"Patong Beach" Phuket by annase

Phuket Travel Guide: 3,275 reviews and 9,457 photos

I was looking forward to spending some days in Thailand at the end of December since I really wanted to go somewhere warm for the holidays. My partner and I decided to that we'd go to Thailand because he had been to Thailand a few times at the time when his parents and his sisters lived in Bangkok (this is a few years back) and he thought it would be perfect.

We choose Patong Beach due to the accommodation really I was looking for a package (flight and accommodation) through a large UK based company that wouldn't go bust before the holiday and found a really good sounding accommodation, which didn't cost a fortune in Patong.

We arrived in Bangkok in the afternoon local time and then had to wait for a flight to Phuket for a few hours, so that we actually got to Patong in the evening. I'm not a great sleeper on board of the aircraft so was awfully tired after the 11 hour flight to Bangkok from London. We had not pre-booked a transport from the airport to our hotel, so we had a look for a while and tried to ignore all the taxi drivers waiting outside the terminal and trying to offer us their services. Eventually we ended up taking the offer of one of the many taxi drivers - after some bargaining though and did not spend more than people had said it would cost on various travel forums anyway. The taxi was really clean and smart, so 600 baht that we paid for it did not feel very much when you convert it in pounds anyway. Nevertheless my partner managed to bargain the price down from 650 bath - being used to the fact that you should always offer a lower amount than asked for.

After arriving to our hotel, we checked in and headed for a walk, looking for a place to have a dinner. We had decided to eat only local food during the trip, so we were only looking for restaurants serving Thai food. The aim was to stay away from really expensive places and throughout the whole holiday the most expensive dinner we had cost 1130 bath including two drinks each, a shared starter and two main courses. The food was absolutely gorgeous everywhere - apart from one establishment were my red curry dish happened to be cold before it even arrived. We did not go back to that restaurant.

I was slightly annoyed by the people trying to sell you anything from hats and clothes to massage and what not on the streets and the beach to start with. My partner had advised me to ignore them, but after a few days it started to get me. However, the good thing is that they will leave you alone if they see that you're not interested either because you don't react in anyway or politely refuse. After all they do not start running after you because there are many others who may actually be interested.

I was also puzzled by the whole scene Western men 'dating' Thai women because there were masses of this sort of 'couples' every where. I was aware of the fact that Thai girls working in bars can go with Western men if they happen to like them, but still it was something I was really struggling to get my head around to start with. However, you get used to everything in this country.

To make us feel that we were really on holiday, we decided to go to the traditional Thai massage, take a facial and I also had my nails and hair done because in Thailand the cost of all these services were only a fraction of that in the UK. I really enjoyed Thai massage and found it very relaxing.

We also went on a snorkeling trip on Racha (or Raya) Yai island. We were looking for a snorkeling only trip, but were a bit disorganised and therefore ended up going with a group of scuba divers. Although we got the trip for half price since we were not diving and the trip was a load of fun, I think it would have been nicer to go on a speed boat with a bunch of other people who were snorkeling too. That's what I want to do next time. The surroundings in Racha Yai were absolutely stunning: water was clean and visibility was very good (about 15m or more). There were a lot of fish and they did not shy way but came very close (almost a bit too close for my liking). We saw the most incredible looking, colourful little fish as well as amazingly ugly titan trigger fish. Luckily the latter didn't come close to me since it is known to bite divers if you go too close to it during the mating season!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lovely, steadily warm weather despite some clowdy days. Great snorkling facilities nearby. Food and accommodation, massage, haircut and beauty treatments are inexpensive.
  • Cons:A lot of street and beach vendors trying to sell you anything
  • Last visit to Phuket: Jan 2011
  • Intro Updated Jan 28, 2011
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