes for the bus to leave the airport as they depart every hour. After riding the bus for almost one hour we still did not reach our destination. At the latest at that point we realized how big the island really is. We still had to walk 1 kilometer to our hotel. Our accommodation was located on a side road in Phuket town. That is why we decided to visit the old town at first. After having traveled for half of the day we were a little exhausted and did not want to do that much anymore. The old town is historically rich and offers many old and beautifully preserved 'shophouses', quaint cafés, tiny printing shops, impromptu private as well as public museums. We visited some local markets, temples and basically just wandered around the streets until we found something nice to eat. This time we needed some variety from all the Thai food we have recently had. Accordingly we went to an Australian place that turned out to be cheap as well as pretty tasty.
Very shortly after we had eaten, we went back to our hotel and simply relaxed for a while until we fell asleep.
On our second day in Phuket we rented a scooter/motorcycle at our hotel, which is like the thing to do on islands as it is the simplest most convenient way to get around.
Many bloggers and people we have met have recommended to do it provided that you chose the right rental place. We were lucky and able to rent them at our hotel for 300 Baht (9€) for 24 hours. Taxis would probably at least cost us like 1500 Baht for the whole day which is absolutely ridiculous. We also did not want to support the Tuk-Tuk Mafia in Phuket. We just thought it was the best way to explore the island and some of its marvelous beaches. Of course it was a risk to rent a scooter since none of us had an international license carrying with us, but I guess sometimes you have to take risks if you want to experience something great. I always recall the quote “In the end we only regret the chances we did not take.” Nonetheless, some of the people we have met in Chiang Mai told us that the police stopped them anyway and let them a pay fine no matter whether they had a international drivers license with them as it is kinda like the bribe many foreigners have to pay.
Whatever, we did not get pulled over and enjoyed our day. We went to see the big buddha statue, had breakfast at a neat Italian place and went to many beautiful local beaches (3 in total). Karon beach, Kata beach as well as Kata noi beach. The last one was probably the most beautiful one. The water was crystal clear and the sand extremely nice. The picture is still nowhere near as good as it looked in real life.
We have barely seen any garbage at those beaches. In addition to that, the beaches were not as crowded as we had expected. The weather had been absolutely stunning throughout the whole day. Only one big cloud kinda ruined the sunset that we were watching at a great viewpoint, called Laem Promthep.
It is a picturesque cap offering breathtaking views on the ocean and some of the islands around Phuket. Even though, the sunset was not as nice as hoped, we were glad we went to that beautiful cape.
On our third day we had to switch our hotel, since we had decided to check out two different spots on the island and stay at both places for 2 nights. Our second place is located in the Southeastern part of Phuket closer to the beach (approximately 15 minute walk). We took a bus to save some money and arrived at our hotel, did the check in and hung out at the pool. In the Late afternoon we decided to check out the local beach that we had not been to yet. Rawai beach. Before finishing the day in a relaxed atmosphere with some delicious food and cold beer, we checked out the pier as well as the beach. As we were having dinner, we watched the sun setting. That was one of the last things we did before heading back to our hotel.
On our fourth and last full day on Phuket we wanted to do some exploring again. That is why we booked a day tour to a couple islands around Phuket, Racha Ray island as well as Coral Island. Price for the whole trip, including lunch buffet 900 Baht (25€). To my mind an amazing deal as an one way boat trip already costs like 300-500 Baht. At around 8am in the morning a driver approached us as we were having breakfast. Since they announced themselves about 15 minutes later, we were rushing to finish our breakfast. Well, we got to the meeting point of the travel agency that organized our day trip at around 8:15am. The funny thing was that the tour started at 9:30am, so we had to wait for more than an hour. I assume the organization could have been better for sure. Anyway, we left Chalong Bay at 9:30am. Our first stop was a small bay in Racha Yai Island. We stopped there to do some snorkeling.
I gotta say it almost as good as the snorkeling I had done in Greece last summer. We came across many colorful fish. The island itself is marvelous. White sand and very clear turquoise water.
The only drawback was that we were sun-exposed. After we have read the weather broadcast, which said cloudy and maybe even thunderstorms we though we would be fine. As things turned out the cloud were merely above Phuket. The weather on Racha Yai Island was hot and sunny. Thus, we looked for a spot with some shadow which did not turn out to be as easy as we believed in the first place. One hour later a big trekker with a trailer appeared that brought us on the other side of the island.
We stopped at a big resort, at the place where we enjoyed a superb view while having lunch. We were able to pick a variety of food from a buffet, which was fantastic for the price we have paid. Not only did we enjoy the food at the resort, we also went to the beach and the pool, where we hung out for another 1.5 hours.
Shortly after we left to go to Coral Island, which is another lovely island around Phuket. The beach was just like the one we had been to. I really have to say the islands around Phuket are much better than Phuket itself. Phuket is nice and all but it is pretty crowded. Furthermore, the beaches definitely cannot match up to the ones we went to today. So if you are around Phuket I would definitely highly recommend to book a tour like this as well. We were stunned by what you can get for just 25€. So Phuket might be not the most beautiful Thai island. Nonetheless, Phuket got an airport and serves as an starting point as you can basically go to any place you want from the island. Tomorrow Johannes and I are going to leave Phuket and take a speedboat to Ko Phi Phi Island, where we will stay for a couple of days so stay tuned!