The Pearl of the Andaman ~ Phuket, Thailand



Phuket



From Philippines (NAIA) : Travel Tax is PHP 1,620.00

Travel time: 3 hours and 50 minutes

Phuket International Airport

  1. Immigration – write down the complete address of your accommodation. Some immigration officers are strict.
  2. Baggage Carousel
  3. Exit – before the exit, you will find stalls that sell SIM cards for tourists. The best ones are True and DTAC. DTAC was the cheapest, only 299 baht. You will also find a lot of money exchange stalls, ATMS and transfers to your accommodation.

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Choose the stall located outside the exit, you will save 50 baht to 100 baht. Grab a taxi is 50 baht for reservation + 100 baht  for the airport fee. UBER does not exist in Phuket. 

→ Airport buses are only available from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. Route of airport bus click here

 



 Recommendation



Phaithong Sotel Resort

Location: 1/66 ถ.เจ้าฟ้านอก ต.ฉลอง อ.เมือง จ.ภูเก็ต (1/66 Chaofah Rd., Chalong, Muang, Phuket) Amphoe Muang Phuket, Phuket, Thailand

Website

More Photos of the hotel click here

  • The hotel is near the highway and about 30 minutes to 45 minutes from Phuket International Airport. 20 minutes from Phuket town, 10 minutes to Chalong temple / Bay and 30 minutes to 45 minutes from Patong.
  • The rooms were spacious, very clean and comes with free breakfast. The restaurant serves a variety of Thai food as well. The free breakfast includes coffee or juice and choices: a bowl of porridge with meat and vegetables, American breakfast (sausages, eggs, bread, butter and jam), omelette and pancakes. They offer free mineral water at the restaurant as well.
  • The room had 2 complimentary bottled water everyday, fridge, tables and chairs, flat screen TV and closet. It also had a small veranda, H/C shower, toiletries and a security box.
  • The pool is open until 10:00pm, clean and well-lit.
  • The hotel provides tours of the city and Phi Phi Island. They also have a motorcycle rental which was 250 baht / 24 hours (they will ask you to leave your passport to secure the motorcycle)

 

 Cheap accommodation are at booking.com and airbnb.com. Just remember that nice beaches are in the south area, quieter places and temples are in East side ( Phuket town ). Chalong is in the middle, near the Big Buddha. If you decide to explore Phuket, rent a motorcycle (only 2 passengers / vehicle), car or use grab-a-taxi. If you travel in a group better rent a tuktuk for a day. Public transportation is suitable for travelers who are staying  longer in the island.

 

Money Exchange

Buy dollars before the trip. Change some at Phuket International Airport. The best money exchange we saw was near the entrance of the main road of the party street in Bangla and:

NC Plus Phuket

Location: Soi Tilok Uthit 2, Tambon Talat Yai, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83000, Thailand. Best rate for both dollars and Pesos (PHP).

Best money changers around Phuket click here

 



Places to see



♦ Phuket Town 

for the WALKING GUIDE click here 

This street is near Wat Mongkol Nimit Temple and quite easy to find because of the attractive colors of the buildings. Cars and motorcycles parked along the road so it would be hard to take a nice picture. The buildings had stores that sells souvenir items and coffee shops, as well as hotels and inns.

Thalang Road

The street is near the colorful buildings. You would know you are in Thalong Street if you would see a whole stretch of street full of Chinese inspired coffee shops.

 

Wat Mongkol Nimit

More Photos click here 

No entrance fee. We were unable to go inside the temples because it was close. You will see a lot of monks walking around the area.

 

Jui Tui Shrine

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More Photos click here

Though it was open that day, a local who was passing by the street told us that we need to wear black to go inside the temple (Thais are mourning because of the King that passed away).

 

♦ Big Buddha 

More Photos click here

No entrance fee. Located at the top of the mountain.

→ Women must wear proper clothing. Bring your own scarf or else you must rent one at the entrance.

We decided to take a taxi from Chalong to Big Buddha in spite of having a motorcycle that day because Kishi, one of my best friends were joining us and we heard that it was forbidden driving on the highway with 3 people in the motorcycle.

Taxi from Chalong to Big Buddha: 230 baht

→ Tell the taxi driver to wait for you as you explore the place because it would be very hard to get one back to your accommodation because the place is far from the city and  the highway.

 

♦ Chalong 

Wat Chalong

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Photos click here

No entrance fee. Appropriate clothing must be worn at all times inside the temples.

 

Chalong Bay

More Photos click here 

Best to be visited at 6 in the morning. The place is a port for people under a tour agency that would be touring Phi Phi island in a day with speedboats. The lighthouse near the pier has a good view of the horizon and serves delicious breakfast.

♦ Patong 

30 to 40 minutes from Chalong, no wonder it would cost 600 Baht / way if you decide to take a taxi going to Patong. The journey was amazing for us because not only it was Rich’s first time to drive around in a foreign land but also we discovered a very delicious seafood restaurant along the way.

Driving going to Patong was quite difficult because of the zigzag roads, less streetlights and random check points. But overall, it was a nice unforgettable night.

 

Soi Bangla

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More Photos click here

Full of pubs, restaurants, strip clubs and pingpong shows. The whole street was alive and makes you want to drink and be merry.

If you are a party goer, try a pub called Seduction. If you want to chill and enjoy a Chang beer, try the bar Crazy House. It had fewer people and you get free vodka when you order drinks. 

Scam in Thailand click here 


25 things to do when in Phuket click here 

Nightlife in Phuket click here

Phuket Thailand click here

 



Food



 

Lamai Restaurant

More Photos click here

We had another restaurant in mind but most local restaurants were close on Tuesday so we tried this out because we were very hungry.

The ambiance was nice and the service was good. The food was delicious but the serving was quite small.

Food: 60 to 300 Baht

Drinks: 30 to 90 Baht

 

Karon Seafood Beach Restaurant

Location:  Karon Beach, Karon, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100, Thailand, Thailand

More Photos click here

The restaurant is along the highway, beside Karon’s Night Market. It is overlooking the beach. There are at least 4 different restaurants beside each other, choose the one that is near the Pharmacy because their dishes were cheaper.

The food was very delicious with big serving.

Food: 150 to 300 Baht

Drinks: 50 to 100 Baht

 

Chino@Cafe’ Gallery

Location:  4 ถนนถลาง ต.ตลาดใหญ่ อ.เมืองภูเก็ต จ.ภูเก็ต 83000, Thailand

More Photos click here

A great place to hangout. The coffee was delicious and they had a variety of desserts to choose from.

Cafe hopping in Phuket for the coffee lovers click here

Coffee: 50 Baht +

Desserts: 100 Baht +

 

Street food

Street food is all over Phuket. Most of it were snacks, noodles and vegetables that range from 3 baht to 30 baht.

If you want to order here, make sure you wait for it because they often transfer from one place to another. UA wanted to eat one of their snack but told us to wait for 20 minutes because they were still cooking it. When we got back, they were gone. Good thing it only cost 6 baht.


Best Local Restaurants in Phuket click here

Cheap Thai Restaurants in Patong click here

Dishes you must try click here

 



Phi Phi Island



Phuket to Phi Phi / Krabi to Phi Phi click here

Rassada Pier ( schedule and prices ) click here


Travel agency all over Phuket has the same brochure so you need to haggle for the best price according to the islands you want to visit.

Taxi from Chalong to Rassada: 500 baht

Boat Ticket: 600 baht

→ If you want a day tour exploring different islands in Phi Phi then look for a package tour that includes hotel transfer + boat + drinks + lunch + National Park Entry Fee ( 400 baht).

→ If you are staying overnight in Phi Phi, buy a ticket at Rassada Pier.

→ The ticketing guy will offer an open ticket going to Krabi or back to Phuket. For Krabi, it would cost 400 baht but you can use it any day at any time. Ordinary ticket from Phi Phi to Krabi would only cost 350 baht. After payment, ask for a sticker. This sticker is your ticket to the boat. There is no seat number so the earlier you get to the boat, the better seat you can take



Recommendation



The Cobble Beach Resort

Website

More Photos click here

  • The resort is about 15 to 20 minutes on foot from the Tonsai pier.
  • Hilltop area, overlooking the beach, the stairs going up the reception area is a real struggle after the long walk.
  • Free cold water upon arrival, the check in was very easy.
  • Our room was a bungalow with a veranda that had table and chairs. The room was big with flat screen TV, air conditioning, closet, security box, mirror and tables. The bathroom was very spacious with hot and cold shower.
  • The buffet breakfast had cold cuts meat, sausages, croissants and sandwiches, butter and jam, juices, brewed coffee, eggs, rice, cereals and a lot more
  • The pool was nice and clean with a lot of sun loungers around the area

→ Inform the resort when you will be arriving so they could arrange a transfer of your luggage to or from their resort

→ Most accommodation on the island is at booking.com or agoda.com. There are a lot of backpackers Inn and lodges near Tonsai pier that are less than 500 baht.

The Northstar Travel

Website

Boat: 1,600 baht ( only your group will be using the long-tail boat and no other tourists)

National Park Fee: 400 baht / person

→ Best time for island hopping, as early at 6:00 am 

 

Cheapest offers click here

Package deals click here

 



Places to see



 

Map of Phi Phi Island

 

Loh Danum Bay

More Photos click here

Beautiful bay in the morning but loud and wild in the evening. Most pubs have a beach party in this area.

 

Tonsai Village and Tonsai East

More Photos click here

The street is full of restaurants, tattoo shops, grocery stores and souvenir shops. A great place to hang out for coffee and look for a cheap island tour package.

 

♦ Ko Phi Phi Le 

Maya Bay

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More Photos click here

Unlike the movie, ” The Beach”, Maya Bay is a very crowded island. This is your first stop to pay for the National Park Fee of 400 baht/ person. Not suitable for snorkeling, you can swim or sunbathe for an hour, then the boatman will go to a bay a few meters away from here for snorkeling.

 

Loh Samah Bay

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Underwater Photos click here

Best place to snorkel because of the rich marine life.

 

Pileh Lagoon

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More Photos click here

Popular lagoon, considered as the swimming pool of Phi Phi Island because of its turquoise water.

 

Viking Cave

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More Photos click here

This cave is not opened for tourism thus you can only look at it from the boat. The cave looked like a place set up by a pirate. They say that there were paintings and nest inside the cave.

 


Travel tips to Koh Phi Phi click here

Andama Coast click here

Activities in Koh Phi Phi click here



Food



 

Local Restaurant ( Unknown)

Location: Street along Local Food Market

After the boat to Phi Phi Island got delayed because of the bad weather, we arrived around 5:00 pm, famished and tired. Looking for our resort, we passed by a lot of local restaurants and decided to try one. The Thai food was delicious, but very spicy. The soup was not good, but the prices on the menu were very cheap.

→ If you are in a tight budget, try looking for local restaurant around the Local Market Street of the island.

Dishes: < 150 baht

Drinks: < 50 baht

 

Chao Koh Restaurant

Location: Along Tonsai Bay

More Photos click here

A restaurant by the beach. The food was delicious and cheap though the waitresses looked tired and stress. Live music playing throughout the evening. The ambiance in this restaurant was calm and relaxing. They serve seafood, Thai and European cuisines.

Dishes: < 200 baht ( may vary according to grams or size)

Drinks: > 150 baht

 

Pizza Stop (Unknown)

Location: Near Tonsai Pier

More Photos click here

There are a lot of small restaurants offering light snacks near Tonsai Pier. While waiting for the boat, you can grab a quick bite.

Pizza: 80 baht / slice

Salad: < 150 baht

Dishes: > 200 baht

Drinks: < 100 baht

 


Restaurant in Phi phi according to Trip advisor click here

Food in Phi Phi Island click here

Phi Phi Restaurants click here

 



Getting out of the Island



 

Ferry schedules posted at the entrance gate of the Tonsai pier. Schedule may vary due to weather condition


 

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