Here’s what we did in Phuket, Thailand!
Travel Dates: 30 Nov – 2 Dec, 2013
Airline: Air Asia from Chiang Mai to Phuket, $139 per person via Expedia
Air Asia from Phuket to Singapore, $99 per person via Expedia
Visa: Not needed.
Exchanging Money: At the airport.
Hotel: The first hotel was a very bad experience. I did a lot of research on areas, and thought we wanted to avoid Patong due to the party life, but we were wrong. Peach Blossom Hotel had high ratings, 4 stars, and was $89 per night. We arrived at 2 am. Upon entering our room, we noticed mouse droppings everywhere (shower, bed, floor, chairs, sink, dresser…) so we called the front desk. They said it was the only room left so they’d send maintenance. In the meantime, a slow leak started from the ceiling. Maintenance came almost an hour later and just swept it into a bucket and left. I slept with my clothes on and tried not to touch anything…actually, I didn’t really sleep. The leak turned into a waterfall from the ceiling, overfilling the buckets & drenching the floor. Long story shorter, we spent 3 hours fighting for our money back and they only finally agreed after I showed them I had photos and video of the horrible experience. It looked like a good place on the outside, pool and buffet looked fancy, but not good service and not clean.
We moved to a reliable American Holiday Inn Resort in Patong. It was beautiful! Numerous restaurants, pools, and gorgeous rooms. Good thing too, since my husband got terribly sick from food poisoning and spent almost the whole day in bed.
Transportation: No subway. Not easy to get between the districts. Took a group taxi bus from the airport. Private taxi between hotels. Seemed pricey compared to the rest of Thailand. Not impressed.
Itinerary: Day 1 – After spending all morning dealing with the hotel issues, we ran along the beach in Patong, walked through a market, enjoyed Happy Hour at the hotel, and ate dinner at a street restaurant across from the hotel. Maybe we’re spoiled because we live on the ocean, but Phuket was really just a beach town. You can take day trips to other islands. That may have been more interesting. I’ve heard great things about Krabi. If we were to do it again, I’d try to go there.
Around midnight we took a walk down the “party street” in Patong to see what it was all about. I was extremely disturbed, especially by the clientele. Old men and young girls…
Day 2 – My husband experienced bad food poisoning so I worked out at the hotel and lounged by the pool. In the afternoon we shopped in the markets and walked around the Patong area.
If you’re looking for a beach location, look into other beach destinations. If you’re set on Phuket, maybe plan a day trip on a boat, or just be content relaxing on the beach or at the pool. If you’re going for the night life, be very careful.